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Let’s talk about hair growth cycles and why they are important for your wax!

If you have been waxed before, you have probably heard your Esthetician talk about how important staying on a consistent waxing routine is. If you are wanting those long-lasting waxing results, then staying on a routine of getting waxed every 4-6 weeks is essential. If you happen to be a seasonal waxer, or someone who only gets waxed before vacation or summer-  then your hair growth cycles will likely never sync and you will be constantly left with results that won’t last as long. If you are new to waxing, it’s important to understand you most likely won’t get the BEST results after your first wax because your hair growth cycles are not in sync yet. Of course, everyone is different but it typically takes a few waxes to get your hair cycles synced so you can get the longest-lasting results.

So what do we mean by hair growth cycles in sync? There are four different phases that a hair can be in and getting the majority of them in the same cycle is how you can achieve the longest last results from waxing.

The four stages of hair growth are: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen. At any one time, different body hairs, even in the same region of skin, may be in different stages of hair growth.

1. Anagen – Growing phase

Also known as “the growing stage”, this is when the hair shaft is at its strongest. It can last as short as 4 weeks on eyebrows, and up to 4 months on Brazilian and legs.  This is the only stage when the hair shaft is connected to its “food source”, the dermal papilla.

The Anagen stage of hair growth is the best time to get your wax or sugar service because when we remove the hair from the root at this stage, you are damaging the papilla, or the hair’s food source. When you remove the hair from its food source, the follicle will shrink, the papilla will be “damaged” and thus, you get less hair regrowth. This will lead to hair refinement- or a lessening of the hair that grows back.

2. Catagen – Shedding phase

This is when the hair shaft separates from the papilla, stops growing, and is allowed to move upward. It lasts 1 – 2 weeks.  You may find these are the hairs that ‘grow back early’ after your first few waxes. For a new waxer- this can seem like “broken hairs” but in reality, these hairs are too short to be grasped with the wax or sugar, which is why it is SO important to schedule your follow up appointment!

3. Telogen – Dormant phase

This is the “resting stage”. This is the final stage of hair growth. It lasts between 6 weeks and 6 months, depending on the body part. The hair is ready to fall out and will be pushed out by the new hair which is already forming in its own Anagen Stage. (Stage 1) If you get your wax or sugar in the Telogen stage, you will see quicker regrowth, since the new hair below it is already growing and pushing out the next hair.

In between appointments -The biggest mistake we see even the most seasoned clients making is shaving between waxes. This seems like a quick fix for stubble, but shaving only removes hair at skin level, so it reappears in one to four days, and over time the skin itself becomes coarse.  There are a lot of negative effects of shaving, especially if you’re trying to reap the benefits of waxing. With regular waxing, hair may eventually become finer and grow more slowly, increasing your time between waxes and reducing the appearance of hair.

If you shave between your appointments, by continually cutting the hair, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth!  Long term shaving can actually encourage the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser, and fuller, resulting in more hair growing from each pore! Furthermore, every time you shave you risk getting nicks, cuts, razor burn, and ingrown hair, aggravating the skin and increasing its risk of infection.

So, now that you know how your hair cycles impact your waxing results- let’s schedule your next appointment! And remember: toss that razor!