8 Things to Know Before Your First Wax

So, you've decided to take the plunge. You are fed up with the razor burn or the plain frequency of shaving your legs, and are ready for an alternative. Perhaps a friend swears by her esthetician and recommends you try waxing, or you're just ready for a change.

Waxing will keep your legs hair-free for longer than shaving — up to a month — and instead of getting prickly, when hair grows back after waxing, it's a little bit softer. Maybe the winter months are when you let your legs go anyway, and you want to experiment with a different route. Whatever the reason, you're ready to change teams and leave shaving behind. But are you really ready?

You've tossed your razor aside, prepared to spend some big bucks, and made an appointment at a trusted place that will (hopefully) take good care of you. You may thing you're ready for your first wax — but there are some things you need to know before you step into the salon.

1. It Will Hurt

We're not going to lie to you, this is not going to be all butterflies and sunflower fields. It's going to hurt, but you will not die (even if you feel like you might). Prepare for the worst, so you'll be pleasantly surprised when it's not as bad as you anticipated.

2. There is No Privacy

You are about to get extremely up close and personal with your esthetician. Get ready to be spread eagle (and spread-cheeked) for a woman you probably just met — for her, it's just another day at the office. Try to talk yourself into taking the same approach.

3. Avoid That Time of the Month

Book your appointment appropriately — you're likely to have a lower pain tolerance (and be more emotional, duh) during menstruation, so try to avoid timing that coincides with or before this time of the month. Rumor has it that the week after your cycle is when you have the highest pain tolerance, so that should be your go-to time to schedule.

4. Exfoliating is Key

Worried about ingrown hairs? Make sure to exfoliate the area both before and after the wax. A good (and natural!) body scrub and/or loofah is key to keeping things smooth down under.

5. Choose a Professional

Not just someone licensed to wax, someone who actually knows what she's doing. Being relaxed and comfortable is key to diminishing pain, so make sure you trust your esthetician and feel the salon meets your standards of cleanliness and professionalism. Don't trust this to just anyone!

6. Wait, Then Wait Some More

If you've been using another method of hair removal, you'll need to wait 2-3 weeks between your last removal and your wax. If you don't wait long enough, you're likely to have some stubble leftover since wax can't grab the shorter hairs — essentially defeating the whole purpose!

7. Stock Up on Pain Meds

Don't get any ideas, we're just talking about the over-the-counter kind. Feel free to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen 30-45 minutes before your appointment to reduce the pain and swelling.

8. You'll Survive

Despite what it might sound like, waxing is very much survivable (and even bearable). It might not be the most pleasant experience on earth, but we think the result — smooth and razor-burn-free skin — is worth the trouble.

Written by Nile Cappello

Image: kasanka/Fotolia