Most people would just waltz into a salon when they feel their hair is a little overgrown, which stretches from 3 to 8 weeks depending on how fastidious you might be. But there’s a lot to be said for sticking with a monthly schedule.
Apart from the obvious time-of-the-month thing during menstruation, Prostaglandin levels are also very high. The hormone makes you more sensitive and prone to swelling so you would want to avoid waxing appointments a few days before the menstrual cycle is due and for up to two weeks after.
Alcohol and medications such as blood thinners or skincare products containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) or retinoids can make you more susceptible to pain too. AHAs and retinoids also thins the skin as they work to remove the extra layers of dead cells on the skin. Fragility of a thinner layer of skin increases the chance of skin lifting when waxing so use alternative moisturisers for a week before your appointment and stay off the celebratory drink until after your appointment.
Beauty salons will dispense the pre-wax advice to leave hair length between ½ to 1 centimetre, exfoliate gently and to make sure you moisturise. This is to ensure that the hair is in the best condition for waxing. Hairs that are soft and supple comes out easier and causes less pain. Do this regularly, but not on the day of your appointment. On the day of your appointment, make sure the area you are waxing is clean so that bacteria is not re-introduced into open pores.
The level of discomfort will diminish over time with frequent waxing as this will reduce the strength of the hair follicle.
If you have the luxury of going home after your appointment, calm waxing-induced redness by leaving a cotton pad soaked with cold milk and water on the area for 10 minutes. The lactic acid in milk will help to calm the skin down pretty quickly. Having an aloe vera plant is also handy. Cut a piece of the plant’s pulpy leaf lengthwise and apply that, or you can dig out the pulp, to the inflamed area for as long as you can tolerate. Alternatively, an over-the-counter moisturising salve or the Ingro Stopper which contains lactic acid, will do the trick.
Keep the pores closed and the area clean to prevent bumps and ingrown hairs. Apply a toner and moisturiser or something similar and keep your fingers away from the area. Resist picking at any bumps that appear or they may get darker or more spotty. Apply Ingro Stopper religiously.
Breakouts can also be due to sensitive skin reaction to the wax. So receiving a wax every 4 to 6 weeks do help the area to adjust or become less sensitive, reducing the chance of a reactionary breakout. Stretch that out longer than 6 weeks and you’re starting the process all over again.
Consistency is key. Stick to the schedule.