The Benefits of Waxing Should Make it Your Go-To Hair Removal Method

You know what they say—no pain, no gain.

Despite what you may have heard, you can’t fix split ends, and antiperspirants don’t cause cancer. In Myth Busters, we debunk common beauty misconceptions and set the record straight.

We’ll be honest: of all the hair removal methods available like shaving, threading, epilating, and laser, waxing is one of the more intimidating options. Admittedly, it isn’t for the faint of heart, but the benefits of waxing make it so worth it. Not only does it leave behind a soft and smooth surface, but we’re happy to report that waxing actually makes your hair grow back thinner and softer.

We know that there are a lot of conflicting beliefs surrounding the effects of different hair removal methods, like this idea that shaving makes your hair darker and thicker (spoiler: it doesn’t). After speaking with two experts from European Wax Center, though, we learned exactly why waxing makes your hair grow back thinner and how to maximize its benefits.

Does waxing make hair grow back thinner?

According to Diedra Green, a field training manager for EWC, consistently waxing will make your hair grow back thinner over time. “When you’re waxing, you’re epilating the hair, which means that you’re pulling it out from the root, so each time that you pull it out from the root, it’s going to make the hair thinner,” she explains. About 90% of human hair is in the anagen phase, which is the first stage of the hair growth process. The science behind why hair grows thinner after waxing is because the hair is repeatedly being damaged during this growth phase so it has to generate an entirely new hair.

Studies have also shown that when patients waxed before laser treatments, they showed less hair a month later compared to those who shaved before their treatments. That’s because shaving only removes the hair at the surface and it also leaves behind a blunt end, which can give the appearance and feel of the hair being darker, thicker, and prickly, explains Gina Petak, an EWC education manager.

How often do you need to wax to see results?

If you’re a new waxer, it may take a couple of visits before you begin to experience the difference in hair growth. “We always say that your third wax is your best wax because it’s when you start to see the smoothness start to come in,” says Green. She adds that she’s heard of some patients who’ve stopped seeing hair growth altogether because the hair follicles die after repeatedly being damaged from removing the hair, while others have experienced significantly less thick and darker hair.

To see the best results, Green recommends going every three to four weeks for your wax appointment. That time frame is suggested because it’s when you’ll begin to see regrowth, according to the hair growth process. Ultimately, though, it differs for everyone as genetics also play a role in hair growth. Plus, if you’re removing facial hair, you can go back sooner (every two weeks) as those hairs tend to be more noticeable early on. You can also maximize the results of your wax with proper aftercare.

What’s the best way to maintain less hair between waxes?

“A consistent waxing schedule, when combined with the proper aftercare, can slow the regrowth of hair,” says Patek. Because waxing is also a form of exfoliation, make sure you stay away from any harsh skincare products made with potentially irritating ingredients, like actives or fragrances, since you don’t want to irritate the sensitive skin. Patek also recommends wearing loose clothing so the skin can breathe after your appointment.

You can also incorporate hair minimizers into your routine to help slow the growth of hair. EWC has a range of hair minimizers formulated with narcissus tazetta bulb, aka dandelion extract, which studies have shown to inhibit hair development. “It slows down the hair growth at that point when the hair is actively growing, and so it allows for your wax to last a little bit longer,” says Green.

It’s important to note that once you’ve started on your waxing journey, you’re going to want to stop any other forms of hair removal. Shaving in between waxes can make your next appointment more painful because, as Green explains, the blunt end caused by shaving doesn’t lay in the wax as well and will make it harder to remove. “I say to just stick to your one form of hair removal,” she says. “You don’t want to do a whole bunch of things to your skin. Just stick to your regimen, and you’ll see results.”