Q. What is waxing?
A. Waxing is a method of epilation i.e. a temporary removal of hairs from your body. Here at The Back And Beyond, I use a combination of strip wax (efficient for larger areas) and non-strip (for more sensitive and smaller areas).
The wax is warmed in a professional wax heater and then applied in a thin layer using a one-use-only spatula. A paper / cloth strip is then pressed into the wax, and removed very quickly – leaving clean and fresh skin. For non-strip wax it is applied similarly, but a little thicker and then allowed to harden for a few seconds, there is no strip (the clue is in the title!) and then the wax is removed.
Q. Exactly what are all the steps involved?
A. If you are like me, you’ll want to know exactly why, and what’s coming next. No surprises please!
- Cleanse; the area to be waxed. Make sure the skin is freshly clean, and that the hair I am about to remove is free from natural oils so the wax gets a good grip.
- Barrier; a light oil is then used to prevent the wax from sticking to your skin.
- Wax; on it goes! It is nearly always in the direction of growth. We’ll agree on the temperature of the wax on a hairless bit of you like the inside of your wrist.
- Strip; if necessary, a cloth or paper strip is firmly rubbed on.
- Remove; the wax, (strip,) and hair! Speed is our friend here - your mum was telling the truth about pulling off a plaster!
- Pressure; I will put some gentle pressure on your skin to quieten the nerves and soothe, just for a second or two.
- Oil; after oil is used to clean any traces of wax.
- Cleanse; last time!
- Lotion; I will apply some great lotion that keeps the skin clean and cares for you after you’ve left the room. Intimate treatments include a small tube of this that you can take away for free.
Q. What can I do to help?
A. Exfoliate your skin in the treatment area with a clean loofah or mitt gently for a couple of days beforehand. This ensures the your skin is as free as possible from dead skin, and helps the hairs to stand up, ready for removal.
If possible, please arrive a few minutes ahead of your appointment, and freshly showered if you can. I know it’s not always possible.
There are some wipes which you can use privately whilst you are preparing for your treatment.
You will need to move around a little, and your therapist will show you where you need to be - it’s a team effort for some treatments!
You will be asked to help stretch the skin in the area of waxing. Honestly, this can range between you raising your knee a little bit, to holding on to something far more important!
Q. How do you know what I want waxing? Can you do this bit, and that bit too?
A. When you book, you need to tell me what you are likely to have done. This is so I can reserve the correct amount of time in my diary.
Whilst I do want you to feel like you are my only customer, and you won’t be rushed out of the room - there is probably going to be another appointment after yours. If you want another treatment, then unless I have the free time there and then, or shortly afterwards, we’ll need to make another appointment for you.
Q. How long does hair need to be before you can wax?
A. The wax products need about 5-10 mm of hair to grip (a bit more than a ¼ inch in old money). Varied results will be achieved with shorter hairs, but after the second treatment, much more of your hair will be growing at the same rate and the results will be more consistent. If your hair is longer or just natural – then please don’t clipper or shave in advance – your therapist will do what ever is necessary.
Q. They say it grows back thicker and much more noticeable. Discuss.
A. This is a combination of the hair growing process, an “old wives tale” and an optical illusion, I’m afraid.
Hair is constantly growing nearly all over our bodies. Different areas of your body produce hair of a specific length, and then it falls out to be replaced by a new shaft of hair. This process is continuous, and due to the number of individual hairs you have – you can imagine that there is always hair between 0mm – 5mm in the treatment area. These young hairs are usually fine, and don’t stand out from the crowd (so to speak) making them difficult to see.
If you take 5mm as the minimum length (and as I said results can vary) that waxing removes - then you will initially get very clean looking skin. During the forthcoming growth cycle – much more of the hair will grow at the same rate – the ones you couldn’t see before, plus the replacement ones pulled out by the wax – making it look like the hair is growing back thicker since you can see it all against the cleared skin.
On your next treatment, a much bigger percentage of your hair will be growing at the same rate, and therefore more will be removed. And finally, once you repeat the process the follicles get used to producing less and less hair.
That’s cleared that one up then, eh?!
Q. Does it hurt?
A. Everyone has a different pain threshold. I’m useless at the Dentist for example, but I really enjoy having my back waxed. Some say it is uncomfortable, but it is only for a brief moment, and your therapist is determined to minimise any instant of discomfort.
The short answer is, probably ‘yes’, but just a little and only for second or two – and the big bonus is that the more you do it – the less it hurts!
If you are really worried, then taking an anti-inflammatory painkiller an hour or so before your appointment is said to work wonders.
Q. But ‘ouch’, I’ve seen those videos on the net!
A. Yeah – I have too, and I have to say they represent nothing in comparison to a professional waxing service.
- They only seem to use retail products vs professional
- I’ve not seen any that use proper hygiene procedures
- There’s no pre-cleanse or pre-wax process
- The strips aren’t applied properly
- The removal of the strips is incorrect
- Critically, no pressure is applied after strip removal
- There is no aftercare lotion
- They seem to be filmed for sadistic amusement
If you broke your arm would you call a builder? If you wanted your kitchen re-done, would you ask your Doctor to do it? No, I thought not. These videos do not represent the professional services that The Back And Beyond offer - let’s move on, eh?!
Q. Should I shave or use clippers first?
A. No, it’s not necessary, and may slow down or prevent your waxing treatment. Any long hair, or hair that you want managed can be discussed and clippers will be used where necessary.
Q. What happens if I get aroused?
A. Some men can respond to the slightest thing. Let’s face it - sometimes it only takes the wind to change direction, eh? However, you’ve got to remember that this is a professional service for hair removal only, and in the unlikely event that this happens to you - “Don’t Panic!”. Your therapist is trained to ignore it and will carry on. There’s no need to be embarrassed if it happens. You can’t help it, and it’ll probably go down pretty quick anyway.
Q. How long does it take?
A. The average back can be done in about 15 - 20 minutes. Allow a few minutes for aftercare advice, and another 5 for a consultation if this is the first time we’ve met.
Q. How long does it last?
A. We’re all different, but on average - plan for a 4 week cycle for best results.
Q. I’ve got a holiday / bodybuilding competition / modelling session / special date / wedding*. (*delete as applicable!)
A. You should plan ahead! For best results, allow for at least 2 treatments spaced at about 4 weeks apart (less if you are very hirsute or a fast grower) and a week afterwards to make sure your skin is in tip top condition.
Q. I have been using a steroid medication (either direct on my skin or by mouth).
A. These types of drug can cause the skin to thin and not withstand the waxing process. Tearing a layer of skin off with the wax would not be funny, and therefore, please be open and honest with your therapist at your consultation. The body needs at least three months to recover from these drugs.
Q. I have been using Roaccutane for acne.
A. This is a very serious, but very successful drug. Unfortunately it can cause severe dryness and like steroid medication increase the fragility of the skin. Waxing can only be performed after your skin has had at least six months (or perhaps longer in some cases) to recover.
Q. I’ve got sunburn / windburn, a recent scar, a new tattoo, a sore bit, rash / graze, hairy mole, varicose vein, etc.
A. There are some skin conditions that can’t be waxed at all, and there are some we’ll just work around. We’ll work it out at your consultation!
Q. I think I might have an STI or UTI?
A. For anything you think might need medical attention – you should go and seek medical attention. Don’t sit back and hope it’ll go away – go to the clinic or see your doctor. Don’t be embarrassed – the doctor won’t judge you – they will just treat you. In most cases, waxing is not possible in this situation. If it is an STI, then with your doctor’s written permission, treatment may be possible.
Q. I think I’ve got a contagious skin condition.
A. Again, medical advice should be sought. Passing on the benefits of modern waxing techniques for men is great – passing on your infection isn’t! Your therapist may decline to treat you, or any portion of your skin that has a problem.
Your therapist is fully trained to take no risks in your waxing treatment, and that’s why only disposable equipment is used during the process. The bench, the floor, the taps, the door handles, and all hard surfaces are sanitised regularly. Your safety, your comfort and health are paramount.
Any other questions? Give me a call or send me an email.
Telephone: 07772 262 187
All words Copyright © Jason @ TheBackAndBeyond 2008 - 2012.