Wax On, Wax Off

By Kim Taylor

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought some of you out there might appreciate a little FYI about waxing. Hair removal is a funny subject; people tend to talk about it quietly, if at all. But in a society where no one wants hair anywhere except on their heads waxing has become a very popular option.

Below, I have addressed some of the most commonly asked questions about waxing. At Essence, we strive to offer exceptional service to each client. Our service providers are happy to walk you through your service before beginning, answering any questions you may have as candidly as possible. So without further ado…


How long does the hair need to be before I can get waxed?

Let the hair grow for at least seven days after shaving. For you shavers this may be even more painful than getting the wax itself. Ideally, the hair should be 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch long. If you feel the hair is too long, don’t fret- your technician will trim it to the appropriate length.

How long until the hair grows back?

This is a tricky question because when it comes to the hair re-growth cycle we are not all created equal. Some clients come in every six weeks and have hardly any hair at all (no fair!) while others have to come in every three weeks. The most popular length of time between waxes is four weeks.

Will my hair grow back darker and/ or thicker?

No. waxing pulls the hair from the follicle weakening the root. So if anything, it will grow back weaker, more sparse, and easier to remove next time.

Will my hair ever stop growing back?

No, but it will become more sparse and finer in texture if you wax regularly.

Will medication affect my waxing?

It certainly can! Retinol and Retin-A taken orally or used topically will postpone your ability to wax. You need to be off of these medications for a minimum of 2-3 weeks before your waxing session. Blood thinners and some other medications and products thin out the skin making it more likely for

you to peel or burn during your waxing session. If you are unsure about any of the

Medications you are taking ask your doctor before you come in.

Can I tan before or after my wax?

Plan on waiting at least 24 hours after your wax to tan, and DO NOT come in right after a fresh spray tan as the wax will take it off.

I have a special occasion coming up and have never been waxed. Are there any special instructions?

Whether you want a premarital wax or just a vacation ready bikini line, we recommend you plan to have at least two waxes prior to the event. This will ensure you do not have any reactions to the wax before the big day.

It also gets the first wax- which is the most uncomfortable out of the way. The second wax will provide a much smoother, cleaner result with less post-wax tenderness. If you don’t have time to squeeze in two waxing sessions then make your appointment for at least three to four days before your special occasion.

How do I know what type of bikini wax to ask for?

(The following are names and descriptions of the bikini waxes offered at Essence.)

The Conservative– The name says it all. Basically, any hair that could play peek-a-boo outside the swimsuit line is removed. No more, no less.

The Risqué– Not too much, not too little. Just right for those of you who are feeling a little flirty! A step above the Conservative but not quite a Full Brazilian, this wax comes with the option to have the hair removed from your tush.

The Brazilian All hair is removed from front to back. Your choice of removing everything or leaving a “landing strip”.

What is Double Dipping?

Double Dipping is when the technician dips the wax applicator stick back into the wax vat after using it on you or someone else- possibly allowing the spread of bacteria. Each wax applicator stick should be dipped into the wax only once, and then disposed of so that the wax being applied is always sterile.

Make sure when you are getting your wax, there is no double dipping and steer clear of those hairy scary spas!

How do I prevent ingrown hairs?

The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is to exfoliate gently in the shower 2-3 times a week. Exfoliating helps thin hairs that are not strong enough to push through the skin to surface, preventing inflammation.