It’s no secret that waxing is one of the most painful hair removal techniques. But the skin it reveals is irresistibly silky smooth.
Whether you’re preparing for your first waxing session or are just brushing up on the basics, we’ve got the answers you’re searching for.
In this article, we’ll explain how long your hair has to be to wax it. We’ll also give you some tips so you can be prepared for your waxing session. Let’s get right into it!
Table of Contents
- 1 How Long Does Hair Have to Be to Wax?
- 2 How Do You Prepare Your Hair for a Brazilian Wax?
- 3 How Do I Take Care of My Skin After Waxing?
How Long Does Hair Have to Be to Wax?
Some people might be surprised to find out that there’s a minimum length for waxing hair. Wax needs enough hair to adhere to, but not so long that the hair breaks.
For the best results, head to a salon appointment with hair that’s at least ¼ inch long, which is about the length of a grain of rice. If your hair is any shorter, you’ll leave with a less-than-satisfactory wax job.
Can Your Hair Be Too Long to Wax?
So now you know that your hair has to be at least a quarter of an inch long to wax it. But did you know that there’s also a maximum allowable hair length?
Most experts agree that you should avoid waxing hair that is half an inch or longer. If your hair is longer than that, it can make your waxing session more painful.
Long hair also increases the chances of your hair strands snapping, either above or below the surface of your skin. That can throw off your results or lead to an increase in ingrown hairs.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do if your hair gets too long before your next wax. We’ll look at them below.
- Trim the hair with scissors between appointments
- Don’t wait as long between waxing sessions (i.e., schedule more consistent waxing sessions)
- Apply a post-depilatory cream
- Go over the area with hair clippers
- Use a different hair removal method
How Long Does Waxing Last?
Depending on how quickly your hair grows, the area should remain smooth for three to six weeks after you wax it. And when the hair grows back, it may take on a new texture.
Waxing removes your hair from the root, which can damage your hair follicles. The damaged follicles produce thinner, finer strands. So over time, your waxing results may last longer and longer.
How Do You Prepare Your Hair for a Brazilian Wax?
So now you know that your hair has to be a quarter of an inch long for your waxing session. But did you know that there are a few other things you can do to prepare? Here are a few of our favorite tips for pre-waxing skin and hair care.
Take a Shower Before Your Appointment
Showering before a waxing session is a major part of salon etiquette. It makes the experience more pleasant for you and your wax technician and can give you much better results.
Dirt and dead skin cells can prevent the wax from gripping your hair, so a pre-wax shower ensures everything will work how it’s supposed to. And as a bonus, showering before your waxing session decreases your chances of developing a skin infection!
Gently Exfoliate Your Skin
Two or three days before your appointment, gently exfoliate the area you plan on waxing. That will get rid of the dead skin cells, so nothing gets in between the wax and your skin.
Be mindful that exfoliating can make your skin more sensitive to pain. So, use a gentle exfoliant, and give your skin a few days to recover.
Hydrate Your Skin
Waxing healthy, well-moisturized skin is much easier than waxing dry skin. So, in the days leading up to your waxing, cleanse and moisturize the area thoroughly.
However, on the actual day of your waxing appointment, you should skip the moisturizer. Otherwise, the moisturizer can coat your hair and prevent the wax from taking hold.
Take Pain Medication Ahead of Time
If you have a low pain tolerance or are concerned about discomfort, you can take an Advil or two twenty to thirty minutes before your appointment.
That may help take the edge off and make your experience much more enjoyable. And since you’re less likely to squirm or end the session early, you’re more likely to leave the salon with excellent results.
Figure Out What Type of Wax You Want
Before your waxing appointment, you want to do as much research as possible. Make sure you’re going to an experienced waxer with excellent sanitation practices.
You’ll also have to figure out what area you want to get waxed and the type of wax you want your technician to use. There are a ton of different waxing options, each with a unique list of pros and cons.
Some of the most common options available include:
How Do I Take Care of My Skin After Waxing?
What you do after your waxing session is just as important as what you do before it. The proper skincare routine will slow hair growth and leave your skin bright, smooth, and healthy. So, in this section, we’ll look at how you can take care of your skin after waxing it.
Apply a Post-depilatory Cream
Whether you get waxed at a salon or choose to go about it on your own, a post-depilatory lotion is one of the most essential post-waxing skincare items. Post-depilatory creams serve several purposes.
They remove the residual wax residue, prevent bumps and ingrown hair, and soothe your skin. One of the most important things they do is slow down hair growth. They help stretch out the time between your waxing sessions while keeping your skin soft and smooth.
Treat the Area Gently
After getting waxed, your skin is at its most sensitive. So, to avoid irritating it, avoid drying or highly scented lotions, perfumes, and soaps.
Steer clear of heavy exercise, swimming, and sauna visits for the first 48 hours after your appointment. You should also make an effort to wear loose, flowy clothing that won’t rub against your freshly waxed skin.
Don’t Shave the Area
Waxing keeps your skin hair-free and smooth for weeks at a time. But as the days pass, your hair will grow out, and you’ll start to see stubble. While you might be tempted to shave your new growth, you’re better off ditching the razor.
On the one hand, shaving can make your stubble look thicker and denser. You also run the risk of cutting your hair too short for your next waxing appointment.
Exfoliate After Three or Four Days
Two to three days after your wax, it’s time to start exfoliating again. That will help keep your skin looking smooth and prevent those dreaded ingrown hairs.
Just remember, you don’t want to exfoliate too soon after getting waxed. It can cause excessive irritation, particularly if you have sensitive skin. So, wait for at least 48 to 72 hours to exfoliate.
So, there you have it! Even though it’s easy to overlook, it is essential to head to a wax center with the right length of hair. Strands that are too long or too short will throw off your results and make the experience unpleasant.
So, for the best results, try to keep the hair you plan on waxing between one-quarter of an inch to half an inch long. With that, we hope this article has shed some light on how to best prepare for a waxing session!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.