How Long Does Hair Have To Be To Wax?

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There are quite a few factors that will determine your overall waxing experience and results. These factors include the hair and skin type on the area(s) you’re getting waxed and the type of wax itself. And believe it or not, hair length is also an important factor that is often overlooked.

How long does hair have to be to wax?

Generally, hair should be about 1/4″ to wax properly.

In this article, we are going to be looking at why hair length matters when it comes time to waxing. And we’ll answer the question – can hair be too long to wax?


Can Hair Be Too Long To Wax?

Hair Waxing Kit

Let’s jump right into it. The answer is yes, hair can be too long to wax. Hair over a ½ inch in length is too long to wax.

But don’t worry if you haven’t been keeping up with your routine ‘scheduled maintenance’ and you were planning to wax hair that is longer than a half-inch!

You can still wax, but some trimming is going to have to happen first.

If you are having your waxing done at the salon, the waxing technician can do the trimming for you.

If you are waxing at home, it’s going to be really important for you to trim it to the right length. You’ll want to make sure you trim enough, but not too much.

How Long Does Hair Have To Be To Wax?

Home Waxing Kit

Regardless of what part of your body you’re waxing or having waxed, a ¼ inch is the optimal length for hair being waxed.

If your hair is shorter than a quarter-inch, you might be itching to just go ahead and remove the hair and not wait for it to grow out.

Resist the urge.

If your hair is too short, the wax won’t be able to get a good grip. It either won’t pull the hair out at all, will only pull it partially out, or it could break the hair.

You are obviously not going to want to have a partially waxed area! So for the hairs that did not come out, it will require multiple waxing on the same spot. This is extending a process that, well let’s be honest, doesn’t tickle.

The more times you have to re-wax a spot, the more sensitive the skin in that area will become.

For the hairs that break off, those hairs may become ingrown.

Have you ever run scissors on the edge of a piece of paper to make it curl around? Well, the pulling of the hair is similar.

When the hair is stretched and then breaks, the part of the hair that snapped off and is left in the hair follicle is likely to grow in a different direction causing an ingrown hair.

And likewise, if the hair is too long, it can also cause breakage and hair left behind.

Is There a Maximum Hair Length for Waxing?

You shouldn’t wax hair that is over 1/2″ in length. You’re asking for broken hairs, ingrown hairs, and ugly bumps on your skin.

If your hair is well over 1/4″ in length, shave or trim your hair back and postpone the waxing until it’s back to 1/4″.

Does Longer Hair Hurt More to Wax?

It does indeed hurt more to wax longer hair. This is because when you’re putting the wax over longer hair, some hair may be lying flat, others bent, folded or curled around. So the wax may have a hold of some hair right at the base of the hair and others near the end.

Then when you pull the strip off, the hairs are not all being pulled at the same time in the same place.

It’s the difference between ripping a bandage off and pulling it off slowly. This also increases the chances of the hair being broken, rather than pulled out, which can lead to ingrown hairs, rashes, and bumps.

And when your hair is too long, you may have hair that is lying on top of other hair that the wax either is not touching or does not have a good grip on. This can cause the hair to break. And that will mean you have to go over an area repeatedly because the hair was left behind.

Waxing is painful enough – no need to make it worse!

What Kind of Wax Should I Be Using?

If you are getting your waxing done at a salon, then it’s one less thing you need to worry about because your waxing technician will choose the wax best suited for your skin type and the kind of hair you are removing.

If you are doing your own waxing at home, however, it’s really important for you to choose the right tools for the job.

There are two basic types of wax – hard wax and soft wax. Soft wax is applied using waxing strips and adheres to the hair and your skin. Hard wax is applied warm and adheres only to the hair.

We strongly recommend leaving the hard wax to the professionals at the salon. You can get the same results with wax strips and they are not only a lot easier and a lot less fuss, but there is also no chance of burning yourself.

There are soft wax strips for every job.

For legs: Veet Leg and Body Hair Remover Cold Wax Strips 

Veet Ready-To-Use Waxing Kit For Women | Wax Strips For Body Hair Removal, Wax Kit For Ingrown Hair Treatment, Personal Care Product, Hair Remover | 40ct Waxing Strips, 4ct Body Wipes
  • WAXING KIT FOR WOMEN: Experience smooth,...
  • PERSONAL CARE ESSENTIAL: Elevate your...
  • HAIR REMOVAL MADE EASY: Simplify your...

Veet Leg and Body Hair Remover Cold Wax Strips are okay for sensitive skin and great for legs and other areas on your body that require waxing, like your stomach, toes, arms.

For Face: Nad's Facial Wax Strips 

Nad's Facial Wax Strips - Facial Hair Removal for Women - Waxing Kit With 48 Face Wax Strips + 8 Calming Oil Wipes + Skin Protection Powder
  • The quick and easy way to remove...
  • Ready to use, just rub, peel and go for...
  • Suitable for sensitive skin and delicate...
  • Perfect for upper lip, cheek, chin and...
  • Innovative contour weave paper...

When waxing your face, use a product that is meant for waxing your face, like Nad’s Facial Wax Strips which are fragrance-free and super pliable for bending and shaping around the contours of the face.

For eyebrows: Parissa Eyebrow Shaper Wax Strips 

Parissa Eyebrow Shaper Wax Strip, 32 count, pink
  • Easy to Use: Great for beginners. Just 2...
  • Salon Quality Wax: Resin based wax for...
  • For Beginners Touch-ups & Travel: For...
  • Natural Ingredients: No plastic, the...
  • Fine to Medium Hair: These wax strips...

When it comes to eyebrows, you need to be really careful. Eyebrow hairs are among the slowest growing of your body hair. If you take too much off, you will be stuck like that for a while.

If you are even a little bit apprehensive about trying to wax your own eyebrows, or if your eyebrows are particularly coarse and thick, you might want to let the professionals handle it or consider threading.

If you’re an old hand at doing your own eyebrows, then Parissa Eyebrow Shaper Wax Strips are just the ticket. The specially shaped wax strips are infused with pine resin-based wax, ideal for removing even the tiniest hairs.

These strips may not be ideal if you have really thick eyebrows.

For coarse hair: VidaSleek Extra Strength Hair Removal Wax Kit 

VidaSleek Hair Removal Wax Kit - Extra Strength Hair Removal Wax For Men and Women - Thick to Coarse Hair - 10 Oz
  • 🧡 MADE IN THE USA 🇺🇸 All...
  • 🧡 NOT for use on facial/head/nose/ear...
  • 🧡 Microwavable Wax: Quick, 1 minute...
  • 🧡 Unisex: Made for Men and Women with...
  • 🧡 Leaves skin hair free for up to 6...

There are certain areas that will require a bit more heavy-duty wax because of the type of hair, like your bikini line, for example.

Using two types of plant resin and avocado oil, the VidaSleek Extra Strength Hair Removal Wax Kit takes a firm grip for a clean finish (provided the hair is the right length!).

Pro Waxing Tips

We’ll leave you with a few pro waxing tips:

  • Ensure your hair is at least a ¼ inch long, but no longer than a ½ inch
  • Always wax on clean skin to avoid bacterial contamination
  • Try to avoid waxing if you are menstruating because your skin will be more sensitive at this time.
  • Do not exfoliate a few days prior to or after waxing
  • If you are waxing your face, avoid retinol products, chemical peels and microdermabrasion

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).