So you have plucked up the courage to go for a wax, yay! (you will not look back). Or maybe you are still yet to be convinced, here is everything you need to know about waxing.
How long does you hair have to be?
Your hair needs to be a minimum of 0.5cm- its not a problem if it’s longer (if it’s too long your therapist will trim it)- it’s better for them to be longer rather than shorter, if they are too short they just won’t come out.
How long will it last?
This depends on how fast your hair growth is but on average hair will be ready to be waxed again in 4-6 weeks (so in 4-6 weeks it will have re grown to at least 0.5cm) however this could be anything between 2 and 12 weeks depending on your hair cycles.
Does waxing encourage hair growth or reduce it?
Each time you wax you cause a small amount of damage to the hair follicle so over time the hair follicles weaken- this means that if you wax regularly for a period of time you will find your hair growth can reduce, it might become finer and patchier (it won’t stop it altogether)- this is true for terminal hair (mostly hair on the body and eyebrows). Vellous hair (usually on the face- lip, chin, cheeks etc) is generally controlled more by your hormones and therefore is unlikely to weaken- there is a small chance that doing anything to encourage blood supply to your hair follicles (ie. touching you face lots, playing with the hair and ‘massaging the hair follicle’ which waxing or shaving could be considered doing) could actually encourage the hairs to grow however the risk of this from a monthly wax is extremely minimal.
Ingrown Hairs The best thing you can do for ingrown hairs is exfoliate your skin! Exfoliate on dry or slightly damp skin (this is more effective then on wet skin) and make sure the scrub you are using has course grains. Do this once or twice a week. You can also get lotions to treat ingrown hairs.
Bikini waxes-under wear or no underwear?
Your therapist should explain to you how they want you to get ready for your wax but as a general rule if you are having a standard bikini wax keep your underwear on, if you are going for a Brazilian or Hollywood then take you underwear off or use the paper underwear if it is provided (your therapist may not provide you with paper underwear for a Brazilian or Hollywood as generally it will get in the way or be moved anyway! But if you are not comfortable with not wearing any underwear at all just let your therapist know).
And what are all these different names for bikini waxes anyway!
- Standard- up to where your swimming costume would go so generally just from the crease of your inner thigh and down an inch or two.
- Extended bikini/ Cuban/ high cut- A ‘G string’ Line- so slightly further in than a standard bikini wax.
- Brazilan- Leaving a ‘landing strip’ at the top so removing all hair from the sides and underneath.
- Hollywood- Removing all hair including underneath.
Waxing vs Shaving
- Waxing pulls the hair out from the root- this means a new hair has to form and grow up from the follicle and out of the skin before the hair is visible again, averagely this takes around 4- 6 weeks although his does depend on you hair growth cycles and could be anywhere between 2 and 12 weeks. As its a brand new hair growing through, the finest part of the hair grows through first (hairs are tapered in shape) this means your regrowth is softer. Shaving effectively ‘cuts’ the hair at the point which it is growing through the skin, this means that hair will continue to grow through so generally a hair will come back through after 1 day or a couple of days. As you have cut the hair at its thickest part its that thick part that then grows back through so shaving makes hair growth appear thicker when it first grows through (it doesn’t necessarily actually make the hair thicker it just appears that way at first). So waxing is longer lasting and keeps the re growth fine.
- Waxing requires you to grow your hairs where as shaving doesn’t.
- Shaving is quick and easy to do at home but you have to do it really really regularly! Waxing requires more effort but the results are much longer!
- Ingrown hairs- for some people their ingrown hairs improve when they switch to waxing for others they are better when they shave- this is personal to everyone.
- With shaving your hair grows back the same, with waxing your hair follicles can weaken over time meaning your hair growth can reduce.
- Waxing causes much less irritation to the skin.
- Shaving is pain free (unless you nick yourself or suffer with razor burn or shaving rash!)
Waxing do’s and don’t
Do exfoliate your skin the night before a wax (this removes dead skin which generally helps the hairs to come out better, it will also prevent ingrown hairs)
Don’t moisturise the skin on the day of your appointment (this creates a barrier to the wax so it won’t be able to grip the hair properly).
Don’t worry or be embarrassed about going for a wax- your therapist will have waxed hundreds or thousands of people- its no big deal to them at all so it doesn’t need to be for you either.
Do follow your waxing aftercare-
- Your skin may be red or have raised bumps for up to 48 hours after your treatment.
- Do not have a hot bath or shower for 48 hours (using cool or luke warm water is fine)
- No steam or sauna or sunbeds for 48 hours.
- Avoid activity that may cause sweating for 48 hours.
- Avoid swimming for 48 hours.
- Do not apply perfume creams or lotions for 48 hours.
- For face waxing avoid make up for 48 hours.
- For underarm waxing avoid deodorant for 48 hours.
- If there is strong sunlight keep areas that have been waxed covered and in the shade.
- Avoid shaving between treatments.
And that’s everything you need to know! If you have any questions pop them in the comments below.