It’s the one word that has the power to strike paralyzing fear into the hearts of men: waxing.
Can you hear the strips violently ripping off your flesh? The horrified screams of pain? It’s awful to imagine and pretty uncomfortable in real life, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible, horror movie-esque experience.
As with most things, the best philosophy to use for manscaping is that knowledge is power, whether you’re attempting to remove hair from your back, your brows, or your butt.
Luckily, Reddit is always helpful when searching for information, and the Reddit community’s threads on waxing tips are no exception (though they’re also not expert-level advice!). Here are nine essential pieces of advice to follow if you’re interested in getting waxed.
1. Exfoliation is key.
“Professional waxer for five years here, be sure you’re exfoliating between waxes! Using a scrub once a week on the areas you wax should help this problem. Scrub a day or two before waxing, not same day so you don’t over exfoliate your skin. What you’re doing with this is removing all of the dead skin that builds up on the surface. That way the wax is removing just the hair, not a layer of dead skin as well.” —Itsmeeamiee
2. You can nip allergic reactions in the bud.
If your skin is red and bumpy, “you may have had an allergic reaction to the wax itself or your skin is freaking out because you’ve never had it done before. It’s very common with a first time wax… [d0] a test wax a couple months or a month before the event or whatever you need a wax for so you know how your skin will react.” —Itsmeeamiee
3. Of course, there are solutions for red bumps and irritation.
“Kiehl’s has an after shave, anti red bump cream. It’s a little pricey but gets rid bumps and any irritation super fast. It works after shaving, hopefully will work after waxing.” —Honey-Badger
You can also “add in some aloe or taking an allergy medicine,” according to Itsmeeamiee.
4. And ingrown hairs are preventable, too.
“You will have to wash your back every day with a back brush to avoid ingrown hairs… It takes 45 seconds to soap a brush and give your back a once over. My esthetician said there’s dead skin back there that the hairs are trying to poke through and if the little follicles can’t, they get stuck and basically become infected little zits.” —rallygoose
5. It’s not necessarily as painful as it looks or sounds.
“The ears and nose just feel like quick yanks. The sack feels like quick bee stings (maybe a six or a seven on the pain scale), but it goes away pretty quickly (though it remains tender for a day or so). Everything else is just a quick moderate sting that goes away quickly.” —Matthew37
6. Waxing can also be superior to shaving.
There’s “less time involved, hair’s gone longer, and some places I just couldn’t reach (the back, especially). There’s also no stubble when the hair starts growing back.” —Matthew37
7. There is a brief recovery process when it comes to waxing below the belt.
“Your skin will be sensitive after and for 24 hours you shouldn’t have sex or do anything that would make you sweaty or irritate your skin (working out, sauna, hot showers/baths, exfoliating).” —scofflaw-cyclist
8. Your eyebrows may take a few different specialists’ expertise.
“Ask your barber or stylist to thin [your brows] out. They will take a comb and trimmers/clippers to them and they will thin them that way. Then get them waxed, they will shape them for you and do some plucking to help thin them out as well. Will warn you that when they do the under brow it will hurt like hell and you will tear up.” —hightechthreat
9. Not everything needs waxed.
“Plucking makes sense for single errant hairs. More substantial patches will require a wax.” —[deleted]
In the end, it’s up to you whether or not to wax. Love your unibrow or chest hair? If so, the better alternative to shaving or waxing is to just keep it.
By Louis Baragona