Q: “I’m looking for helpful hints and tips when I get my underarms waxed. I’ve heard it’s more painful than the bikini, and since I’m doing it for the first time before a trip to Nevada, I don’t want to get stuck with rashes, bumps, etc. afterwards! How long before I leave should I do it, how many days should I grow out my hair before hand, any after wax tips?” – Jen
A: Yes, waxing underarms for the first time can be a bit uncomfortable. If you have time, I would do a trial waxing run a few weeks prior to your trip to see how your skin in the underarm area reacts to waxing. As the time approaches, you’ll want to wax several days before taking your trip, to give any irritated skin a chance to calm back down, but not grow any stubble. If this will be a “DIY home project” make sure to invite a close friend over to help, as you’ll need two hands to really do a clean job and get all of the hairs. Bliss Labs has an amazing waxing line for home use.
For best results, make sure your hair is about ¼ inches long. To help the hair release from the follicle, you could exfoliate the underarm area, which will also eliminate impurities and dirt as well. Dry the exfoliated areas thoroughly, as wax won’t stick to wet areas. As you apply the wax in the opposite direction of hair growth, stretch the skin so as not to miss any hairs in the folds of your skin. Remember to wax small areas at a time.
As far as after care, and to avoid any rashes, bumps, etc., I suggest using an after care lotion as it can help to protect against infection and irritation. I like Tend Skin lotion. Also, avoid deodorant for a few days afterwards. To guard against ingrown hairs, you can gently exfoliate with a mild scrub after 24 hours. Also avoid any clothes that might rub against your underarm area. If you do find this to be a painful experience, try taking ibuprofen about an hour before hand next time.
About the Expert Carrie R. Stiles is a Florida-based skin care expert, known as “The SKIN Life Coach”. Visit her website at www.theskinlifecoach.com