Spa pros tell it like it is.
By Hannah Morrill, SELF
No one knows you quite like your waxer. And when you're face up on the table, you're most likely thinking about yourself and your pain levels--not what your waxer is thinking or feeling. Here's a little perspective on what you should or shouldn't do... from the other side of the strip.
Don't: Wax only in the summer.
"Many people see waxing as a warm weather ritual. Sure, the benefits are on full display in the summer, but winter is when the real progress can happen. For best results and faster hair fading, keep a year-round schedule of waxing every four to five weeks." -- Di Medlock, director of waxing, exhale, New York City
Don't: Come straight from the gym, the beach, the bar... or the sack.
"Sweat, sand, alcohol and any other debris can clog and constrict the pores, making it harder for hair to release smoothly. Activity also increases circulation, which makes the skin more sensitive. It's a less painful and more effective wax when a customer arrives showered, fresh and ready for their wax." -- Noemi Grupenmager, founder and hair removal expert, Uni K Wax, Miami, Florida
Don't: Trim so short before your appointment.
"If the hair isn't grown out enough, the wax can't get a good grip and you won't get a smooth finish. Don't be embarrassed with overgrowth. That's actually what a waxer likes to see." -- Michelle Mapes, hair removal expert, Stark Waxing Studio, Silver Lake, California
Do: Avoid coming in right before or after your period.
"Don't attempt a waxing appointment on the three days prior to or the first three days of your menstrual cycle. You skin is much more sensitive at that time, and waxing may be a bit more painful." -- Keisha Pittman, lead esthetician and educator at bliss 49, New York City
Do: Use the wet wipe.
"Most waxing centers provide customers with an individually packaged wet wipe to refresh the area before a bikini wax. For some reason, some customers choose not to use it. Trust me: It's an extra step that waxers really appreciate." -- Grupenmager
Do: Be more specific.
"Waxers hate the words 'just a clean-up.' That is not enough information. To be truly happy with your wax, be prepared to be as specific as possible, and never trust a waxer who isn't asking questions." -- Medlock
Do: Wear socks.
"This is not meant to make you feel self-conscious, but when you come into an appointment wearing flats or sneakers with no socks, and then taking them off right before your treatment... Well, that's not an ideal situation for a waxer since our faces are right near your feet." -- Mapes
Do: Have a strategy for being able to relax.
"About 45 minutes before your wax, take a pain reliever like Advil or Aleve--but skip aspirin, since it increases blood flow and can make the wax hurt more. When you're lying there, try to relax your mind, body and muscles. Breathe deeply. Right when the technician is about [pull the strip], release your breath. If you flex or flinch, there will be a pinch." -- Pittman
Don't: Tell us how to do our job.
"Sometimes, customers will tell waxers how to wax. Waxers have been trained--extensively--in how to wax in the most efficient and ouchless way possible. They must follow procedures and some customers end up unhappy. But leave the experience in the hands of the waxer; their entire job is to look after you." -- Grupenmager
Don't: Shave between appointments.
"Waxing removes the entire hair from the follicle. Each waxing session breaks down the body's ability to produce hair, and lightens the hair color and thickness. The end goal is to break the follicle down so much that it can no longer grow hair. But shaving leaves the roots behind and encourages hair to come back thicker and darker, reversing all of the work already done. Plus, if you shave between appointments, the hair growth cycle is broken, meaning it grows in quickly, even after a wax." -- Medlock
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