How much accumulated time have you spent dealing with body hair maintenance? It can be exhausting to think about. And if you’re tired of using a razor, then the idea of going to a professional waxing salon can get pretty tempting. But whether you’re getting your legs or more intimate areas waxed, it may be nerve-wracking to trust a stranger with these vulnerable areas. Thankfully, there are a few things to know before getting waxed that will make your experience less painful and awkward. In no time you’ll be an old pro at this.

What are the benefits of waxing over shaving, anyway? According to the Cleveland Clinic, waxing lasts longer and may result in sparser hair growth over time. If you get away from razors, it may also save you a little time in the shower each morning.

Although loads of people get waxed every day, it’s totally normal to feel a bit apprehensive about going under the strip for the first time. After all, the procedure is more intimate than the average haircut. But as long as you make sure your skin is primed for wax, and you visit a reputable salon, chances are you will have a fine experience. Who knows? You just might throw away your razor for good.

1. Grow Out Your Hair A Bit


If you shave right before the appointment, the wax won't adhere to anything. According to Good Housekeeping, your hair should be at least a quarter inch long before waxing. And you don't have to worry about it being too long; your waxer can always trim back the hair before waxing.

2. Skip It If You Take Accutane


If you take accutane or any other form of Iisotretinoin for severe acne, then any kind of waxing is off the table. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, waxing while taking isotretinoin may lead to permanent scars on your skin. Even getting your brows done is probably not the best idea.

3. Consider Soothing Serum


If you're concerned about soreness after the fact, talk to your waxer about soothing serum. As explained on Cosmopolitan, using a post-wax serum may help speed up the recovery process and possibly prevent ingrown hairs. It's an easy way to keep things smooth.

4. It Improves Over Time


For bikini waxes in particular, that first go can be a doozy. But according to the Huffington Post, over time the hair that grows back will be finer and softer. In no time you'll be a pro at this.

5. Take A Pain Reliever Beforehand


Taking your favorite pain reliever before your appointment may be a good call. According to Well and Good, this will help prevent post-wax inflammation. Anything to take the edge off, right?

6. Don't Exfoliate Beforehand


It may be tempting to exfoliate beforehand to keep things extra-smooth once the waxing is done. But as explained in Women's Health, exfoliating products may make your skin extra-sensitive. Save the scrub for a few days later.

7. Prepare For Recovery Time


It might not be a great idea to get a wax the same morning you head off to a beach vacation. According to Stylecaster, it's smart to schedule your waxing service two or three days before any special event. This gives everything time to calm down and heal.

8. The Pain Is Quick


Waxing does hurt. According to Cosmopolitan, you might flinch or gasp when certain strips are removed, but it's over in a second or two. By the time your brain registers any pain, it's already over.

9. Check Out The Salon


You want to get waxed in a space that's clean and tidy. “If your esthetician isn’t concerned enough about her own cleanliness and safety, she’s definitely not concerned about yours,” said Melanie Gilliland, European Waxing Center’s education director, in Refinery 29. If everything is neat and orderly, chances are you will have a safe and sanitary waxing experience.