Waxing involves the use of cool or heated wax to remove unwanted hair by the root so that hair takes longer to grow back (four to eight weeks). The results are smoother than shaving, and hair grows back much more slowly, but waxing does not remove hair permanently. People who want to remove excess hair anywhere on their body but do not want the instant regrowth or stubble caused by shaving may want to try this procedure. Waxing is usually performed by cosmetologists, estheticians, or spa professionals, but can also be done at home with waxing kits.
Waxing can be done in a spa, salon, or beauty or wellness clinic. People with varicose veins or broken or sensitive skin should not have that area waxed. In addition, people taking steroid or acne medications should avoid waxing, since these can cause the skin to become thin and sensitive. Waxing is uncomfortable, but should not cause excessive amounts of pain. It may feel like a quick, sharp sting. An anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, may be taken an hour before waxing to help with the pain.
There are different methods of waxing, but all of them require some type of wax (usually melted or softened) to be applied to the skin. When the wax hardens, it grips the unwanted hair. The wax is then peeled off quickly, removing the hair along with it. The result is instantly smooth, soft, hair-free skin. The wax also removes dead skin, revealing a fresher, more radiant complexion. After the procedure, special lotions or oils may be applied to soothe the skin and prevent irritation or infection. The waxed area may be red or irritated for a few hours, but redness usually improves quickly, and there is no recovery time or healing period involved.
Some side effects include irritation, ingrown hairs, or infection. Minor irritation can be soothed with medicated lotions that dull the pain and prevent redness. Ingrown hairs can be prevented with gentle exfoliation. If the area becomes inflamed or infected, individuals should call their doctor or dermatologist.
Waxing Hair Removal Costs
Waxing is relatively inexpensive compared to laser hair removal, depending on the area to be treated. In general, smaller areas, like the eyebrows and upper lip, are less expensive to treat than larger areas, like the legs. Typical fees for smaller areas are $10-$25 per session, and larger areas, like the arms or legs, can cost about $25-$80. Home waxing kits usually cost $10 – $20.