Male cyclists and benefits of waxing below the belt

It’s come to my attention via my male clients who are avid riders that all sorts of issues are created from riding. Saddle rash or saddle sores are the most common terminology and are caused by the friction from the seat to the inside of the thigh and groin area. The hair follicle gets infected usually from the sweat and bacteria and causes a very uncomfortable cyst or boil. Even using barrier creams doesn’t alleviate the problem all together.

By removing hair in certain areas, you are removing the bacteria that surrounds the hair and hair holds bacteria. If you shave the hair from the testicles, perineum and butt/crack area you can cause more issues by irritating the skin with the razor, nicking yourself as well as the issue of the hair growing back right away. By removing this hair from the follicle via a trained esthetician, it will take longer for the new follicle to grow out and will allow you more time to ride in between waxings. Typically, you should return to get waxed between 4-6 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows back. During peak riding season 3-4 weeks is probably ideal.

It’s best to wax 24 hours before any friction induced exercising and then follow that with the usual protocol by using barrier creams, showering as quickly after a ride as you can. If you can’t then cleanse the area with tea tree oil diluted with water, applying an ointment like A&D ointment not cream or even Aquaphor and put on clean, dry garments will help tremendously. If you’re prone to the saddle-sore problem then I would always keep a pack with the dry clothes, diluted tea tree in a spray bottle and the ointment in case you’re not able to shower.

Tea tree oil is found over the counter at most drugstores or health stores. It works best when diluted with water, do not put tea tree directly on the skin as a pure oil can burn the skin. Ointments following help keep the skin moisturized which is important to avoid any further irritation. After you are able to shower, you should follow the same steps to keep the skin clean and free of bacteria and sweat.

Posted: January 7, 2018 By:

The scoop on lashes

Anatomy of the lash cycle is fascinating and a must to know in order to educate clients when they choose to get lash extensions, a lash lift and tint service or any lash service at all since there are a few choices available.

Services that enhance lashes have been growing over the years and lash serums have been quite popular for over 10 years.

*Serums or conditioners as they are often referred to help promote faster growth and are meant to strengthen and increase the length and for some people they find they have more hair follicles form, therefore giving the lash line a fuller look.

*Lash extensions have also become a popular way to enhance the length and fullness of ones’ natural lash line. When these products first came out they were only capable of lengthening the lash then the 2D-3D was created which is a little “bundle” of synthetic lashes being adhered to one natural lash to create a voluminous look

Lashes on the upper lid are coarser, longer and more abundant that the lower lash line. The upper lid has approximately 90-160 lashes and grow on average of 7mm-9mm in length and are located in three to five rows along the lash line.

The average span of a natural lash is 45-90 days depending on each individual. Eyelashes go through four stages of hair growth.

1. Anagen — this is when the lashes are actively growing, the phasing of the growth cycle is staggered across the eye line. 40% of the follicles are in the Anagen stage at any given time, which prevents us from periodic phases of baldness when the growth cycle stops.

2. Catagen — during this phase the lash stops growing and the hair follicle shrinks, this transition phase can last 10-21 days.

3. Telogen — this is the resting phase before the lash falls out and a new one begins to grow. Around 10-15% of the lashes on the lid are in this phase.
During this phase a new hair begins to grow from the hair follicle.

4. Exogen — the shedding phase where the hair sheds naturally from the follicle. This is a natural process of the replacement of old lashes with new.

The natural lash grows for approximately 30 days, rests, and then the cycle begins again before falling out.

Posted: January 7, 2018 By:

Brows…to sit or lie

Back in the early 90’s when I was in school for esthetics the instructors trained us to wax the brows sitting up just like you would if you were applying makeup to someone’s face. As the years went by and I worked in a large spa/salon I witnessed the newer estheticians waxing clients brows while they were lying down. Myself and a few other co-workers looked at each other perplexed and said what the heck are they doing and why!?

I really was in awe that someone would take the risk of sitting behind the head of a client and literally waxing their eyebrows upside down! Think about it, you don’t walk around with your chin where your forehead is and your brows where your mouth is so why would you have someone wax you as if this was going to turn out good for you?

My co-workers and I that didn’t believe this method was a good idea started calling these works of non-art, gravity brows. 8 out of 10 times the brows came out uneven and crooked. Our faces are typically not symmetrical so by not looking at the face straight on causes this shift to happen. Some estheticians will wax standing next to the bed and lean over the client while they are lying down, then the problem becomes a big fat backache for said esthetician.

Later I realized that the newer generation of estheticians that came out of school were taught to make more money by “adding” a waxing service to a facial, namely a lip, brow or chin. I get the making more money concept but not at the expense of messed up brows. A lip or chin is easy as your goal is to remove all the hair not “shape” anything that includes an arch. The newer estheticians goal was to not disrupt the client who was already lying down to have to sit up to have their added service.

Now that I’ve been an esthetician for over 20 years I can usually spot right away what client has laid down for their brows, because of course the brow line is off. When I ask if they laid down for their last brow wax the answer is yes 99% of the times. I may just still be set in my ways of how I learned but as I type this out it really is the most logical choice and if you received a brow laying down and it turned out well, then I’d say you got lucky. For now, I stand by my word and observation and I say definitely sit if you can!

In this house…

We believe in providing a comfortable place for everyone! Both The Waxing Boutique and the new waXYing lounge serve men and women, with no judgment.

Posted: August 25, 2017 By:

Partners that wax together stay together!

Self-care = self-awareness, which makes you feel good

The topic of grooming prior to being in a relationship has come up over the years. I find it interesting that people who were into waxing before marriage and kids tend to fall off after they get into that comfortable relationship. My other friends in the business have confirmed the same insight.

I was told by a female client that she waxed until she got the man hooked and then once she hooked him said he wasn’t going anywhere. This comment makes it sound like waxing means your partner won’t cheat on you and this isn’t even remotely what I want to emphasize. I do on the other hand want to emphasize that more than likely the point of waxing was to make you feel good about yourself and promoting self-confidence and sexiness from within which is what your partner was attracted to.

Anyone that’s been in a relationship knows that over the year’s people tend to “let themselves go” which does frustrate and disappoint the other partner. In my mind, beauty services such as hair removal, mani/pedi’s and haircuts/color are equal to going to the gym. Self-care is important for ourselves and our intimate relationships, not just the shallowness that seems to be associated with doing this.

Whatever you did before you got the guy/girl you should still keep doing. Women still need to keep the sparkle and men still need to appreciate that you do this. Men are not exempt from this either, if he was grooming before he should still be at it after he’s gotten the girl. I even have husbands and wives that come in together, I think this is so awesome. Partners that wax together stay together!

Posted: May 11, 2017 By:

The best way to avoid this painful cyst from appearing is to wax the hair on and around it.

Pilonidal (tailbone) cysts

If you’re reading this more than likely you’ve heard of this and may have actually been diagnosed with it. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s a cyst that’s typically located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft of the buttocks. This happens in Men and Women and can be irritated by long periods of sitting.

The cysts usually occur when the hair punctures the skin and then becomes embedded. The best way to avoid this painful cyst from appearing is to wax the hair on and around it.

I have seen these over the years of waxing but it seems that it’s becoming more common for Doctors to refer their patients to an esthetician to have the area waxed. This is awesome education for all of us and I am happy to oblige in offering the ability to wax this area.

This is a very simple, fast and painless area to have waxed. If you’d like to book this service, you may do so by booking online and clicking on the service marked “butt cheeks and or crack” or you can email and let me know this is a Pilonidal waxing service.

What to do about post-waxing irritation should it occur

Ingrowns vs rashes

A rash looks like little red dots and can be an irritation from the waxing service and usually disappears within 24 hours. You may also experience an allergic reaction to the wax or any before and after products used on the skin. Although this is very uncommon, anyone can be allergic to anything.

Ingrowns usually appear within a week or so of the waxing appointment and can last for up to 7-10 days. There are several different looks to an ingrown:

  • “The under-grounder” usually feels like a hard nodule and can sometimes be painful and feel like it has its own heartbeat. You can use a heat compress to soften them up so they can release the fluids. You can also then try and dry them out at the core, meaning get the puss and blood to release out of the ingrown or hope that the fluids dry up which causes that uncomfortable throbbing to go away.
  • “The black dot”, this ingrown is harmless and if you gently push on it, it will come out sort of like a blackhead. This type of ingrown is the hair coiling under the skin but not becoming infected.
  • “The little red ingrown” these usually happen from friction and men are more susceptible because they wear jeans and belts which can rub on the area (butt cheeks and top of groin area) and cause the skin to get chafed and then the hairs have a hard time growing back out of the skin.

Ways to alleviate ingrowns or deal with them once they have appeared.

1. Tea tree oil on wet (w/water) cotton ball or pad 1x per day until sign of irritation is gone. Apply over affected area. You can also use products that have Salicylic acid in it which you can usually find in drugstores in the face wash aisle.

2. Exfoliating using loofah gloves or a sea salt or sugar scrub. Men are the worst at taking care of their skin but skin is skin it sees no gender so you must attend to it or you will experience these problems. You should do this at least 3x per week, this will give you the optimal result with waxing.

3. Moisturize!! When the skin gets dry and flakey it does not allow the hair to properly grow back up through the skin. I don’t promote any certain brand but usually scent free and or plain old coconut oil, it’s scent free, inexpensive and it’s also an anti-inflammatory. You can even use the kind you cook with, just emulsify it in your hand and rub on the area that has been waxed, better yet moisturize your whole body!

4. Last case scenario but works like a charm is AMMONIUM LACTATE 12%. You can only get this by prescription but it’s very inexpensive and the bottle usually lasts 6 months. This cream is odor free and does not stain clothes. It has been used primarily for the red bumps that people get on the back of their arms which is follicle related. Apply once a day to waxed area about 24 hours after your service and use continuously if you have visible problems.

5. Lastly if you have a rash and not any ingrowns then the best thing is Hydra-cortisone, especially if you’re itchy or if you are rashy but it does not itch A&D ointment which you can find with the diaper creams is soothing to use after waxing. Make sure it says ointment and not cream, also I have only use the A&D brand and not one of the many other ones so I can’t speak on those.

Posted: July 3, 2016 By:

Waxing is awesome and worth the discomfort that goes away quickly.

Pros and cons to waxing

Cons: Ingrown hairs can still be a problem. The hair is trying to grow up and out of the follicle but our skin sometimes can grow over and the hair gets stuck. Exfoliating with mits in a circular motion, up towards the heart or using a body scrub made from sea salt or sugar can help remove the dead skin so the hair doesn’t get trapped.

2) Waxing can be uncomfortable, each body part has a different sensation and each person has a different pain threshold (no caffeine within 2 hours prior and taking Tylenol or ibuprofen can help.

3) Redness and even sometimes bleeding can occur. Redness happens mainly on the face and bleeding primarily on very coarse hair and the main areas are back and chest for men, sometimes pubic hair and brows. It’s very miniscule but can freak people out if they aren’t warned. Redness on face can last up to 24 hours in very unusual cases, 1-3 hours is more common.

4) Bruising the only time this can happen is for women when they are near their cycle or pregnant, it’s very rare for this to occur. Also if you have an inexperienced waxer and they pull up towards the ceiling this can cause bruising.

Pros: You only need to wax every 4-6 weeks on average to allow all three stages of hair growth to come back, some people will come in every three because they hate the hair growth and want it gone. Shaving is something people do 1-2 times a day to 3-4 times a week depending on how much hair they have and how fast it grows back. Waxing pulls the hair out at the root (think about it like a weed in a garden) the hair will grow back but it takes a while for the root to grow and then become long enough to be pulled out again.

2) The more you pull it out the less likely it will be to grow back over time, waxing weakens the hair follicle unlike shaving which cuts it at the thickest part of the hair shaft therefore growing back thick and prickly.

3) The hair will grow back thinner and less coarse. Everyone is different and it can depend on your ethnic background on how long it takes for your hair to thin out and soften up. People of Irish, French and German decent as well as Mediterranean blooded people tend to have coarser, darker, thicker hair so blame your genetics for that one.

4) If all the stages of your hair have grown out properly and you have been patient and waited then you will love the feeling of freshly waxed skin. It’s smooth and you feel clean with no razor rash or burns.

So there you have it in a nutshell, waxing is awesome and worth the discomfort that goes away quickly. My suggestion if you are hesitant is to ease into slowly. Starting out with one major body part at a time or a few small ones.

Posted: July 17, 2014 By:

There are quite a few reasons that your skin on different parts of your body can lift or get chafed.

Why did my skin lift?

So there are quite a few reasons that your skin on different parts of your body can lift or get chafed. For women during your menstrual cycle you are more prone to this or while you are pregnant. The skin is a lot more sensitive and this can happen in the bikini region. Diabetics or people taking antibiotics that are oral or topical can experience a severe redness and skin lifting. Antibiotics cause your skin to be very sensitive this is why sun exposure while on them is a bad idea as well. Topical antibiotics which are usually taken for acne or fine lines, wrinkles and rosacea exfoliate the skin. Waxing also lightly exfoliates the skin so between the two of these it’s a 50/50 chance that if you haven’t stopped taking these medications that your skin will lift.

What does it look like? I say it feels like sunburn and then gets a scab on it sort of similar to getting a cat scratch. Usually if you put a first aid ointment on your skin it will heal nicely. Best advice is to be off of any of these medications for 10-14 days. The longer you have been taking them the closer to 2 weeks you need to wait to receive facial waxing services like lip, brow, chin or jawline. Myth; I’ve heard people say “I don’t put the antibiotic cream or ointment on my brows”. Truth: the medicine travels under the skin therefore affecting the whole face. This holds true for the above mentioned services, as for the body and face Acutane, which is an oral medication derived from vitamin A and prescribed by a Doctor is the one drug that will negatively affect any part of the body you wax. Please allow 4-6 months for this drug to leave your system before resuming any waxing.

A few other reasons as to why your skin can lift during a face waxing is the wax is not warm enough and gets gooey and sticks to the skin and does not lift off nice and clean. Most “strip” waxes which are warmed up in a pot and applied to the skin and removed with a strip of pellon fabric should go on thin so that this does not happen. Also wax can be too hot, but usually a client will say something about the temperature so that the esthetician knows it needs to cool down. Lastly if someone is new to waxing and their technique is not good then skin may lift as well. If the esthetician is pulling up towards the ceiling that is a bad technique and can cause bruising or lifting, their pull should be a clean swipe parallel to the skin.

On a side note for men, the skin around the testicles is quite a bit thinner than the rest of the groin area so that can occasionally lift as well. The esthetician should put some oil and then baby powder on that area so that the wax sticks to the hair and not the skin.

Posted: June 5, 2014 By: