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Hair Removal: To Wax or Not To Wax?

Hair Removal: To Wax or Not To Wax?

The desire for smooth, hairless bodies for up to 8 weeks directly conflicts with the desire to not have a complete stranger pour hot wax on your most sensitive body parts. By breaking down the art of hair removal through waxing, the question can finally be answered for many of the undecided.

Waxing, and the lesser popular body sugaring, have been around for hundreds of years. This ancient method was often a preferred choice for many Egyptians who believed body hair to be unhygienic. It’s a semi-permanent method which removes the hair directly from the root, with re-growth starting at 2-8 weeks. The late 1990’s popularized not only boy-bands, but also waxing – the ever-feared bikini wax in particular.

There are many types of wax, all being either of the hot or cold variety. These are subcategorized further into hard wax, and strip wax. Strip wax is spread thinly on the hair in the direction of growth, and then covered with a strip of porous cloth or thick paper. The wax is allowed to cool slightly before being torn away from the skin in the direction opposite of hair growth in one quick, fluid motion.

Hard wax is spread on thick, with no need for paper. As the wax cools it hardens, making it easy to remove in the same fashion as strip wax. This method – and cold wax – is ideal for people with sensitive skin. Cold wax is pre-made strips of wax warmed by the hands, then applied to the area.

Common areas waxed are eyebrows, face, bikini, legs, arms, back, chest, and feet. Although most places are safe, you should never wax eyelashes, ears or nose.

The most common and often discussed wax procedure is the infamous bikini wax. Men and women alike spend millions a year striving for smoothness from the perfectly groomed to the perfectly pre-pubescent. If the thought of lying on a table completely exposed from the waist down makes you uncomfortable, or you are embarrassed of your unsightly body hair, there are at-home kits widely available for a fraction of the cost. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

To further help with your decision, let’s weigh the Pros and Cons.

Pros:

  • Large amounts of hair removed at a time
  • Re-growth after 2-8 weeks
  • Re-growth is softer, less noticeable
  • Permanent reduction in hair growth after years of regular use
  • Dead skin cells removed, leaving softer skin

Cons:

  • Painful
  • Expensive when done by professional
  • Uncomfortable
  • Can disturb hair follicles if done improperly, causing re-growth in different directions
  • Ingrown hairs, red bumps, minor bleeding, bruising
  • Risk of burns if wax is too hot
  • Inability to wax if any skin conditions are present such as, warts, pimples, moles, rashes or sunburn.

If you have any of the following conditions, your decision is made for you. Waxing is NOT recommended if you have diabetes, varicose veins, poor circulation, or are susceptible to infection. Also, certain medications such as Retin-A, Renova, Differin and Isotetinoin can weaken skin, causing tears if waxed.

Whether you’re for or against, there’s no doubt waxing is an effective, albeit often painful method for removing unwanted hair for up to two months. So pop an Ibuprofen or two, hop up on that table and join the legions of people already on the hairless bandwagon.

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