The hairy girl’s guide to waxing

Body hair is having a moment. Though women are publicly rocking hairy armpits and bushy eyebrows, the hair removal business is still booming. Whether it’s a sugar wax regime, laser hair removal, the newest gadget, or a subscription-based razor delivery service, there’s never been more choice when it comes to what to do with your body hair.

If you do want to start waxing, allow me to arm you for success. I have hella sensitive, hella pale skin with thick, dark, curly hair all over my body. If I can handle it, anyone can.

How I got started

I had my first bikini wax in my early 20s. Even though I went to a high-end, reputable place that had been recommended by a friend, the esthetician who did my wax had no clue what she was doing. Looking back now I can’t believe I paid this woman to tend to such a sensitive area so inexpertly. I’ll spare you the details, but it was a disaster. I honestly should have just stopped her mid-appointment. After that, I swore off waxing forever.

It wasn’t until I was 27 that I ventured back to the waxing world. 2015 was one of my worst skin years. A combination of stress, illness, an allergic reaction to antibiotics, and poor eating had me in a relatively constant state of skin flare ups. My poor sensitive skin was not handling shaving well at all. And my hair grows back really, really quickly so in order to keep my skin smooth I would be shaving at least every other day. I knew my skin couldn’t handle it. I needed a better solution for the summer.

That summer, a new reputable waxing salon had opened up a new location near my house and I decided to try it out. I was pleased to find an obsessively clean, no nonsense salon specializing only in waxing, using all organic scent-free products. I booked a bikini wax to give the place a try. A very kind and professional esthetician did my bikini wax. I was SHOCKED when it DID NOT HURT! What? I kid you not. It didn’t hurt. And it was done in 15 minutes. I immediately booked another appointment to get my legs done. I’ve been hooked ever since.

IMG_9993
Smooth legs and sun protection

Choosing a waxer

When looking for a place to get your first wax, go to an established, reputable place and do your research. Ask for recommendations, read reviews, e-mail or call the salon in advance. It’s your body and your money. It’s ok to be picky. Don’t be shy about telling the salon that it’s your first wax, they should be welcoming and kind and non-judgemental, otherwise they don’t deserve your business.

Consistency is key

If you start a wax routine, it’s important to be consistent. A wax is more painful after hair grows in from a shave, so you’re best to be patient and let the hair grow in before your next wax. After about six months of waxing my hair started growing in more slowly and it came in much thinner. If you decide that waxing is for you, commit to doing so on a regular basis that works for you so you can establish a routine.

It can be challenging to be patient between waxes, especially in the summer. I can get away with bare legs for three weeks after a leg wax, so I only end up with one week where I need to wear long pants (leggings in the summer) before I’m silky smooth again. And honestly my hair grows in so much thinner than it used to I can probably get away with cropped pants in my fourth week after a wax. I try to schedule out my waxes ahead of upcoming occasions where I know I’ll want to show off my legs or have my bikini ready for. Sometimes that means a mid-month shave, but I try to avoid those as much as possible.

Exfoliate like it’s your job

Your esthetician is not lying to you when she tells you to exfoliate. If i’m consistent with my exfoliation routine, I get only two or three ingrown hairs that are close to the surface of the skin and not painful. I notice a huge difference if I’m lazy about exfoliating (ingrowns everywhere). I use a dry brush three or four times a week and I use a sugar exfoliant on dry skin before a shower once or twice a week. Whatever your exfoliation routine, stick to it. And exfoliate more than you think you should.

It’s honestly not that painful

If waxing is done properly, it does NOT hurt that much. If you’ve exfoliated throughout the month, grown out your hair to about ¾ of a centimetre and your esthetician knows what they’re doing, the wax should cling to the hair rather than your skin. If you’re really worried about the pain you can always pop an Advil before your appointment.

It’s your body, it’s your hair

In closing, I want to be clear on my stance that what we do with our bodies, including our body hair, is a CHOICE. Whether you grow it, tweeze it, wax it, laser it or shave it, it’s entirely up to you what you do with your body hair. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. I remove my body hair cuz I feel like it. I do me, you do you.

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