All the Basics for the Waxing Virgin

Thinking about taking the plunge into the wild world of waxing? Suzi has some sexy tips for you!
-Suzi Kirsh, BettyConfidential.com

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Waxing is a great alternative to shaving. Whether it's your eyebrows, upper lip, underarm, or even your more intimate spots, many people choose to wax their bodies for a longer-lasting hair removal alternative. Waxing is recommended for men and women of all ages; however, those who start waxing treatments at a young age, when the hair is finer, tend to experience less pain. For those of you who have never done it before and are thinking about giving waxing a try, I have a few of my sexy secrets to share with you, courtesy of pro waxer Aline Long. Need advice on preparation, what to expect in terms of pain level, what the results will likely be, and even what styles there are to choose from? Read on!

A little background: Waxing is better for long-term amoothness than shaving because it removes the hair from the follicule. Shaving simply "cuts" the hair, so in a matter of hours it grows back-and it grows back stronger. Waxing, on the other hand, can last for nearly a month, and over time, the hair begins to thin out. This means that there will be less and less hair growth with each waxing session. . In addition, waxing also removes superficial dead skin cells. That's right: Waxing is an exfoliator, leaving your skin smooth and silky. Bonus!

What to expect: When scheduling a waxing appointment, it's best to wait about a month since your last shave; you'll need to have at least 1/4" of hair growth for the wax to be able to grab hold. If you're worried about the pain, an Advil or two should do the trick. You can ask also your physician to prescribe a numbing cream like Emla to dull the sensation down below.. If you're waxing any area other than your face, it's also important to take a warm shower and exfoliate your skin beforehand. There are two kinds of wax offered in most salons. Soft wax involves spreading liquid wax on the area targeted for hair removal, then applying paper or muslin strips to the wax. When the muslin is yanked off, the wax and the hair comes with it. This method is usually used on larger spaces like the legs and arms. Hard wax, on the other hand, is removed directly from the skin without strips and is usually applied to areas like the bikini line or face area. Your esthetician will be the one helping you with this choice.

Post-wax treatment: Yes, there will be pain, but don't worry-- it won't last forever. There are a multitude of products you can use to soothe the area, such as cortisone creams and post-depilatory treatments that reduce hair growth. Do not expose yourself to the sun after waxing. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours to avoid sunburn and possible hyperpigmentation (that is, darkening) of the skin.

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Styles: Not sure what style to go for? You're not alone! Many first-timers enter the wax studio unaware of the wide variety of designs that are offered for pubic hair. Styles depend on both your personal preference and your pain tolerance. Just keep in mind that every style has a unique name for how much or how little hair to leave on. Below are some of the options for the "new you:"

• A regular bikini wax removes the hair just outside the panty line. This style is recommended for the rookies or for a "quick trim."

• A full bikini wax takes the side of the bikini line a little deeper. This style is for your itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini. The full bikini wax may also include removing some of the hair from the top, to make a more defined triangle.

• A French bikini wax (also known as the "Landing Strip") takes all the hair off, except for a small strip down the center, and continues right up to the buttock area. This option is good for when you want most of the hair removed, but not everything.

• A Brazilian wax removes all hair from the front to the buttock area and everything in between. In some cases a small strip will be left behind, but a Brazilian means no hair "back there."

• The Hollywood or Playboy is the real deal: No hair left. This one isn't recommended for your first time, but you can work your way up to it.

With this information, you can take charge and choose the service you want first. Don't be afraid to tell your technician of your wax of choice or where you want them to stop. Don't forget that you can also get creative: Why not adjust the style to make it your own? Maybe a heart for Valentine's Day? The "bottom" line is, it's up to you!

Remember that if you bundle your wax services together, it's always less expensive. Bikini with legs, face with underarms, or all of it-the choice is yours!

For more of Aline's spa secrets, check out www.alinelongspasolutions.com.

Good luck, girls!

Suzi Kirsh

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