The Myths and Truths of Waxing

There are many myths that many believe or wonder about with regards to waxing treatments. Here, I have listed those that have been most common in my experience:

Myth: Waxing makes the hair grow back thick, dark and more coarse.

Truth: Absolutely not! Waxing does not change the texture or pigment of your hair, nor does it stimulate your follicles to produce more hair. We are born with a set number of hair follicles (about 5 million), meaning the number of follicles will not increase or decrease. In fact, regular waxing treatments, (without shaving in between), will eventually cause the hair to become thinner and more sparse. This is because the frequent pulling of the hair from the root will damage the hair bulb over time.

Myth: Waxing will give me ingrown hairs.

Truth: After a waxing treatment is performed on the body, it is important to maintain regular exfoliation to keep your skin free of dead skin build up, especially in the areas you are prone to ingrown hairs. It’s important to keep your skin hydrated with a good body lotion or coconut oil and to use an ingrown treatment product to prevent this condition. Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled or grown sideways beneath the skin and continue to grow into the skin instead of out of it.

The most common reasons for are:

  • shaving in-between waxing treatments,

  • exfoliation inconsistency or improper technique, and

  • wearing undergarments made of material other than cotton, tight clothing (such as yoga pants, tights, and jeans), which may result in chronic friction and subsequent irritation of the skin.

Myth: Waxing makes me breakout.

Truth: When waxing is performed properly, the root of the hair is rapidly removed, which can trigger your body’s immune system to perceive the hair removal as “trauma”. As a result, a mild breakout may occur within the first few days, consisting of small red bumps and/or whiteheads.1-3 This is a common (and perfectly normal) temporary reaction, especially for the face, bikini area, back, and chest, or if you are being waxed for the first time. The removal of the hair also causes the follicles to open, especially if the roots of the hair are thick, which leaves the skin susceptible to invasion of bacteria.1-3 Keeping recently waxed skin clean, therefore, is especially important to avoid bacterial infection. In addition, any activity that could potentially irritate the skin such as vigorous exercise, heat, sun or going into a jacuzzi is not recommended for 24-48 hours following a waxing treatment.

Myth: I’m pregnant, should I wax my bikini area?

Truth: Of course you can! We know it can be difficult to groom yourself while pregnant, and waxing is a fantastic way to keep yourself feeling (and looking) fresh and clean until the “big day”. Many clients schedule their wax few days before delivery, it’s perfectly normal and a great way to be hair free for many weeks.

Myth: I’m menstruating, I can’t wax.

Truth: You can absolutely have a waxing treatment during your period, so please, do not be uncomfortable in any way! If you are okay with it, so are we. As you can imagine, this happens often. Just remember, tampons are required during your wax.

References

1. Grice EA, Segre JA. The skin microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011. doi:10.1038/nrmicro2537

2. Khanna N, Chandramohan K, Khaitan BK, Singh MK. Post waxing folliculitis: A clinicopathological evaluation. Int J Dermatol. 2014. doi:10.1111/ijd.12056

3. Clebak KT, Malone MA. Skin Infections. Prim Care Clin Off Pract. 2018;45:433-454. doi:10.1016/j.pop.2018.05.004

Diamando Perivolaris

Hard Wax Expert, Wax Trainer/Educator