Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Waxing & Hair Removal

Leg WaxingEvery spring I get over run with waxing services.  I meet people all the time who have numerous questions about waxing.  If you are currently waxing you probably already know most of what I plan to share here but if you ever have a friend who is just asking too many questions, you can forward this to her/him to answer all the questions they have and some they have not even thought of.  I have been waxing for 23 years and I have waxed every part of the body on both men and women.  When asked what areas I can wax I respond with, “If it is skin and it has hair on it, then I can wax it”.

Over the next few weeks I will share more detailed information about specific waxing areas,  bikini waxing, including Brazilian, choosing laser hair removal or waxing and about the different types of wax that are used as well as how and why they are used.

Will I have ingrown hairs? I get ingrown hairs after shaving and by the time they heal it is time to shave again.

Typically you will see fewer to none ingrown hairs when waxing verses shaving.  If you do experience an ingrown hair, here are some suggestions on treating them;

  1. Don’t wear extra tight clothing in the treated area for a few days after waxing. Yoga pants and tight fitting denim rub the skin and cause the hair follicle to get inflamed and creates ingrown hair.
  2. If you work out a lot or are very active and athletic, you need to keep the waxed area cleaned after getting sweaty.  If you can’t get to a shower right away, carry some antibacterial facial wipes or facial cleansing cloths to clean the area after your workout.
  3. You can also use an acne spot treatment on the area as a preventive treatment and to help clear up ingrown hairs.
  4. Body exfoliating scrubs will help to reduce ingrown hairs in any area on the body that is to be waxed or has been waxed.  Any kind of scrub will work, such as a salt scrub, sugar scrub, bamboo scrub or any other scrub you have for the face & body.

How long do I have to wait after shaving before I can wax?

The hair needs to be at least ¼ inch long.  It works easier if the hair is closer to ½ inch.  This means you will want to stop shaving a week to 10 days before your waxing appointment.  The longer the hair is the easier the wax can grab the hair.  If it is too short then I will have to wax the area several times and depending on the type of wax used the rule is that you shouldn’t wax any area more than twice. That leaves tweezing to remove the remaining hairs.

Should I trim the hair before I come in for my waxing appointment?

This depends on the technician.  I prefer that you do not other technicians will ask that you do.  If you do trim, be sure to leave the hair long enough for the wax to grab it, ¼ to ½ inch long.

Will it make the hair grown back thicker and darker?

No.  Hair growth is regulated by our hormones.  Waxing or shaving will not cause the soft fuzzy (vellus) to spontaneously change into coarse dark (terminal) hair.  Hormone changes throughout our lives is what causes us to develop pubic and under arm hair and later to grow unwanted hair on our chins & upper lips (ladies) and on our ears, eyebrow & noses (gentlemen).

Will I have to always wax or will the hair eventually stop coming back?

Over time you will notice the hair comes back finer and thinner but never go away completely.  This is good when waxing sensitive areas such as underarms or bikinis.  However, if you decide to stop waxing it will eventually come back just as it was before you started waxing.

How long do I wait between waxing?

So that the hair is long enough again to wax you should wait between 4 and 6 weeks.  It is okay to shave in between but be sure you don’t shave for 10 days prior to you next appointment.

What can I use on my skin before and after waxing?

If you use any topical prescription treatments, resurfacing creams, Retin-A, retinol or Vitamin A products, you need to discontinue use for 3 days prior to your appointment.  Don’t have a spray tan done until after waxing because the wax will remove your tan from the area.  You can use a scrub before waxing just do not overdo it and make the skin sensitive and raw.  After waxing you can begin using an acne spot treatment for ingrown hair prevention.  If you develop itching or folliculitis, use a cortisone cream and cool compresses to calm the skin down.

Will I bleed or will the skin tear?

It is normal to see small dots of blood scattered throughout the treated area but not torn skin.  The small dots of blood are where the hair was detached from the blood supply and will take the longest to regrow a hair in that particular follicle.  Discontinuing topical treatment creams for a few days prior to waxing will protect you from torn skin.

Why do I get red bumps after waxing and how long will they last?

That is called follicular edema, or swelling of the hair follicle. This is normal but not always present.  It is a good sign that the hair was completely removed. I use a gentle cleanser and calming gel after waxing to soothe area and reduce swelling and redness.

If there are any questions I missed here or if there are any that may relate to other waxing topics, please post a comment and I will address them in my future posts.

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