Waxing is kind of a thing of mystery. It seems like there are all these secrets about how to properly get a wax, but no matter what you do, the process is still rather... unpleasant. I'm by no means a waxing professional, but I have gotten a few waxes in my day, so I can tell you what not to do when waxing.
There are plenty of articles that give advice on how to get a "painless" wax — this is not one of them. Waxing hurts. Yes, you get more accustomed to the pain the more you go and there are a few things you can do to make it more tolerable, but it will never be a fun, enjoyable experience, at least in my opinion.
These "don'ts" apply whether you're getting professionally waxed or if you're attempting a DIY wax (I tried waxing my legs in high school and let's just say I've been shaving ever since, but don't let that discourage you!). Mostly, the following pieces of advice are to help you have 1. A more comfortable waxing experience and 2. Reduce your odds of having irritated or infected skin after going through the emotional trauma of having your hair ripped from your skin.
1. Don't Shave
Although it's tempting to shave in between waxes, especially when the hair is longer than you're used to, it'll make the wax that much easier if the hair is a little longer — that way the wax has something to grab onto other than your bare skin. Don't shave two to three weeks before your next wax, so your hair can be about 1/4 inch long. You can thank me later.
2. Don't Be On Your Period
Avoid scheduling waxes around your period. According to Total Beauty, your skin is extra sensitive during that time and extra sensitivity is not ideal for a waxing situation.
3. Don't Have Sex
Even though this might be one of the reasons you're getting that bikini wax, your skin will be more open to infection following a wax, so experts recommend waiting roughly 48 hours before getting it on. Plan accordingly before that big date.
4. Don't Get Drunk Before Your Wax
Totally acceptable to get drunk after your wax, just don't drink beforehand. Alcohol thins your blood and if you have more than one drink before you wax, you'll be more sensitive. Drinking a margarita afterwards, though, is a great idea.
5. Don't Exfoliate Post-Wax
Your skin is already irritated, so don't make the problem any worse by sloughing away dead skin cells right afterwards. Give your skin some time to heal before breaking out your exfoliator.
6. Skip Exfoliating Your Body Pre-Wax
Caress Exfoliating Body Wash, $5.49, walgreens.com
Exfoliating before a wax helps prevent bumps and ingrown hairs, so definitely prep your skin with some light exfoliation beforehand.
7. Don't Wear Tight Clothes
If you're waxing anything on your body, don't show up to the salon wearing skintight leather pants. A dress or loose fitting pants will be way more comfortable post-wax.