FAQs About wax hair removal
Here are some of your frequently asked questions that relate to the different types of wax treatments for both men and women:
How does the method work?
When a wax solution is applied to the skin as it bonds with the hairs. A cloth is then pressed into the solution and the pulled sharply back against the direction of the hair growth. The hairs are then removed with the cloth as they have bonded with the wax.
What are the different types of treatment?
The 2 main types of treatment are known as hot wax and cold (or sometimes called warm) wax. Depending on the area of the body that you are treating, one will be more appropriate than the other.
Although this method has been available for many years, it is now not as common as the cold treatment. Hot waxes are made from natural beeswax and a resin; it is applied to the skin and then left to cool. Once the wax has turned an opaque colour it can then be removed. Hot wax is better for those small sensitive areas where the hair is most coarse, such as the underarm and bikini area.
Some of the advantages of hot over cold waxing are:
- The hot wax gets a better grip of the hair
- Better at removing coarse and shorter hairs
- It does not leave a sticky residue
- There is much less reddening of the skin
- Better for sensitive skin
Some of the disadvantages of hot over cold waxing are:
- It is a slower process as the wax has to be left to dry
- It is more difficult to treat large areas at once
This method is now the more common of the two. Large areas can be treated quickly and effectively. Cold (or sometimes known as warm) waxes are made from ingredients such as resin, paraffin, glucose syrup and honey. It is applied to the skin and removed immediately; it is not left to dry like hot wax. It is very easy to use making it ideal for facial hair removal such as on the lips, chin, eyebrows and sideburns.
Some of the advantages of cold over hot waxing are:
- It is much quicker
- It can be used to effectively treat large areas of the body at once
- It can be used to remove all types of hairs
Some of the disadvantages of cold over hot waxing are:
- It is a lot more messy to clean up afterwards
- Skin irritation is sometimes more severe
- It is not as good at treating very short hairs
Generally, either of these methods will require repeated sessions every 4 to 8 weeks, depending on how quickly your hair re-grows.
What are the benefits?
- Waxing lasts quite a long time for such a quick process. Expect the new hair growth to take between 2 to 8 weeks to develop.
- New hair growth will become thinner, softer and lighter as the follicle becomes weaker with prolonged treatment. Applying a depilation cream after a session will prolong the effects, and some people have even experienced permanent hair removal using this method.
- It is suitable for all types of hairs.
- The skin is also exfoliated during the process, leaving a fresh glow to the skin.
- It is a fast process compared to some other hair removal methods.
- It can be performed safely at home.
What are the drawbacks?
There are a number of drawbacks to wax treatments, such as:
- It can be very painful as a result of hairs being pulled out of the skin.
- The process of pulling the hairs out against the direction of their growth can adjust the direction of new growth. This can make it more difficult to remove hair during the next session as some may lie in opposite directions. Also, new growth may be more noticeable to the patient due to the changed direction of the growth.
- It is difficult to catch the hairs that lie flat on the skin as the wax cannot surround and grip them properly.
- Lots of people experience ingrown hairs (pseudofolliculitis), red lumps, minor bleeding and heightened sensitivity. Men normally experience this after removing large areas of tough hair. Women often notice this around their bikini line and underarm. These effects are also more noticeable when treating an area for the first few times when the follicles are at their strongest (they weaken with every session).
- The removal of the wax and hair will not only take the dead skin cells but also some of the new layers of skin. This leads to heightened sensitivity and minor bleeding if not performed properly.
- People on certain medications should not use this method.
- Before the next treatment is performed the hair has to be left to grow long so the wax has something to grip.
- Cold waxing is very messy to clean up afterwards and can ruin certain materials if performed at home.
- It can be quite expensive if performed by a specialist.