It's a common assumption that waxing causes hair to grow back in finer. But is this true? Dr. Schultz dispels the misinformation about this topic.
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Hello. I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. Today’s topic comes from our friends at TheBeautyBean.com, a health and lifestyle magazine. And the question that they’ve asked is, does waxing really cause hairs to grow finer or is that just a myth? Unfortunately, it’s just a myth. When you wax, you pull the hair out and it’s just like any other form of pulling a hair out whether it’s tweezing or whether it’s threading. The whole hair gets pulled out from the root. And then the hair follicle which is the little organelle in the skin that makes the new hair starts to make a hair the same width and puts in the same number of cells. It’s not thinner, it’s not thicker. But I can show you why you get the impression that waxing cause the hairs to be finer. If this is the top of the surface of the skin and this is a hair that’s growing from below the surface, the thin wispy tip which is a natural tip on a new hair comes above the surface and then you see the width of the hair shaft. If you shave this hair or cut this hair right off the surface of the skin, that hair continues to grow a few days later, and look how thick the top is now compared to the wispy tip that we had originally. The surface of that hair looks coarse and thick and stubbly compared to the original wispy tip. So you get tired of that and then you decide, “I’m going to wax that. I’m going to get rid of it.” You pull the whole thing out. Well, a month later, a new hair starts to grow. And when that new hair starts to grow, it has the same original normal wispy thin tip. So look how nice and fine that is compared to what the last hair which was cut or shaved look like. Look at the difference in the widths of the very tops of the hairs, but actually there’s no difference in the width of the shafts. So waxing doesn’t cause hairs to become finer. It just gives you a new hair with a normal thin wispy tip. But let me warn you about one thing. Waxing often does cause ingrown hairs. And in episode 73, we discussed why and what you can do about that. Please join me again at DermTV.com. If you have a question, please send it to me by visiting DermTV.com/question. I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and thank you for watching today.