What is Waxing?
Waxing is a hair removal method which is semi-permanent in nature and removes the hair from the root. It will take around two to eight weeks for new hair to grow back; however, in some individuals, there is re-growth in a week. Almost all the areas of the body can be waxed such as eyebrows, face, legs, arms, back, abdomen, bikini area and feet. There are different types of waxing for removing unwanted hair. Waxing should be done by a trained esthetician. There are some areas which require a licensed/trained cosmetologist or esthetician to perform waxing.
Strip waxing is done by spreading a wax combination in a thin layer over the skin. A paper strip or cloth is then applied and pressed on the wax layer, then ripped/jerked off in the opposite direction of hair growth using quick movement. Hair is removed along with the wax. Strip wax can be made at home also using water, lemon juice, honey and sugar.
Hot waxing is done using hot wax. Here the wax is applied in a somewhat thick layer (when compared to strip wax). The wax is then allowed to cool down and it hardens as it cools down and is removed by the therapist without using the cloth or paper strips removing hair along with the wax. People who have sensitive skin are recommended this waxing method.
Types of Waxing
There are different types of waxing for different body parts which include:
- Upper lip
- Full body
- Bikini waxing
Although most of the body parts can be waxed, including nose and ear hair; serious damage can occur if eyelashes and eyelids are waxed and waxing should be strictly avoided for them.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Waxing
Waxing has many benefits when compared to other forms of hair removal. Waxing effectively removes large amounts of hair at a single time and is longer-lasting than others methods of hair removal. In waxing, hair will take around two to eight weeks to grow back; however, in some individuals, there is re-growth in a week. In other hair removal methods, such as shaving or using depilatory cream, the hair is removed at the surface and not at the root (as in waxing). So, the hair grows back within a few days and in rough stubble. Whereas after waxing, the skin feels silky smooth for weeks to come. Another benefit of waxing is repeated waxing over long periods of time makes the hair finer in appearance.
Waxing has its drawbacks also. One of the major drawbacks is pain during the waxing procedure, as the hairs are pulled from their roots. However, the pain is not long-lasting, but it can be quite sharp when the strip is removed, especially in sensitive regions. Another drawback is the cost, as waxing is generally done by a licensed esthetician, the cost can be high.
Do-it-yourself waxing strips are also available, but they can be difficult to use on oneself especially on certain areas of the body. Waxing involves removal of hair against the direction of hair growth, which may disrupt the hair follicles resulting in hair growth in different directions. However, this can be avoided if the waxing is done properly.
Another drawback of waxing which some individuals may experience is red bumps, ingrown hairs and sometimes very minor bleeding. This commonly occurs when waxing is done in areas of thick hair growth. This problem can be avoided by regular exfoliation, application of astringent or baby oil.
For best results, the following things should be kept in mind when waxing:
- There should be a significant hair growth, about 1/4" to 1/8" or 3 weeks of hair growth before waxing.
- Using a loofah helps in exfoliating the skin surface.
- When the wax is applied, it should surround/cover the root of the hair shaft.
- Applying lotion or deodorant before waxing should be avoided.
- People who are taking antibiotics, Retin-A, using oral acne prescription medications, anti-aging products should avoid waxing, as these products may cause rapid exfoliation of the skin resulting in scabbing. Also, a test patch should be done before performing waxing in these individuals.
- There should be a gap of 24 to 48 hours after waxing is done before sun bathing or using tanning beds, as the skin is very sensitive immediately after waxing.
- Last, but not the least, after starting waxing, shaving should be discontinued. If you shave in between waxing, then you won't experience the full benefits of waxing. So, once you have chosen waxing as your hair removal method, stick to it.