Arguably one of the best or worst parts of summer is that your skin needs to be ready for that swimsuit at a last-minute notice. No one wants to turn down a beach day in Chicago, especially with our blink-and-you’ll-miss-it season.
While grooming is a very personal choice, some women may feel more confident when they wax or shave. So, in comes the Wicked Waxer, aka Kaycie McClure, the coolest esthetician in town, to answer all of our waxing questions. McClure is known for her fun and frank videos on Instagram and has an approachable vibe that will even send a newbie in with enthusiasm. Read on to discover what you should do — and shouldn’t do — before you schedule that waxing appointment.
Drop that razor.
Yes, in order to get the best wax possible, you will need to wait at least two weeks before you visit. Especially if you are a regular shaver or first-timer, your outgrowth should be at least 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. “This is one of the biggest mistakes a client can make,” McClure says. “The longer the hair the better.”
For women, skin will be extra sensitive during that time of the month, so do yourself a favor and try to schedule around it. Why subject yourself to more pain? If you want to be swimsuit ready by a certain date, make sure you wax a few days before. Your skin will need a day or so to heal after the wax and you shouldn’t expose your sensitive skin to direct sun, tight non-breathable swimwear, or hot water.
Know your shape.
There are many bikini-area waxing options to choose from and it really depends on your preference (and your swimsuit cut). The most popular option? “The Brazilian,” McClure says. In fact, it is one of her favorite services to do. “Some people are afraid of it, but I try to make it as stress free as possible,” she says. If you want the real breakdown on waxing shapes, check out McClure’s Instagram video.
Prep your skin.
Skin that is well hydrated will have the best waxing outcome as the hair follicles release more easily. Before your appointment, McClure suggests drinking water, moisturizing, and exfoliating your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells. It’s good skincare and health advice in general too!
Yes, it is going to hurt, but not as much as you think.
One of our favorite things about McClure is that she keeps it real with her behind-the-scenes videos and honest take on the waxing experience. So, she is very clear that while it is going to hurt it will probably not be as painful as you think it will be. McClure suggests taking ibuprofen before your appointment if you are sensitive.
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We promise, the process is not awkward.
Estheticians are professionals, and just like visiting an OB/Gyn, it is a respected and private appointment. McClure likes to make small talk with her clients during the service to not only make clients feel comfortable, but to also take their mind off of any waxing pain. It is also why she shares so many behind-the-scenes sneaks on her social media. “I’m transparent about everything and treat my clients like they are my friends. Taking that veil away makes everyone feel better. It’s a vulnerable service; if they feel like they trust me, it takes some of that fear away.”
After your wax, don’t plan on exercising for 24 hours. Wear loose fitting undergarments for a few days afterward, and if you had your underarms waxed, avoid deodorant. Your skin will be red and blotchy, but this will fade. To avoid ingrown hairs, exfoliate and moisturize in between appointments. It’s best to forget the razor in between waxing appointments too, since the hair will come back coarser, thicker, and faster.
Ditch that wet swimsuit!
Did you know that sporting a wet swimsuit is bad for the health of your lady parts? It’s also hard to avoid, but, especially after a fresh wax, try to change out of your wet swimsuit as soon as possible.
For best results, you’ll need to come back.
No, it is not a marketing ploy. For optimal results with no shaving between sessions, you’ll need to visit the waxer every 2-4 weeks, depending on your hair growth. If you keep up with appointments, you will also experience less pain with each visit (bonus!) and your hair pattern and texture will change as a result. This means your skin will get better and smoother if you stick to a consistent waxing schedule.
Macaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.