If you wax unwanted hairs frequently, will they eventually stop growing back? This seems to be a popular question these days — and for good reason. Hair removal solutions like waxing require repeated use of at-home kits or regular trips to the salon because, well, hair does grow back after a few days. It can get tedious, and it's not uncommon to skip a few sessions because of one's busy schedule. When does it end, right?
To answer the question in the title, it depends on the person. There are people who are not genetically predisposed to thick and fast hair growth and will not see regrowth until after a couple of weeks or so. Meanwhile, there are others who have hyperactive follicles that might see new hair resurfacing after only after a few days to a week.
To better understand if frequent waxing can eventually slow down hair regrowth, we have to understandhow waxing works, what it does to hair follicles, and how regular waxing is connected to how your own skin responds. Let's dive in.
Hair removal through waxing: how it's done
Waxing removes hair from the roots. That's why it normally takes longer for hair to grow back compared to shaving, which only cuts the hair from the surface. By taking the hair out from the follicle, the base progressively weakens. This is why the new hair that surfaces is finer.
Perhaps one downside to choosing the waxing route for your unwanted hair is that you have to wait until they are long enough to start waxing again. Why? You need to achieve a certain hair length for the wax to stick to. If it's too short, chances are, the wax won't be able to catch the unwanted facial hair or body hair, and it will take longer for the process to complete.
How long does waxing last before hair grows back?
This procedure is not a permanent hair removal solution, but it can take days to a few weeks before the hairs grow back again. The length of time varies, and the hair that comes back tends to be finer and less noticeable.
Risks of waxing too much
As with any cosmetic procedure, waxing is not without its share of risks. Because it rips hairs out by the roots, not only is the process painful, but could also leave tiny wounds under the surface.
According to New York-based dermatologist Jessica Krant, in an article about the dangers of bikini waxing, the process hurts simply because hairs are firmly attached to their roots and are, technically, a part of the body. When we remove the hair, we force the strands to detach, leaving wounded follicles exposed to infection. By doing it too often, the risks are higher.
Many at-home waxing kits promise an easy fix to hair removal, but what is commonly overlooked is the situation after. In a salon or a clinical setting, the therapist will presumably apply an antiseptic or prescription creams after the procedure to minimise infection and related risks. In an at-home setting, however, users tend to skip the healing part, thinking that the process ends after the hairs are pulled out.
Dermatologists recommend doing these three things after a waxing session.
- Apply cold compress or ice to the treatment area to help reduce the discomfort.
- Stay away from hot baths or showers.
- Wear loose clothing, as friction can cause irritation and exacerbate post-wax pain.
If you find that even after multiple sessions, you still feel uncomfortable, perhaps it's best to talk to your clinician about other alternativehair removal treatments that do not require pulling hairs from their roots.
Waxing dont's to watch out for
Here are some tips on what to avoid if you opt for waxing:
During the first 24 Hours
- Avoid hot showers and steam baths.
- Avoid sunbathing, direct sunlight, and even artificial tanning.
- Don't wear tight clothing; waxed skin needs air to breathe and recover.
- Avoid using perfumed and oil-based products in and around the area.
- Don't touch the waxed areas, as exposed follicles are susceptible to infection.
- Avoid products that contain AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) as they might irritate your exposed follicles.
After 24 Hours
- Use a gentle scrub on the area after three days
- Do not schedule a waxing session before your period, as your skin might be extra sensitive at this time. If you can, avoid scheduling in the week before your period is due. Some people find that they are extra sensitive at this time.
- Use a good sunscreen and protect your skin from direct sun exposure.
- Don't shave between waxing sessions because this could interfere with your hair growth cycle. By shaving and then extending times between waves, your growth cycles get out of sync with your previous waves, so the treatment might not last as long as the next time.
Does hair growth truly slow down with frequent waxing?
There are various factors that can affect new hair growth, and it's not just attributable to whether you wax too often or not. Hormones, your DNA, and your diet can play a major role in your hair's growth cycle. That is, an imbalance of hormones could negatively affect the texture and speed by which your hair will grow back.
It is also believed that frequent waxing can eventually slow down the growth of hair and make the new ones thinner and less visible, although this is based mostly on personal observations than on actual clinical studies.
So, can waxing really lead to permanent hair removal?
It might, but permanent hair removal can be a combination of different factors. Having multiple waxing sessions is not a definitive determining factor if you are looking to remove hair permanently, as the results can vary from person to person. There are other hair removal techniques that can stunt the growth of hair permanently, like laser hair removal therapy, so you might not want to rely solely on waxing if this is your goal.Whatever the case may be, it's best to discuss permanent hair removal options with your beauty therapist or dermatologist to find out which will work optimally for you. Our clinicians atLovoir Skin Body and Beauty have the training and expertise to provide advice on ways to guarantee permanent hair removal the safe way. If you are looking to stop hair growth or want to explore your options, book a consultation with us today.