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Bridal Guide

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How to prep for a waxing appointment

Wedding day grooming may include a host of beauty, skin and hair treatments. Both men and women embrace a little pampering in advance of their weddings in the hopes of looking their best.

One item on many grooming to-do lists is waxing. Waxing is one of the more popular and effective means to removing unwanted hair on various parts of the body. Wax is applied and then quickly pulled away, and the unwanted hair comes with it.

Men and women like waxing because it removes hair so completely and may extend the time it takes for hair to grow back, particularly when compared to shaving and depilatory creams. While effective, waxing can be a bit uncomfortable. Waxing sessions should be as painless as possible, and finding a qualified technician and visiting a salon that offers the greatest level of comfort is important.

Preparing for a waxing appointment can also make the session go more smoothly.

• Exfoliate the waxing area. Exfoliating can help remove a layer of dead skin cells and also dislodge any ingrown hairs. Exfoliating also can clean the area so wax can adhere properly.

• Test a sample. Before beginning a waxing session, test wax materials to see if there are any sensitivity issues or allergic reactions. Wait at least 24 hours to see if any irritation develops.

• Ask about different wax types. Waxes generally come in soft and hard varieties. Hard waxes are primarily used for smaller areas of the body, including on the face, under the arms, around the ears, and around the bikini area. This type of wax hardens when it is cooled to minimize pulling on the skin. Soft waxes are usually the choice for larger areas of the body, like the legs, arms and back. Soft waxes tend to be better at removing fine hairs.

• Achieve a good hair length. For wax to grab the hairs and remove them effectively, hair needs to be of a certain length. Most experts say that hair between 1⁄4 inch and 3⁄4 inches is ideal. However, a waxing technician can advise if hair is too long or too short for waxing.

• Alleviate the pain. Expect discomfort after waxing, but know that such discomfort can be minimized. Experienced estheticians advise men and women to avoid alcohol and caffeine prior to an appointment. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever around an hour before an appointment may help. Some salons may offer a numbing cream. Also, women should avoid waxing directly before their menstrual cycles when discomfort can be heightened.

• Opt for waxing salons. Technicians who specialize in waxing go through extensive training to make the process quick and efficient. This helps minimize discomfort and offers the best results. Waxing at home can work, but may increase the risk of injury or ingrown hairs for the novice.

Waxing can help make couples camera-ready for their wedding days and honeymoons.

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