Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waxing: what to expect and safety precautions

This information is generally for all waxing services: facial (eyebrows, upper lip, chin), legs, arms, bikini, brazillian, back, chest, etc. The steps I have down will vary due for each service, but it comes down to the same thing: safety! I am from California and the laws here are more strict than other states (in the US), so I am basing my knowledge on this. Plus, it is always best to set a high standard on safely because waxing could become dangerous.

1. Be sure that your esthetician washes his/her hands with soap before the service! You never know what that person touched before you came. Washing hands reduces bacteria from spreading (that's why hospitals and restaurants requires it)! Also, take note if the drapings are new before you lie on the service bed.

2. Hairs longer than an inch should be trimmed, longer than 1 inch will be more painful during the procedure. Baby powder is then spread over the desired area to absorb oils so that the wax can have a good grasp.

3. There are risks of getting STDs, HIVs or AIDs because the heat of the wax keeps organisms alive until it finds a carrier. There is a very simply way to ensure that you are getting a safe wax job and that is to make sure your esthetician is not double dipping the wooden stick into the wax jar. A new stick should be used for each application of wax. There is an alternative: the wax could be collected into a smaller container that would be used solely for you. Then, the wooden stick is allowed to double dip.

4. Your esthetician should never wax the same area more than once! This will irritate the skin and may cause skin tear and infection. Unfortunately for me, my first waxing was this (during high school). The lady kept waxing at the same place and my skin had spots of blood as a result. I had no idea and thought this was normal. Any strays of remaining hair in that area should be tweezed out instead.

5. Wax strips should be placed and rubbed according to the pattern of hair growth. However, during the time of wax, the strips should be pulled opposite of growth direction. Immediately after a wax, slight pressure should be applied to that area then continue to the next area. This will help with the pain and the shock of the skin.

6. After all the waxing and tweezing is done, your estheitician could apply baby oil to remove remaining wax from your skin. Here is where it depends on your salon: using toner. Since the hairs have just been removed, the gaps remaining are wide open so it is best to use toner to close them. Toner also helps cools your skin. Baby oil could subsitiute, but it is not the same.

Now you are done!

I have seen nail technicians done wax services with no education on it. Infact, in this salon (no names), it was one nail technician's first time doing a bikini wax on a client and when she was done, she asked me if what she did was correct. I was disturbed by it. Aren't you? I believe this was the case for my first wax as well. So, ask the person who will service if they are licensed as an esthetician if you are getting your service at a nail salon to ensure that you are protected and that they know what to do.

If you feel the need to, take a pill or two (according to manufacturer's directions) of Tylenol one hour before your service. That is what I do and pain is minimal, for me anyway. For the ladies, do not go a week before and during your period; you will be more sensitive to pain. For all sexes, if you do decide to get a bikini or brazillian wax, it is courteous to wash up before you go.

If you are afraid of the pain, remember that the mind is amazing and can increase your awareness if you focus on it too much. Just try to relax and take deep breaths. Your esthetician could help take your mind off during the service by talking to you. Or, you could listen to music. =)


  1. waxing... something i am so good at! i can take pain very very well! =). you shouldn't wax yourself anymore though! it looks painful =((. i want my honey pain-free! be good! you can wax me since i can take it like a boss!

  2. ouch. I hate waxing but hate having hair more. thanks for the article.