With summer comes the all-too familiar feeling of stepping into a cool blast of air conditioning—and watching as all the tiny hairs on your legs stand up straight. What’s worse is if you skipped a shave in the last few days (okay, week), you probably pulled down your sundress and hoped no one else took notice of your cactus legs. Rather than have you shiver at the mere mention of A/C all summer long, we spoke to the pros to see what the deal is with waxing. Here’s what you need to know before you book your first appointment.
Find out everything you can about the place you choose to schedule your appointment.
As much as you’d rather not conduct research out of the classroom (sorry!), it’s key to know everything you possibly can about the salon before scheduling yourself a wax. Not unlike the bacterial risks associated with certain mani practices, some establishments have lax rules about waxing that can leave you irritated or worse, burned. And most importantly, remember this: if your waxer re-uses the same spatula to apply a new layer of wax, run! Double dipping into the same hot pot of wax can introduce bacteria to the skin.
Look for salons that have all-natural alternatives to synthetic wax.
For first-timers or those with sensitive skin, all-natural waxes won’t incite an angry red, unwanted rash or reaction.
Skip shaving—for awhile.
As if we have to ask twice? Let the hair on your legs grow to about a quarter of an inch before your appointment. This allows the wax to grasp the hair and completely remove it from its follicle, so you’re left with super-smooth legs—that last much longer than a couple of days.
Don’t exfoliate the day of.
But do exfoliate before you go.
Drink plenty of water.
For the silkiest-smooth results ever, stay hydrated—inside and out. What are you waiting for? Start chugging.
You don’t need to prep for any pain.
A wax shouldn’t be agonizing, or even remotely painful, in any way. When the waxer pulls off the strip, you should feel a quick tug, but nothing more. If it hurts or burns, address your concerns immediately.
Check the strip size.
As much as we wish stripping hair huge-sections at a time would speed up an appointment, waxing takes time—so be patient. If the hair isn’t completely removed from its follicle, your waxer may have to return to the area for another round.
Take care of your skin post-wax.
No need to moisturize your legs before your appointment! This can make limbs more slippery, so the wax won’t grip. At the same time, post-appointment care is critical for lasting smoothness. Ensure your waxer moisturizes the newly-hairless area afterwards, and apply lotion to legs after your shower later on. And don’t forget your SPF!