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12 Things You NEED To Know Before Your Next Wax

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    As summer makes an official exit, the change in weather usually comes hand in hand with some sadness. Regret that you didn’t spring for the more expensive beach-house share and spend a few extra weekends at the shore. Dread that the polar vortex is going to rear its frosty head again all too soon.

    The fact that you don’t have to be so on top of removing all your unwanted body hair is about the only thing to rejoice.

    Yet, Melanie Gilliland, European Waxing Center’s education director, says adhering to your waxing schedule is one of the more important summer habits you can stick to when the seasons change. “Getting waxed religiously every three to four weeks — throughout the entire year, not just during the bare-all summer months — is the secret to both less pain and better results,” says Gilliland.

    So, while a waxing sesh may not be our favorite of fall activities, the 12 little-known waxing truths ahead promise to not only lessen the pain but also help remove some of the fear and anxiety that come with a stranger ripping off our hair follicles. And, we’ll take any help we can get.

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    Numbing creams are a waste of money.
    There’s been a sharp rise in the number of pre-wax numbing creams that have hit the market, but Gilliland says you’re better off spending that money on Jin Soon’s new Melange polish (which is a winner BTW). If you use an effective cream that does work, it can prevent you from noticing that the wax is too hot — something you should definitely speak up about, since all of us have different heat sensitivities, says Gilliland. But, that’s only if the cream actually works; Gilliland says more EWC guests have found that numbing creams are totally ineffective than those who’ve raved about them.

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    Waxing your lip won’t give you lip wrinkles.
    There are only a few topics that stir up heated exchanges among beauty professionals, like how often should you really exfoliate or whether lemon water solves everything. But, for today, we just want to know once and for all: Does waxing your upper lip create more wrinkles?

    Gilliland says, “Waxing is essentially an exfoliating treatment, which has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. If you’re threading or plucking your lip area for fear of future fine lines, Gilliland says you’re putting yourself through unnecessary pain. “This area is one of the most sensitive on the body to wax,” she says. “Waxing pulls out all of the hair at once, making any discomfort as quick and short-lived as possible.”

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    Run if the room isn’t clean.
    Everyone is concerned with double-dipping these days (using the same stick on more than one application of wax). But, Gilliland says there’s something else that’s just as important to clue in to before you hop onto your waxer’s table: How clean is the room?

    “You should walk into the room and feel like it’s pristine,” says Gilliland. That means the wax pot shouldn’t have drips of wax running down the sides, the sanitary paper you lay on should be brand new, the sticks (multiple sticks!) your esthetician will use if it’s a soft wax treatment should be neatly contained, and the room should make you feel safe. When your esthetician walks in, she should also look tidy (no messy, in-her-face hair or sloppy clothes) and insist on wearing gloves. “If your esthetician isn’t concerned enough about her own cleanliness and safety, she’s definitely not concerned about yours,” says Gilliland.

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    Razors are your worst enemy.
    If you want baby-soft skin, a razor is pretty much the worst beauty tool you can use, says Gilliland. “You have to remove hair from the root for lasting hair removal, and a razor just gets rid of the hair on the surface.” The proof is in the next-day stubble. If you must remove a few strays between waxes, using a tweezer is okay, but Gilliland still urges to put away the magnifying mirror and stop the late-night tweezing.

    “You compromise long-lasting smoothness if you tweeze hair,” she says, “because the goal is to get all of your hair growing at the same time.” Think about it this way: If all of your hair gets waxed at the same time, it should all grow back around the same time as well. If you start tweezing the fastest growers, they won’t be there for your waxer’s taking at your next reservation — but, they will pop back up a week or so after, continuing the vicious cycle of tweezing at home.

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    There is something more painful than getting waxed before your period.
    Women around the world have heard this waxing advice loud and clear: Never, ever, ever get a wax the week before your period. But, Gilliland is here to say there’s something even worse. “While it’s true you’re more sensitive the week before your period, if you’re going for the least amount of pain, it’s more important to get waxed every three to four weeks,” she says.

    In fact, she’s on the record saying it’s even better to stay on your three-week waxing cycle than to forgo it in sake of your period. What will cause more pain than pre-period discomfort is removing hair that’s too long. The bottom line, says Gilliland? “You probably don’t want to get your first Brazilian the week before your cycle starts, but if you’re a waxing regular and don’t want your wax to hurt, get waxed on time.”