Most of us turn to the experts when it comes to waxing, whether it’s your brows, peach fuzz, bikini line, or whole-body situation. But there are actually a lot of brave souls out there who go the DIY route and do all their waxing at home. (Can you tell I’ve never gotten the courage to do this myself?)
There are definitely some pros to taking matters into your own hands. First, it can be cheaper. Second, you don’t have to worry about booking an appointment with your in-demand esthetician. And now that I’m spending more time at home and haven’t been able to head to my monthly brow-and-Brazilian appointment, I’ve become at-home-waxing-curious.
Maybe you’re intrigued, too, so I asked an expert, Elena Petrovicova, research and development director for Nair, for some at-home waxing dos and don’ts, and I also found some kits that won’t make the task too difficult (I hope). Take a look below.
Goodbye, dead skin cells. “At least 24 hours before waxing, gently rub skin in a circular motion with a loofa or washcloth to avoid ingrown hairs,” Petrovicova says.
Normally when you get a wax at a salon, your esthetician will gently clean the area, so that rule applies for at-home waxing, too. Soap and water will do, and Petrovicova says you should dry the area thoroughly. “Waxes work best when skin is free of oils, creams, and perspiration,” she explains.
Keeping the area dry is key. “Lightly dust your skin with powder before waxing,” she recommends. “If skin is moist, the wax will not adhere properly.”
Get a glass of water. “A hydrated body means hydrated, healthy skin and a lesser chance of getting ingrown hairs, so drink up!” Petrovicova says.
This will help your skin if it feels irritated or a little raw. Petrovicova recommends using baby oil, and she adds that Nair’s Wax Ready-Strips come with post-treatment wipes.
Sticking to your normal waxing schedule can make the whole task easier. “Ensure the hair is no longer than half an inch,” Petrovicova says. “If necessary, trim shorter. Waxing hair that’s too long can make for a more difficult and painful experience.”
Um, ouch? “Hold off waxing until any cuts or sunburn has healed,” she recommends. “Many women also find they’re more sensitive to pain right before their period, so wait a couple of days.”
“No matter what part of the body you’re waxing, be sure to pull the wax strips off in the opposite direction of hair growth. It’s not only more effective but also less painful,” Petrovicova says.
Waxing your face can be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if you’re doing your brows. One misstep can lead to no eyebrows. So basically, don’t rush it.
To minimize pain and irritation if you’re using wax strips, Petrovicova recommends pulling it as parallel to the skin as possible, rather than away from the face. And she gives this genius tip when you’re cutting the strips: “For the lower edge of your brows, cut a new wax strip to match the shape of your arch. After pulling the cut wax strip apart, be sure to save the other side. It already perfectly matches your other brow!”
I think part of the reason I don’t do at-home waxing is my esthetician gives me a lot of moral support when I’m getting a Brazilian. The pain becomes a bit more bearable when she’s talking me through it. But hey, I can be a big girl and give myself the equivalent of a Cheer “mat” talk if I’m going to do it solo.
Whether you’re doing your legs, arms, or bikini area, remember to pull from the opposite direction of hair growth like we talked about above. “Holding the skin taut with one hand while the other hand removes the strip will lessen pain and irritation,” Petrovicova says. “For the bikini area, start from your inner thigh and work your way upward and toward the back.”