It’s no secret that well-defined brows can transform your face by framing your eyes and enhancing your overall face shape. There are many methods to choose from to achieve the sculpted look, including plucking, threading and waxing. Waxing is probably the most common method of the three.
I was 13 years old when I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time, and, not even exaggerating, it was life-changing. Though the metamorphosis of bushy to slim thicc brows was nothing short of magical, I was a nervous wreck going into the whole process. My first experience was nothing like how I imagined it, and honestly, it’s different every time I get my brows done.
I picked up a lot of brow waxing knowledge in the bi-weekly trips I made to my Taiwanese brow guru during the four years that waxing was my go-to. (I’ve since switched to threading.) Here are four pro-tips on eyebrow waxing when you’re new to it, from a formerly dedicated brow-waxer.
- Your first waxing experience won’t hurt as much as you expect, but the second time will.
This was honestly one of the biggest shocks I encountered the first time I got my eyebrows done. However, it makes so much sense given the fact that most people are really anxious and worried about their first time, so there’s a lot of adrenaline running through your veins. Just like in dire life-or-death situations, this adrenaline numbs the pain from the injuries your skin is facing, so you might not feel any soreness the first time until after you’re done.
Note that your following visits may not be as pleasant because you won’t be as nervous. You’ve already gone through the experience, so your mind knows what to expect and in turn, knows you’re not in any danger. Since there will be little to no adrenaline pumping, you’ll be feeling the full extent of each strip of fabric being pulled from your skin. OUCH is right, but everyone is different. Follow-up waxing may actually hurt less the more times you experience it, because the root of the hair grows back finer.
- It’ll be over before you know it.
Since wax is able to adhere to lots of hair in just one swoop, the actual waxing part of your visit may be over in less than five minutes. That’s right, you’ll be stunting on everyone in a matter of minutes.
- Communication is key.
Though the majority of estheticians will ask clients what they would like done for their visit, many just start as soon as your tush graces the chair, letting their artistic creativity ooze from a wooden stick. Be sure to discuss directly with the technician performing this service how much hair you would like removed—maybe you’re growing out your brows and just want a cleanup or you’re looking to enhance and define your arch.
Not only is communicating with your brow tech important for making sure your brows are groomed just how you like them, but it's essential if you have skin sensitivities. Speak up if your skin is sensitive to hair removal or is breakout-prone. Accommodations and adjustments can be made to the type of wax used, and often times cooling gels are available to soothe the tender areas. You absolutely have to advocate for yourself, though!
- Research, research, research.
I am super guilty of going to brow bars solely based on how the store looks from the outside and how much they charge. And because of my surface-level judgment, my brows have been through a lot.
The truth is, you won’t know what kind of result to expect from any brow place without actually looking through their work. A cheap, small salon may be the hidden gem of your dreams, while the bougie spot across town could leave you with bald spots.
On top of that, many places still double dip, using one spatula for multiple applications and sometimes across multiple clients! This is super unhygienic as the wax pot can become a cesspool of bacteria and diseases, and something to be wary of before you choose a wax spot. Put in the time and effort to do a little digging into your top picks. Social media is your friend when it comes to this: check out Instagram to see their work, look on Yelp for reviews, and check Facebook for promotions.
Waxing is a great method for hair removal and grooming, though the thought of getting multiple hairs ripped out of your face at once can be daunting. But I hope these tips have eliminated your worries and shaped your understanding of what a brow waxing experience may entail (many puns intended). Eyebrows are like the cornerstone to your face. If your brows are looking sharp, you can get away with anything.
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