Wax Depilation: Common Questions & Useful Tips

Wax depilation is a kind of treatment which is widely available, although it may be rather painful. It involves removal of unwanted hair from different body parts. Waxing ensures a long-term result and has no contraindications.

Wax used for hair removal must be heated to a temperature comfortable for the body. Sensitive areas, such as bikini, face, and armpits, should be treated with hotter wax, whereas the temperature of wax used on the arms and legs should be lower. This will help reduce the pain and ensure precise plucking all the unwanted hairs.

Wax should be chosen depending on the type of your skin and hair. If you wax regularly, i.e. once every three or four weeks, unwanted hair growth will slow down, the hairs on your body will eventually become thin, fine and soft, while your skin will become smooth and silky.

waxing tips and adviceIn this article, we are going to explore the following topics:

  1. Who Invented Wax Depilation?
  2. How to Prepare Yourself for Wax Depilation if this is your First Experience?
  3. Is Wax Depilation Suitable for you?
  4. What Different Kinds of Wax Depilation are there?
  5. How are Hairs Removed During Depilation?
  6. Why can you have Skin Irritation after Depilation?
  7. How to Reduce Post Treatment Irritation?
  8. How to Avoid Ingrown Hair?
  9. Tips on Skin Care after Wax Depilation
  10. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wax Depilation

Who Invented Wax Depilation?

The opinion of our ancestors about the presence of hair on a woman’s body differed from culture to culture. In ancient times, body hair was a sign of humble birth. Aristocrats were supposed to have smooth and silky skin.

Ancient Sumerians, on the other hand, did not practice depilation. They believed that gods would leave them with no luck for seven years if they removed hair from any part of their bodies. This is why there was no such thing as depilation in Sumer.

The first recorded attempts to get rid of unwanted body hair date back to Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The women of Ancient Egypt removed body hair with sharp tools which have later evolved into present day razors. Depilation cream was also invented by ancient Egyptians. Such cream was prepared by mixing wax, honey and vegetable juice, and applied on the areas where hair was to be removed. Nefertiti, the famous queen of Egypt, is believed to have made use of this mixture.

greece ancient women

Records preserved on ancient papyruses show that the pharaohs wanted their concubines to be hairless. The queens and high ranking aristocrats of Egypt used to have special maidservants who removed their lady’s body hair with special tweezers. This treatment was painful, while the effect was short lived.

In Ancient Greece, having hair on your private parts was considered embarrassing if not disgusting. The women of Ancient Rome took pains to get rid of unwanted hair, as well. However, they preferred to undertake this procedure at the bath house. When the skin is softened by the steam, it becomes less sensitive to the pain caused by plucking body hair. This treatment was performed by specially trained female slaves, who wound up a hair on a piece of strong thread and pulled sharply.

Unlike ancient times, modern women can enjoy quite a few methods of eliminating body hair. It is wax depilation that ranks first among the common methods of removing unwanted hair.

How to Prepare Yourself for Wax Depilation if this is your First Experience?

No matter which part of your body you are going to wax, it is essential that you properly prepare your skin for depilation.

1. Check your skin.

Start by checking your skin for any irritations or injuries, such as sunburn, cuts, sores etc. If you have found any injuries, treat them and wait for them to heal before having the procedure done.

Protect your moles. Never apply wax on moles, birthmarks, and papillomas, because they can be injured by wax. Before you start the procedure, cover the moles with a small piece of plaster.

Measure the length of your hair. The best hair length for wax depilation is between 13 and 19 mm (½ to ¾ inches). Very fine hair, such as facial hair, for example, can be shorter.

prepearing before waxing

2. Prepare your skin for depilation.

If you are planning a visit to a waxing salon, take a warm shower. Use delicate soap to cleanse the areas you are going to have waxed. Avoid using hot water, because it may cause skin irritation.

By using a body scrub or a shower puff you will remove dead skin cells that may otherwise clog hair follicles and cause subsequent hair ingrowth. However, do not rub your skin too hard to avoid irritation.

Make use of water based moisturizing cream. An oily moisturizing cream will protect your skin from burning or being injured by wax. Some companies sell special moisturizing cream especially to prepare your skin for waxing. Make sure that the cream has absorbed completely. Any residue of oil on your skin will prevent hair from being gripped by wax.

3. Plan waxing depilation in advance.

Avoid having wax depilation when your skin is sensitive. It should not be done just before or during menstruation or after a lengthy exposure to the sun. Let your skin get back to normal for a week before any kind of treatment wax is applied.

Consider using a painkiller. If you take a pain reliever one hour before waxing, you will prevent your skin from swelling and avoid a lot of pain.

Is Wax Depilation Suitable for You?

Indications

Wax depilation is suitable for both men and women. This treatment is effective and safe. This method of removing unwanted hair can be applied on any part of the body, including arms, legs, face, and even highly sensitive areas as pubic hair and armpits. If wax depilation is done regularly, your hair will eventually become considerably softer, lighter and thinner.

  • Unwanted hair in different areas of the face and body
  • After-shave irritation and allergic reaction
  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Coarse hair

Counter-Indications

You should bear in mind that there are a number of counter-indications related to wax depilation. They should be considered to maximize the effect of this treatment. You should refrain from wax depilation if you have:

  • Skin injuries
  • Varicose veins
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Skin inflammation
  • Skin neoplasms
  • Burns

What Kinds of Wax Depilation are there?

There are several kinds of depilation wax, among them: cold, warm, hot and film wax. The use of each kind of wax requires its own working temperature and involves specific treatment techniques. Most waxes are oil soluble. There are special oil based products for removing wax residue from the skin when depilation has been completed.

Different types of waxCold Wax

It is produced in the form of strips covered with a resin based adhesive substance. The strips are warmed by hands before application, applied on the skin and ripped off sharply, plucking the hair out. This method is ideal for do-it-yourself wax depilation because it does not require any special knowledge or experience.

Warm Wax

This kind of wax is made of pine tree resin, white beeswax, and some additives. The ingredients of this product have a soothing and softening effect. Warm wax melts at 38o-39o C. It is heated in a special device called a “wax melter” and is then applied to the skin in the direction of hair growth. Finally, it is removed with the help of a paper strip against the direction of hair growth.

Hot Wax

This product contains natural resin, beeswax, mineral wax, natural polymers, plant extracts, and oils. The melting temperature of the hot wax is 45o — 47o C. It is heated in a specially designed wax melter. Hot wax is applied to the skin with a spatula and removed without paper strips. During depilation, hot wax heats and softens the skin locally, which causes the pores to open up. As a result, unwanted hair is plucked easily in a considerably less painful way. High working temperature requires considerable skill because there is a risk of burning the skin. This is why depilation with hot wax should be performed by a professional hair removal specialist.

Film Wax

This kind of waxing product is similar to hot wax. The melting temperature of film wax is 39oC, which eliminates the risk of burns. Among a number of other components, film wax contains rubber and vinyl polymers, which make this product highly plastic. This is the reason why film wax is very effective and convenient for armpits and bikini depilation. Film wax is heated in a specially designed heater and applied thinly with a spatula. It is ripped off without the use of paper strips. Film wax does not injure the skin and is a perfect remedy for plucking the hair of any length and thickness.

How is Hair Removed During Depilation

Before setting about wax depilation, hair removal specialist must make sure that hair is long enough for a successful treatment. Hair should be at least five millimeters long. The sequence of a wax depilation procedure is as follows:

Woman having armpit waxing

  1. The area where body hair is about to be removed is treated with some kind of fruit acid or a special tonic. This is necessary for peeling off the upper skin layer, as well as for cleansing and for preventing ingrown hairs.
  2. The wax is heated and applied to the skin with a wooden spatula in the direction of hair growth. The warm temperature causes the pores to open up and allows the wax to reach the hair follicles.
  3. When the waxing substance cools down, the specialist removes the wax in accordance with the requirements of the procedure. Wax is removed by pulling sharply against the direction of hair growth.
  4. Wax residue is removed with a soothing and nourishing lotion.
  5. To consolidate the effect, a remedy for inhibiting hair growth is applied on the treated area.

It will take you 30-40 minutes to get perfectly smooth and silky skin.

Why You Can Get Skin Irritation After Depilation

Wax depilation specialists consider that skin inflammation after waxing is normal and predictable. However, there are reasons why inflammations may occur:

  • During depilation, particles of skin are torn off together with hair, which leads to redness and other unpleasant reactions.
  • Wax depilation is quite stressful for the skin. It reacts with redness, rash, peeling, and ingrown hair. You will gradually get rid of such symptoms.
  • Poor quality of depilation wax. For example, if you use wax which was not stored in proper conditions, you are likely to have skin irritation and redness.

In order to avoid unpleasant reactions, prepare your skin for the treatment properly.

How to Reduce Post Treatment Irritation

Removing any kind of irritation is quite simple. You only have to remember and follow a few simple methods, which will help you forget about annoying skin inflammation:

  • Use some kind of antiseptic remedy to disinfect your skin after depilation. Antiseptics tend to dry up the skin, so apply a delicate moisturizing cream on the treated areas.
  • Apply Himalaya cream on the depilated area immediately after waxing.
  • If there are only minor skin injuries, you can use tea tree oil mixed with some vegetable oil. Add five or six drops of tea tree oil to three tablespoons of vegetable oil and apply this mixture on the depilated area. Take some time to let your skin absorb the oil.
  • Aloe Vera juice is another effective remedy for skin irritation. You will need a fresh Aloe Vera leave for this purpose. Cut the leave along the sides and put it on the affected area.

Any household is sure to have some kind of cosmetic products that can remove skin inflammation. Examples of such remedies are:

  • Baby cream for inflammation
  • Moisturizing face cream containing chamomile, pot marigold or Aloe Vera
  • Herbs like chamomile or pot marigold.

How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs

Here are some tips that will help you avoid hair growing in:

  • Do not expose depilated skin to water, heating or rubbing for two or three days after wax depilation.
  • Make use of specialized cosmetic products for preventing hair ingrowth.
  • Three days after wax depilation use body scrubs which contain glycolic acid and salicylic acid on a daily basis. The glycolic acid scrub should be used regularly. If an ingrown hair does appear, use such a scrub daily. However, you should bear in mind that scrubbing is only a preventive measure rather than a kind of medication.
  • Use a coarse puff to rub your skin when having a shower.
  • Moisturizing your skin is a useful habit to prevent ingrown hairs. Dry and dehydrated skin prevents normal hair growth and provokes ingrowth. You can use any handy skin moisturizer to hydrate your skin. You can also make DIY body moisturizing masks.
  • Use vitamin E. It helps to regenerate and repair skin cells and produces a skin lightening effect. Apply an oily solution of vitamin E on the affected areas after shower and scrubbing. This treatment will promote the skin regeneration process.
  • Do not use underwear or clothes made of artificial fabric.

Tips on Skin Care After Wax Depilation

Representatives of hair removal salons may try to persuade you that wax depilation is a one-time treatment that will rid you of body hair worries for a long time. However, this assurance is not quite true. Unless you are prepared to put up with inflammations, irritations, and in-grown hair, it is vital that you take post-depilation care of your skin. Here is what you should do to avoid a number of annoying skin conditions.

Regularity

First and foremost, you should bear in mind that depilation must be done regularly. It will prevent your body hair from growing out too long and causing irritation. Besides, it is a matter of personal hygiene and neatness.

Moisturizing

It depends largely on your skin type and individual needs of your body. Some will find ordinary aftershave gel or lotion the most sufficient, while others may need to have a ritual involving a range of creams. In most cases, a baby cream is good enough to moisturize depilated skin areas. Avoid using baby powder, since it tends to clog the pores and is likely to cause inflammation.

sensitive skin care after waxingEmergency Measures after Waxing

If redness and burning occur immediately after wax depilation, do what you would normally do for any skin injury, i.e. apply chamomile tincture or just spirits to clean the cut. Having done that, apply some moisturizing cream or ointment.

If inflammation occurs some time after wax depilation, you can use any antiseptic ointment. As a last resort, you can make use of aftershave lotion and remember to use remedies which contain panthenol.

Avoid using deodorants, perfume, and other cosmetic products 24 hours after wax depilation. Besides, cosmetologists recommend to applying products which inhibit hair growth. Tanning salons must be avoided at all costs, because they may cause skin pigmentation or trigger skin inflammation.

Home Remedies for Skin Inflammations

It will be quite useful to know which natural remedies are useful to heal skin injuries:

  • Chamomile infusion (three or four applications a day)
  • Eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil added to vegetable oil. Remember that this remedy may leave oily stains on your clothes, so put on something old.

The most important thing that you should bear in mind is this: depilation is not a one-time undertaking. Both waxing and after-depilation skin care should be done regularly. Make it your habit and enjoy smooth and tender skin permanently.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wax Depilation

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Effective in comparison with shaving, chemical depilation or use of electrical epilators. As a result of wax depilation, you have a perfectly smooth skin, hair follicles are removed and the effect is long lasting. Painful, especially when done for the first time. This treatment is hardly enjoyable. When performed regularly, it becomes less sensitive, especially, when you have appreciated the result.
Hair becomes thin and weak. In some cases, hair growth stops completely. Hair can only be removed successfully if it is long enough.
Safety. This treatment does not cause allergic reactions. When depilation is performed by a hair removal professional, burns are excluded. Redness and skin inflammation on the depilated areas may stay for a few days.
Affordable. Anybody can afford the services of a hair removal specialist. Hair ingrowth. However, it is a common issue associated with all types of body hair removal.
Time-saving. Complete body hair removal procedure takes maximum 1.5-2 hours, this including skin preparation.
Removal of dead skin cells. The upper layer of the epidermis is removed together with hair. That means that you will receive skin peeling along with depilation.

As you can see, advantages outnumber the disadvantages. This is why we recommend wax depilation as a way to getting rid of unwanted body hair long term. We wish you to enjoy beauty, good health, and happiness.

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