Waxing is a sure-fire way to get rid of hair. Whether you choose to go to a professional or do it yourself at home with a , you can get rid of hair and achieve smooth, silky skin. Waxing pulls the hair off from the roots — ouch! — but what does it exactly do to the hair follicle? Does waxing reduce hair growth? And can it damage the follicle enough to stop it from growing hair?
If only that were true! Then those who have been waxing for years wouldn’t need to schedule their regular waxing appointments.
The truth is, waxing doesn’t reduce hair growth.
The number of hairs you have in an area is still the same before and after waxing it. However, waxing could appear to slow down its growth and make the hair strand thinner as long as you keep up with your waxing schedule.
We’ve put this article together to help you understand this process. Today we will talk about the hair cycle, what waxing does to the hair, and how it can help reduce hair growth.
The Hair Cycle
Knowing the hair cycle is important in understanding the effects of waxing on your hair. First of all, the hair growth cycle is divided into 3 phases.
These are the anagen, telogen and catagen phases.
Each hair strand will grow independently from the others. This means that although all the hair in a specific body part looks the same, they could still be in different phases.
The anagen phase is the hair growth phase. The hair will gradually and regularly grow about a centimeter in a month’s time. The length of growth is approximate, it will vary from one person to another.
There are many factors that can affect the speed of hair growth. How long the hair grows will depend on how long it stays in this phase.
The second phase called catagen is the transition phase. This could last for a couple of weeks. It is the time when melanin production on the hair starts to decrease. This is also the time when the nutrients provided for the hair to grow stops.
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The third phase is called telogen. In this phase, the hair could shed. It can naturally get dislodged from the root, and the hair follicle enters a state of dormancy.
This could last for a month or more.
Every single hair in the body goes through these phases when they are uninterrupted by forceful removal.
Does Waxing Reduce Hair Growth?
People who have used different ways of getting rid of hair from their bodies, like epilating, shaving, threading, laser hair removal, etc. may think that waxing reduces hair growth because they don’t see hair grow as fast as it would have when they shaved. The reason for that is because they just can’t see the hair as it grows beneath the skin.
Remember that when you shave, you only cut off the extended part of the hair that’s outside of the skin. You may even see black spots indicating that part of the hair is still there but below the skin’s surface. When the hair that’s left grows, it becomes easily visible because it only needs to grow a little bit before it extends from the skin’s surface again.
On the other hand, with waxing with cold wax , , or wax strips , you remove the entire hair up to the roots. This is similar to an epilator (and similar in pain level!). This process is pretty intense, and could lead to minor bleeding.
The hair strand will need to start again from the root level before you can see hair growth. It takes more time for the hair to be obvious because there is more length to grow.
With this process, it might seem that the growth rate is reduced. But that’s not necessarily the case. It just takes more time for the hair growth to be obvious because it starts from the roots when it is waxed, as compared to the skin’s surface when the hair is shaved.
Additionally, some people might think that because they don’t see any hair growth, less hair is actually growing.
But waxing doesn’t reduce the amount of hair that grows. It still the same, but it just needs time.
Eventually, the hair strands will grow hair and you’d be back where you’ve started if you don’t regularly wax your hair. It won’t lessen or stimulate hair growth either.
What Is The Effect Of Waxing On Hair
Even if waxing doesn’t really reduce hair growth, it could still have some benefits such as growing thinner hair.
Thinner hair is less obvious and is preferred by those who want to get rid of their unwanted body hair.
After waxing, the damaged hair follicles will often put out thinner hairs while they recover. At least for a time. This doesn’t necessarily happen immediately right after the first time you waxed your hair. It often takes multiple wax sessions to get to this point.
Although this seems to be a good side effect of waxing, there is also a downside to it. When the hair is thinner and less dense, it may curl around and get trapped in the follicle.
This can lead to painful, unsightly, ingrown hairs.
To prevent this, it is best to exfoliate regularly to remove any dead skin cells that could prevent the hair strand from easily poking out of the skin’s surface.
Many believe that waxing will reduce hair growth. They usually compare it with shaving. However, it’s not the same. Waxing doesn’t reduce the amount of hair you grow. It also doesn’t speed up or slow down the rate of hair growth.
The hair grows just the same, it’s just that we can’t see it growing from the roots. This is why it takes more time to see new hair, compared to shaving.
Waxing does, however, make some of the hair grow thinner with continuous and regular waxing. This is the result of damaged hair follicles growing thinner hair. Although this may be aesthetically pleasing (and less painful over time), watch out for ingrown hairs.
Exfoliate regularly to prevent ingrown hairs. And finally, if you shave, wait until the hair is long enough before you wax again.