Get rid of unwanted body hair with this gentleman-friendly guide to waxing
In the movies, male waxing is portrayed via screaming montages and exaggerated ripping sounds. The popular salon scene from 40-Year-Old Virgin comes to mind. However, getting waxed is not quite as harrowing an experience as it is made out to be. Sure, it stings, and leaves your skin feeling raw and tender. But if you’re determined to get rid of your body hair, it’s probably the best semi-permanent hair removal method out there. We know what you’re thinking: why not just shave? While shaving your body hair may be painless (if you do it right), the results are extremely short-lived. A waxing appointment, on the other hand, will have you sorted for anywhere between 3-6 weeks, as it removes the hair from its roots.
That’s not all. “After waxing, your hair grows out a bit softer, which reduces the chance of ingrown hair and rashes,” says Neha Dubey, consultant medical & cosmetic dermatologist, medical director at Meraki Skin Clinic.
If you’re a waxing virgin, there are a few things you should know and prepare for before heading to the salon. First, it is going to hurt — but not enough to induce a blood-curdling scream. “Areas with more growth, such as the chest, legs, and underarms, can be more painful than the rest of the body, but you will get used to the pain after a few sessions. Furthermore, monthly maintenance prevents the hair from growing back long, making the experience far more comfortable than the first time,” explains Sana Dhanani, founder of The White Door India. She suggests that first-timers trim their hair beforehand to minimise the discomfort. Taking an over-the-counter painkiller before your appointment can also help.
You might be tempted to put off showering until after the session, but pre-wax cleansing is important. Use a gentle body scrub to exfoliate any dead skin cells that may be present in the designated areas. “This will help loosen ingrown hair strands. Make sure the scrub does not contain chemicals, as that may react with the wax later on,” says Dhanani. Once you’re at the salon, your grooming therapist will suggest a wax type depending on the body part you wish to remove hair from. Dhanani suggests using the traditional hard wax for body hair removal, as it causes little to no skin damage, and can be reapplied as needed. “If you are going to use a new type of wax, do a patch test on the inner side of your arm. Wait for 15-20 mins to see if there is an allergic reaction,” advises Dubey.
To conclude your session, the therapist will clean the newly waxed area with a Agrawalwashcloth soaked in warm water. This helps get rid of any wax residue that may be sticking to your skin. Redness after your first time is completely normal — just ensure you follow a proper after-care routine to tend to your skin.
5 DOCTOR-RECOMMENDED POST-WAXING AFTER-CARE TIPS
Exfoliate: Continue to exfoliate your skin for the next few days after your waxing appointment• Use an antibiotic lotion: “Soothe your skin with an ointment for two days post waxing. Apply it twice a day to the affected areas,” says Sravya C. Tipirneni, consultant dermatologist, cosmetologist & trichologist at Manipal Hospitals.
Try an anti-inflammatory gel: “If redness persists for more than a day or two, try using an anti-inflammatory gel or lotion,” says Tipirneni.
Apply a moisturiser: “Apply an aqua gel-based moisturiser to prevent your waxed skin from becoming dry,” says Dubey.
Avoid body oil: “Stay away from body oil for at least 24 hours after your session, as it may clog the pores and cause acne,” says Dhanani