Waxing is one of the most popular ways to remove unwanted hair. It's quick, and unlike shaving, it often takes several weeks for the hair to grow back. So why don't more people do it? There are many people that believe doing so will make the hair grow back thicker, coarser and stronger and so they avoid this method. So is this true or is it just an old wives tale?
How Waxing Works
Waxing is done by taking either hot or cold wax and smearing it on the unwanted hair with a small spatula. Spatulas usually come with any home waxing kit. Or you can use a knife. A waxing strip - usually made of cloth - is then placed onto the wax, and secured in place by smoothing it down several times. The final step is pulling off the waxing strip in one quick movement. When done properly, the hair is pulled out from the root and you won't need to wax again for several weeks.
The sensitivity of your skin, coupled with how long you have been waxing, will determine the amount of pain involved in the process. The pain normally goes away after several minutes to an hour, and you can help alleviate the pain and subsequent redness by applying a soothing cream such as Aloe Vera after waxing.
Will My Hair Grow Back Thicker?
Waxing does not make hair grow back thicker. This is a myth with no scientific basis. Since waxing removes hair from the root, it does not affect the thickness of regrowth. You are born with all the hair follicles that you will ever have. Therefore whether you wax or not, you will not gain new hair follicles to make hair grow back thicker.
In fact, the hair will actually grow back softer and finer than before, making each waxing less painful. Hair also will grow back more slowly than if you shave. Shaving only removes hair on the surface of the skin. If you continue to wax over a long period of time, less hair will grow in those areas and you will not have to wax as often.
Waxing vs Other Methods
Waxing is one of the cheapest ways to semi-permanently remove hair. Waxing is less messy than depilatory creams and lasts longer than shaving. Waxing lasts several weeks, whereas if you shave, you'll have to do so every couple of days.
Other methods such as threading and tweezing can be just as effective as waxing. None of these methods causes hair to grow back thicker.
Pros and Cons of Waxing
Waxing your hair may cause it to grow back at an uneven rate, depending on if the hair was pulled out at the beginning of the growth cycle or the end. Hair pulled out at the end of the growth cycle will grow back quicker because the regrowth process will have already started underneath the surface. It will take longer for hair in the beginning of the growth cycle to grow back.
Be aware that waxing can actually destroy hair follicles if done incorrectly. This often contributes to a decrease in hair growth in certain areas, particularly if you have been waxing for many years.
Allison Davis has been writing professionally since 1999. Her work has appeared on various websites and in publications such as "La Prensa" and "The Hilltop." She writes beauty articles, covering topics from makeup to hair products. She also works for a network television news show in New York. Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Howard University,