Most men start using a razor in their early teens, but shaving can be so tedious, many begin to grow their beards out just to avoid the repetitive task. For women, facial hair tends to be light, sparse, and barely visible, so they’re often able to avoid razors altogether. This may be why waxing has gained popularity among men as a lower maintenance way to trim beards, mustaches, sideburns, and neck hair.
Women, however, often use face waxing to address a creeping hairline on the back of the neck, remove light mustache hair, or shape their eyebrows without plucking. While waxing lasts longer than shaving, there are several drawbacks to using wax or wax strips on the face, including injury. If you are considering waxing as a solution for facial hair removal, please read on.
How Waxing Works
All types of waxing require the wax to cling to the hair shaft. When the wax is removed, the hair is pulled up from the root. The sac at the end of the hair is still alive and therefore capable of producing hair. This is more effective than shaving, which only removes hair at the surface level. Waxing relies on your hair growing long enough for the wax to grip, so you will have to deal with a few days of stubble before waxing.
Types of Waxing
There are many types of waxing, and many salons and spas have begun to offer multiple options.
- Cold Waxing – With this system, the wax is already on the strips when applied to the skin. The pressure makes the hair adhere to the wax. When the strip is pulled up, the hair comes with it.
- Hot Waxing – This involves heating a paraffin wax, brushing it onto the skin, and applying a strip to it. When the wax cools, it adheres to the hair shafts, and the paper strips are then removed along with the hairs.
Most of the other types of waxing are variations of hot or cold waxing. For instance, soft wax can be used for hot or cold waxing methods. Hard wax, on the other hand, must be heated.
Advantages of Face Waxing
Face waxing is widely considered an inferior method of facial hair removal compared with laser hair removal or even electrolysis. However, there are some advantages to face waxing as it relates to shaving:
- Lasts Longer than Shaving – Facial waxing lasts up to two to three weeks. For men who shave daily or every other day, this is a huge advantage.
- Cost-Effective – If you use over-the-counter strips, which are not recommended for the face, they could be cheaper than razors and shaving cream. If you go to a salon, you will end up paying more for waxing than shaving.
Disadvantages of Face Waxing
Unfortunately, the disadvantages of face waxing are numerous.
- Irritation – Facial skin is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your body. Even with high-quality waxes, you can strip away healthy skin cells. Additionally, your facial skin is more likely to develop rashes, bumps, and ingrown hairs as a result of waxing.
- Pain – There are more pain sensory neurons in the face than in other parts of the body, so waxing — an already painful process — is more painful.
- Sun Sensitivity – Many hair removal options make the skin more susceptible to the sun. Since waxing is a recurring process, you may be looking at more time indoors than you’re comfortable with.
- Requires Stubble – For the wax to work, there needs to be something to grip onto, which means you have to allow stubble to grow in.
- Cost-effectiveness – While waxing can be cheaper than shaving, you will have a recurring bill every two to three weeks as long as you desire to use this method to remove hair. Permanent hair removal treatments may appear to be more expensive in the short run, but they pay for themselves over time and with financing options, are often equally as affordable as waxing when making monthly payments.
Treatment Areas for Face Waxing
Most facial waxing treatments involve targeting specific areas with small applications. Even a full facial waxing is usually divided into regions. Common areas for facial waxing are eyebrows (for shaping), upper lip, chin, nostrils, forehead, cheeks, and ears. If you are applying commercial waxing strips for the face by yourself, which is not recommended, be careful not to come too close to eyes, eyelids, or mucous membranes.
Why Face Waxing Strips Don’t Always Work
Face waxing is an intermediate solution that may work for some people. Many people stop face-waxing because they have become frustrated with the process, experience skin irritation or rashes, or opt for permanent solutions. If you are one of the millions of people who would prefer never to have wax against your sensitive facial skin again, you may be a good candidate for laser hair removal.
Laser Hair Removal For the Face
Unlike face waxing, laser hair removal targets the follicles themselves. Consequently, the follicle is destroyed and will not produce hair. For individuals who have had bad reactions to waxing, laser hair removal is usually better than face waxing for sensitive skin.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser light is produced by electrifying a material like glass, crystal, or gas. The light photons that are emitted have identical wavelengths and all travel in the same direction. When the laser light hits a hair shaft, the light travels down to the follicle and heats it until it dies. Because hair grows at different rates, four to six treatments are usually required. Once it’s done, however, you never have to deal with razors or waxing again. You may have to go back for periodic maintenance a year or so after, but if you go to Body Details True Laser® Centers, you can have free laser hair removal touchups for life under the written terms and conditions of the free lifetime guarantee.
Because the medical-grade lasers involved in laser hair removal are so precise, they’re ideal for the finely detailed work that facial hair removal requires.
The Pros and Cons of Facial Laser Hair Removal
There are many benefits to facial laser hair removal, but there are a few reasons for caution as with any medical procedure.
- Laser hair removal is permanent.
- LHR is safe.
- It hurts far less than waxing, and for many patients, it’s relatively painless.
- While some people experience skin irritation, it’s about the same as a mild sunburn and generally clears in a few days.
- It’s cost-effective over time.
- You do not have to deal with periodic stubble.
- Laser hair removal can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin.
- Laser hair removal costs more than waxing when paid upfront or shaving in the short term.
Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Hair Removal
If you are considering permanent hair removal, we recommend making an appointment at a Body Details True Laser® Center near you. In your free, no-obligation visit, you’ll be able to discuss your goals with one of our medical professionals. You will also be able to ask questions about the process and how it will work for you.
Does Laser Hair Removal Work on Darker Skin?
Yes. For darker skin, we modify the process. Older laser hair removal systems relied on recognizing darker hair against lighter skin visually, which proved challenging with darker skin. However, Body Details uses an ND:YAG Alexandrite laser to target the blood vessels in the dermis that feed the hair follicles. By depriving the follicles of blood, they essentially starve the follicles to death, preventing them from producing hair.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Most people feel a tingling in the affected area. The lasers that Body Details uses have cryogenic cooling to prevent the skin from overheating. In any event, waxing is much more painful than laser hair removal.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Compare to Electrolysis?
Laser hair removal is often compared to electrolysis because both are considered permanent hair removal solutions. Electrolysis uses a needle to destroy hair follicles with an electric current one follicle at a time. While electrolysis can be effective, it often goes much slower. One research report stated that laser hair removal is “60 times faster and less painful than electrolysis.”
Laser Hair Removal in Florida
Face waxing or using waxing strips for the face can produce unpleasant results. Body Details provides free consultations and generous financing options along with permanent benefits. Schedule an appointment today.