Waxing is the longest-lasting temporary hair removal technique available. When wax is warm, it enters the follicle, allowing the hair to be pulled out from the root. Hair grows back in 3 to 6 weeks. The disadvantage to waxing is that it can be painful for those with sensitive skin. And hair must grow back by ½ inch before waxing again (up to six weeks).
What should you expect when waxing for the first time? First, a special preconditioning lotion for waxing (regular lotions and creams make the wax slip from the hair) is applied. Then hot wax is poured onto the skin and covered with strips of cloth; once the wax hardens around each strand of hair, the cloth is quickly pulled off. Your skin should be pulled taut in the opposite direction that the strip will be removed.
The best antidote to the pain of waxing is to try to relax. According to many beauty practitioners, when a client is tense, the follicle closes and the wax doesn't reach the root of the hair. Immediately after waxing, apply gentle pressure to the area with your hands; icing the area also can help ease the pain. The more often you get a wax treatment, the more accustomed you'll grow to the experience.
Reviewed: July 27, 2001