There’s a lot of myths surrounding waxing, which sometimes puts people off trying out a wax as a choice for hair removal. We’re here to debunk these myths and put your mind at ease. Waxing isn’t for everybody, but it’s important to identify the facts from the fiction before you make your mind up.
Myth #1 Your hair will grow back thicker
This myth is the most commonly heard when it comes to waxing and it’s simply not true! To really understand the reasons why, you need to learn about the lifecycle of hairs. Your hair grows in three stages, as it ages, it becomes thicker and longer and then it dies and naturally falls away.
When you shave, you’re cutting it off at the surface, but it’s still growing underneath (hence the immediate return of that stubbly feeling the next morning). When you wax, you’re removing the hair directly from the follicle, so a new hair starts to grow. In the first stages of hair growth, it is finer and fairer. With regular waxing appointments, you’ll only ever notice fine and fair hairs coming through – the complete opposite of this common misconception!
Myth #2 It really hurts!
Waxing isn’t painless, but it’s not unbearable. Some people are more sensitive than others and it can certainly feel more uncomfortable at different times of the month (depending on your cycle) due to hormonal changes. Advice if you’re worried about it being painful?
- Exfoliate the day before.
- Take a paracetamol half an hour before your appointment.
- Avoid going when you’re due or are on your period.
- Reschedule if you’re feeling under the weather.
Myth #3 Waxing damages your skin
When done properly and by a professional, waxing should not harm your skin. Again, if your skin is particularly sensitive to products, heat or you’re generally hypersensitive, try an alternative. At bijou we use products that are gentle on the skin and always apply after-wax lotion to soothe the skin. Your skin may be a little pink immediately after your appointment, but this should go down after an hour or so. The wax should never be too hot, and a therapist will heat test on themselves prior to your treatment. You can always have a patch test to ensure you’re not sensitive to the products.
Damaged skin after an appointment usually occurs because of something you’ve done before or after a wax.
- Avoid heat: hot baths, saunas, steam rooms (even getting too close when you open the oven door) for 72 hours after your appointment
- Avoid sunbeds: this can cause increased sensitivity
- Tell your therapist if you’re using retinol or products to treat acne: these can thin the skin and cause them to tear
- Don’t wear tight clothing and hold off heavy exercise straight after your appointment: this can cause you to sweat and your follicles are open after a wax, meaning bacteria can enter and cause breakouts
- Don’t apply scented or strong products after your wax: this can cause irritation to the open follicles
If you follow your therapist’s after care advice carefully, waxing can be gentle to the skin, and regular exfoliation will actually improve your skin tone and texture.
Myth #4 You need to grow your hair really long
Nope. If anything, that can make it hurt more – and your therapist will be reaching for the scissors before you even start. Book your waxing appointment for 4 weeks after your last hair removal session (whatever option you chose). That’ll allow ample time for the hair to grow to a decent length for a wax.
Your hair can be too short for an appointment – which can cause some disappointment when you turn up. Your hair should be at least 1cm long – this allows the wax to grip onto the hair. Too short, and it just won’t be an effective treatment.
Myth #5 Waxing prevents ingrown hairs
Ingrown hairs can just happen. Some people are more susceptible to them than others. Whatever hair removal method you opt for, there’s the risk of ingrown hair. They can occur even if you don’t remove hair at all! Just don’t pick at them yourself – this can cause irritation and potential infection. Ask a professional to remove them for you.
Myth #6 You can get wrinkles from waxing
This is a new one we haven’t heard before! No. Waxing does not give you wrinkles or make your skin sag. The wax simply removes hair and leaves your skin alone. As mentioned before, regular exfoliation and moisturising as part of your waxing regime will improve the appearance of your skin.
Myth #7 You can’t have a wax on your period
You certainly can, it’s just more uncomfortable. Book your treatments around your period to avoid the two coinciding. Life happens and sometimes it’s unavoidable – if you don’t want to disrupt your routine, ensure you wear a tampon and that the string is tucked out of the way. It will not disturb your therapist performing your treatment and there’s certainly no need to be embarrassed. However, they’ll also understand if you’re not up for it – just give them a call to reschedule!
Myth #8 Or when you’re pregnant
Again, you certainly can – you just need to decide if you want to. Due to hormones, you’ll be more sensitive around that area and so a wax may be more uncomfortable than usual. There’s an art to waxing when you’re pregnant and it’s worth booking an appointment than trying it at home. Your therapist will work with you to ensure you’re in a comfortable position throughout the treatment and it’s as pain-free as possible!
Myth #9 Your tan will disappear
This is true if you’re wearing fake tan. Fake tan sits on the surface of your skin – in amongst the dead skin cells waiting to be sloughed off. Wax will remove a layer of fake tan or leave it looking slightly patchy. Have a spray tan scheduled? Book it for 2-3 days after your waxing appointment. That means your skin is silky smooth and ready for application.
Been on holiday or enjoyed time well-spent outside? Don’t worry – wax won’t affect this, but it will eventually fade as a natural tan does.