Spoiler alert: don't.
Unless you’re quarantined with an aesthetician or a hairstylist, you’re probably wondering when your next bang trim or bikini wax will be—and while (thanks to a bottle of wine) you were adventurous enough to cut yourself some self-isolation bangs (they'll grow out, promise), you're not to brave when it comes to that at-home waxing kit you found at the back of your vanity.
Logically, embracing the bush in these times of isolation is an excellent idea. Doing so takes up no time, requires zero effort and costs nothing. And while foregoing regular waxing or shaving for the first time in a long time can be liberating, it can also be uncharted territory for many women.
With salons across the country taking a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, we spoke to aesthetician Emma Baker, founder of Waxapeel Dundrum on the do's and the please, please, please do not's of waxing, shaving and trimming your body hair at home.
First things first, step away from the razor
If your hair removal method is waxing, the worst thing you can do is go near the area with a razor. "Waxing is a semi-permanent form of hair removal. When you wax an area, the hair is fully removed from the root," explains Emma. "When carried out correctly, new hair won’t grow back in this area for 2-6 weeks. When the hair is shaved or removed by depilatory creams, the hair is only cut/ removed from the skin surface – not from the root. So, within a few days, the hair will be seen and felt at the surface.
Although everybody’s hair growth is different, with regular and repeat waxing treatments, your hair growth becomes lighter. If you shave in between your waxing treatments, you are starting from scratch at every appointment. Is that what you really want? Just to feel silky smooth for a day or two while sitting at home? My tip to you is “bin that razor”.
the same goes for that at-home waxing kit
While at-home waxing kits have come a long way since Monica and Pheobe's experience in the 90s, there's a very good reason why you choose to go to a professional waxing therapist for your waxing treatments. "We specialise in waxing treatments day in and day out," says Emma. "A professional waxer will use a different type of wax for each area of the body. At-home waxing kits aren’t as easy as they seem. You don’t just slap it on and whip it off. The temperature and consistency of the wax is very important and can be very difficult to get right with at-home waxing kits."
"Another method you may have thought about using is hair removal creams. Don’t do it! Depilatory creams are jam-packed with chemicals. They can cause a lot of sensitivity to the skin. Also, they will stink out your house!"
so what should you do?
"Preferably, leave it alone," says Emma. "Leave it to the professionals. If you trim, you could trim the hair too much and that will interfere with your next waxing treatment. To ensure you receive the best results from your next treatment, leave the growth alone."
However, if the thought of walking into your salon with an untamed bush is enough to turn you red, don't panic. "No hair growth will be too long for an experienced waxer," says Emma.
a lesson in the art of letting it grow
From minimal grooming to gentle cleansing, Emma tells us the five key steps to take in order to fully embrace the bush – for the time being.
Step One: moisturise and keep your body hydrated.
Step Two: Give the area a light exfoliation, with a very gentle exfoliator such as a sugar scrub or an exfoliating glove. Don’t use both! If you over-exfoliate the area, you could break any fine hairs that have regrown.
Step Three: Pluck away any unwanted facial hairs. Be careful not to overpluck your brows if you’ve been working on their shape. This is the perfect time to let them grow out. Your brow tech will be delighted with you at your next visit.
Step Four: everybody should own a tub of Waxperts Wonder Pads. Each pad contains Salicylic acid for exfoliation and Panthenol for hydration. They are the best way to prevent and treat ingrown hairs on all areas of the body.
Step Five: embrace it. You don’t need to shave to feel smooth for sitting around your home. Use this time to give your skin a break. Push through the next few weeks it will be worth it, I promise!
If all else fails
If you really can't wait for life to go back to normal (read: for your salon to open again), Emma admits that although you'll undo all of your and your aesthetician's hard work and shaving is the next best thing. "These are unprecedented times," says Emma. "I am aware some people find unwanted body hair very uncomfortable. If you really can not wait for your next salon wax and know you can shave safely, shaving is the best of a bad bunch of options. Just keep in mind, it may take at least three professional waxing treatments to receive your silky-smooth results once again."
Waxapeel Dundrum specialises in advanced waxing and offer full body waxing treatments for male and female clients, at an affordable price. To book in with Emma at Waxapeel Dundrum – when all this is over – click here or call Emma on 083 815 1976.
Main image by @dalilacarmo on Instagram