How Often Should I Wax?

Woman doing the Brazilian wax hair removal
Yagi Studio/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Waxing is an excellent way to remove body hair. However, if you're new to waxing, you may be confused about the process, how often to wax, and how to maintain your skin afterward. Let me clear up new things.

Waxing can last up to six weeks at a time but depends on many factors like hair growth cycles, age, sex, who is doing the service and the area you're getting waxed. Also, hair generally needs to be about ¼" long before it can successfully be removed (see more about waxing length).

Let's Talk About Hair Growth

Basically, hair has three stages: growing, resting, and transitional. At any given time approximately 80 to 90 percent of hair follicles are in the growth phase and the rest are either in the transitional or resting phase.

What this means is that there is probably some hair underneath the skin growing that hasn’t reached the surface yet, or it is on the skin but isn’t long enough to be grasped. So of course, the waxing technician isn't going to be able to grasp all of your hairs and remove them. In the first few days (or weeks) after waxing, you'll see those unreachable (or un-graspable) hairs. How much appears depends on the thickness and color of your hair. Of course, dark, thick hair will start to show much sooner (and be more noticeable) than light, fine hair.

If it's your first time waxing, and you continue to get waxed every two to four weeks, then all hair will have had the chance to be removed from the root.

You will then notice that the skin is staying hair free longer and you'll be able to go longer between appointments.

More Frequently at First

When you first get waxed, you could see hair again in as little as just a couple of days. This doesn't necessarily mean that the technician did a poor job, so don't freak out and run to another salon.

Although there could have been breakage (something you should bring up with your technician during your next visit) it's likely the unreachable, un-graspable hair you're noticing.

What Is a Normal Skin Reaction to Waxing?

It is normal for your skin to show redness after waxing, so don't panic if that happens. Some skin is more sensitive than others and reactions may range from no redness at all to very red skin. The first time you wax an area, or if it has been a while since your last waxing, you will probably experience some redness and sensitivity afterward. This usually subsides within a few hours. If you have very sensitive skin, then the redness may last for up to 24 hours.

What Soothing Product Can I use After Waxing?

To prevent clogged pores, it is best not to put any heavy lotions on the skin after waxing. Witch hazel, aloe vera gel, diluted pure lavender, or blue chamomile essential oil may all be used to soothe the skin. Also, I recommend waiting up to 24 hours before applying antiperspirant under your arms after waxing that area because you don't want to clog those sensitive pores.

Maintenance

I recommend getting waxed every two to four weeks after your first appointment. This will help remove the hair that was growing underneath the skin at your last appointment(s).

After that how regularly you should get waxed will depend on how noticeable the hair is, how much it bothers you, and your budget. The average time to go between appointments is three to eight weeks.