Waxing your underarms will save you from the trouble of having to shave your armpits every day. Waxing will ensure that you can go on for weeks at a time without having to worry about the upkeep of your underarms. However, if you want to get the best results from waxing your underarms, there are some simple things you should be aware of before you get your underarms waxed. Following these simple do’s and don’ts will help ensure that you have a clean, comfortable, and effective waxing experience. Here are some things to know before getting an underarm wax.
Is Underarm Waxing The Same As Waxing Other Body Parts?
Yes, underarm waxing is more or less similar to the waxing of other body parts such as the arms, legs, etc. You will be given the option of choosing between two types of wax. These include soft wax, which hardens and then removed with cloth or paper strips. The second option is a hard wax, which solidifies and then removed without needing to use the strips. Remember that shaving your underarms is not a very convenient method to use for hair removal. Not only does it make the area rough, but the hair that grows back is also much harder than normal.(1)
Since the underarm area is a relatively smaller area than the arms, legs, or other parts, you may thus find that you prefer the use of one type of wax over the other. Most people tend to prefer the soft wax instead of the hard wax, but it is a personal choice.
Due to the smaller area of the underarms, your waxing appointment is also likely to be shorter and also requires fewer strips and less wax.
With either type of wax, the wax will be applied in the direction of hair growth and then removed against the direction of hair growth, similar to how waxing of other body parts is done.
The biggest benefit of getting underarm waxing done is that the wax (either soft or hard) helps lightly exfoliate the area, and the hair that grows back is also thinner. It also grows back at a slower pace if you follow a consistent waxing schedule. Underarm waxing also leaves the underarm skin feeling smoother to the touch.
Are There Any Risks Of Underarm Waxing?
There are some risks to keep in mind with underarm waxing, but then these risks are the same for when you wax other parts of the body as well.
The first side effect of underarm waxing is that it can lead to some temporary bumps, itching, and redness. However, these side effects are generally temporary and tend to disappear on their own within two to three hours. In some rare cases, these symptoms may last for one or two days.(2)
There are also some more severe side effects of underarm waxing, such as bleeding, burns, or infection. If it is the first time you are getting waxed, then a little bit of bleeding is quite common. However, if you find any residual blood, then make sure to keep the waxed area clean in order to prevent infection.
If you are waxing at home or if you feel that the technician is not too experienced, then there is a small chance of experiencing some burning. This tends to happen if you end up accidentally waxing off the top-most layer of your skin. To take care of this type of burn, apple an ice pack to the area immediately and avoid putting deodorant or any other cosmetics or lotions for at least a week.
Infections due to underarm waxing is very rare, but if you suspect you might have one, then you should see your doctor immediately. Infections that are a result of waxing usually cause pus-filled blisters, and the surrounding skin tends to be painful and tender.
Things To Know Before Getting An Underarm Wax
Here are some things you should know before getting your underarms waxed:
- Wash and Dry The Area Before Waxing: The accumulation of sweat and deodorant under your arms is going to affect how well the wax works. It is recommended that you wash your armpits thoroughly with soap and water before you go for your waxing session. Washing with hot water further softens the hairs, making it easier to remove.
- Trim is Required: If there is excessive growth under your arms, then to reduce the pain and to get the best results from waxing, it is suggestible that you trim the hair so that it is no longer than a quarter of an inch, or roughly 0.5 centimeters. You can use a small scissors or a trimmer to cut down the hair to a manageable size.
- Take Pain Medications If You Can’t Tolerate The Pain: If you always find the pain of waxing to be unbearable, then taking an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen half an hour to an hour before your appointment will help decrease the pain. However, make sure that you avoid having alcohol before your waxing session as alcohol and caffeine increases the sensitivity of your skin.
- Apply Talcum Powder: You can consider applying talcum powder or corn starch to your armpits before getting them waxed. Talcum powder absorbs any moisture and natural oils on the skin. A dry area makes it easier for the wax to stick better to the hairs, giving you a smoother end result.(3)
- Lift Your Arms All The Way Up: When you are getting your armpits waxed, you should lift your arms all the way up. This prevents the skin from sagging or becoming loose during the waxing process. Loose skin may get damaged more easily during waxing. It is best to lift the arm on which you need the waxing done and then use your other hand to pull the skin of the armpit tight when the wax is being removed. Basically, what you should try to achieve is to keep your skin as taut as possible.
- Avoid Wearing Tight Clothes Right After Waxing: No matter how gentle the wax you get done, but it will still cause some amount of irritation to your skin. Wearing tight clothing that presses up tightly against your skin may lead to rubbing and enhance the irritation. So wear some loose-fitting and airy clothes when you are going for the waxing.
The results of an underarm waxing should last for approximately three weeks, depending on how quickly your body hair grows. If you follow a regular waxing schedule, you will notice that your hair growth becomes slower and also thinner. The pain also reduces with regular waxing sessions. On the other hand, if you do not follow a regular schedule, then the hair growth cycle tends to get disrupted, and you will continue to feel the same level of pain.
Waxing of the underarms is a personal issue, and many still prefer to shave. If you feel that underarm waxing is not for you, then you can also consider trying out other hair removal methods such as sugaring, epilating, lasering, or shaving.
- Caron, L., 2014. Waxing vs. shaving. Professional Beauty, (Sep/Oct 2014), p.102.
- Dermveda.com. (2020). Side Effects of Waxing | Dermveda. [online] Available at: https://www.dermveda.com/articles/dangers-of-waxing-you-need-to-know [Accessed 3 Mar. 2020].
- Tips, B. (2020). The many benefits of talcum powder – Times of India. [online] The Times of India. Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/beauty/the-many-benefits-of-talcum-powder/articleshow/47404225.cms [Accessed 3 Mar. 2020].