The 10 Biggest Hair-Removal Mistakes

Allure

You've probably been shaving since before you had a reason to (what exactly was the rush again back in fifth grade?). But, despite your experience, you could be making one of these hair-removal mistakes and not even realize it. These tips will make shaving and waxing (almost) painless—and leave you smoother.

Photo: Roger Cabello

Mistake: Not Exfoliating

Exfoliating is your best defense against ingrown hairs—no matter what method of hair removal you choose. If you're already suffering from one, exfoliate the area with a gentle scrub like Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing Beads Body Wash. To prevent them from developing after shaving, use a daily body lotion with alpha hydroxy acids, like Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Plus; this will loosen dead skin to prevent hairs from getting trapped beneath skin. If you're prone to developing them after a wax, apply the lotion to the area two days before and three days after your appointment.

More from Allure:

The 11 Hottest Haircuts Right Now

10 Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger

Photo: David Stesner

Mistake: Contorting Your Face as you Tweeze

Tweezing your brows is not the time to start making faces in the mirror—whether it's flinching from the sting or just because you're trying to get a close-up view. "Lifting your brows distorts their natural shape and throws off the symmetry you want," says professional brow groomer Maribeth Madron. Try your best to relax your face as much as possible as you pluck and numb the area with an ice cube if you're concerned about the pain.

Photo: David Stesner

Mistake: Shaving First Thing in the Morning

Shaving at the end of a morning shower saves time but doesn't yield the smoothest shave. As you sleep, legs swell slightly, which can hide a portion of the hairs. Shave in the evening, and you'll get a closer finish.

Photo: Steve Cole/The Agency Collection/Getty Images

Mistake: Shaving During a Hot Bath

Soaking in warm water make legs temporarily puff as well, so don't shave then, either (plus, it adds nothing to the relaxation aspect of a bath). If you're dead set on doing it in the tub, do it first thing: Waiting longer than ten minutes to shave will make your legs feel more stubbly than smooth.

Photo: Roger Cabello

Mistake: Shaving with a Dull Blade

"Many people let the same damn razor sit in the bathroom for days, weeks, months," says dermatologist Kathy Fields. "To get a really clean shave, you need a new blade, so go to Costco and buy them in bulk. Shave once with it and throw it away." (Other experts recommend up to four uses.) Not only will it get you a closer shave, but regularly replacing your razor blade is also one of the keys to preventing day-after red bumps. We like the Gillette Venus Embrace Razor.

Courtesy of Skintimate

Mistake: Skipping Shaving Cream

Not only will shave cream help prevent irritation from a razor blade, but it also will eke an extra half millimeter of hair, says Fields. Apply it against the grain of hair growth to make hairs stand up straight—this will get you the closest shave, recommends Claire Girdler, a scientist for Gillette Venus. We like Skintimate Skin Therapy Lotionized Shave Gel.

Photo: Roger Cabello

Mistake: Leaving Skin Vulnerable

Accutane and retinols work only if you use them religiously—but there's one important reason to halt your routine: getting a wax. Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare Spas, says you should stop using Accutane the week before your appointment (the same goes for using a retinol anywhere you'll get a wax). They can make skin fragile, so the wax could take off layers of skin along with the hair.

Photo: David Stesner

Mistake: Waxing too Frequently

You may be tempted to head straight to the spa—or worse, reach for the razor—at the first sight of stubble, but fight the urge. You should wait four weeks in between waxing sessions so the wax has enough hair to grab. Barshop says bikini-area and on-your-leg hair should be a quarter-inch long if it's fine; coarse hair needs to be a half-inch long.

Photo: David Stesner

Mistake: Improper At-Home Waxing Technique

When you get a wax at a salon, the process seems simple enough: spread wax, cover with fabric, rip. But if you attempt the deed at home, there is one key element to remember: Pull the skin taut in the opposite direction you're ripping the strip. If you don't, "you can end up with deep bruises," says dermatologist Leslie Baumann.

Photo: Fairchild Archive

Mistake: Waxing at the Wrong Time of the Month

Perhaps your period is on your mind when booking a bikini wax, but it's something to consider no matter what body part you're trying to get hair-free—especially if you're concerned about pain. "Hormonal shifts, extra blood flow—almost everyone feels more discomfort right before, during, and after her period," says Jodi Shays, owner of Queen Bee Salon & Spa in Los Angeles. "It's best to wax midcycle, right around the time you're ovulating."

 

More from Allure:

10 New Sexy (and Speedy) Makeup Looks

31 New Hair Ideas for 2011

Find the Best Haircut for Your Face Shape

The Top 21 Drugstore Beauty Bargains

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • How a Mom's Fitbit Led Police to Charge Her Husband with Her Murder

      How a Mom's Fitbit Led Police to Charge Her Husband with Her Murder

      People
    • Caitlyn Jenner kept rudely interrupting Kelly Ripa on ‘Live’

      It’s “Live with . . . Caitlyn!” On Tuesday morning’s “Live with Kelly” show, Caitlyn Jenner was a guest — and possibly one of the rudest ever. Jenner, who appeared to promote her memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” continuously cut off Kelly Ripa and guest co-host, John Leguizamo. At one point, Jenner even turned the tables on Ripa, asking when she first identified as a female. “Just think about that,” she said, pointing her manicured finger at Ripa. “When did you know you were a girl?” Jenner then made Leguizamo her target, asking him how he enjoyed dressing in drag in the 1995 comedy, “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” The painful 15-minute interview consisted of endless, self-congratulatory

      New York Post q
    • Ancient people left a frightening message for us, and scientists just found it

      10,000 years from now (assuming humans haven't been wiped out by a plague, space rock, or our own destructive tendencies), it'll probably be fairly easy for the average person to research what life was like in 2017. For us here today, finding out what life was like in 11,000BC is much more challenging, but by studying ancient stone carvings and pairing the somewhat confusing messages with archeological data, researchers believe they've discovered concrete evidence of an apocalyptic event that may have altered the future of mankind: a comet strike. The study, performed by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh ( PDF ), suggests that a potentially cataclysmic comet strike rapidly and dramatically altered the Earth's climate for hundreds of years, sending humanity into a mini ice age with nearly glacial conditions. The time period when this occurred is known as the Younger Dryas, and has been well documented thanks to ample evidence of the cooling found in core samples, but its cause has been theorized and debated for a long while. Now, thanks to stone carvings left by ancient people in modern day Turkey, researchers believe that a comet was the culprit. The carvings are remarkably preserved and appear to have been created to document an apocalyptic event which devastated the land. Figures depicted in the carvings, including apparently deceased, headless human bodies and other wildlife, were made at around the time the Younger Dryas began, suggesting that the event archived in stone could have been the same one that caused the thousand-year cold snap. The carvings were found at what is considered to be one of the oldest and most important temple sites on the planet, and for the images to appear there suggests that they have enormous historical significance. The Younger Dryas is often credited with pushing ancient humans to band together out of pure necessity, forming the foundation of modern agriculture and other huge advancements in civilization. The idea that a comet may have been responsible for pushing humanity forward is an extremely interesting, and potentially frightening possibility. The findings are far from an iron clad confirmation, but the timing matches up shockingly well, and would have to be a fantastic coincidence if the two events are actually unrelated.

      BGR News
    • Whoops, Mark Hamill might have accidentally revealed Rey’s parentage…back in the ’80s

      Mrk Hamill is at it again! Well, he was, back in the 80s. Apparently, his interview techniques haven’t changed too much because…

      Hello Giggles
    • Rabbit set to be world's biggest dies on United Airlines flight in fresh PR disaster

      United Airlines has confirmed they are investigating reports that a giant rabbit died while travelling to Chicago on one of its transatlantic flight. Simon, a three-foot continental rabbit, was reportedly travelling from Heathrow to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport after the 10-month old bunny was purchased by a celebrity owner. ‘The client who bought Simon is very famous.

      Yahoo News UK
    • Fox News Hit With 2 More Lawsuits Over Alleged Racial Discrimination

      Embattled Fox News was hit with lawsuits over alleged racial discrimination on Tuesday, including a class action suit in which former “Fox and Friends” co-host Kelly Wright was among the plaintiffs, according to documents obtained by TheWrap. Wright was one of 11 former or current Fox News employees attached to a class action suit filed in Bronx Supreme Court accusing the leading cable news network of fostering an environment in which top-down racial harassment occurred, joining three other former Fox News staffers who filed a separate racial discrimination complaint. “When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox.

      The Wrap
    • Scott Baio on the Defensive After Remarks About Erin Moran's Death: 'I Jumped the Gun, Okay?'

      He had criticized the actress for her drug use before learning that she actually died of cancer.

      Inside Edition
    • High School Student Dies After Being Punched at Party

      An 18-year-old high school student in Illinois who was about the graduate died after police say he was hit during an incident at a party Saturday night.

      Tribune
    • New Video Shows United Passenger Before Dragging Incident

      A security officer asserted that Dr. David Dao "refused to leave" his seat and "folded his arms tightly,” but his attorney calls the description “utter nonsense.”

      Yahoo View
    • Police Use Data Found on Slain Woman's Fitbit in Murder Case Against Husband

      Connie Dabate, 39, was found shot to death in the Ellington home she shared with her two children and husband, Richard Dabate, on December 23, 2015.

      Inside Edition
    • Here's the question a rejected job candidate emailed after her interview that eventually got her hired for another role

      My response to job rejections has always been much the same. I replay the interview in my head...

      Business Insider
    • Esquire 29 min ago
    • ISIS Fighters in Iraq Killed by Wild Boars Before They Can Ambush Locals

      Three militants loyal to the Islamic State group (ISIS) have been killed by wild boars as they planned to ambush Iraqi tribesmen opposed to the group, according to a local anti-ISIS leader. At least eight ISIS fighters had reportedly taken cover among dense reeds in Iraq's al-Rashad region, about 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk, in preparation for a surprise attack on local anti-ISIS tribesman when a herd of wild boars attacked the jihadists on Sunday, killing three. The militants likely disturbed the notoriously short-tempered animals, said Sheikh Anwar al-Assi, a chief of the local Ubaid tribe and head of the group of local tribesmen who took up arms after ISIS took control of the nearby town of Hawija.

      Newsweek
    • America's Ugliest College Campuses (13 photos)

      These college campuses emphasize brains over beauty.

      Travel+Leisure
    • Here’s how much you should be tipping your hairdresser

      Remembering how much you’re supposed to tip anywhere can be hard — what do current trends dictate? Is there such a thing as too…

      Hello Giggles
    • This is how Derek Jeter’s weird baseball return had to happen

      BOSTON — One of the great chestnuts of recent Yankees lore goes something like this: In Don Mattingly’s final spring training with the club, still the reigning captain, he and Derek Jeter were on a back lot at Fort Lauderdale Stadium when the day’s workout came to an end. Jeter started walking back to the clubhouse. Mattingly sidled up next to him. “Let’s jog it back,” Mattingly said. “You never know who’s watching.” Together they double-stepped it back to the clubhouse, and into Yankees legend, the once and future captains side by side, stride by stride … (Fast-forward a year or two from now, spring training at Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium, a back lot, end of practice, Marlins manager Don Mattingly

      New York Post q