An Esthetician Explains Why You Should Never Shave in Between Your Wax Appointments
I am an avid waxer. I hate everything about the act of shaving and am religious about visiting my wax specialist. During these times of social distancing, though, like many others I’ve been faced with the hard reality of not being able to get my monthly appointments. But my waxing specialist has always told me not to shave in between my appointments, which has left me wondering, what’s the best way to maintain my wax? To answer my question, I tapped Josie Holmes, an esthetician at SKINNEY Medspa.
Reason #1 of Why You Shouldn’t Shave in Between Wax Appointments: It Can Stimulate Hair Growth
“Hair-removal services, such as waxing, are scheduled around the hair-growth cycle,” says Holmes. There are four stages in the hair-growth cycle known as the anagen, catagen, teologen and exogen. Holmes explains that these stages cycle throughout a period of four to six weeks. Waxing treatments are designed to remove the hairs at the same stage in the growth cycle each session as a way of interrupting the growth of the hair, which can lead to a reduction in growth over time. “When you are waxing, you’ll have about two weeks without any hair because of this interruption,” she says. But when you shave in between your wax appointments, the continuous cutting of hair can stimulate hair growth and reverse the efficacy of your treatments.
Reason #2 of Why You Shouldn’t Shave in Between Wax Appointments: It Changes Hair Texture
Another reason why you shouldn’t shave in between your wax appointments is because it can change the texture of your hair. “After a few waxing appointments, you should begin to notice the hair getting finer and thinner,” she says. When you shave in between your appointments, though, you’re encouraging the hair to come back more quickly and seem more coarse because you’re cutting the hair above the skin, leaving a blunt tip and stubble.
Reason #3 of Why You Shouldn’t Shave in Between Wax Appointments: It Can Cause Irritation
Finally, shaving between your waxing appointments also increases your chances of getting ingrown hairs, razor burn and irritation, explains Holmes.
So, how can you maintain your wax in between appointments?
“One great way to upkeep your wax in between appointments is by post-treatment care, including exfoliation and moisturizing,” says Holmes. Keeping your hair and skin moisturized will help keep dryness at bay and breakage that can affect your results. Exfoliating the area will help by removing dead surface skin cells and keeping the follicle clean. When waxing your legs, underarms or any other part of your body that’s not your bikini area, we recommend exfoliating with a gentle body scrub, like the Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub, which is made with soothing aloe vera and chamomile and exfoliating apricot seed. When maintaining a bikini wax, though, it’s important to use a formula that’s gentle enough for the area. We love the Fur Silk Scrub, which, according to the brand, is dermatologically and gynecologically tested to give smooth, radiant and polished results. Ultimately, Holmes says, “the best way to upkeep your wax and see results from your appointments is to stick to your schedule, avoid shaving at all costs and practice good at-home care.”
How do you recommend people take care of their wax during times of self isolation, though?
While you might have not gotten a wax in a long time due to COVID-19, Holmes says it’s still important to stick to your specialist’s recommendations. With that said, though, since we’ve been social distancing for longer than the hair growth cycle, Holmes advises either letting the hair grow out and trim with scissors, wax at home or shave as a last resort. “Trimming the hair is a great way to feel groomed without using the razor. Waxing at home can be intimidating, but a hard wax is recommended for at-home waxing beginners,” says Holmes. “Be sure to prep the area prior as directed, hold the skin taught, apply the wax with pressure in the direction of the hair growth, let it dry, and remove swiftly in the opposite direction of growth.” If you don't feel comfortable waxing at home or don't feel groomed enough with trimming the hairs, only then does Holmes say you should consider shaving. But be aware that shaving may set back your results. If you do choose to shave, it’s important to continue to exfoliate and moisturize the area as well as using a shaving cream. We like Schaf Shaving Cream, which is formulated with sensitive skin types in mind, it’s made with coconut oil and aloe vera and provides the right amount of slip for a comfortable, close shave.