(Psst…there’s a promo code for waxing services at the end of this post, read on!)
Switching from shaving to waxing can be a daunting decision, particularly when it comes to your bikini area. When I started contemplating the decision almost two years ago, I was a terrified at the thought of taking the plunge. I hated shaving in the bikini area, but the thought of having a stranger take care of it for me was something I hated more – that is, until I went for it.
After the first wax, I was a changed woman and never looked back. For nearly a year, I had the same waxing pro and was going for regular every-five-week visits. She was fast, didn’t talk too much, and never missed a spot. We had a great thing going, but you know what they say…all good things must come to an end. She ended up taking a leave of absence for a wrist injury (for real) and I had to find a new person to take care of my waxing needs.
This resulted in a lot of trial and error and discovering that there is such a thing as a great wax and also a horrible wax. To me, a great wax is:
- relatively gentle (pain is to be expected)
- leaves nothing unwanted behind
- Bonus: if the person doing the job doesn’t say too much
A bad wax is usually none of those things and I can say firsthand that I’ve had slow, drawn out, excruciating waxes that made me never want to go back. This is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research.
Luckily for you, I had the chance to visit Smooth Wax Bar last week in Toronto’s Liberty Village to check out their space and try out their services, so I took the opportunity to ask co-owner Sandy Weir some questions many first-time waxers likely have.
What should you look for when choosing a salon to get a bikini/brazilian wax?
- Ask about the kind of wax they use. High quality waxes are more effective at getting the hair out effectively. They should carry at least one hard wax and use that exclusively for facial and bikini waxing
- Ask or look for an intake form on your first visit. There are contradictions to waxing such as medications (accutane, blood thinners), health conditions like diabetes, and lifestyle elements like being in the sun within 24 hours. A quality salon should also be asking about allergies as there are natural or synthetic ingredients in wax or supplementary lotions that should be avoided depending on allergies the client may have. The majority of the places don’t ask for this information but should.
- Hygiene. I always tell clients that if an aesthetician double dips their wax stick to get up and leave mid service.
- How much waxing do they do? If they are a salon that specializes in nails for instance, it is highly likely they do not invest in high quality waxes or extensive training of their staff.
What’s the best way to prepare for your first-ever bikini/brazilian wax?
Relax. Clients are often very nervous about getting naked in front of the Waxologist. Our staff literally do thousands of brazilians a year, so the only person who feels awkward is the client. A warm shower before the appointment can help open pores, [and] some clients like to take an ibuprofen about 45 minutes before their first appointment. We also sell numbing creams that can be applied 30-45 minutes before the appointment, [and] definitely save the alcoholic drink for AFTER your appointment.
Is waxing better than shaving? If so, why?
Absolutely! The results last longer (weeks versus hours) and over time the hair grows back thinner and sparser as the hair follicles sometimes stop generating hair. There is a great story about Kate Winslet needing to wear a merkin (below the belt wig) when she filmed The Reader as she wasn’t able to grow back the hair after years of waxing. You also don’t get that stubbly feeling with regrowth.
How often should you go for waxing?
Every client has different hair growth cycles and over time you need to wax less for the reasons mentioned above (less hair regrowth). Most clients come in every four weeks as regular waxing minimizes the ouch because the hair hasn’t had a chance to get deeply rooted in the hair follicle. Our membership plans are designed on a monthly cycle to coincide with the average hair growth cycle.
What are some key things to do and remember post-wax?
- Stay cool: Avoid prolonged exposure to heat for 24 hours, including sunbathing, intense exercise, or hot tubs.
- Stay Clean: We recommend you avoid applying any heavy creams, gels or oils to your freshly waxed area for 24 hours.
- Take Care: Exfoliating will keep the skin smooth, and free from ingrown hairs. We carry all natural scrubs, handmade dry brushes and serum to prevent those pesky ingrown [hairs].
- Steer clear of the razor: To maintain optimal results, do not shave in between as it disrupts the hair growth cycle
If you’re in Toronto, I can happily report that the ladies at Smooth know what they’re doing and will provide you with an expert service. They exclusively offer waxing for men and women and offer a full range of services, as well as great retail products from Love Fresh (a fab Toronto-based luxury beauty company), Billion Dollar Brows, and more.