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Monday, December 12, 2016

Hair Removal Options: Waxing

Please first read Thoughts about Hair Removal Options for some important preliminary information.

Waxing is a popular hair removal technique. Your success rate with waxing will depend on the wax used (there are hot waxes, cold waxes, and some with special ingredients), the aesthetician providing the service (some people have more skill at waxing than others), and how your skin is attended to after the procedure (after waxing, a cream or salve that helps to soothe the skin should be applied). Hair regrowth is individual, but waxing should keep the hair away anywhere from three to six weeks.

Waxing is one of the least expensive ways to remove hair, but it is not a permanent removal, nor is it without side effects for some people. It is possible to have a reaction to certain ingredients in the wax itself, or the skin may become overly irritated due to the process. Welts can form, sometimes blisters, and although these are rare occurrences, they can happen.

Wax is applied to the area and a cheesecloth or cellophane strip is laid on top of the wax. Pressure is applied, and then in one quick movement, the cloth is ripped off the skin, taking with it a lot of hair pulled out from the root. As you may have guessed, or perhaps you have experienced this yourself, waxing is a painful procedure.

The hair needs to be long enough for the wax to grab hold of it. If you are waxing on an ongoing basis, this is not much of a concern; the hair grows in at different rates instead of all at once, making it less noticeable as you are growing it out. But if you’re waxing for the first time, letting your hair grow out can be tedious.

I am not a fan of waxing. When I was an employee at a spa, I had to wax—or at least so my employer thought. I was so against waxing that I would try to talk a waxing client out of getting the procedure, especially facial waxing, and instead opt for an actual facial that had a host of benefits for their skin. Although facials and hair removal are mutually exclusive, I made the spa more money giving a more expensive service, so if I was ever found out, how could they complain? And I was providing the client with solid information about how to take care of his or her skin, which in my eyes was a much more beneficial thing to do.

Because waxing can be lucrative for an aesthetician (employed or self-employed), this may lead her to encourage waxing even when it is clearly not needed. If you have been a victim of this practice and have only had one or two lip waxes, you’re probably OK. But if you continue to wax, your hair may start to grow in darker—different than it was before. So please, take caution. Don’t just go with the flow and agree to a service you are not sure about getting. And don’t wax your lip simply because you think you should.

What do you think about waxing my entire face? I have a lot of hair and it’s dark—especially on the side of my face to my hairline. I hate it and don’t know what else to do but wax. Is that OK?

Please do not start waxing your entire face! Admittedly, there may be some women who can find no other relief for excessive, dark hair growth on their faces. But for most people, this is not why they wax the face. I have met many clients who are obsessed with every little hair they may see growing out of their skin. I know women who wax their lower arms to get rid of all the hair there—even light-colored hair. This is due to some belief that all hair, other than on the head, is bad. And I don’t want you to get caught up in this and subscribe to the ultimate “solution”—waxing.

Waxing your whole face can bring on a host of problems. Ingrown hair, irritation, small bumps that don’t go away, stubble, obsession with your looks, and financial expenditures.

As with anything I may talk about, there are always exceptions. And with any of my recommendations or suggestions, they are only my opinions and may not fit into your lifestyle or needs. You will be the ultimate decision maker about what you do with your face, your skin, your looks. But waxing—especially your entire face—is something I strongly recommend not doing.

For more information, see:
Please do not start waxing your entire face!