Waxing does make hair thinner! The simple reason is waxing pulls the hair from the roots and damages the hair bulb. Because of the damage, the hair regrowth takes time and the new hair can be thinner and finer. Waxing also pulls off the hair in its anagen phase, which is a growth phase and 90% of your body hair are in this phase at a given time. Since waxing pulls hair repeatedly during the hair growth stage, the new hair regeneration takes time and it might come out thinner. Shaving, on the other hand, only cuts the hair and doesn’t have anything to do with the hair bulb. This makes the hair grow back quicker and sometimes, thicker.
As it turns out, shaving makes your hair grow thicker and waxing makes hair grow thinner isn’t a myth after all. There’s hard science to it. You’d have experienced the differences between waxing and shaving. A research study also proved that those who waxed before their laser treatment had a better cosmetic outcome than those who shaved.
Things You Should Know About Waxing!
#1 Waxing Creates Small Wounds
Waxing is a painful process because it rips the hair from the roots. This means that waxing makes hair grow thinner and hair growth takes time because you actually damage the hair bulb and recovery takes a lot of time. However, this ripping off from the roots can actually create small wounds in the skin and this is what causes red skin after waxing. These small wounds heal on their own after a while and are not that much of a concern. However, they can take a few hours to heal if you have sensitive skin. Over time, the consistent damage to the hair bulb causes the hair to become thinner and finer in texture.
#2 Waxing Makes Hair Grow Slower
As mentioned above, waxing rips the hair from the hair bulb and damages the hair in its growth phase, also known as the anagen phase. When hair is taken away from the roots, the damage takes time to recover and thus, the hair growth becomes slower and slower over time if you continue waxing in regular phases of time.
#3 You Can Be Left With Red, Irritated Skin
Hairs are a natural part of the body. Removing them – via waxing or shaving – will leave your skin irritated. In waxing though, hair is pulled off from the roots and this can leave your skin more irritated than shaving where you just cut the hair closely from the base. Make sure you wear loose clothing after getting waxed and stay away from the Sun. The redness will subside within a few hours and it’s completely normal. Also avoid any hot baths, harsh soaps, or exfoliants during this time.
#4 Extra Care Is A Must!
Your skin will need some extra TLC after waxing. Waxing causes the pores to open and thus leaves the skin more vulnerable than usual. We’d say start by applying a good after-wax lotion. If you’re in a good parlor, they will apply a good lotion or moisturizer after cleansing the wax. Wear loose clothing, don’t step out in the Sun, and avoid scratching the waxed skin. For the next 2 or 3 days, just rinse your body with a mild cleanser and apply a good moisturizer afterward.
7 Waxing Myths
#1 Your hair has to be long to wax (False)
You don’t have to grow a bush before visiting for your waxing appointment. The hair shouldn’t be very tiny either. Somewhere around 0.5 to 1.5 cm is enough for the wax to pull out your hair. The reason why many technicians recommend growing out your hair a bit before booking a waxing appointment is so the wax strip is able to grab onto the hair and pull it off. This prevents the problem of ingrown hair and gives you even hair growth.
#2 Waxing makes hair grow thinner (True)
Waxing makes hair grow thinner because it pulls the hair from the roots and damages the hair bulb. This damage can reduce the thickness of hair in some people. When the hair is damaged regularly, which means you have regular waxing appointments between 4 to 8 weeks, then you will notice the hair becomes thin over time as well. This can be a holy grail for women who have thicker hair growth than usual.
#3 Waxing will make skin wrinkly and saggy (False)
Waxing does make your skin bumpy, red, and irritated, but it can in no way harm the skin. These are just small wounds that disappear on their own. Waxing just pulls the hair out of the skin, and it’s essentially ranked better than many other hair removal methods. It acts as an exfoliant as it removes the top layer of the skin and it can also remove some tan to expose the lighter, beautiful skin beyond the dead skin layer.
Another notion is that waxing makes skin wrinkly. It feels like any action of pulling away skin with such force can damage and it’s a plausible concern. But rest assured, if you’re in the hands of a good expert, they will hold the skin taut and press it afterward to make sure there’s no movement of skin at all to cause any wrinkling or sagginess.
#4 Waxing makes hair growth slower (True)
Waxing makes hair grow thinner and also slower. Since waxing pulls the hair out from the roots, it takes time for new hair to form and grow. You will notice a much slower hair growth rate after waxing than shaving, where you will start to feel the stubble within a few days. With waxing, the stubble will take a week or two to feel. More if you’re someone who has lesser and finer hair anyway. The hair growth will slow further down when you keep up with your regular waxing appointment, say every 4 to 7 weeks.
#5 Waxing is quite painful (Somewhat False!)
Waxing pulls the hair out of the bulb, so it has got to be painful. But the amount of pain isn’t unbearable for most women. Plus, most even become used to the hurt when they regularly get waxed. While certain others will take the pain happily for the obvious benefit that waxing make hair grow thinner and slower. Bikini waxing can be painful, sure, because the hair can be thicker down there and it’s also a sensitive area. Rest at all places, it’s just bearable pain. Rest, the pain threshold can also depend on other factors like how sensitive we are during a particular time, like during periods, illness, or pregnancy. Waxing can hurt more during this time. If you want to dial down the pain, take a painkiller 30 minutes before your waxing appointment is scheduled.
#6 Waxing prevents ingrown (False)
Waxing does lead to lesser ingrown hairs than shaving, but that doesn’t mean it prevents the problem completely. This method of hair removal can lead to ingrown hairs. It’s all about how prone you are to ingrown hairs. When hair gets blocked at the surface and is not able to find the way out, it can get curled and form a pimple-like bump. Fortunately, in most cases, the hair will complete its cycle and the ingrown hair will naturally fall out. But if yours is a pesky one, you can get an extraction treatment to remove the ingrown hairs. Regular exfoliation, especially exfoliation before waxing and shaving can also prevent the problem of ingrown hairs to a good extent.
#7 You can’t wax on your period (False!)
Waxing has absolutely nothing to do with your period. You can completely get waxing done on your period. Sure, your skin will be extra sensitive during periods but that shouldn’t discourage you if you have a higher pain threshold or are used to the waxing pain by now. Some people also say waxing shouldn’t be done when you’re pregnant. Again, false! Pregnancy also makes skin sensitive so waxing can cause some extra pain than usual. Other than that, there’s no reason why you can’t be hairless while experiencing the most surreal miracle of your life.
Why Do Some Women Prefer Shaving?
One of the reasons is quite clear. Waxing is not for the faint-hearted, especially for the girls who have a lower pain threshold. Bikini waxing can be particularly painful, but some women can experience higher pain levels on the front part of the calf region, thighs, and underarms. The pain is also proportional to the thickness of the hair. The thicker the hair is, the more painful it will be to remove it. Then again, the degree of hurt can depend on the pain threshold of each individual person – irrespective of the hair thickness.
Some women also prefer shaving because it’s an economical option. Waxing can cost anywhere between $100 to $300 for full legs, full arms, and underarms. For shaving, though you only need a good shaving gel and a sharp razor, that’s it! The cost-effectiveness is a major reason why many women pick shaving over waxing, despite some of the obvious benefits of the latter.
Further Read: Potato Juice Is The Best DIY For Dark Circles & Eye Bags
Here are 5 great tips to get a smooth, safe shave:
Exfoliation might be the unexplored yet most beneficial pre-shaving tip. Exfoliation loosens the hair, removes any dead skin cells, and unclogs the pores for a closer, smoother shave. Exfoliating well – with a chemical or a physical scrub – ensure you are left with no ingrown hairs and hence, lesser razor bumps. If you’re someone who has strawberry legs, exfoliation before shaving or even waxing is the key to smoother, bump-free legs. Moreover, when you don’t exfoliate, those dead skin cells will get accumulated on the razor and cause those pesky razor burns. After getting in the shower, exfoliate wet skin gently and scrub for around 2 to 3 minutes before washing it off. Follow it up with shaving.
You should avoid exfoliating after shaving though! Shaving or waxing can make your skin sensitive and exfoliators, no matter how gentle, can irritate the skin more and cause temporary redness. In fact, if you have sensitive skin, avoid using any sort of exfoliation products for 2 days after shaving or waxing.
#2 Allow Your Skin To Soak In Water Before Shaving
You’d want to jump in the shower and straight up start shaving; maybe because of a lack of time or maybe because you’re just feeling particularly lazy on that day. But, it’s better to let your skin soak in the tub or have a warm shower for about 3 to 5 minutes before starting to shave. This loosens the hair follicles a bit and makes them soft. Result? A smoother, finer shave with less dragging and effort. And the best part? Fewer to no ingrown hairs. Even when you’re planning to exfoliate, it’s good to stick to this idea and then, exfoliate and shave.
#3 Shave In The Direction Of Hair Growth
Shaving in the direction of hair growth produces less friction, reduces the chance of ingrown hair, and causes fewer razor bumps, itchiness, and chances of redness on the shaved skin. You might be tempted to shave against the direction of hair growth because it tends to give a closer and smoother shave. But, it’s the very reason that can lead to razor bumps, cuts, and irritated skin.
However, when you’re shaving the legs, it can be a good and recommended idea to shave in the opposite direction because the hair on the legs is thinner. If yours is thicker and you also have strawberry legs, then don’t shave in the opposite direction. Those women who don’t suffer from any of these problems can shave their legs in the opposite direction. In the bikini area, ALWAYS shave in the direction of hair growth to prevent any razor burns or cuts. On your underarms, the direction can be different so shave in different directions.
#4 Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure
Applying pressure won’t remove any more hair than it would with a normal amount of gliding. Instead, applying more pressure will create dimples and lead to more ingrown hairs and prickly skin after the shave. To achieve a closer and smoother shave, try holding your skin taut from the other hand and glide the razor in one go after applying the shaving cream.
#5 Indulge In After-Care
The warm water you use to soften the hair opens the pores. Use warm water again to cleanse the skin and then, use cold water to close the pores. Coldwater also qualms any skin irritation or redness after shaving. After coming out of the shower, pat dry, and apply a soothing moisturizer all over the shaved areas. Really massage and let the product soak in. For those who have extra sensitive skin, don’t apply any harsh soaps or exfoliants for a day or two. Just use a mild cleanser to clean the area and follow up with a mild moisturizer.
Remember to protect your skin from the Sun as well. Don’t spend long hours in the sun, especially in the first 24 hours after shaving. Your skin is more sensitive after shaving and the UV rays can cause more damage than ever. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen if you do have to go out in the Sun though!