November 3, 2007 12:16 PM   Subscribe

How bad does it hurt to get your legs waxed?

On a scale of one to ten, eyebrow waxing (to me) ranks about a 3. Upper lip, about a 6. Where on this scale would you put leg waxing? I've always wanted to try it and find myself in a good "growth" position to give it a whirl but I'm a little chicken. FWIW, I have very little hair on my legs and it is very fine, but there's enough to want to get it off. Also, anything you would suggest to prep before the appointment? Lotion, exfoliation, etc? Thanks smooth mefites!!
posted by pearlybob to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can get ouchies a little around the ankles, the bikini line is the worst bit though if you are going for the full leg.

Legs hurt less than upper lip which can sting quite a bit.
posted by gomichild at 12:28 PM on November 3, 2007

The face hurts way worse than the legs, in my opinion. If you can handle eyebrow and lip, you'll be fine.
posted by jrossi4r at 12:40 PM on November 3, 2007

I second that eyebrow is worse than leg. I actually think hot lex waxes feel kind of good. Painful the way getting a really thorough back scratch kinda hurts too.

posted by np312 at 12:43 PM on November 3, 2007

Am I the only one that thinks that leg waxing hurts like a quonsar? It hurts. It hurts bad.
posted by ourobouros at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2007 [7 favorites]

I'm going to be the voice of dissent here and say that getting my legs waxed was a far more painful experience than the eyebrows. Yes, one "incident" of facial hair-rippage is more painful, but consider that you have many, many more of those "incidents" on your legs. If the hair could all be ripped off in one stroke, I'd say they would be about even. But since you have much, much more to endure with leg waxing, I'd put it at least at 8. The bikini line for me was a 10.

I also had such an endorphin overload that I felt sick to my stomach that day and most of the next. I can't remember what I ate, but I'd recommend against doing it on an empty (or very full) stomach.
posted by desjardins at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2007

Best answer: Few and finer hair are easier, but the very first time? Maybe 8, simply because of the size of the area being done at one time is so large that the number of hairs being yanked at once can really add up to a shocking blast of sting. I find that certain areas on my legs are much more painful than others--closer to my ankles and the inside of my shins really hurts, front of my legs, and higher up is much less painful. The woman I've been to does the most sensitive parts first to get them over with, so the later stuff seems almost painless. Get a recommendation on a good person--their manner and skill make a difference. Try to be relaxed--a glass of wine might help. Your legs, and the room should be warm. It also gets MUCH easier the more you do it, and if you want some perspective get a Brazil wax. After that an eyebrow wax seemed like a kiss on my brow from a magical angel.
posted by tula at 1:06 PM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

What gomichild said. It's a little ouchy around the ankles, and again up at the bikini line if you go that far. Otherwise not a big deal, in the land of waxing. Upper lip hurts more, in my experience.

Whatever you do, take ibuprofen 45 minutes beforehand. It makes a difference.
posted by ambrosia at 1:13 PM on November 3, 2007

I tried leg waxing exactly once. It hurt like nothing else.

(Granted, it was two days pre-period - bad idea.)

Went out for my birthday with red, irritated, and sore legs that didn't heal up right for a week at least.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:13 PM on November 3, 2007

I once tried waxing a small strip of leg hair with Nads and it wasn't bad at all. Really. A professional waxer on the radio said she rubs the skin with baby powder before waxing to keep the wax from sticking to the skin and making it raw post-rippage.
posted by HotPatatta at 1:15 PM on November 3, 2007

depends on the waxer. Make sure you go to a specialist salon and NOT some hairdresser who does this on the side.
seconding the Brufen 45-mins - 1hr beforehand.
It will also depend on how dark/strong your growth is, and what your normal pain threshold is.
and finally although there is ZERO evidence for this, like most women I am more sensitive around my period.

It's like several sticking plasters being ripped off but as the area is larger it doesn't hurt as much, although I know that doesn't seem to make sense??

I almost fall asleep now but I've been doing it for years and I have a great waxer.
posted by Wilder at 1:39 PM on November 3, 2007

If eyebrow is a 3 and upper lip a 6 (out of 10), then leg waxing will probably rate of 1.

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! That, and relax. I haven't tried this empirically but I've found that it hurts (even less) when the operating room is warm.

For me, the hot wax hurts more than the depilation.
posted by porpoise at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2007

The shins hurt me, but the rest doesn't. I would say a 3-4. It hurt more the first time (6-7), just because it was surprising I think. Bikini line is really bad the first time. I kept thinking "I COULD STOP THIS RIGHT NOW WHY AM I NOT STOPPING IT". But eh. It's fun. See if you can find someone who uses one of the roll-on wax devices. I find that this makes the whole thing go really fast, so that it doesn't matter as much.
posted by unknowncommand at 2:21 PM on November 3, 2007

You should try it out and let us know where it actually is on your scale...
posted by unknowncommand at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2007

Legs hurt less than eyebrows, for me at least. It also hurts a lot less than shaving (what with the annoyance and the accidental cutting of skin and so on).
posted by gingerbeer at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2007

Best answer: First couple of times there was a definite yeowch! especially on the shin/ankle. Subsequent leg waxes I found not unpleasant -- I agree with np312's "pain of good back scratch" comment. A little more ouchy on the ankles, but not bad.

DO NOT go right before or during your period. I thought I was all used to it and tough, and found that the yeowch!! was much worse than even my first time.

I find legs less annoying than eyebrow, though, because I spend most of an eyebrow waxing fighting involuntary eye-twitching. With legs, at least I can lie back and breathe without someone an inch from my eyeballs.

The redness also faded more quickly on subsequent visits. Massaging your legs helps.

If you don't exfoliate regularly, your legs will itch like mofo in about a week.

I'm also fair/lightly-haired, for reference.
posted by desuetude at 3:25 PM on November 3, 2007

By the way, you're completely wasting your time and money if you don't let it grow out the recommended length (12 weeks IIRC). I thought I could get by with half that time, and my legs were NOT smooth as I'd hoped.
posted by desjardins at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2007

I would liken it to a slap. It hurts for a few quick moments, then turns to a dull sting. Ten minutes after all is said and done, I won't feel much of anything. YMMV

You'll be red, so get it done about 24hrs before you plan to show off.
posted by wg at 3:46 PM on November 3, 2007

re: more pain experienced around your period. my aesthetician says it has something to do with water retention. so aim for the middle of your cycle.
my level pain is about a 6, more so around my knees. YMMV and good luck!
posted by killy willy at 5:15 PM on November 3, 2007

Best answer: "That is not a five!"

The whole video (and, hell, videoblog) is funny, but the relevant part is at around 3:06.
posted by danb at 10:36 PM on November 3, 2007

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