Waxing is a semi-permanent hair removal technique of extracting the hair from its root. The process of being waxed could be quite painful. The hairs are said not to grow back in the previously waxed area for 2 to 8 weeks. The areas like eyebrows, face, legs, bikini area, arms, abdomen, chest, back and feet can be waxed. There are various types of waxing available on the beauty market today. If one waxes repeatedly on the regular basis for several years, one can achieve permanent hair reduction.

The whole process of waxing is about spreading a wax mixture over the skin, putting a cloth or a paper strip over the wax and rip it off with a quick movement against the direction of the hair growth when the wax hardens. Waxing is especially beneficial for the people with sensitive skin.

Removing hair from the parts of our body is certainly not an invention of the 21st century. The ancient Egyptians used to remove their hair by all different techniques long before the modern divas discovered the bikini wax. A smooth, silky and hairless body was the icon of beauty, youth and innocence for women in Egypt. Egyptian women followed the example of the wives of the Pharaohs and took care so that there was not a single hair on their bodies. They used depilatory creams and waxed with sticky emulsion made of oil and honey, similar to modern "sugaring" method.

The Greeks seemed to follow this ideal of smoothness. Look at the Greek sculptures, for example. The sculptures of women are polished, smooth and shiny, and there is no pubic hair on sight at all, whereas the sculptures of men do show the presence of pubic hair! In actual fact, the Greeks thought, that pubic hair on women was ugly and upper class ladies used to go to every extend to removed it.

The Romans were not particularly the warshipers of the pubic hair either: young girls began removing it as soon as it first become visible. They used tweezers- "volsella" and had an equivalent of a depilatory cream- "philotrum" or "dropax", the prototype of the modern depilatory creams. Waxing was also one of the methods on their books for depilating and it was normally done with resin or pitch.

The facts state that the ancient Turks (1500 BC) considered it sinful when a woman let the hair on her private parts grow. As soon as a woman felt the hair growing, she was supposed to go to the public bath and have it removed or remove it herself. The public baths in those days all had special rooms, where the ladies could get rid of their hair. Nowadays we see special rooms for the ladies to depilate in the hamams (public baths).

The custom of depilating became out of fashion after Catherine de Medici, then queen of France, she forbade her ladies in waiting to remove their pubic.

In the sixties of the 20th century, hairless body was rediscovered with the invention of the bikini, and you will hardly find a woman today not removing the hair somewhere on her body. It has become not even fashionable, but somewhat obligatory, to have smooth armpits, legs and bikini lines. Nowadays even men are getting “smoother”: look at the celebrities, athletes, etc.

The desire to remove excess or dark hair usually starts in adolescence and since then it never becomes any less desirable. Whether it is the hair on the face, armpits, legs, bikini line, or on the other part of the body, many women and men are pretty certain they don’t want it visible, apart from the scalp, that is.

Hair Growth

Knowing how hair grows will help us to understand how to keep it from growing. Each hair is contained in a pilosebaceous unit, which in its turn consists of a hair shaft, hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and erector pili muscle. Hair growth and shedding is a constant cycle of 3 phases: the growth phase (anagen phase), the transitional state (catagen phase) and the resting phase (telogen phase). Hairs stay for a variable amount of time in each phase determined by genetics, hormones, and area of the body. Hair in the anagen phase is more prone to injury than hair in the telogen phase. So, use these factors when choosing a method of hair removal.

Waxing with wax

We’ve mention before the principles of waxing, where wax gets spread over the parts of the body whilst warm: hair becomes embedded in wax, which cools and firms up grasping the hair; wax is then quickly pulled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling the hairs out of its’ follicles. Cold waxes are usually attached to strips, which are patted onto the skin, although the removal of the remaining wax patches is required afterwards by peeling or scratching it off.
There is another waxing method available, which tends to be also quite popular and even more preferable by its users for easier removal aftermath.

Sugar Waxing

Sugar waxing is a form of hair removal that works in the same way as traditional waxing. A thick sugary mixture similar to caramel is applied onto the skin in the direction of hair growth. The hair becomes embedded in the caramel instead of the wax. A cloth or paper strip is patted onto the caramel and then pulled off quickly in the opposite direction of the hair growth, resulting in pulling the hairs out of the follicles. The advantage of sugar waxing is the clean up. The sugar emulsion is water-soluble and therefore can be removed easier than wax by just rinsing with water.

Waxing Tips

If you don’t want your skin going darker after waxing, avoid exposing it (the treated area that is) to the sun for 48 hours after treatment or alternatively use a good sun blocker cream on newly waxed areas.

Make sure you to carry out a skin test on a small area of skin first to exclude acute sensitivity or allergic reaction to waxing.

It is highly recommended to have hair at least 1/8 inch long when going through waxing hair removal. If it isn't, wait until it reaches this length.

Wash your skin thoroughly of any lotions or oils, which can prevent wax from penetrating closer to the skin, and dry the skin well before spreading the wax.

Heat the wax with caution in order not to overheat it burn the skin when applying. Test on a small area first.

The consistency of the mixture should be soft (like caramel) rather than runny.

If you are concerned about the pain and discomfort, you could get a pain reducing gel/cream, available from pharmacists. These gels/creams are normally to be applied 30 to 60 minutes before waxing for the skin to go numb; check the instructions of the manufacturer.

Apply a thin layer of wax in the direction of the hair growth, holding the spatula at a 45 degree angle as you spread the wax.

When applying the cotton/paper strip over the wax, rub in the same direction as the hair growth, leaving approximately 1/3 of the strip free to allow you to grip firm for fast back pulling action.

Pull the skin taut before pulling the cotton/paper strip off.

Pull back with a quick movement as close to the skin as possible. Avoid pulling up or out, rather pulling back. One fast pull back should do it. A series of light pulls can only increase the pain factor and leave you with patchy areas.

After waxing hair removal, clean the skin with a warm dump cloth to remove excess wax.

Do not wet the hair prior to waxing hair removal (taking a shower or a bath). Hair will absorb the water making it soft and less responsive to the wax pull. Tough hair is easier to extract.

To minimize the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs, avoid wearing tight clothing over nearly waxed areas.

After 24-48 hours of waxing, exfoliate the skin, to prevent the dead skin from gathering in areas that can become ingrown, such as the bikini line, upper thighs, underarms and calves.

Facial Hair Waxing Tips

For facial hair you must use wax at a lower temperature than the rest of the body.

Hold the skin taught with one hand and spread the wax very thinly with the other.

Only wax small areas at a time.

Bikini wax

Waxing and sugaring are the best ways to remove hair from the bikini area, because these methods give a clean, smooth surface and the longest-lasting results. Hair grows back finer as waxing gets the hair out below the surface of the skin. Waxing does not irritate the skin and nerve endings as much as shaving and depilatories do, so red bumps and irritations are minimized.

Brazilian Bikini Wax

A Brazilian bikini wax removes the hair from the entire pubic area, except for a small patch just above the vagina. A Brazilian Wax is very popular with the modern women as it gives a clean, close wax and the freedom to wear the most revealing swimwear and lingerie.

What to expect from a Brazilian Wax?

A paper thong sometimes is provided, but most likely, you'll be wearing but nothing. Firstly, the hair is snipped with scissors for the wax to be able to reach the follicles. Secondly, using a wooden stick, a technician will spread warm wax on the area a little bit at a time. The same as with the traditional bikini wax, cloth strips are placed over the hot wax and, after it hardens, pulled away from the skin. A traditional Brazilian Wax includes the labia and the area that reaches into the buttocks. If there are some stray hairs left after waxing, the technician may also use tweezers to pull them out. The vital point is to relax to allow the wax to penetrate into the follicles.