As a woman, but especially as a wife and mother, I feel like there are a lot of unspeakable topics. Things that we’ve been programmed to keep to ourselves because it isn’t polite or “lady like” to talk about them. But today that’s exactly what we are going to do.
Two years ago, when I was seven and a half months pregnant with my second daughter, Genny, I decided I was going to get a bikini wax. I was super pregnant, it was hot outside and I could no longer see past my ever growing stomach. My husband offered to help me clean up down there and as much as I love him and would trust him with my life, I do NOT trust him to touch my lady bits with a razor.
Like I said before, this is something that isn’t commonly talked about. Even now that I’ve been waxing for two years I still get uncomfortable talking about it in front of certain people. I’ll usually say I had an appointment and leave it at that. So when I was trying to find out more about what waxing entails I reached out to mamas in an exclusive pumping Facebook group that I’m a part of. It’s full of mamas from all over the world and I’ve gotten to know a handful of them. I felt more comfortable talking to total strangers than anyone I knew personally. But even if I wanted to talk to someone I knew, that was the problem. I DIDN’T know if anyone else had gotten one before because we don’t talk about it.
If you’ve never had a wax before I’m sure you’re full of questions just like I was. I went back through some old posts in the group I mentioned above. Questions from myself personally and from other mamas. I’ve put those together, along with the cumulative answers just for you.
Does waxing hurt? How much does it hurt?
Obvious question, but YES. Waxing hurts. Or at the very least is extremely uncomfortable. They are literally putting hot wax onto your skin so the hair attaches, and then they rip it off quickly. It’s not fun.
The extent of pain is going to vary for everyone. It can even vary based off of when you go. I first started waxing when I was pregnant. Pregnant women, and women that are menstruating, are more sensitive in the lower region. For that reason, you can expect it to be more painful or uncomfortable if you are getting waxed while pregnant or during that special time of the month. But on the contrary, I think the fact that I started waxing while pregnant helped me. I was starting from the maximum discomfort level so it could only get better from there, ya know?
Full disclaimer, I don’t know the accuracy of these, just my personal experiences… but I was given a few tips from other mamas who have gotten waxes before.
Tip #1 Do not drink caffeine before waxing
I usually take the first appointment on Sunday morning since my husband is off and can stay with the girls. Since I don’t get a lot of me time, I leave the house early so I can grab breakfast on the way. Most of the time that ends up being a breakfast bagel and a Coke (hello caffeine!) I haven’t noticed a pain difference from when I have and haven’t had caffeine prior to my wax.
Tip #2 Pop a Tylenol (or other pain reliever) 30-60 minutes before your appointment
I DID try this for my first couple appointments. I personally didn’t notice that it made a difference.
Does it matter where I go to get waxed?
This was a big question for me. I didn’t even know where to look. I saw some local massage parlors and salons who offered waxing, including bikini/Brazilians. But did I really want to go to a back room somewhere that wasn’t primarily focused on waxing? My husband gets his eyebrows waxed at the nail salon next door to our pizzeria. But its just his eyebrows, not an entire netherregion.
Someone recommended I find a European Wax Center location close to me. The closest one was half an hour away, so that’s where I went. Yes, they do all different types of waxing, BUT that’s all they do. They’re not juggling multiple jobs, they’re solely waxing. EWC is also a large company with locations all over the country so they have set standards and expectations across the board.
Is waxing expensive? Why should I pay for a wax when I can just shave at home?
As with any service, like getting your nails done or having your hair colored, waxing comes at a price. But in my opinion, it is totally worth it for the amount of time and convenience I’m saving. I used to shave once a week during the summer, which took me about 30 minutes because I would soak first. My hair grew back fast and I didn’t like having a lot of it. After having kids, like everyone else, I have a lot less time now. Instead of trying to find time every week to clean up, I now go for a wax every 4-6 weeks. The first time took longer, but my appointments usually take about 15 minutes start to finish, versus 2 hours a month spent at home. My waxer recommends how often I should come back but life gets in the way and I sometimes have to push appointments out further. Even if you shave or trim at home, it isn’t the same as waxing. Waxing pulls the hairs out completely where shaving and trimming cuts them off at skin level. What is left underneath is going to come right back out. This is why the hair takes longer to grow back when you wax.
If you go to European Wax Center you have the option to buy a Wax Pass. This has made it much more cost efficient. They have different options, and I purchased at a time where they had a promo going on. They usually run some sort of promo twice a year, in the summer (close to Father’s Day) and around the holidays. With the wax pass you pay for the entire length that you choose (I do 12 months) over a shorter period of time. You get a discount on the monthly rate and it’s paid up. When I go for my appointment the only thing I have to worry about is leaving a tip, since I have the wax pass.
Do you have to wax regularly? What if I only want to wax for vacation, holidays, etc.?
When you wax regularly and have been for a few months you’ll start to notice some differences. My hair has started to regrow slower and it grows in patches, versus full coverage when shaving. I typically stay totally smooth for a week and then the hair grows back slowly. By the 4-5 week mark it is still less hair than if I waited 2 weeks after shaving.
You CAN wax just for special occasions. But I think you’re doing yourself a disservice, and here’s why:
The first time you get a wax you will be sore. I was okay immediately afterwards but a few hours later it was a different story. My lady parts were bright red and I had bubbles that looked like pimples ready to pop. [I’ve come to learn that those are ingrown hairs and you either need to let them go or pop them and pull the hair out yourself. They’re uncomfortable so I recommend leaving them alone.] I was sore to the touch for 3 days the first time. I waxed regularly 3 times before I gave birth and then, due to postpartum recovery, I had to wait 8 weeks before I waxed again. It was like starting over and I was sore again afterwards, but only for a day or two. Why did I tell you this? Because if you only get waxed before special occasions, you’ll essentially be starting over every single time. You will be sore for days and even after the soreness goes away you will probably still be red and inflamed a little longer. I recommend getting a wax 6-7 days before whatever the special occasion is, IF you’re not waxing regularly.
When I started writing this, I hadn’t had a wax in 18 weeks. EIGHTEEN WEEKS. I had an appointment scheduled for the weekend after everything was closed for COVID. [I clearly have the best luck.] I bought myself a bikini trimmer since I knew it would be awhile before I could get another wax. I used it twice and it makes me nervous. I actually cut myself the first time I used it. I had my first wax again and it was definitely like starting over. It was fine at first but about 5 hours later it started to get sore and irritated. Day two was even more red and sore, but things started to calm down by day three.
So what actually happens when you get a wax?
The very first time you go they should explain everything to you. They’ll verbally let you know everything they’re doing while they do it. I love Jamie, my wax tech. She is great to talk to and since she keeps me talking it takes my focus off of what’s actually happening. Yeah, it’s still uncomfortable, but I’m not zeroing in on the pain. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! They’re getting up close and personal with you so you should understand and be aware of what’s going on.
They are going to ask you HOW you want them to wax. And by that I mean what hair, if any, you would like to be leftover. The options may vary depending where you go and the person who is doing it. I always get a brazillian, which means everything is squeaky clean, including the area around the anus.
Before you’re waxed they’ll clean the area. When I go they use a wipe and then apply baby powder. Then they put the wax on and rip it off. Next they’ll do some touch ups and pull out ingrown hairs. The first time that didn’t happen but once you start going regularly you’re more prone to them. There are products that help keep ingrown hairs at a minimum though. The first time I waxed they recommended I buy a special body scrub and ingrown hair serum. I use the scrub in the shower 2-3 times a week and the serum after I shower. I typically only use the serum the first week after my wax. The first day or two when I’m more sore I apply it more often since it also helps to soothe and calm things down.
What happens AFTER the wax?
At my first appointment the wax tech took me out to the lobby and showed me all of the product lines that they have. She recommended certain items and I bought two of them – Ingrown Hair Serum and Body Polish. The polish is an exfoliator that contains hair growth minimizer, which helps reduce the thickness of the hair and the amount of hair that comes back between waxes. I use this 2-3 times a week. The ingrown hair serum calms, nourishes and restores your skin while helping to clear and prevent breakouts and bumps. I use this daily for the first week after waxing and then as needed (like when an ingrown hair pops up) until my next wax. They had other products and different scents, but those are the only two I purchased, and have continued to purchase two years later. Usually during the first visit they give you a discount if you purchase more than one product together. They have travel sizes of most items available as well so you could try them out first, too. I was given a goodie bag at my first appointment that had samples for three or four of their products. You don’t have to buy the products from them either. You could easily find alternate products on Amazon or at your local pharmacy or grocery store.