“Jesus honey, wax much?” 🙈 Remember Samantha Jones’ iconic quote from Sex in the City? It’s the one phrase that sticks in my head and is our go-to quote amongst friends when someone (mostly me) needs their eyebrows waxed... not their vagina.
Often clients can find it difficult discussing bikini wax treatments. So much choice these days: Brazilian, Hollywood, Standard Bikini... what's best? It's confusing, right? Now throw pregnancy into the mix. Maybe you have never waxed ‘below’ before and are getting yourself in a right grooming panic. Gosh, just one more birth-related situation. I’ve had clients go green at the thought of bringing up the subject. It's a very private area that a select few may have seen but now you're having visions of half the maternity staff glaring at your womanly wonders which should be the last thing on your mind.
Well, allow me to put you at ease. Thankfully there is research to limit the number of vaginal examinations you may encounter during your pregnancy and you are perfectly entitled to decline ‘VE’s that you don't feel are necessary... phew!! We can now tick that one off the 'stress list'. 😊
Should I be nervous?
Waxing yourself shouldn’t be taboo or a discussion to shy from either. My background as a Therapist has taught me to consider waxing as just another treatment in your daily schedule, much like a massage or facial would be. And really that's all it is. Your Beauty Therapist is a skilled professional who doesn’t differentiate between an eyebrow, leg or bikini wax. It’s an area that needs hair removal and that's that, so you may relax, you're in good hands. 🙌🏻
As with birth stories, someone always has that thriller about that time they had a bikini wax and it went “oh-so-horribly wrong”. So now, the first thing you think about when you lay on the treatment couch is Brenda - and how she had to have her wax spatula surgically removed. Thanks, Brenda! Lol. Oh, the power of the subconscious mind...interesting don't ya think?
Maybe I should add ‘Hypnowaxing’ to my list of services, like my Hypnobirthing, to help you reframe your mindset.
Why I am a 'waxer'...
I’d like to share with you a little story from when I was in my teens and I worked in an all-female environment. All the girls were a lot older than me and starting their pregnancy and birth journeys. It was great time in my life, a real eye-opener into my potential future. I loved hanging out with those girls. I went to work, got paid, plus I received in-depth knowledge and education that I sometimes wish I could erase from my mind... Lol
I specifically remember one of the girls talking about how she arrived at the maternity hospital in active labour. She was prepared. She was excited. She had done her birth plan and was ready... until the midwife handed her a razor so she could 'tidy herself up' downstairs! I was shocked, to be honest. What? Really? Does this happen?
Apparently this was common practice and probably still is, but from that day forward I’m a waxer and will always be a waxer. When friends tell me they shave, I shudder. I’ve dabbled in laser, which was amazing but mostly, I wax and could never understand why anyone would ever shave. The skin irritation that follows is not worth it. Couple that with a new arrival and postpartum recovery and you get one uncomfortable, messy situation right there but let's leave the postpartum discussion for another day.
So I implore you, particularly pregnant ladies, please step away from that razor and book a wax appointment at your local salon with a trained professional.
Can I wax... should I wax?
One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘’Can I wax during my pregnancy” and in short the answer is yes! Waxing can be performed in any area of the body at any stage of pregnancy. There is no research to suggest otherwise. The main focus is on how your body is changing during your pregnancy. Of course, it's expected that the tummy area will change in shape and size which can make waxing a little trickier but you should know that our skin changes during pregnancy too.
During pregnancy the skin can become a little more sensitive. I found my skin became a lot more dry, despite staying hydrated and moisturising regularly. Waxing required a lot more preparation and regular exfoliation.
Many wax clients are unaware that there are two different types of wax available and this should be made clear on booking any wax treatment, particularly pregnancy waxing.
💜 Warm wax is traditionally your strip-wax which is applied with a spatula and then removed by placing a wax strip on top. This is the ideal wax for a legs or a large surface area.
❤️ Hot wax is recommended for sensitive and intimate waxing as it will not adhere to the skin in the same way as a warm wax, therefore making waxing a lot kinder and gentler on the skin. Hot wax is applied to the skin using a spatula and is allowed to cool and set. Once cooled it is then removed by hand. It's wise to check that your salon has both options available and that the therapists have specialised training in intimate waxing.
As mentioned previously, the skin can be more sensitive so using a wax containing lavender can be gentler on the skin. Try to keep your wax appointments close together (every 4-6 weeks) as the hair follicle will become weaker over time meaning the hair will become easier to remove.
If, like me, your skin becomes dry during pregnancy, it's important to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells. This will have the benefit of helping reduce the chance of ingrown hairs. Traditional scrubs work well and you can make your own at home. There are some ingrown hair related products on the market but always read the label as most contain 'salicylic acid' which works within the hair follicle. This can be a bit too harsh for sensitive pregnancy skin.
If you are already using an ingrown skin product that you are happy with then continue as long as no irritation occurs.
Strip Wax Bar, London
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with the General Manager, Gemma, of Strip Wax Bar in London and here are her top-tips for waxing in pregnancy:
🙌🏻1. "Ensure your therapist holds an extra qualification in intimate waxing. We have 10 years experience in intimate waxing and all our wax-specialists are highly trained in supporting pregnant clients. We understand how the body changes within the 2nd-3rd trimester and we adapt our waxing techniques to support this change."
🤰🏻2. "Some salons have larger treatment couches which can be really beneficial when manoeuvring pregnant clients. It's best if they have an adjustable back, are reclining and can be lowered for clients to get onto. Always ask if there is one available so you can be as comfortable as possible."
🌿3. "Here at www.stripewaxbar.co.uk we have customised wax available but we would always recommend a gentle lavender wax to help sooth the skin and avoid irritation. Keep on top of your wax appointments and keep your last appointment as close as you can to 40-42 weeks gestation. Some mums start their maternity leave before baby's arrival so we would encourage them to pop in for some TLC in prep for the big day."
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Thanks for Reading!
Owner & Founder
Time: Bump & Beyond