Hair Growth Cycles – Why a Waxing Routine is Essential

Mar 26, 2024 | Waxing & Skin

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

Wax Shack Hair Growth Comparison infographic

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 want 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- there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, you should know that 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.

What do we mean by hair growth cycles in sync? There are three stages of hair growth and getting the majority of them in the same cycle is how you can achieve the longest results from waxing.

The three stages of hair growth are Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. At any one time, different body hairs, even in the same region of skin, maybe in different stages of hair growth. I like to use eyelashes as an example: you don’t lose all of your eyelashes on the same day because they are in different stages at different times. Thank goodness, can you imagine how crazy it would look if we didn’t have eyelashes?

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 or “root” of the hair.

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 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 in the Telogen stage, you will see quicker regrowth, since the new hair below it is already growing and pushing out the next hair.

If you have been shaving, then your hair will be growing in all sorts of different stages. That’s why your first 2 to 4 waxing services don’t give you that perfectly smooth skin you’re after. What you are feeling is the hairs that are lying just under the skin, coming to the surface later because they were in stages 2 or 3.

If you wait too long between waxes (6 weeks or longer) between your Brazilian or leg wax, then your hairs are not in the anagen stage anymore and are not attached to the papilla. So, when we pull these hairs out, while you still get a good three weeks hair-free, we don’t get the chance to damage that papilla, and permanently reduce your hair growth. Damaging the papilla and permanently reducing the hair growth is the whole goal of waxing!

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 the skin level, so it reappears in one to four days. I get it, we live at the beach, and being in a swimsuit is our way of life. As an option, during the warmer months, I recommend alternating bikini and Brazilian waxes every three weeks. While this is not ideal for long-term hair reduction, it does solve the problem of having to shave.

If you shave between your appointments, by continually cutting the hair, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth! Long-term shaving can encourage the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser, and fuller, resulting in more hair growing from each pore! Furthermore, sensitive skin simply can’t tolerate daily shaving and you increase the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs, OUCH!

So, now that you know how your hair cycles impact your waxing results- Let’s start waxing! Book your appointment now.

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