Smooth as Silk

Most women I know (and a few men) desire abundant, luxurious hair on their heads. And no hair virtually everywhere else. There are several methods of body hair removal, but one of the most effective, if not permanent, and affordable options is waxing.

Waxing allows for two to eight weeks before regrowth, depending on the individual. The benefit of having it done in a salon is that it’s less painful. Maybe that’s psychological, but it does seem to hurt less when someone else is doing the pulling! Also, it saves the mess and time it takes to do by oneself.

There are two types of waxing—strip wax and hard wax. “Strip” waxing involves melting the wax and spreading the hot wax over a section of skin. A section is then covered with a strip of cloth. The aesthetician rubs the cloth on the wax several times as the wax cools and attaches firmly to the hairs. The strip is then pulled quickly in the opposite direction from the hair growth, pulling out the hairs from the follicles.

With “hard” waxing, warm wax is applied thickly to the skin. When it cools, the wax is harder and is removed without strips of cloth.

Either way, a cool compress is often applied immediately afterwards to help alleviate any temporary sting. I like tea tree oil afterwards, as it is an antiseptic and soothes the sting nicely. Keep in mind that only a licensed aesthetician or cosmetologist should do your waxing, so check credentials.

Basically any part of the body growing hair can be waxed, with the exception of eyelashes (Why would we want to do that, anyway?) and eyelids, due to the very sensitive skin.

Large amounts of hair can be removed at one time, so it’s one of the quickest methods, and regrowth is softer than shaving or depilatories. Removal of the hairs at the follicles is key to slow regrowth and wax reaches the deepest. The downside? Some people with especially thick hair can develop ingrown hairs, red bumps, and minor bleeding.

Some general tips for successful waxing:
1) Waxing does harm the epidermis to some extent, so never wax after sunbathing.
2) Do not wax if you have skin allergies, acne or other skin disorders, or sensitive skin.
3) Always wait about a day after waxing to go in a hot tub, sauna or public pool to avoid an infection.

If you are planning to get a waxing, there are a few things you need to do in preparation. Be sure there are no wounds, rashes or other skin conditions in the area to be waxed. Don’t shave for a while, as you need about a quarter-inch of hair growth to be caught and removed by the wax. You could also trim the longer hairs, which will make the waxing less painful. A soothing oil, like tea tree oil, helps calm the sting and remove excess wax. You shouldn’t shower for at least twelve hours afterwards, and wait an hour to use a wax cream, which can help soothe the skin.

Consult your doctor if you have diabetes, varicose veins or poor circulation, and some doctors warn against waxing if you are on Retin-a, Renova, Differin, Roaccutane, steroid creams or other isotretinoins, which can weaken the skin. Also, wax should not be applied to skin with raised moles or skin tags, and wait until any type of broken skin has healed completely.

toni munna

Toni Munna is a native Long Islander who is always on the lookout for products that fulfill their promise to firm, hydrate, slim, soothe, de-wrinkle, plump, relax, de-stress, and just generally make you look and feel better. She a firm believer that wellness enhances beauty and has been testing beauty products and reviewing spas for you since the fall of 2006. You can reach her with questions at