Does Waxing Reduce Hair Growth? Does It Stop Hair From Growing?

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Waxing is a surefire 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 from the root — ouch! — but what does it exactly do to the hair follicle?

Does waxing reduce hair growth? Does waxing make hair stop growing altogether?

If only that were true! Then those who of us have been waxing for years wouldn’t need to schedule our regular waxing appointments.

Waxing does not reduce hair growth, but it may seem like waxing slows hair growth.

The number of hairs and follicles you have in an area is the same before and after waxing. However, waxing could appear to slow down its growth and make the hair strands thinner and finer, 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 (kinda) reduce hair growth.


The Hair Cycle

Hair Follicle Source: Wikipedia

To understand how waxing impacts hair growth, you’ll need to understand the hair cycle. 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 like it’s growing at the same time, each individual hair is in one of those three phases. 

Anagen Phase

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. 

Catagen 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 in the hair starts to decrease. This is also the time when the nutrients provided for the hair to grow stop. 

Telogen Phase

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 dormant state.

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 (i.e. plucking or waxing treatment. 


Does Waxing Reduce Hair Growth? 

People who switch from shaving to waxing often think that waxing reduces hair growth.

Why?

It’s because they don’t experience the hair growing as fast as it did when they were shaving.

This is because they can’t see the hair growing — it’s growing beneath the skin.

When you shave, you only cut off the extended bit 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. 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 down 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 before you can see hair growth. It takes more time for the hair growth to be obvious because there is more length to grow! 

Through the waxing hair removal method, 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, 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. Or maybe the waxing stops hair growth altogether!


Does Waxing Stop Hair From Growing Permanently?

No, waxing can’t stop hair from growing. Laser hair removal can do that, but waxing can’t.

Waxing doesn’t reduce the amount of hair that grows or the rate of growth. It is still the same, but it just needs more time to be visible.

Waxed hair has to grow all the way from the bottom of the follicle up through the top layer of skin before you can see it again.

Waxed hair has to grow all the way from the bottom of the follicle up through the top layer of skin before you can see it again.

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 Growth?

Even if waxing doesn’t really reduce hair growth, it could still have some benefits such as growing thinner, finer 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.

Arrgh!

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. 


Final Thoughts

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.

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).