If you don’t already know, I’m biologically Iranian (haha, I’ve mentioned it like twelve times already, I’m sure), which means I’m hairy. Thankfully, not as hairy as some of the other biologically Iranian woman I’ve met in my lifetime. Really, I’m on the less hairy end of the spectrum. So much win.
Buuuuut I’m still hairy enough that I need to wax my upper lip. Every week. Since I was 12 and my facial fuzz became a constant source of frustration in elementary school (because everyone else was blonde). The boobs came on quickly, too.
And before we start, here is the brand that I’ve been using and have loved for over a decade, Parissa Strip Free Hot Wax.
A few important things you should know about waxing that I’ve learned over the years (with respect to the particular brand I’ve been using):
- Wax burn always sucks. There are two kinds of wax burn: the kind where you’ve waxed over one spot too many times (ouch!) and the kind where your wax was too hot. Avoid both types of wax burn by using hard wax, and making sure that you can “trace” your wax when you lift your stick. If you make soap, it’s the same deal. If you don’t make soap: it should look like the swirl of wax dripping from your stick doesn’t sink in right away and leaves behind a shape.
- Don’t wax after you shower. Always do it before, otherwise, you’ll likely experience the first kind of wax burn without actually going over the same spot too many times. Your skin won’t have any natural oils on it to create a barrier.
- Waxing when you’re greasy doesn’t work either. A little cornstarch over whatever area you’re waxing helps create a barrier.
- Sometimes you have to pluck the stubborn hairs if you’ve waxed over the same spot more than twice already. If you’ve waxed over the area three times, stop right there: the hair is too short, orrrr you’re too greasy, or the area you’re spreading over has too much or too little wax. I tend to do smaller chunks when I wax my face to ensure a smoother finish. And don’t forget to spread the wax with the hair growth, and pull off the wax against the growth.
- You never have to deal with your deodorant burning your underarms if you wax your pits! Seriously, I love that I don’t have to shave my armpits.
- Put your element on low when you’re heating your wax, and do not, under any circumstances, forget about it. For serious: it will catch fire (especially if you have a gas stove…true story, happened to my roommate once). She picked it up by the metal handle, which was also hot, and then threw it in the kitchen sink. It’s a nightmare to get hard wax out of your kitchen sink. THE GOOD NEWS! You can use your blowdryer to get anything stubborn out of there if this does happen to you.
- Lay off the bits that are difficult to wax. That’s right: at-home Brazilians are a BAD idea. I may have tried to fix one I wasn’t happy with once, and I hope others can learn from my painful experience. Find someone local who doesn’t double dip. I’m not a germaphobe by any means (okay, some means), but when it comes to my delicate parts being waxed and sharing that wax with strangers, I’m 1000% out. And another article on double dipping dangers for good measure right here.
- If you’re waxing multiple parts at home, I usually start with my eyebrows (and a handy orange stick) so the wax is more malleable, then my upper lip (or I do them in tandem, then finish off with my chin. If I’ve got to throw my underarms in the mix, I’ll likely have to reheat the wax for a minute to get it back to a nice spreadable texture.
- The little blue bottles of azulene oil: keep them. They’re great for getting the residual goo or tackiness off of almost anything. You can replace your Goo Gone with this stuff. I last used it to get a sticker off of my husband’s guitar.
- If this is your first time DIY waxing, just think happy thoughts when you’re ripping off the wax. Or have an ice pack handy for after. And don’t wear a shirt you like while you’re waxing. If you spill wax on it, you’re screwed.
And in case you haven’t freaked out already, this is what it looks like to wax at home. In time, you’ll figure out a system!
Sorry about the messy bathroom!
If you can’t be bothered to shave or wax, check out a laser clinic. Ironically, my mom owns one in Thunder Bay (she’s awesome and does an amazing job). To her chagrin, I’m still waxing. The good news is, my underarm hair is significantly sparser than it was 10 years ago, and I *maybe* wax them once every two months.
Are you a waxer or a shaver?
Happy waxing adventures if this is your first time!