Every method of hair removal has some side effects, and waxing is no exception. While there are a few side effects to be particularly wary of, the majority can be easily avoided or remedied if you find yourself afflicted.
- Skin sensitivity
A largely unavoidable side effect of waxing is temporarily sensitized skin. Many people find that after each waxing session, their skin feels newly-sensitized, however, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The exfoliation of the skin, coupled with the tugging sensation of wax removal can increase blood flow to the area, giving the skin a healthy glow, and improving circulation, and making the skin pleasantly tingly. However, one thing to keep in mind with regards to your newly-sensitized skin is to avoid exposing it to excessing amounts of direct sunlight or friction in the first 24 hours after a wax. It is important to allow your skin time to recover from the wax before exposing it to more aggravation.
While not unavoidable, burns are a possible side effect, particularly if performing a hot wax at home, or at a poorly-trained salon. However, if you prefer cold waxing, there is obviously no risk of this happening. While many regular waxing customers have experienced a burn at one point or another, more often than not they can be avoided or prevented. If you feel that the wax is applied to your skin is too warm for your tolerance levels – speak up! Talk with your esthetician regarding the temperature, and in most cases, they should be able to reduce the temperature of the wax warmer or allow it to cool slightly before applying the agent to your skin.
- Rashes, bleeding or bruising
While not common, if you have particularly sensitive skin you might find yourself afflicted with some skin irritation after a waxing session, as your body reacts to having hundreds or thousands of hairs removed in one sharp tug. In addition to this, if you are removing particularly coarse hair and you are prone to easy bruising, you may find patches of skin where capillaries under the surface of your skin have burst, resulting in unsightly bruises. There is no real way to avoid these from happening aside from perfecting technique and ensuring skin is taught at the time of wax removal, however after a few waxing sessions when the hair becomes finer, you may find less bruising occurs. If you find yourself faced with rashes, bruises, or similar, applying an ice pack as soon as possible after waxing may be helpful.
- Skin infections
If your after-care routine is not up to scratch, you may find you end up with skin infections after waxing. This may occur for a number of reasons;
- The skin was highly irritated and became inflamed after treatment
- The skin is damaged through the course of waxing and allows bacteria into the body
- The waxing products and tools used were unsanitary
The best way to prevent these skin infections is to always have your treatments done at a salon with impeccable cleanliness and hygiene standards, to keep your skin clean and free from unnecessary oils and lotions within the first 24 hours of a wax, and to ensure that you regularly clean and exfoliate the skin while the hair is growing back.
- Ingrown Hairs
Mostly experienced with hair removal methods that remove the entire hair and their root, ingrown hairs occur when the regrowth becomes trapped under the skin, turning into an inflamed, pimple-looking bump. They can be uncomfortable or even painful to experience and remove. The best way to prevent these from happening is to exfoliate regularly as your hair regrows; keeping the hair follicles clean and clear for regrowth to come through, as well as catching any stray ingrown as they happen and preventing them from carrying on to become inflamed and painful.
As stated earlier, all methods of hair removal come with their own side effects. Waxing is a perfectly safe method of hair removal, and while there are a number of side effects listed above, very few of them are exclusive to waxing; most are side effects that you need to consider with any form of hair removal.
If you are concerned about any side effects that you might face or have questions regarding aftercare, talk to your salon or esthetician about steps that you can take, as well as any cleansers or exfoliate products that may assist with keeping your aftercare as effective as possible.