Waxing Questions and Misconceptions
What is the difference between each wax? Soft, Sugar, and Hard.
Soft wax is what people normally think of when thinking of receiving a wax service. SW is applied with a spatula in the direction of the hair growth, a muslin strip is placed on top of the wax and firm pressure is applied to the strip. SW is removed in the opposite direction that it was applied (against hair growth).
Hard Wax is a film wax that is applied with a spatula to the skin and is left to dry (usually a few seconds) and is removed without a strip by gripping the dried strip and removing in the opposite direction that it was applied.
Sugar Wax considered the traditional technique, a warmed thick mixture is applied first in the opposite direction of hair growth using the hands. It's then flicked off in the direction of hair growth.
The difference between all 3 is the following.
Soft wax- Sticks to the skin and in turn can cause bruising, bleeding, lifting of the skin, further pain and sensitivity from the added pressure when applying the strip and removing it. SW Can break hair off and cause irritation and ingrown hairs. Leaves a sticky residue behind, requires more time and product to be used. Due to such damage to the skin, waxing the same area a second time is restricted.
Hard wax- Hard was doesn’t stick to the skin, but only to the body hair. Hard wax can be used in any direction of the hair growth and can be reapplied as many times as needed as HW doesn’t adhere to the skin.
Sugar- Sticks to the skin but unlike SW, sugar doesn’t need to have added pressure after the application, can only be applied in one direction and removed.
As you can see there are many differences between the waxes. But when performed by an experienced waxer, the end result for all ARE THE SAME!
The end results of a successful wax is, skin is not lifted, bruised or bleeding. The hair has been removed from the hair follicle with the hair bulb still attached and clients' pain has been managed with the proper removal and added pressure after the removal of wax. The end result can be achieved with ANY, yes I said ANY wax from above.
The MISCONCEPTIONS that I have read and been told personally are as follows.
Sugar wax last longer... no… its a myth, and here is why!
Like an iceberg, a hair shows only its tip. The root or follicle is below the surface. Follicles follow a repeating three-phase life cycle hair growth, ANAGEN (GROWING) - The anagen stage is the growing period of a hair follicle. CATAGEN (INTERMEDIATE)- The catagen stage is the intermediate period of hair growth. TELOGEN (RESTING OR SHEDDING). The growth phase lasts about 6 weeks.
When removing the hair and its hair bulb the hair growth stage starts over and can be achieved with all 3 waxes when done SUCCESSFULLY!
Is prep important before and during a waxing service?
Prep is very important both days before and during the wax.
Days prior to your appt- You want to make sure that your hair is going to be long enough for waxing. I recommend clients to have a rice grain in length of growth for the wax to be successful in removal for the End Result. MISCONCEPTIONS that I have read in many outlets, letting the hair grow out 2 months is NOT NEEDED, however… if you have decided to grow your hair out to that timeline, it will NOT hurt more as the hair is much more flexible than hair that is too short. Please be aware with hair this long you will possibly need a touch up around the 2 weeks mark after receiving your wax to better ensure all hairs are close to or on the same growth cycle.
During the wax service- Every Esti and their wax calls for different prep! I personally use an antiseptic spray to dry out the skin of any sweat (water) and then apply a thin layer of oil to better hydrate the area that I am waxing. This ensures a better application/removal, doesn’t cause the wax to break and is less painful for the client to have a barrier between the skin and wax!
What is to be expected during a wax service? Common experiences.
What is to be expected during a wax service varies from person to person. How long is the hair, how long ISN'T the hair, what type of skin and hair do they have, do they suffer from any skin conditions, did they prep the skin prior to the service?
What can happen if you don’t receive a quality wax and what could have been done to avoid it?
The main complaints I see and hear about from a bad wax experience is
“I Bruised” which can be caused by lack of prep, not holding the skin taught, and the use of SW and Sugar.
“I bled during the service” The 1st question I would ask in regards to that, were you on your period or pregnant? If answered yes, the client is experiencing increased blood flow which in turn will cause pinpoint bleeding. Are they on any blood thinners? If by Rx such as- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Apixaban (Eliquis), Heparin (various), Warfarin (Coumadin), you would have already known per intake/consent form and will need a consent form from the dr approving the service to be performed on them. Natural blood thinners such as Tumeric and Vitamin E will need to stop 3 days before the service.
If the answer is no to the above, the cause for the bleeding may due to enlarged hairs/hair bulbs being removed from the follicle. Pinpoint bleeding is common during the initial wax.
Blood being brought to the surface is relevant to bruising.
Rashes and Reactions- It should always be advised to the client they should take an anti-histamine right before or right after the service to avoid a histamine reaction. This is very important as you are causing trauma to the area you are waxing. It is very common for a client to receive this type of reaction after their initial and 2nd wax. If clients have the common side effects from antihistamines and not going home straight after, advise them a topical anti-histamine would be better and adding on High frequency before you leave would be beneficial.
Any other reaction that is prolonged days after a wax, the client is possibly allergic to an ingredient to the wax or the hairs are being broken off and causing ingrown hair. Proper exfoliation should be used to keep the hair erect until a follow up can be scheduled or receiving a touch up from a more experienced professional.
What you need to know about Acne Inversa and how waxing can be an easy step to help your condition! What is Acne Inversa? Read more here-
Shaving Vs. Waxing
This one is a new one for me to explain and before I explain MY OPINION, I am NOT convincing anyone to go against their DR's wishes or recommendations. With that said this is only my observation and OPINION.
A woman told me that per her DR she was told to not WAX while pregnant, but instead to SHAVE. The risk of infection is much lower with shaving.
I for the life of me don’t understand how this can be accurate… One type of hair removal consists of abiding by Universal Precautions while the other is just left in your shower… wet… rusting… dull... and gathering bacteria from a room that is meant to CLEAN YOURSELF!
The number one priority is sanitation in my office and should be with every waxer. You're taking a bigger risk of shaving while pregnant. The razor can become dull... it can gather bacteria as it sets in your shower, and if you’re not taking surgical type sanitation practices at home with your razor you will always be at risk for laceration and infection with shaving. Idk about you but I couldn’t see jack squat when I was pregnant, so yes I cut myself a few times. During a service, all procedures are at top-notch sanitation. Gloves are used, a new stick with every application and I end the service with a topical antiseptic to ensure cleanliness. DR's seem to be very unaware of the scare factor they are giving their patients and I believe it’s due to lack of knowledge about the service itself and it saves you from possibly visiting someone that doesn’t practice universal precautions... spas like that still exist. I believe some DR's play it extra safe to ensure peace of mind. With that said, If one DR would take into consideration what I have mentioned about at home razors, maybe they would advise their patients to not use any type of hair removal during the pregnancy.