Hair removal is an age-old pursuit, with methods like shaving, plucking, waxing and laser treatments all providing smooth skin, at least temporarily. But one nagging question remains - does removing hair actually make it grow back thicker and faster? This is especially pertinent for waxing, which yanks hair directly from the follicle.
Does waxing make hair grow thicker?
No, waxing does not make hair grow back thicker or darker. This is a myth. However, waxing can temporarily make hair appear thicker and more visible as it grows back.
Why the Myth Exists
There are a few reasons why people mistakenly believe waxing leads to thicker hair regrowth:
- After waxing, the blunt ends of regrowing hair may seem thicker compared to the previously tapered ends.
- Frequent waxing can damage hair follicles over time, leading to coarser regrowth.
- Hair that hasn't been waxed may be bleached by the sun and elements, appearing finer. Regrowth seems darker in comparison.
The Science Behind Hair Regrowth
Hair thickness is determined by genetics and natural hair cycles. Waxing itself does not alter the actual thickness or rate of growth of each strand. Here's why:
- Waxing removes hair from the follicle, not the follicle itself. The follicle controls hair thickness.
- Damage to follicles can occur with repeated waxing but this does not impact hair thickness, only texture.
- Hair growth cycles are preset. Waxing may seem to increase speed but this is just synchronized regrowth.
Regrowth Tips for Best Results
While waxing doesn't change hair thickness, proper regrowth management can minimize the appearance of thickness:
- Exfoliate gently to prevent ingrown hairs which can worsen thickness.
- Shave or trim regrowth in between waxes to taper ends.
- Avoid over-waxing the same area repeatedly to prevent follicle damage.
- Allow proper regrowth time between waxes to maintain natural cycles.
Understanding Hair Regrowth After Waxing
Now that the myth is busted, here's a look at what really happens when hair grows back post-waxing:
Waxing removes the entire hair, leaving blunt ends on new regrowth. This contrasts with the tapered ends of unwaxed hair, making regrowth seem thicker.
Unwaxed hair gets lightened by the sun and elements. When fresh hair grows back in, it appears darker compared to the rest, seeming like thicker regrowth.
Follicle damage from repeated waxing can cause texture changes, leading to coarser, wiry regrowth. But the actual strand thickness remains unchanged.
Waxing removes all hairs in an area at once. This synchronizes the regrowth cycle, causing hair to appear faster and more visible as it comes back uniformly.
How to Minimize Thick Regrowth After Waxing
While you can't change the actual thickness, here are some tips to help minimize the appearance of thicker regrowth between waxes:
Allow Adequate Regrowth Time
Wax every 4-6 weeks to allow proper hair cycles. Insufficient growth time leads to breakage, requiring more frequent waxing.
Wax the same area no more than once every 4-6 weeks to prevent damage and texture changes from over-waxing.
Use a soft washcloth, brush or chemical exfoliant to gently remove dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs.
Trim or Shave
Trimming or shaving regrowth in between waxes tapers the ends for a finer appearance.
Apply Aftercare Products
Serums with azelaic acid help normalize hair regrowth. Moisturize to prevent dryness and breakage.
While waxing doesn't alter the thickness or rate of hair growth, the regrowth phase can make hair appear coarser and darker temporarily. With proper aftercare and waxing technique, these effects can be minimized for smooth, beautiful results.
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