Prepare yourselves. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth and, as they always say, don’t look down!
As the hot wax begins to coat your legs, you are probably starting to think about either a. It can’t be too bad, right? Or b. This is absolutely the stupidest idea I have ever had (other than that one night during spring break …)
But don’t be discouraged because the benefits of waxing will get rid of all your lingering hesitations. Summer is coming faster than you think and if you can tolerate just a little excruciating pain, you can have legs ready for the Venus trade that would make Victoria’s Secret models jealous.
Waxing usually lasts up to three weeks. That’s three whole weeks of showering without a razor. The time saved by removing shaving from your morning routine is bound to give you an extra five minutes of restful sleep, and we all know what wonders those five minutes can do.
Not to mention that you are stubble-free for three whole weeks. No more annoying razor burn, ingrown hairs and thick, coarse bristles that could sand wood. Hair continues to grow back thinner and thinner after each waxing.
Okay, so before entering the living room there are a few things to know first.
You will want to let your hair grow for at least two weeks. You will need your hair to be about as long as your tiny fingernail, which is about a quarter of an inch. So, you might want to postpone any leg-revealing skirts or dresses and cancel any dates you might have scheduled. Most men don’t like the bushman look.
During the hair growth process, exfoliate your legs daily by taking a loofah for these legs. This will prevent ingrown hairs that could potentially appear. It will also leave your legs dander-free and smooth.
Hair removal will be unpleasant the first few times because your skin is not used to the tearing sensation that occurs when you remove the wax. To avoid pulling a 40 year old virgin and screaming Kelly Clarkson’s name at the top of your lungs, you might want to invest in pain relievers. Numbing creams and Advil may help relieve the pain somewhat. Even if you think you have a high tolerance for pain, keep in mind that waxing can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Ankles and shins always hurt a little more, so you could squint a little more and let out a little “ooh!” Another pain point is the knee. It may seem like they are trying to pluck their skin the number of times they iron it, but the hair on the knee is very thin and requires a lot of waxing.
Expect some redness and some swelling; I mean you just pulled your hair out of its root. It should subside within a few hours depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
If you get a sunburn, rash, or cut, wait until it goes away before waxing. This will not only be so painful, but it could lead to potentially dangerous infections.
While it is important to exfoliate and moisturize beforehand, it is recommended that you leave your skin alone for at least 48 hours after waxing. If bumps appear, avoid the urge to squeeze or epilate. This will only make matters worse! Try the antiseptic ointment first.
Continue to epilate every 4 to 6 weeks; the more uniform you are, the less you have to go. The hair grows on three different skin layers, so the consistency will keep you smoother for longer. Once all the hair growth “cycles” have finally synchronized, waxing will be a snap.
A word of advice: You might think you can be a home beautician, but it can get tricky. Pulling your hair out with hot wax is much easier when someone else is doing it. It’s not something you want to learn the hard way!
Originally published April 20, 2014.