Does waxing hurt?

What to expect when having a wax:

Frequently asked questions about men’s Brazilian waxing

But, really… just how painful is waxing?

It’s one of the most common questions I am asked by waxing newbies; how painful is waxing, really? The anticipation of pain before a first wax can be enough for some to never go through with it at all.  Ever tried pulling a single hair out from your nose? It really hurts! So it would seem logical, that ripping out many hairs at once — from such a sensitive area of your body — would be much worse, right?

Surprisingly, waxing isn’t as painful as you might think. Most first-timers comment their wax was much less painful than anticipated.

Why waxing isn’t as painful as you might expect:

The critical difference between plucking a hair and waxing a hair is that wax is heated. This heat helps to dilate the hair follicle, meaning the hair slides out much easier (and less painfully) than when the skin is cold. This is also why cold epilation methods (like sugar waxing and Epilady machines) hurt like hell! It also explains why pulling out a single nostril hair hurts so much, too; your cold hair follicle is clutched tightly onto that hair and doesn’t want to let go — ouch!

BUT …it doesn’t tickle:

I won’t lie to you though; waxing isn’t entirely pain-free. But for most, it’s generally no worse than ripping off a band-aid. Also, the pain doesn’t linger around, once that patch of wax is ripped off, it’s all over. You can also be reassured that your following wax will be considerably less painful than the first one (provided you don’t leave it too long between visits!)

Something to keep in mind, however; some skin and hair types that are prone to sensitivity (such as fair skin/red hair, or skin types with deep or curly hair roots) can be more sensitive to waxing pain. If you’re concerned, chat to your therapist before your booking. If you are really worried or have a low pain threshold like I do, you can try taking a couple of painkillers and having a nice warm, relaxing shower before you go to your booking. It also helps if your skin is moisturised; as the wax will stick less to the skin and more to the hair.

Just remember, it’s the anticipation of the pain that hurts more than the actual waxing does, so just try stay calm, breathe deeply and relax. Let your therapist know if you are finding it more painful than you anticipated — they should be able to help reduce any swelling for you, possibly with a cold compress (and if they don’t offer to do anything for you its time to see a more caring therapist!)

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