Thursday, May 7, 2020


Okay fine, it's actually just advice from me. But who could resist a wax on, wax off reference in a blog post about waxing? Not me, obviously.

You probably wouldn't know this from my social media posts and (way too) frequent discussions about skincare products, but the majority of what I do in the treatment room is actually waxing. I find it funny, to be honest, because I had almost zero interest in the waxing portion of my esthetics school coursework. To my surprise, I discovered that I truly enjoyed it. So much so that my first job after graduation was at a big waxing chain. It was a great experience and I loved so much of it. The company itself, maybe not so much. I didn't love being pushed to do a brazilian and an upper leg in 15 minutes, pushed to sell products, pushed to go faster even if it meant bringing the quality down...ah, I digress. What I did love was building relationships with people, learning how to make a physically and mentally painful situation less so, learning new techniques from my fellow wax specialists, helping to solve "skincare down there" issues, transforming brows...the list goes on. I've been waxing for several years now, and it's so much fun! Of course, it's work too, and like working with facial clients, waxing is a team effort. If you want to have smooth, clean, flawless skin anywhere, it's going to take some effort and proper home care. A lot of people think that they can come in for their wax and forget about it until their next appointment, but that's not the case at all. Grab a cup of something (or a glass of something, I won't judge) and let's learn a little bit about hair removal!

While I personally find the science behind hair growth fascinating, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that you probably won't. However, it is important to know that there are three stages of hair growth, and that regular waxing helps to train the hair to all be in the same stage. When you first start waxing, you'll probably notice that some hairs grow back pretty quickly, while others take a few weeks to grow in. Basically, it's patchy. That's because not all of the hair was in the same stage of growth when it was removed. It can take several waxes to get all of the hair in the same stage of growth, which is why consistency is important. Once the bulbs are regularly being removed from the follicles at the same time, the waxes will be smoother and the growth will be slower. Removing the hair at the bulb also weakens it, forcing it to grow back smaller, which is why regular waxers notice that the hair is finer (thinner-looking) when it does grow back in. When you shave, you are just removing whatever hair is at the surface of the skin, so it will never grown back slower and finer. Think that Nair or any other depilatory cream is a better option than shaving? NOPE! Those types of products are only removing the hair at the surface of the skin, giving you a chemical burn! I also want to point out that despite what anyone tells you, waxing, sugaring, and threading are all doing the same thing (albeit in a different way). It's removing hair at the root. All of them will produce the same results. Sugaring experts may tell you that sugaring is less painful, but it's still removing hair from the root, so there is obviously going to be discomfort no matter what. Threading experts will tell you that it lasts longer than tweezing or waxing, but it's still removing hair at the root, so it's not possible for that to be true. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with sugaring or threading. Just be aware that many claims are misleading. If you're removing hair at the root, there's going to be some discomfort involved. Technique, proper home care, etc. can reduce that discomfort, but there is no such thing as pain free hair removal. Of course, the more you wax (sugar, thread, tweeze, whatever), the smaller the bulb, the less it hurts. Don't think that laser is necessarily your best bet, either. Laser hair removal doesn't work well on anyone who doesn't have light skin and dark hair. Lasers work by targeting the pigment, but if you have light skin and light hair or dark skin and dark hair, it can't do that. So it's limited in the results that it can give. Don't believe the marketing that often comes with laser hair removal, either-it's not permanent. I worked at a big waxing chain on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, and a good portion of my clients had laser treatments in the past. They all told me that at least some of their hair had grown back. Again, I'm not saying that laser hair removal is bad. Just that it's not permanent, not for everyone, and not realistic for a lot of people. Be sure to do a lot of research with whatever you choose. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before moving on, it should be noted that electrolysis, the process of removing hair by inserting a probe into each individual follicle and destroying the growth center of the hair, is a permanent method of hair removal. It does require several treatments and can only be done one hair at a time, so it's best to do on smaller areas. However, I'm trying to be thorough, so I thought I'd mention it!

Now that we've gone over some of the basics, let's focus a bit on the actual process. Some common questions I get from first time waxers are: 
  • "Is it going to hurt?"
  • "How long will the results last?
  • "When do I need to come back?"
  • "You don't mind looking at vaginas all day?" (I do a lottttt of brazilians)
As I said, yes, there will be some level of discomfort no matter what. We're pulling hair from the root, y'all. But as I also said, with repeated waxing, the bulb will get smaller and it won't hurt as much. Waxing pros recommend coming back every 4-6 weeks. For those on the newer side of waxing, it's best to come back toward the 4 week mark. Seasoned waxers can go 6 weeks or so. This is generally speaking, of course. Each person is different. It also depends on the part of the body, too. Most people wax their brows every 2-3 weeks but their legs every 5-6. With my clients, I start them out at the 4 week mark, and then reassess at every appointment. It's so exciting to be able to tell someone "I think we can go 5 weeks this time." I love that results are visible after just one session and that those results continue as long as the client is consistent. Consistency is key. It's like I tell my facial clients-you can't come in with acne and expect one facial to give you clear skin. You can't expect to get a facial every two months but do nothing at home and have clear skin. Proper home care is essential, and this goes for waxing too. There are some unicorns out there who can get their monthly wax and not have any issues with ingrown hairs or dry skin despite not putting any effort in at home, but they are not the norm. If you want the smooth skin that a wax can give, you're going to have to keep up with exfoliation and hydration. If you're prone to ingrown hairs, you'll have to apply ingrown hair serum regularly. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Another seemingly obvious yet important thing to note is that you should be following all of your wax pro's instructions. This will vary, of course, but here are some basics:

  • No sex, saunas, or sun exposure for 24 hours after your wax. Yes, I mean it.
  • It's tempting, but keep your own hands off your freshly waxed skin. You're putting bacteria in those open follicles-YIKES.
  • Always update your wax pro if you are taking any new medications. Some medications can make the skin more sensitive or even cause bruising and lifting. Accutane users cannot be waxed for a FULL YEAR after they stop using the medication!
  • Let your esthetician know what your skincare routine has been like. You don't want to book a brow wax for a Friday if you had a chemical peel on Monday. Even something like using a seemingly harmless OTC acne cream with salicylic acid or benzyol peroxide can cause serious damage to the skin. Permanent scarring is possible!
  • Avoid tight/irritating clothing on the day of your wax (and for a few days following). That lace thong is lovely, but it's going to feel like sandpaper on freshly waxed skin. Not the kind of exfoliation we're going for.
  • Don't over OR under exfoliate. Once a month is not enough. Once a day is too much.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 24 hours after your wax. Trust me, booking a 9am brazilian before your 10am spin class will bite you in the ass. Literally. 
Your wax specialist will have her own recommendations, and it's best to follow them. The person who knows your skin is in the best position to personalize your regimen. ALWAYS reach out if something doesn't seem right. In my experience, it's an easy fix and you'll be well on your way to smooth skin in no time! 

Another common question that I get asked is what products to use at home to maintain results. I love Relax & Wax products because they're gentle yet effective (and also developed by an esthetician, so that makes sense). Here are some of my favorites!
  • Scrub Me Luscious is a yummy lemon scented exfoliant ($29). 
  • No Trauma Momma is for post-wax soothing of the skin ($15.50). 
  • No Scream Cream is applied about 45 minutes before your wax to numb the area-hellooooo less painful brazilians! ($20.50).
  • Get The Bump Outta Here! will keep ingrown hairs at bay ($20). 
As for lotion, I think that good ol' Aveeno does the trick. I know that there are a lot of high end body lotions out there, but in my honest opinion, spending $30 on a body lotion is completely unrealistic. I can go through a bottle a week and there is no WAY that ya girl is going to spend damn near $100 a month on body lotion. I prefer to keep my money on my face, thank you very much. Depending on how dry my skin is feeling, sometimes I'll use something thicker (like Nivea) and every once in a while I just rub myself down with some grapeseed or jojoba oil. Ask your waxing pro about what's right for your skin!

I could go on all day about waxing (and it kind of seems like I have, jeez), but I try to keep my blog posts fairly general and basic. Specifics are hard, because everyone's skin/lifestyle/medical history/etc. is so different. I hope that some of the things that I covered have helped, though! And if you're a client of mine, I hope that you always know that you can reach out to me about any concerns you might have. There are no stupid questions! Like I said, sometimes the thing that's plaguing you is a super easy fix. Not a client of mine? Well, you can be! I promise that I do a good job of making first time waxers (or those who have had a bad experience elsewhere) very comfortable. There's not a bad joke I won't tell or a self deprecating comment I won't make in order to make you laugh. If you don't believe me, read some of the reviews on my website ( majority of my clients were first time waxers when I met them, so you can imagine that they were brimming with anxiety when they walked into my room. It's important that they have a smile on their face when they walk out of it. I love what I do and I hope that it comes through in my work. 

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you have questions about? Feel free to send me a message-I'd love to help!

love & lipstick,

P.S. Let me know what you'd like me to cover next! I love your feedback. Catch ya on the flip!