Waxing

Last updated
Waxing a woman's armpits. Ceretta a caldo ascella.jpg
Waxing a woman's armpits.

Waxing is the process of hair removal from the root by using a covering of a sticky substance, such as wax, to adhere to body hair, and then removing this covering and pulling out the hair from the follicle. New hair will not grow back in the previously waxed area for four to six weeks, although some people will start to see regrowth in only a week due to some of their hair being on a different human hair growth cycle. Almost any area of the body can be waxed, including eyebrows, face, pubic hair (called bikini waxing), legs, arms, back, abdomen, knuckles, and feet. There are many types of waxing suitable for removing unwanted hair.

Hair removal temporary removal of body hair

Hair removal, also known as epilation or depilation, is the deliberate removal of body hair.

The growth of human hair occurs everywhere on the body except for the soles of the feet, the lips, palms of the hands, some external genital areas, the navel, scar tissue, and, apart from eyelashes, the eyelids. Hair is a stratified squamous keratinized epithelium made of multi-layered flat cells whose rope-like filaments provide structure and strength to the hair shaft.

Eyebrow facial feature

The eyebrow is an area of thick, delicate hair above the eye that follows the shape of the lower margin of the brow ridges of some mammals. The most recent research suggests that in humans its primary function is to allow for a wider range of ‘non-verbal’ communication. It is common for people to modify their eyebrows by means of hair removal and makeup.

Contents

Types

Male chest before and after waxing. Chest waxing cropped.jpg
Male chest before and after waxing.
Waxing of a woman's pubic hair. Ceretta a calo inguinale.jpg
Waxing of a woman's pubic hair.

Strip waxing (soft wax) is accomplished by spreading a wax thinly over the skin. A cloth or paper strip is applied and pressed firmly, adhering the strip to the wax and the wax to the skin. The strip is then quickly ripped against the direction of hair growth, as parallel as possible to the skin to avoid trauma to the skin. This removes the wax along with the hair. There are different forms of strip waxing or soft waxing: heated, cold or pre-made strips. Unlike cold waxing, heated wax is spread easily over the skin. Cold waxing is thicker, which makes it more difficult to spread smoothly over the skin. Pre-made strips come with the wax on them, and they come in different sizes for different area uses. [1]

Stripless wax (as opposed to strip wax), also referred to as hard wax, [2] is applied somewhat thickly and with no cloth or paper strips. The wax then hardens when it cools, thus allowing the easy removal by a therapist without the aid of cloths or strips. This waxing method is very beneficial to people who have sensitive skin. Stripless wax does not adhere to the skin as much as strip wax does, thus making it a good option for sensitive skin as finer hairs are more easily removed because the hard wax encapsulates the hair as it hardens. The stripless waxing method can also be less painful.

Contraindications

The following factors are known to make those who are waxed more prone to "skin lifting," where the top layer of skin is torn away during waxing treatment:

Prednisone chemical compound

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid medication mostly used to suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation in conditions such as asthma, COPD, and rheumatologic diseases. It is also used to treat high blood calcium due to cancer and adrenal insufficiency along with other steroids. It is taken by mouth.

Varicose veins vein disease that is characterized by swollen, twisted veins visible just under the surface of the skin

Varicose veins are superficial veins that have become enlarged and twisted. Typically they occur just under the skin in the legs. Usually they result in few symptoms but some may experience fullness or pain in the area. Complications may include bleeding or superficial thrombophlebitis. When varices occur in the scrotum it is known as a varicocele while those around the anus are known as hemorrhoids.

Salicylic acid Chemical compound

Salicylic acid (from Latin salix, willow tree) is a lipophilic monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid, and a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It has the formula C7H6O3. This colorless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is derived from the metabolism of salicin. In addition to serving as an important active metabolite of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), which acts in part as a prodrug to salicylic acid, it is probably best known for its use as a key ingredient in topical anti-acne products. The salts and esters of salicylic acid are known as salicylates.

There are many benefits to waxing versus other forms of hair removal. It is an effective method to remove large amounts of hair at one time. It is a long-lasting method, as hair in waxed areas will not grow back for two to eight weeks. When hair is shaved or removed by depilatory cream, the hair is removed at the surface rather than the hair root. Within a few days, the hair can reappear back at the surface. With these methods, hair tends to grow back in a rough stubble. Areas that are repeatedly waxed over long periods of time often exhibit regrowth that is softer.

A chemical depilatory is a cosmetic preparation used to remove hair from the skin. Common active ingredients are salts of thioglycolic acid and thiolactic acids. These compounds break the disulfide bonds in keratin and also hydrolyze the hair so that it is easily removed. Formerly, sulfides such as strontium sulfide were used, but due to their unpleasant odor, they have been replaced by thiols.

There are many drawbacks of waxing as well. Waxing can be painful when the strip is removed from the skin. Although the pain is not long-lasting, it can be intense, particularly in sensitive areas. Another drawback to waxing is the expense: waxing is usually performed by a licensed esthetician and in some cases the cost can be high, depending on the area waxed and the number of sittings required. There are do-it-yourself waxing supplies, but they may be difficult to use on oneself on some areas on the body.

Another drawback of waxing is that some people experience ingrown hairs, red bumps, and minor bleeding. This is more likely to occur when waxing areas with thick hair, especially the first few times when follicles are strongest.

See also

Bikini waxing removal of pubic hair that would be exposed if a bikini is worn

Bikini waxing is the removal of pubic hair using a special wax, which can be hot or cold, that adheres to hairs and pulls them out when the wax is removed quickly from the skin, usually with a cloth strip. While the practice is mainly associated with women, male waxing is sometimes done to remove men's pubic hair.

Male waxing is the practice of male pubic hair removal. After the increased popularity of female pubic hair styling or removal, commonly called bikini waxing, male waxing became more common in the 1990s, although the number of practitioners historically and currently is unknown.

Sugaring, sugar waxing or Persian waxing is a method of hair removal that has been in use since 1900 BC. Historically, sugar was confined to the regions surrounding Persia until the first millennium AD. As a result, it is speculated that honey was the first sugaring agent. Sugaring was also known as sukkar or ḥalawa in the Middle East, as ağda in Turkey, and as moum in Iran.

Related Research Articles

Electrology is the practice of electrical hair removal to permanently remove human hair from the body. Electrolysis is the actual process of removing hair using electricity.

Pubic hair Hair in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans

Pubic hair is terminal body hair that is found in the genital area of adolescent and adult humans. The hair is located on and around the sex organs and sometimes at the top of the inside of the thighs. In the pubic region around the pubis bone, it is known as a pubic patch. Pubic hair is found on the scrotum in the male and on the vulva in the female.

Shaving removal of hair with a razor or other bladed implement

Shaving is the removal of hair, by using a razor or any other kind of bladed implement, to slice it down—to the level of the skin or otherwise. Shaving is most commonly practiced by men to remove their facial hair and by women to remove their leg and underarm hair. A man is called clean-shaven if he has had his beard entirely removed.

Hair loss loss of hair from the head or body

Hair loss, also known as alopecia or baldness, refers to a loss of hair from part of the head or body. Typically at least the head is involved. The severity of hair loss can vary from a small area to the entire body. Typically inflammation or scarring is not present. Hair loss in some people causes psychological distress.

Facial procedure involving a variety of skin treatments on the human face

A facial is a family of skin care treatments for the face, including steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage. They are normally performed in beauty salons, but are also a common spa treatment. They are used for general skin health as well as for specific skin conditions. Types of facials include European facial, LED light therapy facials, and mini-facials.

Laser hair removal process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light

Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. It had been performed experimentally for about twenty years before becoming commercially available in 1995 and 1996. One of the first published articles describing laser hair removal was authored by the group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998. Laser hair removal is widely practiced in clinics, and even in homes using devices designed and priced for consumer self-treatment. Many reviews of laser hair removal methods, safety, and efficacy have been published in the dermatology literature.

Threading (epilation) method of hair removal

Threading is a method of hair removal originating in Iran, India, Central Asia and China. In more recent times it has gained popularity in Western countries, especially with a cosmetic application.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae human disease

Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), is a medical term for persistent irritation caused by shaving. Pseudofolliculitis barbae was first described in 1956.

Hair care is an overall term for hygiene and cosmetology involving the hair which grows from the human scalp, and to a lesser extent facial, pubic and other body hair. Hair care routines differ according to an individual's culture and the physical characteristics of one's hair. Hair may be colored, trimmed, shaved, plucked or otherwise removed with treatments such as waxing, sugaring and threading. Hair care services are offered in salons, barbershops and day spas, and products are available commercially for home use. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are also available, though these are provided by licensed professionals in medical offices or speciality spas.

Hair transplantation

Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that removes hair follicles from one part of the body, called the 'donor site', to a bald or balding part of the body known as the 'recipient site'. The technique is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness. In this minimally invasive procedure, grafts containing hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding are transplanted to the bald scalp. Hair transplantation can also be used to restore eyelashes, eyebrows, beard hair, chest hair, pubic hair and to fill in scars caused by accidents or surgery such as face-lifts and previous hair transplants. Hair transplantation differs from skin grafting in that grafts contain almost all of the epidermis and dermis surrounding the hair follicle, and many tiny grafts are transplanted rather than a single strip of skin.

Exfoliation (cosmetology) peeling

Exfoliation involves the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the skin's outermost surface. Exfoliation is involved in all facials, during microdermabrasion or chemical peels. Exfoliation can be achieved by mechanical or chemical means.

Ingrown hair

Ingrown hair is a condition where a hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. The condition is most prevalent among people who have coarse or curly hair. It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle (folliculitis) or "razor bumps", which vary in size. While ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved or waxed, it can appear anywhere. Anything which causes the hair to be broken off unevenly with a sharp tip can cause ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are also caused because of lack of natural exfoliation in the skin.

Epilator Method of hair removal

An epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out. The way in which epilators pull out hair is similar to waxing, although unlike waxing, they do not remove cells from the epithelium of the epidermis. Aside from the spring in early spring-type epilators, there are no parts in epilators that require regular replacement. Epilators come in corded, rechargeable and battery-operated designs. The battery-operated devices can be used wet or dry. They may also come with various attachments, like a smaller head to help with epilation of hard-to-reach areas, or an exfoliation head that may help exfoliate the skin before and after epilation.

Body grooming is the act of hair removal, shaving, styling or trimming hair of the male body. It is also often referred to as manscaping, a portmanteau derived from the words 'man' and 'landscaping'.

References

  1. Torres, Naomi. "Types of Wax for Hair Removal". Live About. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  2. Jones, Cindy. "Soft Waxes vs. Hard Waxes". Painless Wax. Retrieved November 11, 2017.

Body wax Epilation Video on Youtube