darker and thicker?!

Have any of you had experience with hair coming back darker or thicker after waxing? Yesterday I waxed some very light/fine facial hair because I wanted to be smoother. Then I asked about it on a message board, and a couple people said the hair would be likely to grow back thicker and darker. I’m really scared now about the regrowth. Would this actually happen on the first time?

Thanks, and hopefully you could reply soon since I am going on a trip soon.

This is a common claim, but it’s taking an observation that is often true and blaming it on epilation. Here’s the real scoop.

By the time you decide to epilate hairs, they have gradually gotten thicker and/or darker over time. After you epilate them, you have a period of clearance followed by a resumption of the growth at the same thickness as before.

Two things may make it appear that the hair is coming in thicker. The time when the face was totally clear will make regrowing hairs seem as if they are coming in faster and stronger. In addition, thicker hairs will appear first and be more noticeable as they grow, so you’ll think it’s all coming back thicker.

In summary, what appears to be thicker hair caused by shaving or epilation is an illusion caused by the sudden removal of hair followed by regrowth that suddenly seems thicker than you remembered.

The opposite illusion happens when balding guys shave their heads. It they let it grow back, it appears much thinner to them, because the gradual loss was not as noticeable. The hair regrowth forums constantly have to answer the question “Will shaving make my hair thinner?” Here, we get the opposite question.

Waxing can have an effect on the amount of hair that returns, but the increase or decrease would probably be almost unnoticeable.

So, no worries about that waxing you just did-- just stay on top of that regrowth and you’ll be fine! :smile:

[ July 14, 2002, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]

Thank you so much! I was starting to get very worried. One person even claimed that after waxing for long enough that the hair would grow in as thick as a beard. :fearful:

I’ve read a lot of your posts here and I trust you a lot. Also I know that waxing is a very popular form of hair removal, and it seems strange that it could be common if it causes thicker and darker hairs. All of this together is very reassuring to me.

Also, I’ve heard that after waxing for a long time that some hairs may stop coming in, and others may be less noticable. Is there any truth to this? Interestingly enough, this rumor is the complete opposite of the other rumor I heard. I’m very greatful for these hair removal forums where we can actually discuss these mysteries. :smile:

I’m glad this information has been useful! :relaxed:

Because only about a third of your hairs are actively growing at any given time, waxing regularly gives the appearance of less hair. You never have mature visible hairs that have stopped growing but haven’t shed yet.

As we get older, hormonal changes cause hair to get thicker in some areas and thinner in others. Women often see more facial hair but less leg hair. When you epilate an area like the face, it may appear to cause hairs to come in thicker for the reasons I discussed above, but this is just an illusion. They are coming in thicker whether you epilate or not.

Conversely, leg hair often gets thinner as we get older, so epilating can make it appear that it’s causing hair to get thinner. This is just happening anyway, even if you aren’t epilating.

That’s not to say that repeated epilation does not have some effect. I’m sure you know a few older women who have to pencil in their eyebrows after years of heavy plucking. Plucking has a very minor effect on hair regrowth, but over time this minor effect can add up to something more noticeable, especially in small areas where hair thins out naturally over time (like brows).

You’re just a wealth of information! :smile: Thanks.

I really need to share my experience with waxing, and it is not to shed a negative light on it, for I know that it works for alot of folks that are very happy with it.
I had shaved for 28 years. My leg hair was normal, and my upper leg hair was soft and I always got a nice, smooth shave. My girlfriend raved about waxing so much, telling me all of the positives about it… So, I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a go. Well, I have regretted it, truly!! I have hard, prickly, hair where I never had hair before. My upper thighs never get a clean shave anymore, it is a MESS! I must have at least 300 BRAND new hairs that are stubbly and actually painful and they never grow in correctly. I used to have light, soft hair, now I have coarse, prickly beard like stubble that never goes away. I wished I NEVER waxed. I went to an expert waxer who does all of my girlfriends, so I know it was not the technicians fault. Now, I am seeking out laser or some type of permanent procedure to fix what waxing created. If anybody has any sound advice, I would really appreciate it. I know that I am rare case, as all of my friends swear by waxing!

I know this is a late reply, but I just discovered this site. I need to let meeow & anyone else know that my experience has been a definite YES, waxing caused my facial hair to grow back thicker and darker. I had used Nair & Neet for quite a while to take care of the long but fine growth, especially on my chin. However, I fell victim to the claims that waxing causes hair to come back thinner & lighter. Nothing can be farther from the truth, and I don’t know how these companies can claim that without getting into big legal trouble.

I now have to depilate my facial hair DAILY!!! I tried electrolysis for a while, and the electrologist explained to me that it is extremely common for waxing to transform the fine velum hairs into thick coarse hairs (I forget the term). Something to do with how ripping the hair out damages the root – not enough to destroy it – only enough so that it develops scar tissue which reaches down deeper into the skin, where it is able to get more nourishment from the bloodstream. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of her explanation, but I can tell you that I wish I had never heard of waxing. Plucking is not quite so bad, but still has the same potential.

This is actual fact in my case, it’s not a perception or illusion. I strongly advise people not to wax, especially if you’ve tried it once or twice and notice the hair getting thicker and darker. Stop immediately and go back to Nair. Shaving is even better. That is what was recommended to my by an electrologist and a professional laser esthetician.

Thanks juliette and daisy for our responses! :smile:

Waxing and plucking are poorly understood medcially, even though they’ve been occuring for thousands of years. There hasn’t been much data on what it does. Some consumers observe that it reduces hair, others that it increases hair. Until it’s tested under controlled conditions, it will be hard to say which one is more common.

It’s also a common claim (especially among electrologists and laser practitioners) that waxing stimulates hairs or distorts follicles.

Again, it’s hard to say how accurate this generally accepted observation is. What I recommend is what daisy does. If you do it once and it seems to come back thicker, you may want to switch to a professional method like laser or electrolysis.

In many cases, our hair is coming in thicker gradually, and waxin suddenly makes it more noticeable. When you clear an area that seemed mildly fuzzy, and the thicker hairs come in first, it can give the illusion that it’s coming in much faster and thicker than before. It may still be coming in thicker, but the epilating can make it seem worse than it is.

Bottom line: waxing is alway a temporary fix, and if you are really concerned about hair in an area, I suggest you look into permanent options.