15 things you never knew about waxing

 The experts reveal the prep tips, trade tricks and slimming secrets behind waxing

Did you wax this summer? Okay, sorry, that’s a bit rude. This summer you either waxed or you didn’t, but either way there’s more to the hair removal process than you think, and don’t worry there’s not a rip or a stitch in sight.

Waxing salon Strip are a London-based wax bar pioneering pain-free waxing. They use an Australian hot wax called Lycon, but for the life of me I can’t find a salon in Perth that uses it. So if you know a salon that stocks it, hook me up!

Last summer I interviewed Carleigh Rayner, training manager and waxing extraordinaire at the Strip salon in Chelsea, who has waxed the likes of Ellie Goulding and Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Yep, she knows her stuff. She explained how she and everyone at Strip turn the normally pain-enducing process into a pampering treatment through their products, knowledge and techniques.

Whether you wax or not, I bet this will make you look at it in a whole new light.

waxing

PREP

  1. “Start by having your hair the right length,” says Carleigh. Having your hair about 4mm long before a wax is a great length and will give you the best results.
  1. If you’ve never had a wax, it will take two or three sessions before all your hair is growing back at the same speed.
  1. Hair grows in cycles. When the hair is removed at the anagen (growing) phase, the waxed hair-free period will last longer as the hair has been removed at the earliest stage of its development.
  1. Telogen (resting) is the last of the hair growth cycle. When telogen hair is waxed off, the hair-free period will not last as long because the new anagen hair is just below the skin, waiting to break through.
  1. Exfoliating the day before will help prep your skin prior to a wax. “Never moisturise or exfoliate the day of your wax because your skin is going to get a bit of an exfoliation from the wax,” advises Carleigh. Have clean dry skin.”
  1. Shaving doesn’t technically make your hair thicker, it makes it feel thicker because it’s cut bluntly, but waxing makes it thinner. Every time you’re pulling hair out by the root, that root is getting weaker.

TRICKS

  1. When waxing sensitive areas, always opt for hot wax (pliable wax that is applied then pulled off) over strip wax (warm wax ripped off by a strip of material), as it’s about 70% less painful.
  1. “If you wax you will not get any itchiness because the new hair grows through with a tip, whereas when shaved hair comes through, it’s pushing through the skin with a blunt end,” says Maria-Louise Featherstone, sister of Danielle and co-founder of Strip.
  1. Only a few therapists use the gate control theory of pain on their clients, including Carleigh. “When I take the wax off, it sends a message to the brain saying ‘that hurts’ and your nerves go off. But when I put my hand down onto the waxed area straight away, it sends a soothing message and takes away the pain.”
  1. Ingrown hairs are caused by rubbing. If you’ve ever noticed a reoccurring patch of ingrown hairs on certain parts of your legs, that will be caused from crossing them.

SLIMMING

  1. The higher you keep your ‘downstairs’ hair, the longer your legs will look as that’s where your legs stop. If you have a short strip or a ‘Hitler moustache’ it makes your legs look shorter.
  1. “For pear shaped women, a natural triangle of hair down there is a lot more flattering as it follows the lines of your hips. If you have big hips, get a big triangle and it will make you look slimmer,” says Carleigh.
  1. If you’re top heavy, opt for a skinnier triangle. If there is more space either side of the triangle, it will make your hips look wider.
  1. “If you’re an hour glass, go for a taller and wider triangle, which is very in at the moment,” says Carleigh.
  1. “For straight up and down and boyish shapes, a parallel strip of hair looks nice,” says Danielle.

Although I haven’t found a Lycon salon anywhere, I have found a great wax bar in Perth called Waxworks in the  city, who use a hot wax called Adam & Eve, which is pretty good and they won’t charge you the earth.

[Image from Waxworks]

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