Waxing 101: Expert Tips on How to Get Super Smooth Legs, Just in Time for Summer

leg waxing tips
Photography by Peter Stigter

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Some of the best beauty ideas out there are the ones that have been around forever, but you just haven’t tried yet. While I’ve experimented with waxing just about every body part possible, it wasn’t until a friend started raving about her monthly leg waxes that I decided to give it a go. Five sessions later and my skin has never felt smoother. (Also, you know those hard-to-shave spots, like knees and the back of your thighs? You better believe wax can take care of that.)

With summer just around the corner, now’s definitely the time to embrace leg waxing. To make sure you get the most out of your session, I sat down with Florence Gaven, co-owner of Toronto’s Fuzz Wax Bar, to find out her top leg waxing tips.

Let it grow.
This is why it’s best to get your first leg wax when it’s still cool enough to wear pants: you need about a week-and-a-half to two weeks of hair growth. Of course, “it depends how fast your hair grows, but we usually recommend a quarter of an inch [of hair],” says Gaven. So, embrace the fuzz and be like Frozen: let it grow. On the plus side, consider this the last time you’ll ever have uncomfortable stubble, because anything that grows post-wax will be soft, fresh new hair.

Exfoliation is key.
In the days before your appointment, prep your legs by exfoliating. Dry brushing before you shower is best, as it really sloughs off skin, but an in-shower scrub can also do the trick. “When you come in to get waxed, if you have exfoliated properly all the hair will come out,” explains Gaven. “If you do not [exfoliate properly] you will see some of the hair grow again in two weeks.” Don’t forget to exfoliate post-wax too: use both a dry brush and in-shower scrub for at least 10 days after. (And just fyi, your in-shower loofah is too gentle to be considered proper exfoliation—it’s just a good way to get a lather.)

Moisturize!
Hydration is a must before and after you wax. Many scrubs contain moisturizing ingredients, such as the one Fuzz Wax Bar developed with Consonant Body that uses salt and sugar grains in a glycerine base. “It’s very, very moisturizing but not oily,” says Gaven. But keep your legs happy by applying lotion as soon as you’re out of the shower—and off the waxing table. (Most aestheticians will do that post-wax part for you.)

Don’t shave. Just don’t.
Real talk: the hardest part about becoming a leg waxing convert is dealing with hair growth between waxes. You may be tempted to shave, but the longer you stick with waxing, the better it gets. “Really, if you do it once a month and never shave in between, your hair will start growing way finer and way slower,” says Gaven. “We see a lot of people who [now] have to come every six weeks because it’s worked so well.” Plus, once you’re on board with the whole “set it and forget it” mentality of leg waxing, the idea of returning to every-second-day shaving will seem incredibly unappealing.