Tired of Shaving? Here's Everything You Should Know About Waxing Your Legs

If you're tired of shaving and thinking about giving leg waxing a try, there are a few things you should know before you dive in. The idea of waxing is appealing for many reasons — it lasts longer than shaving, helps you avoid razor bumps, and even thins out hair regrowth over time. But before you go booking your appointment, whether you've never waxed before or you just haven't done it on your legs, you'll want to be prepared. Ahead, Gina Petak, European Wax Center's education manager, told us everything you should know before your first leg-waxing appointment. We'll let you know how long leg waxing lasts, how long hair should be to wax, how long leg waxing takes, and what the aftercare looks like. Keep scrolling to read all of our tips.

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How Long Should Hair Be to Wax?

No matter what area of the body you're getting waxed, the first step in preparing for your appointment is growing out your hair. It may seem counterintuitive to let your hair get longer just when you're thinking of getting rid of it, but the hair has to be a certain length for the wax to grab.

"We recommend hair be at least 1/4-inch long (about the size of a sprinkle), so it's a good idea to stop shaving at least five days prior to your reservation," said Petak. "If you are going to exfoliate your skin, use a film-free (meaning it rinses off clean and doesn't leave skin coated in oil) exfoliant 24 to 48 hours before your wax."

How Long Does a Leg-Waxing Session Take?

You have options when it comes to how much of your legs you want to wax. You can just do your upper legs (your thighs), your lower legs, or the full leg. Each one has a different price associated with it. For a full-leg service, prepare to sit for 30 minutes.

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Is There an Aftercare Routine You Should Follow?

Immediately after leg waxing, you will find that they look a little red and spotty — this is totally normal and should go away within the day. After your service, there are two main things you should worry about: exfoliating and moisturizing. "Dead skin tends to accumulate faster on your legs, especially in drier weather, so it's important to exfoliate away dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs from forming," said Petak.

How Far Apart Is Each Leg-Waxing Session?

Waxing sessions are spread out to allow your hair to regrow. It varies by person, but appointments are usually three to four weeks apart. During this time, you should allow your hair to grow to the 1/4-inch length.

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How Long Does Leg Waxing Last?

Because waxing removes the hair at the root, you will see longer results than with shaving. It depends on the person, but it can last about a week after your first session.

For many, the whole point of waxing is to thin out your hair over time. "You are going to notice visible results immediately; the hair will grow in thinner and softer," Petak said. "However, since there are many hair follicles on your legs, it may take waxing a few sessions for a super-smooth result." The more routinely you wax, the better results you'll see.

When Is the Best Time to Get Your Legs Waxed?

Many of us start to think about hair removal in the late spring, but, much like laser hair removal, you should start in the winter or early spring months. "Leg services are very popular year-round," said Petak, but the earlier the better, "so when summer comes, you are ready for shorts every day without the hassle of shaving."

Just keep in mind the required hair length for waxing — you may find it less than ideal to have to let your hair grow out in the middle of beach season.

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What Are Your Options If You Have Low Pain Tolerance?

"Waxing can be uncomfortable, especially for those with low pain tolerance," said Petak. "However, since waxing removes the hair from the root, it makes it grow in softer and finer, resulting in each wax becoming less painful and more comfortable." Everyone is different, but waxing your legs is by no means unbearable. Think of it this way: once you make it through your first appointment, it only gets easier.

"Additionally, a high-quality wax can help make the experience more comfortable," Petak said. Talk to your salon before your appointment if you want to know what type of wax they use and discuss your options.