Monday, August 13, 2012

Beauty Q & A--It's all about hair removal

Today's Beauty Q & A is all about hair removal, the myths, the best procedures, the ear piercing screams..all of it. 

Let me start by addressing something that I hear all the time in the salon..

If I wax/shave my hair, it will grow back thicker/darker/coarser.
Absolutely not true. Two weeks ago, I stated that nothing you do to the hair above the skin surface will affect what happens to the hair under the surface. This is true (to a certain extent) with shaving and waxing.  The hair follicle that produces hair in your particular "unwanted" place has already been told by your DNA and hormones what kind of hair it is going to be. If the hair is a thin, fine, blond hair, like on a lot of women's faces, then waxing or shaving it isn't going to make it thick and black. If that was the case, a lot of men that are balding would be coming in to have their heads waxed!

People feel like the hair is coarser and thicker after they shave it because when hair grows in for the first time, it is tapered to a fine point, which makes it feel fine and wispy, but once it is cut off with a razor, the now blunt hair is a lot less movable, and feels coarser. If that hair had been removed from the root instead of shaved, it would come back in as a tapered point again and feel the same as it did originally.

The only other thing that really changes the way your hair grows in (particularly on the face in women, or back and chest in men) is hormones. This is why a lot of women find that they are growing "whiskers" on their chin or neck after pregnancy or during menopause. There unfortunately isn't much to be done about it, except maintenance to remove it.

I tell my female clients to never, ever shave the hair on their face. I don't like the look of it personally, plus I can always tell when women do this, especially if they don't keep up with it.

I feel the best way to remove hair from the face is waxing. Sure it stings a little, it may make your eyes water a little, but if someone does it that is quick and knows what they are doing, it's fast and easy. Here are a couple of tips I tell my clients before waxing, especially for the first time:

1. Do not pluck in-between waxes!!

Hair grows on a cycle, and that cycle is divided up into phases. If you get waxed for the first time, all the hair follicles on your lip/chin/eyebrows are currently on different phases in that cycle. if you let the hair all grow back in and do not pluck the ones that showed up to the party a little early, then the next time you wax, you will get more and more of the hair follicles on the same cycle, which in turn means you're getting more out of your wax each time. Eventually, you will have no stray hairs growing in at different points, it will all grow in together and then be pulled out together, and it will make your life a lot easier. Now, I do have clients that are a little tweezer happy even though I have told them this information. I just roll my eyes at them. They know I know. I know, they know, I know. It's pointless sometimes to keep rehashing it all. But if you want the best wax for your hard earned money..don't pluck, please!!

2. Pain management and redness.

Yep, it's gonna be a little red and probably hurt a little. What, did you think I had some secret potion?...sorry. If you can imagine sticking a band aid to the hairiest part of your arm and then ripping it off..that is pretty much what waxing feels like. I do have some advice that might help ease the sting a little. About an hour before you wax, take an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Aleve. This will keep you ahead of the game with pain, swelling and redness. If you really swell a lot, ask for a cold cloth or if possible, some ice to apply right after the wax. We always apply witch hazel to the waxed area afterwards to cleanse, close the pores and help take the sting out. Also, (this one is my favorite) keep a bottle of Visine in your purse and apply it right after the wax. The same ingredients that keep the "red" out of your eyes will keep the "red" out of your freshly waxed skin. Finally, think about something that hurts a whole lot worse. Like stubbing your toe or child birth (yes, I rank these equally in my world...nothing worse than stubbing a toe!) Comparatively, it's just really not that bad, is it?

One benefit of waxing that hasn't really been studied too much by science is that in a lot of cases, after the same area has been waxed for a long time, some of the hair follicles cease to produce hair any longer. No one seems to understand it much, but it is thought that the follicles have undergone enough "trauma" from having the hair forcibly removed over and over that they finally take the hint and quit making hair. I have seen this happen with some of my clients with my own eyes. If only everything in life were that easy to convince!

Something else I am going to touch on is laser hair removal. I have recently tried this and think it's pretty awesome. It's pretty much painless, you have no redness, and it's quick. There are some down sides. It can be very expensive and takes multiple visits to see results and it can only really be done on dark hair. Some people say they can do it on lighter hair, but I haven't met anyone who says it has worked for them on light hair.

One thing I want everyone to be very careful with is who you have perform the laser treatment on you. I prefer to have a doctor's office do mine because i have seen some very bad burns and scars due to the laser being misused or turned up too high. I think this is something that in the future will be very strictly monitored by the proper officials, but right now, I know a lot of people who have these lasers that have no business owning one. This isn't something you should pick by price....the cheapest could cost you more than just money.

I hope this has cleared up some questions with hair removal for someone! If you have questions regarding this post or another beauty question you would like to ask, just give me a holler...I'll do my best to answer!

Have a Great Monday!


  1. Very interesting and great advice! If you ever see a hair on my chin or around the mustache area please whip out your tweezers and pluck that baby out! It won't offend me and I know you are honest and notice those unsightly follicles. Now my legs...that is a real SHOCKER! All these years I have been braiding the hair as it got longer. DUH! Off to purchase some wax tomorrow!!!!!! P.S.-Thanks for using the picture of my legs and mint green panties in your first photo! LOL!!!!!

    1. lol! You crack me up! If I did whip out my tweezers, would your first thought be, "oh no, I have a hair on my chin!" or "why does she carry around tweezers everywhere?" ...and wait until you see the other pictures I have of you ;) LoL

  2. Waxing is painful this is why i rely on shaving, the hair on my body has become thick and the quantity has also increased, i don't know if this is because of shaving, any help on this ?

    1. That is a great question Emily! Shaving cannot actually make the quantity or thickness of hair increase. It can make your hair feel thicker, but that is just because of the blunt feel of the hair that has been cut off. The only thing that can make hair thicker and increase is a change in body chemistry. Hormones are a big cause of this. I don't know your age, but women have a huge change in hormones during puberty, after having a baby, and menopause and most women see a change in hair during these times. Also keep in mind that you can have hormone fluctuations during other times in your life and you can mention this increase in hair to your OB/GYN and they can check your hormone levels to make sure nothing else is going on.
      That being said, there are some great creams out on the market that can actually decrease hair growth so you don't have to shave as often. Some people have great results with these and here is a link to one of the creams, but keep in mind there are lots of brands out there.
      Also, depending on the amount of money you want to spend, laser treatment would be a great alternative too. Just do your homework, I prefer a doctor's office to do this. They also have an at home laser that is getting great reviews now..
      This is also very pricey, but it's a one time cost and you can use the laser for a very long time. I have heard great reviews on this from clients and in fact my sister in looking into purchasing one for herself so I will hopefully have more info soon!
      I hope this answers your question. Thanks so much for reading!

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  5. Waxing is difficult this is the reason i depend on shaving, the hair on my body has turned out to be thick and the amount has likewise expanded, i don't know whether this is a direct result of shaving, any assistance on this ?