If you start in your teens/twenties (teens: always consult a parent!) when your hair is more fine, it'll be less painful. But waxing can be for anyone at any age.
Yes, you have to talk about your health with your esthetician. If you have allergies, health conditions (such as diabetes, varicose veins or poor circulation), take any medications or use topical lotions, you must talk about it. Your skin must be in its best shape to be waxed, and if something you have or are taking makes it thin or sensitive, waxing is not for you.
It's true: the more often you wax, the less painful it will be. That's because the hair will thin over time. The reason waxing hurts so much is because it pulls the hair out from the root (if not, it's not being done properly and effects won't last as long.) -- but that's also the reason it lasts for 3-4 weeks.
If you're waxing eyebrows or your upper lip, do not apply toner to your face that morning. Toner tightens your pores, and thus will tighten their hold on your hair follicles. Not ideal for waxing.
An extra benefit: waxing is a great exfoliator. But that doesn't get you off the hook -- for best results, exfoliate well leading up to your appointment, and be sure to exfoliate afterwards as well. This will prevent your pores getting clogged and any unsightly ingrown hairs.
This tip has nothing to do with the salon being "grossed out" by you being on your period. It's solely for your own comfort! Our skin is more sensitive during that week (and even a few days before) so the process will hurt more.
You may have heard that you should take a shot before you go -- and while this'll calm your nerves a bit, it's also putting stimulants into your system. Stimulants make your skin more sensitive, so opt for a big bottle of water instead of that venti latte before your wax.
Have you ever been told to ice your skin before a wax to numb the area? Not only will the hot wax counteract the cooling effect, but prepping your skin in this way is similar to applying a toner. Your pores will tighten and make it more painful to pull the hair follicle out.
For about a week before your waxing appointment, try to cleanse your body of excess acid. This means grabbing a water instead of an orange juice, and try to lower intake of alcohol and caffeine, which increase your system's acidity. Excess acid in your body makes your skin sensitive, so lowering it will make the process run much easier.
Don't be embarrassed to ask about any peach fuzz you're unhappy with! Salons say that there are lots of procedures that women are hesitant to ask about that are in fact super popular. So if you're unhappy with extra hair on your chest, stomach, even breast area -- ask. They're happy to oblige.
Yes, it's true that waxing can be painful, but it's also true that it gives you longer-lasting results than shaving, and is a lot less expensive than laser hair removal. So you probably know the basics: keep your skin hydrated, exfoliate, have the hair between 1/3-1/2 inch long for best results.
But have you heard those tips about "icing your skin" or "taking a shot beforehand"? Sometimes these are true, and sometimes not so much. We've got the scoop on 10 things you might not have known about waxing, and how to get the best experience when you visit your salon.
As with any procedure, make sure to do your research. Ask family and friends for recommendations if you're looking to wax for the first time. Chances are if they had a good experience at a salon, you will too! Be sure you're happy with their sanitation procedures, and if it hurts more than you think it ought to, leave.
Read through the gallery above to get some tips for waxing -- and get your skin primed and ready for warm weather.