Waxing 101: The Basics

17 Sep

When I started esthetics school 7 months ago, I really had no idea what to expect.  If you would’ve told me that I was going to end up not only waxing people, but enjoying it?  I would’ve said, “Say whaaaa?”  Fast forward, now it’s my favorite service to perform!  Funny how life works, isn’t it?

What is it?

Waxing is a temporary hair removal process.  It involves applying wax to the skin, then removing the wax with the hair intact.  There are two kinds of wax:  soft wax and hard wax.  Soft wax is generally used for larger parts of the body (back, arms, legs).  When it is applied to the skin it always remains tacky, no matter how long it sits there.  Then a strip is placed over it then removed with the hair adhering to the strip.  Hard wax is generally used for smaller more sensitive areas, like the bikini.  It has a gel-like consistency and hardens after applied to the skin.  The wax is removed after it sets up, so no strip required.

How does it work?

Hair follicles are rooted in the dermal papilla bulb.  Follicles may contain more than one hair and each in a different stage of growth.  There can be 100-150 follicles in one square centimeter of skin. There are three phases in the hair life cycle:  Androgen – hair actively growing.  Catagen – hair disconnects from papilla.  Telogen – hair falls out and follicle prepares for the androgen phase.  The complete cycle can take four to 12 weeks depending on health and genetics. 

How long does my hair need to be?


That’s about 8mm long.  It does vary for different parts of the body and types of hair, but it’s a good rule of thumb.  Try to not shave for at least a week before getting waxed.

 

Does it hurt?

Everyone has a different pain tolerance, but generally waxing is considered pretty uncomfortable.  Different areas are going to be more sensitive than others.  However, if you keep waxing regularly your skin will become less sensitive.

How long does it last?

When the hair is ripped out it damages the papilla and interrupts the growth cycle.  The more it gets “damaged,” the less hair will regrow.  You may notice regrowth a few days after getting waxed, which is a huge frustration for clients and myself.  I assure you, this is very common and it doesn’t mean that you or the person that waxed you did anything wrong.  As discussed earlier, your hair grows in three stages.  Hair can only be removed from the papilla during the first (androgen) phase.  Hair that is in the second or third stage will quickly grow back because it is separated from the root.  That’s why you have to continue waxing to get maximum results and to remove the hair when it’s in that first stage.  After a few months of regular waxing (every 3-4 weeks), results will last longer and hair will grow back finer.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the person who is performing the service, we understand that it is scary for first-timers!

 

Have you ever been waxed before?  How was your experience?

Drink water. Wear SPF.

About/Disclaimer: I am currently a makeup artist in the Kansas City area.  I am not a licensed professional (yet), but am currently attending school specializing in esthetics.  It is my life’s passion to make people look and feel their best! Click here to learn more about me.

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4 Responses to “Waxing 101: The Basics”

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    [...] Love and Glitter: YoHave you ever been curious about the waxing? You know, the process of ripping the hair out of your skin? It sounds scary, but it’s really [...]

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