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What’s the Correct Waxing Hair Length?

When it comes to waxing best practices, hair length is key. So, here is the dilemma: If your hair is too short, there is a risk the wax may not be able to grasp onto the hair enough to remove it. If your hair is too long, the hair removal process can sometimes be more painful. Here we unveil some of the mystery surrounding waxing and hair length. Keep scrolling for some keen advice on exactly how long your hair should be before waxing.

How Long Does Hair Need to Be to Wax?

For hair to successfully be removed by waxing, the rule of thumb is that the growth needs to be about ¼-inch, no matter where it is on the body. Not sure what that looks like? It’s about the size of a grain of rice. This length ensures there is enough hair for the wax to easily grab onto. Experts also recommend letting your hair grow for at least five days in between waxing sessions.

What to Do Between Waxes

The time between waxes can be stressful, especially when your hair gets a little longer than you’re comfortable with. Do you pluck? Do you shave? Long story short, you definitely should not shave, pluck, or get rid of hair in this awkward in-between stage. This can not only prolong your time in between waxes, but may also irritate your skin. The best thing to do is exfoliate regularly — this helps keep your hair follicles clear of dead skin and debris making it easier to wax when the time comes.

Why Does Hair Length Matter?

If your hair is too short, the wax may not be able to grab onto the hair enough to cleanly remove it from the root. When this happens, hairs break, making achieving a smooth finish close to impossible. Longer hair is less problematic when you visit a professional waxing center as the waxing specialists are expertly trained to work with guests who have not waxed or shaved in a while. The only real downside to waxing longer hair is that it can sometimes be more painful.

The Stages of Hair Growth

There are three stages of hair: growing, resting, and transitional. At any given time, approximately 90 percent of hair follicles are in the growth phase. The rest are either in the transitional phase (1 to 2 percent) or in the resting phase (8 to 9 percent). This means that until you get consistent with your wax treatments, whenever you get waxed, there’s probably some hair underneath the skin growing that hasn’t reached the surface yet. It can even be above the skin and not long enough to be grasped. In this scenario, neither waxing nor sugaring is going to be able to grasp these hairs and remove them. In the next few days or weeks to come, these hairs will become noticeable, although how noticeable depending on their thickness and color. Even if the hairs are the same length, dark and thick hair will start to show much sooner than light and fine hair.

We recommend hair be at least ¼-of-an-inch long (about the size of a grain of rice) so it’s a good idea to stop shaving at least five days prior to your waxing appointment. Hair does go through different growth stages, which is why you want to stay on a consistent waxing regimen of three to four weeks—depending on the area.

We recommend waxing the bikini area less than four weeks to achieve consistent growth patterns. Smaller areas like the lip, chin, and underarms may benefit from a four-week cycle. You also want to make sure you are using the right products on your skin.

Other Factors to Consider Before Waxing

Aside from hair length, there are a few other important factors to keep in mind before waxing. Exfoliating your skin between waxing sessions is a key skincare step. Also, if you’re opting to book a waxing appointment, seek out someone who is licensed in waxing and expertly trained. It’s also a good idea to make sure the Ohio waxing center you plan to visit upholds rigorous sanitation measures. Not sure what these standards are? Here’s what to look out for:

  • The wax specialist must use a set of new gloves for every guest.
  • All tools must be soaked in antibacterial disinfectant or disposed of after each guest.
  • Waxing beds must be sanitized with antibacterial wipes after each guest.
  • Fresh tissue paper or sheets must be placed on top of each waxing bed for every guest.
  • Waxing sticks must never be double-dipped.
  • The large waxing stir stick must be disposed of after each guest.

Caring for Your Skin After a Wax

To try to make sure your skin stays healthy after a wax, you’ll want to avoid sweating, sunlight and/or heat, and wear loose clothing to let your skin “breathe” the 24 hours after your wax. After that, you’re free to resume normal activities. To try to prevent ingrown hairs, you can start exfoliating a few days after your wax, or use a product specifically for ingrown hair.

How to Make Wax Last Longer

There are ways to slow hair growth and maintain hair at-home while you’re between salon visits. We offer products that help to slow the regrowth of hair between waxes. One ingredient we use in particular is Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, which aids in attacking the regrowth of hair at the root. Keep in mind that this extract may cause allergic reactions, so it’s important to do a patch test or consult an expert if you’re concerned about potential irritation.

It’s important to try your hardest not to shave in-between appointments. Another great reason to wax over shaving is when you wax regularly, time between treatments will increase. Waxing encourages the hair follicles to become weaker, making it easier to remove hair.

Ultimately, you’re at the mercy of your body when deciding to schedule your next wax. You’ll only really be able to guess how frequently you should schedule your appointments after you’ve had a few of them already.

DIY vs. Professional Waxing

Waxing at home can be tempting, but we and other experts recommend leaving it to the professionals. Waxing at home (when not performed by an expert and with a high-quality wax), can be unnecessarily painful, messy, allows for missed hairs, present a much higher risk for in-grown hairs (and broken hairs), and you can even risk damaging your skin. In-grown hairs can be painful, unsightly, and may even leave permanent marks or scarring on the skin.

We absolutely do not recommend doing a bikini or Brazilian wax at home as these areas can be very sensitive and it’s best to have a professional working on those delicate areas. Brows are also difficult as it’s hard to see what you’re doing. A waxing professional is licensed and trained on the safety and technique of waxing to give you the best results (with the least amount of discomfort).

Waxing at home could also lead to ripped skin if you don’t have the correct technique and waxing yourself can take twice as long and require significantly more wax. Our recommendation: leave the waxing to the pros!

The Bottom Line

If your hair is too short, reschedule your waxing appointment. If your hair is too long, you can either lightly trim the area yourself — or allow your waxing specialist will take care of this for you during your appointment.

It’s also important to note that aftercare is essential when it comes to waxing. It’s not only about what happens during the waxing session, it’s also about how you take care of your skin after. Caring for your skin between waxes will make the hair removal process easier. Make sure to exfoliate between visits and ask a waxing specialist to recommend products to try to treat and prevent ingrown hairs.

Request a Hair Removal Appointment

To learn more about hair removal including waxing services, SCHEDULE A HAIR REMOVAL APPONITMENT with one of our Columbus Ohio Hair Removal Specialists.

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Be sure to learn everything about this awesome program and even send out referrals.

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