Waxing – everything you need to know


I have been waxing (or should I say been waxed) on and off for about 15+ years, that is a loonng time ago.  Minus a few occasions where I have been caught out and in an “emergency situation”, think backpacking through Eastern Europe for 6 weeks, or a last minute invitation to somewhere fancy where only a dress will do ……whereby I have had to do a hastily shave of the legs, for the most part I have stuck with waxing as form of hair removal for legs and bikini line.

This is a frank  look at what your might encounter when waxing. Plus check out my before and after pics below.

Why wax?

  • It pulls the hair out from the root, therefore growing back softer (no more stubbly bits), finer and some cases depletes the hair growth.  Where as shaving just cuts the top of the hair off and it will grow back in a few days.
  • Plus it has a long-lasting effect, your legs will stay smooth for at least a few weeks – at a push 4 weeks sometimes you can get up to 6 weeks between waxes, depending on your hair growth, so you don’t have to worry about shaving every few days.
  • No nasty cuts or missed patches which you can easily get with shaving.

Winter is an incredibly sensible time to experiment with waxing, as you need to wait at least two weeks after shaving before the hair is long enough to be waxed and with swimsuit weather months away this is a cinch!  The longer your hair growth, the better the result, so if you can wait for 3-4 weeks after shaving even better.  BUT on the flip-side don’t leave it too long as it can hurt more when the hairs are really long.

The downside.  Will it hurt?  Yes it probably will, but it is fast so the pain doesn’t last long.  Don’t go and get waxed at that time of the month, just don’t.  It hurts, plenty. You are more sensitive around this time so it makes sense to drag it out another week.  If you are switching to waxing from shaving, it will probably hurt more the first time and as the hair grows back finer, subsequent visits should be less painful.

It can be a bit of a chore in the middle of summer having to wear jeans or long dresses because you are waiting to get your legs waxed.  I can just see all my friends nodding here right now as they recall countless BBQs I have turned up to in jeans in the sweltering heat *lol* because I was booked in for a wax the following week!

What should you expect?

Depending on what area you are having waxed there are different types of wax to use.  For larger areas there are typically two types of strip waxing systems used, roller wax which is applied in a canister and strip wax in a tin, which is applied via spatula and both are removed swiftly with a paper or cotton strip. You get similar results with both methods, it really is just the therapist personal preference as to what system they prefer using,  many prefer the roller system as it uses less wax and can be quicker.

Hot wax is typically used for smaller areas such as face, underarm and bikini.  This wax is thicker in consistency and once applied dries quickly and is easy to peel off without the need for a strip. Don’t let the name fool you, as strip wax is also hot or warm!

Ideally your skin will be prepped with a pre-wax gel to remove any oils and moisture in your skin.  Don’t moisturise your skin before waxing.  Then depending on which wax system is used, a calming after wax gel or lotion will be applied to minimize redness, irritation and remove residual wax.  You can expect the skin to be a little red after waxing and possibly slightly bumpy, this goes away after a few hours, see before and after below.  The first pic is before the treatment and the second is immediately after, not too much redness. The third pic is the next morning – no tell tale sign at all.

 Before Wax   After Wax   wax next morning

Your skin may feel a little sticky afterwards, personally I always prefer to shower 4-6 hours after waxing to remove any residual wax as it easily comes off with warm water.

TIP: Never apply self tan after waxing as the pores are open and you are more prone to irritation and likely to get an uneven tan.

Where should you go?

If you are getting a Brazilian or bikini done for the first time, I really recommend that you ask around and get a referral from someone local, who you know is good.  In this instance, expensive treatments don’t necessarily mean better service or results.   I have had some great waxing from professionals whom in my opinion could and should be charging more. You want to go to someone who is professional, quick and effective.  You want to feel as comfortable as possible when you are half naked and having hairs ripped away from you!

If you are in Auckland, check out OFF Wax Bar, they are extremely professional, offer a great referral system and finish the treatment with a nice hot towel to remove any reside wax which is a nice addition.

Off Wax Bar, Newmarket

If you are new to waxing I wouldn’t recommend using at home kits as an introduction to waxing.  Pop along to the salon for your first experience and once you have watched the professionals, then decide if this is something you might be able to tackle at home yourself  – IF you are brave enough!!  But let me just say you have been warned…

If you have tried waxing and thought it wasn’t for you, it just might not have been the right time or the right therapist or even the right wax for you,  don’t be afraid to give it another go.  Remember everyone has different pain thresholds so you may only be able to tolerate certain areas being waxed, for me underarms is a no go zone, it is just too flippin sore!

Hair’s to hair free smooth legs this summer….