Summer has arrived, and so have short shorts, pool parties, and tank tops. Waxing is one of the best ways to make sure your legs, bikini area, underarms, and other body parts are smooth and hair-free. It’s long-lasting (3-6 weeks, depending on the individual), and the hair will even start to grow back more sparsely if waxed regularly.
While the pain involved is minimal, especially if the waxing is done by a professional, it sometimes gives people pause. Below are some tips for minimizing pain so you can have a pleasant waxing experience.
1. Go to a professional.
The number-one tip to minimize waxing pain is to avoid DIY at all costs. Licensed, experienced waxers are trained in types of wax that are best for certain types of hair, the correct way to apply it, and how to best hold the skin and pull so it doesn’t hurt as much. This is especially important with areas that are hard to reach yourself like the bikini area or back.
2. Stay away from the liquid courage.
That glass of wine before your appointment to relax yourself might sound like a good idea, but alcohol can increase your skin’s sensitivity and make waxing more painful. Incidentally, the same is true for coffee—so make sure you have your daily cup at least a few hours before your appointment. Well-hydrated skin has less waxing pain and better recovery afterward, so keep the water flowing instead.
3. Dull the pain.
If you know you have a low pain tolerance, take a pain reliever about a half hour before your appointment. Stay away from aspirin, however, since it’s a blood thinner. You can also find over-the-counter skin numbing creams that help a lot with pain.
It’s harder to pull a hair out of its follicle if there’s a bunch of built-up dead skin blocking its exit. During your morning shower, use a body scrub designed for exfoliating to get rid of this dead skin and help to open the pores a bit.
5. Try to relax.
It might be easier said than done, but try to stay calm and relaxed while you’re being waxed. Assuming it’s going to hurt and tensing up will make the pain worse. Take deep breaths and think about something pleasant. Some people even like to schedule yoga appointments for right before their salon appointment.
Tell the waxing specialist at your salon if you have any particular concerns about pain. They’ll do their best to make it easy on you. If all else fails, remember that the pain is very temporary and will be gone before you know it—but your smooth, hair-free skin will last a lot longer.