House & Home

Home Spa: Do-it-yourself Waxing

From leg-baring skirts to swimwear, with the warmer months finally upon us, women are baring more skin. For many women, the cost of in-salon hair removal treatments can be expensive and the notion of baring certain areas can be a little intimidating. Rhonda Shupe, coordinator, Cosmetic Techniques and Management and professor, Cosmetics & Esthetics Diploma Program at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, advises bringing the spa home and becoming a waxing expert in your very own bathroom for a fraction of the cost of in-spa treatments.

"Home waxing options have come a long way," says Shupe. "From gentle cloth-backed wax strips to no-strip waxing kits, there is a solution for everyone's needs. It's easy to get at-the-salon results right in your own home with a few tricks from the trade."

At-home Waxing Tips

For best results, wait until your hair is at least one-quarter inch long. If you wax hair at this length you will be more likely to get the entire papilla or entire hair follicle.
If you are new to at-home waxing, start with the basics, like your legs, which provide an easy training surface. As you get more comfortable, graduate to other areas of the body.

As with any new product, do a patch test prior to getting started.

Make sure you are comfortable and warm. If the air conditioning is cranked up and you are chilly, your pores will constrict making skin more sensitive.

Prep the area to be waxed by making sure it is clean and dry. Shupe suggests a light dusting of powder in the areas where you perspire to absorb any access moisture so the wax adheres to the hair, not skin.

Depending on your level of comfort and experience, choose your application method accordingly. "Wax strips are great for beginners because they are easy to prepare -- just massaging between your hands warms the wax. And if you make a mistake, you can use the same strip in another area," suggests Shupe, adding that cloth backed strips are kinder to skin.

Shupe recommends looking for kits, like Nair Soothing, that contain menthol to help minimize the pain of waxing with pre and post-wax cooling wipes. To ensure success, apply the wax strip in the direction of the hair growth and pull off the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth, pulling across the skin, not upward - a common mistake that most women make.

When finished waxing, soothe skin with a refreshing post-wax wipe. Post-waxing care and a little preventative maintenance will keep your skin in good condition and prepped for your next treatment.

Freshly waxed skin, while deliciously smooth, can be sensitive to products and sunlight so avoid potential irritants like lotions and rough fabrics in the days immediately following your wax.

Exfoliating regularly can help to avoid ingrown hairs and keep skin smooth.


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