Today I thought I would share some of the myths and truths that were often the topic of conversation in my salon. The contents of this post is written based on my training and experience of waxing for many years. Every therapist has their own beliefs and ways of doing things so this is written purely based on my opinions and knowledge.
Myth: Waxing makes the hair grow back thicker and darker
Removing hair with wax cannot change your hair colour and it certainly doesn’t make more hair grow or hair grow back thicker. It lessens the amount of hair that grows (see the following fact). I believe that this myth has become muddled with the myth that shaving makes hair grow back thicker and darker. Shaving can make the hairs appear to grow back thicker and darker due to the hair being bluntly cut with the razor. Think about it – if every hair has a blunt end (rather than a fine point which is how a hair grows naturally), then the end of each hair will have a blunt circle of colour, therefore making each one appear thicker and darker. Imagine all the bald men that wish they had hair. If waxing made hair grow back thicker then they would probably all be waxing their heads!
Truth: Waxing lessens the amount of hair that grows
Waxing removes the hair from the root and the more it’s done, the less chance the hair follicle has of developing a strong hair. Regrowth becomes softer, finer and as time goes on will become sparser. When a hair follicle is removed or sometimes damaged the hair can’t grow back, and the more you wax hair, the more chance you have of this happening. That’s why people that have regular waxing start to notice their hair growing less over time. This is very common in eyebrow hair. I think we all know people that have over-plucked their eyebrows in the past, to find that the hairs have never grown back. I’ve come across this so many times in my salons. (In case you are wondering – plucking has the same effect on hair as waxing, only waxing takes hair off in bulk).
Myth: It’s normal for the wax to feel burning hot
My goodness, no! The wax needs to be fairly hot so that it can can be applied nice and thinly and achieve the desired result but it should not burn. Your therapist should always test the wax on their wrist before applying it to your skin, however, body temperature and tolerance levels vary from person to person so it’s important that you tell them straight away if the wax is too hot. I had a couple of clients that couldn’t take the wax very hot at all and I would always put a reminder next to their appointment so I would remember to turn my wax down ready for them.
Truth: Your skin might be red after waxing
It’s perfectly normal for the skin to turn red and sometimes swell a little after waxing. Again, how much and how long it lasts varies from person to person. Some people don’t experience either. Lucky devils.
Myth: Waxing is always painful
There are some people out there who don’t find waxing painful at all. Trust me on this one, I have had clients who don’t bat an eyelid, and have told me they find it painless. How painful a wax is depends on so many factors I couldn’t write them all in one post, but some include the persons pain threshold, how thick the hair is, how much hair there is, menstrual cycle and medication. Also the skill of the therapist plays a massive part. I was lucky enough to be taught a unique way of waxing by my first employer, which we believe makes a significant difference.
Truth: You shouldn’t sunbathe or use a tanning bed after waxing
Your skin will be extra sensitive after a waxing and will have a higher risk of burning, therefore it’s best to avoid these for 24-48 hours after waxing, if not longer. I must admit, I’m not a great fan of sunbeds anyway because of the risks of using them. I’ve never been on one, and never will.
Myth: Your hairs need to be really long to be waxed
For me, if the wax can grab it, then I’ll wax it, however I think every case is different. As a rule the hairs need to be around 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch for the best results. As a therapist I would always consider the clients circumstances e.g. if a client had a special occasion and desperately wanted a lip wax, but some hairs were a little short, I would still give them their wax after explaining the consequences.
Fact: A waxing therapist cuts hairs before waxing
Hairs are often cut with scissors before a wax because they are long and will be painful to wax. This is very common with bikini waxing.
Myth: Waxing always gives perfect results
Hair grows in stages and is never at the same stage so it sometimes takes up to 3 waxing treatments to get a good result. It’s normal to find that hairs have come through earlier than expected with the first few waxes.
Truth: Ingrowth hairs can occur after waxing
Sometimes ingrown hairs occur after waxing because the skin thickens over the area where the hair was removed. To prevent ingrown hairs exfoliate with a gentle scrub a few days after waxing, and continue to do this once or twice a week. Also avoid touching the waxed area, excessive heat (such as very hot showers, saunas and hot tubs), exercise (this can cause sweating and chaffing), perfumed products, deodorant (I know this is a tricky one! Weigh it all up) and tight clothing that is irritating your skin for 24-48 hours after waxing.
Myth: You have to be naked to have a bikini wax
I guess it depends on where you go, but I have done the skimpiest of Brazillian waxes all with the clients knickers still left on. Sometimes there was a bit of blurring between a Hollywood and a Brazillian at my salon, but I was very accommodating like that!
Fact: It’s better not to apply moisturiser before waxing
It’s best not to apply any products before having a wax as they can create a barrier resulting in the wax not being able to stick to the skin. If you’re going to a professional they will apply a pre-wax lotion and talcum powder before they give you your wax (or whatever pre wax product they use).
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