Waxing has become one of the most popular hair removal methods due to longer-term effectiveness when compared to shaving; and affordability, when compared to laser hair removal. Waxing, over the course of time, can cause your hair to grow back thinner, slower, and more sparsely. So why is your client (or you) noticing that after the first couple of waxes, the area you just waxed isn’t as smooth and flawless as the videos make it seem? This can be incredibly frustrating for you as an esthetician, and for the client as well. The answer is hair cycles!
The hair cycle occurs due to the fact that the hair on the body grows at an individual pace, and usually, all of your hair is not on the same cycle. Educating yourself on the hair cycle process is essential so that you can communicate with your clients effectively and produce the flawless results they’re looking for.
Hair growth on the body occurs in three stages. The first stage is the Anagen Phase, which is the growing stage. This is the most ideal stage of the hair cycle for waxing as the hair is brand new and pulled directly from the root- producing longer-lasting results. Continual waxing in this stage will also lead to more sparse regrowth, as repeatedly removing the hair at this full depth within the skin will eventually weaken the follicles that are responsible for hair growth. The second stage is the Catagen Phase, which is a shorter period of time where the hair is transitioning. It isn’t growing anymore, but has now separated from the follicle and is being pushed up towards the skin. The oldest hair on your body is in the Telogen Phase, which means it is resting and ready to fall out. Hair in this stage either falls out on its own or is pushed out by newer hair that is growing underneath. Waxing during this stage does not produce long-lasting results, as new hair that has already begun to grow underneath the hair above it will not have adhered to the wax. Since this hair is left behind, it could poke through a few days after the wax treatment.
Understanding this natural process of the body is crucial to produce the best waxing results, depending on the area you are waxing as hair grows differently with each part. The hair on the body can be in different stages of the growth cycle simultaneously, especially for those who regularly shave and/or are new to waxing. This is why it may take multiple waxing sessions to produce the desired results so that each growth cycle has a chance to be targeted.
Once there is a regular routine to the waxing, the hair will eventually “sync up” and waxing will produce those silky-smooth results.
Communicating with your clients about this process will ensure that they know exactly what to expect, and once they’ve reached a comfortable routine they can begin to plan out their waxes for the most optimal times within the growth cycle.
Sparse hair regrowth is typically ideal for the underarm and bikini area, however, brows are usually a different story. Repeated waxing or over-tweezing weakens the hair follicles which cause the hair to grow back finer and more sparse, so you may encounter some clients that wish to regrow their brows.
Educating your clients on the process of the hair cycle will set that expectation of regrowth, and they’ll be able to understand why it takes so long. Remind your clients that patience is key and that at first, their hair texture may be fine, but eventually, the hair will become thicker and fall naturally into the brow. Strategic waxing during this stage is essential because avoiding areas that the client wants hair to grow in will help in this process tremendously.
As Liz says, “a beautiful brow shape takes time, but it is worth the wait!"