When it comes to hair removal, waxing is one of the more low-maintenance options. Sure, it can be a little more expensive than simply shaving, but the results last anywhere from four to six weeks link. So once you do it, you won't have to worry about stubble for a while. But that peace of mind can come with some minor annoyances, because there are things you shouldn't do when you wax. Not life-altering things, of course, but to make sure you have the best results and most pleasant experience, you might have to temporarily give up a few indulgences.
Don't worry though, most of the things you shouldn't do when waxing are only for that one day, if not just the few hours surrounding the actual treatment. So in basically no time at all, you can be back to doing you, just with smoother skin. Just make sure that you plan your wax so that it won't interfere with you needing to do any of the things you really shouldn't be doing. To ensure the best and longest-lasting results, along with the most painless experience possible, here are the seven things you should try to avoid when you wax.
1. Drink Coffee or Alcohol
While it might seem like it could calm your nerves, it's not a good idea to drink coffee or alcohol before a wax. These will increase your skin's sensitivity, potentially making waxing more painful. So drink water instead. Staying hydrated can help waxing be less painful and more effective.
Whether in the sun or with a self-tanner, most salons will advise you to avoid tanning the day before or after your wax. Suntanning before a wax can make the skin more sensitive and the wax more painful. Suntanning after a wax runs a higher risk of burning the sensitive areas (and loading up on SPF might just clog the pores). On the other hand, self-tanning before a wax can result in weird, patchy areas afterwards; whereas self-tanning after a wax can result in some of those chemicals getting into your bloodstream if you have any broken skin.
Chlorinated or salt water can be very drying for the skin, and it's important to stay moisturized and hydrated for the most painless and effective wax. So if you can help it, don't go for a swim the day before a wax (and make sure to heavily moisturize during the week leading up to it). After a wax? Avoid swimming for at least 24 hours so the skin has time to heal, and you're less at-risk for any infections.
4. Working Out
After waxing, the skin is more susceptible to irritation (and therefore ingrowns), and the open follicles are more susceptible to bacterial infection. This means that it's best to avoid anything that could cause excess friction or sweat — working out, saunas, even sex for at least 24 hours after waxing.
5. Wearing Tight Clothes
In the same vein, it's also important to ditch the tight-fitting clothes right after a wax. Anything that hugs your body too tightly is going to rub against your skin more (causing irritation), and could trap more moisture (which could lead to a bacterial infection). For the quickest recovery, rock your favorite pair of sweats, pjs, or even a skirt.
6. Your Period
The few days leading up to your period is a time when your skin is more sensitive than usual, meaning a wax is likely to be more painful than usual. So if it's your first time, aim for a different time of the month. However, if you want to become a regular waxer, and it happens to fall near or on your period, you don't have to skip your appointment. Regularly waxing makes hairs grow back finer, therefore making it an easier and less painful process over time.
For a successful wax, your hair should be at least one-quarter inch long. Which means that it's best to stop shaving at least five days prior to waxing. And even though it might be tempting to shave off some stubble in-between waxes, if you plan to make waxing routine, just say no to the razor.