Your hair has to be at least 1/4-inch long, or around the size of a grain of rice, before you wax. This helps ensure that hair is completely removed from the root.
If this is your first time waxing, try to grow out hair from your most previous hair removal for around 2 weeks.
This, of course, depends on how fast and thick your hair grows. You might have to wait a longer time if your hair grows slower.
To measure your hair length, try grasping the hairs and pulling them up. If you’re unable to grasp the hairs without also pinching your skin, they might not be long enough yet.
Don’t grab the hairs too abruptly or you might accidentally pull them out entirely.
You might find that your hair grows faster or thicker in different areas of your body. For example, your underarm hair or pubic hair might grow thicker than in areas like your arms and legs.
For areas of thicker hair, you might have to grow it out longer than 1/4 inch, so that the wax can adhere to the heavier hairs and pull them out. This can also help prevent breakage.
The wax needs to adhere to the hair in order for it to successfully pull it all out from the root.
If the wax doesn’t adhere correctly, it might break hair in half, not pull out hair at all, or cause external irritation to the skin.
Even more, ensuring that your hair is the correct length will help with future waxes. When you make sure that all hairs are removed on the same cycle, this ensures that they’ll grow back at the same time, too.
If your hair is less than 1/4-inch long, the wax won’t be able to adhere to the surface of the hair and pull it out completely.
Your technician will probably ask you to reschedule your appointment so that your hair can grow out a little longer.
If you happen to wax your hair when it isn’t long enough, there’s a chance that areas of hair will get left behind. Some hair might break, which can cause ingrown hairs or irritation.
Definitely. If your hair is longer than 1/2-inch long, it might be too long to wax.
Before your appointment, you can lightly trim the hair with a pair of clean hair cutting shears.
If you don’t have shears, you might want to leave it up to your technician to trim before your appointment. They should be able to gauge how much hair to cut off.
This entirely depends on how fast your hair grows. You might find that it grows faster in some places instead of others.
On average, you can expect hair to take about 4 weeks to regrow back to 1/4-inch long.
Some people say that with more consistent waxing sessions their hair grows back slower and thinner. If this happens to you, you might be able to wait longer — around 5 or 6 weeks — until your next session.
To encourage smooth hair growth and to prevent ingrown hairs between sessions, try applying ingrown hair oils and lightweight moisturizers that won’t clog pores.
Yes! Try scheduling your session for a week when you’re not on your period. The skin around your hair might be more sensitive at this time of the month.
The day of, you might want to refrain from drinking alcohol or anything with caffeine.
An hour before your appointment or before you wax at home, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication to help lessen the pain.
Before waxing, grow your hair out to at least 1/4-inch long — 1/2-inch long at the most. If it’s too short, you might want to reschedule your appointment. If it’s too long, lightly trim the area or ask a technician to help you out.
If you’re unsure about the length of your hair, or if you have other questions, ask your technician prior to your appointment.
If waxing doesn’t sound right for you, there are plenty of other hair removal methods that might work better, such as sugaring, shaving, epilation, or threading.
Laser hair removal may also be an option if you’re looking for something with long-term results.
Jen Anderson is a wellness contributor at Healthline. She writes and edits for various lifestyle and beauty publications, with bylines at Refinery29, Byrdie, MyDomaine, and bareMinerals. When not typing away, you can find Jen practicing yoga, diffusing essential oils, watching Food Network, or guzzling a cup of coffee. You can follow her NYC adventures on Twitter and Instagram.