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Painless Waxing

Are there any spas that offer completely painless waxing?

Cathy S.  Peoria AZ


Dear Cathy,

When it comes to hair removal, there is large number of options like tweezing, shaving, threading ,sugaring, waxing, laser, IPL, etc. available to get rid of unwanted body hairs.

You have indicated that you would like painless waxing.  Waxing is considered to be one of the most popular and effective hair removal methods. Unfortunately, pulling the hair out from the root during waxing will hurt. 

The first time getting waxed in an area hurts the most and does get less painful each time after. Hard to believe when your hair has just been ripped out for the first time, but it’s true. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce waxing pain, whether you have been waxed before or not:

  1. Locate a waxing specialist.  It doesn’t mean just anybody licensed (like an esthetician or cosmetologist), but someone also experienced. They will use the wax best suited for your hair, apply the right thickness of wax, hold the skin taut, and pull in the right direction.  If they do a lot of waxing they’re also more likely to use better, products which include essential oils and buffering ingredients to make waxing faster, easier, safer and more comfortable. Seek referrals from friends or on line reviews.  Now that you’ve found a reputable professional and have made an appointment there are a few things you can and should do beforehand.
  2. Never schedule an appointment on the three days before or after your period — your skin is most tender during this time.
  3. Do schedule you appointment for first thing in the morning.   This is the best time to have a wax because you are still relaxed.  When you’ve had a hard day, your nervous system starts getting stimulated or irritated, this stress will cause you to feel more pain.
  4. The day before your body waxing use a body scrub while the skin on the face is generally exfoliated enough in terms of waxing, the body needs a little extra help. A somewhat gritty body scrub will help rid dead cells around skin pores and hair follicle, providing an easier exit.
  5. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and sugar for at least two hours prior to treatment as these will increase your sensitivity.
  6. While having a couple glass of wine or beer before getting waxed sounds like a great idea, stimulants in the system can cause skin to be extra sensitive to waxing.
  7. Don’t apply astringent or toner.  These tighten the pores and can make a firmer hold on the hair follicle. So hold off right before waxing.
  8. Consider taking aspirin, Tylenol, Advil or some other over-the-counter analgesic prior to being waxed.
  9. Dull the nerves in the area by applying a numbing spray  or cream about 30 – 45 minutes before your wax. Pick from one of these three and see which anesthetic hair removal numbing product is right for you.  This is especially helpful when getting waxed above the lip, chest (men), and bikini areas- which top the list as the most pain-provoking areas.  I recommend that you purchase it and apply it before you leave the house and reapply prior to the treatment.
  10. The following steps are things your aesthetician should be doing so look for them.  These are a signs of a good waxer.  It starts with them asking questions to insure that you are not using products that are contraindications to waxing.  These include:  microdermabrasion, chemical peels, sunburn, Retin A, Accutane, and other vitamin A skincare products.  These products can cause your skin to tear and will result in hyperpigmentation or scarring.
  11. The hair should be trimmed to ¼ inch.
  12. Your aesthetician should clean the area to remove any dirt and oils.  She will make sure the area is non oily and dry prior to application.  
  13. Do apply some heat  Take a steam or use a warm compress just prior to waxing, it will open up the skin pores and allow the hair follicles to come out easier. 
  14. Your aesthetician should use a small amount of powder (baby or talcum) on the area to be waxed in order to absorb moisture or oil. Having slick or oily skin can prevent the wax from adhering. This will also make a more comfortable waxing as the powder will protect the skin.
  15. The aesthetician will test the wax for temperature to make sure it is not too hot.  As this can burn and blister the skin.  Next the aesthetician will apply the wax in the direction of hair growth.  While removing the wax strip make sure to pull it against the direction parallel and not straight up to the body.  This should be done quickly.
  16. Don’t tense up.  Some people hold their breath or tense their whole body while getting waxed. While it might be easier said than done, breathe deeply, a relaxed person will cope much better with the pain. 
  17. After waxing, the aesthetician will apply hand pressure on the waxed area.  This helps in soothing the skin.  A lotion or the application of oil (mine uses lavender oil) on the skin also does well. A lot of people tend to suffer from redness or itchiness just after a wax. Applying an ice pack or cold stone can be the solution to this problem.
  18. At least for 24 hours after waxing protect your skin from the direct sunlight exposure.  Wear a high SPF or sun blocker on the area waxed.


Remember safe waxing begins with finding the right spa and a person who loves to wax and follows all of the proper safety procedures listed above as well as a person who does not double dip in the wax and uses disposable sticks.  If you fail to heed these precautions, the following are some of the adverse effects you may experience with waxing:

  • Loss of Skin Suppleness and Elasticity: This one of the long term waxing side effect. It is observed that skin losses its elasticity and suppleness due to regular and prolonged use waxing. This generally occurs because of the ripping off the applied wax used during waxing.
  • Wrinkle Formation: The second commonly observed long term waxing side effect. Regular waxing increases the risk of wrinkle formation. As the skin tends to lose its elasticity and suppleness gradually it develops wrinkles.
  • Irritation and Redness: This is one of most commonly seen side effect associated with waxing. It is observed that many people develop irritation and redness of skin soon after waxing. Though skin irritation and redness could be subsided with the application of ice on the affected area.
  • Skin Rashes, Reddish Bumps and Slight Subcutaneous Bleeding: These waxing side effects are generally observed in people with highly sensitive skin. Even the sensitive body parts like bikini area also show such waxing side effects.
  • Skin Darkening and Burns: When waxing is done with overheated wax it may result in skin darkening and burns. Application of overheated wax may result in reddish brown spots. These spots appear as a result of post-inflammatory pigmentation. Mainly depending of the type of skin it might take a week to 1 year for pigmentation to fade out.
  • Skin Infection: This waxing side effect mainly appears due to the application of infected or unclean waxing products for the procedure. Remember that diabetic people should avoid waxing because their skin is more susceptible for skin infection especially to deadlier and resistant bacteria.
  • Allergic Reactions: This side effect of waxing is generally observed in people with wax and its product allergy. Allergic reactions may include severe skin rash to folliculitis. It is also seen that people with sensitive skin also develops pustules in the waxed area. It is advisable to you to visit your dermatologist immediately on the development of allergic reaction. In case your skin is sensitive and you are trying waxing for the first time then it is better to go for a patch test of wax.
  • Ingrown Hairs: The problem of ingrown hairs is also referred as Pseudofolliculitis. Basically the major reason for the development of this waxing side effect is that waxing is done in the opposite direction of follicle.

Thank you for such a great question.

 painless waxing

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