I am very happy to respond to this issue about waxing, autumn. Yes, it is important to give accurate information that comes from hopefully evidence-based science,especially when there are 10,000 members that are registered to this website.
I’ll start with three sources that will explain where I’m coming from. Besides these sources, in real time, I see in my electrolysis practice almost on a daily occurence a common denominator: those women who started the waxing, tweezing, threading, sugaring rituals (or anything that rips a hair out) when they were teenagers have a real mess to contend with when they get around to seeing me for help. The hairs are thick, deep and dark and more numerous than the original problem before waxing and I have to use more current and more time to destroy those “monster” hairs. This translate into more pain and skin reaction to the client. These are exact quotes,but when the word tweeze is used, it refers to waxing, sugaring, etc.
From the electrolysis text written by Hinkel and Lind: “Electrolysis,Thermolysis and the Blend”,
Arroway publishers, California. This book is a major resource for electrolysis schools. My instructer called it the Bible of electrolysis training. Hinkel and Lind invented the Blend method by the way. God bless them!
Quote from Hinkel on page 8 referring to tweezing, but is applicable to waxing or any method than rips a hair out by mechanical means:
" Many women attempt to remove unwanted hairs, especially those around the eyebrow or on the chin by plucking them out by the roots. Granted, when a woman tweezes out the unwanted hair it does take longer to grow back than if, say, it has been shaved off at the skin level.
But what this woman does not realize is the fact that repeated epilations eventually cause most hairs to regrow more quickley and to become darker, coarser and more firmly rooted. Only a fraction of all tweezed hairs are ever permanently eliminated. Thus a woman who tweezes is simply letting herself in for greater hair problems than she had before she tweezed; rather than solving her problem, she is worsening it."
“As with other topical causes,increased blood supply is the cause of accelerated hair growth of tweezed hair. Each time a hair is tweezed out of its follicle,agood portion of the bottom half of th4 follicle is torn out. The damage is not sufficient to prohibit future hair growth but it is enough to cause the follicle to reconstruct itself a little sturdier with a better developed capillary sustem each time. the difference from one tweezed ahir to the next may be imperceptible, but, eventually what may have been a few lanugo hair will have become full-grown terminal hairs, bristling in defiance of their owners attempts tp evict them.”
Another quote from Hinkel on page 7:
“In response to any potential threat to the epidermis (skin)… nature has provided the body with an “ingenius” means of defending itelf. Sustained irritation almost always stimulates hairs in the immediate vicinity or the affected area to grow deeper and coarser, thereby creating a mat of ahir that covers the skin and protects against any further irritation. Wherever there is an irritation,there is an increased blood supply to the surface of the skin. When this increased blood supply reaches the follicle,any hairs growing from those follicles recieve more nourishment than usual. They therefore tend togrow deeper and coarser. It can thus be seen that anything that will cause and increase in blood supply tot the surface of the skin is capable of becoming a topical cause of hair growth.”
Hinkel and Linds information comes from researchers like William Montagna, a PhD researcher from Brown University who authored many books two of which are: “The Structure and Function of the Skin” and “The Biology of Hair Growth”.
Source #2 is another PhD, Dr. M. Sara Rosenthal from her book, “Women and Untreated Hair”. Dr. Rosenthal had an unwanted hair problem too and her struggles prompted her to research and write this book. Her bibliography includes research from several scientists, endocrinologists, dermatologists,etc. who are in positions to know the facts about hair biology.
On pages 38-39 she writes, " Blood flow helps to determine hair growth,which is why some people may have more hair on one side than the other. Plucking out a hair by the root through tweezing; or pulling out a hair by the root through waxing,sugaring or any other “tweezer-like” methods can lead to an infection of the hair shaft and curling of the hair into the skin. This in turn can cause ingrown hairs or folliculitis, which is an infection of the follicle. The folliculitis resembles acne, because it involves a pocket of pus. Tweezing will also make the skin feel under attack, causing to send blood supplies to the tweezed area, which only further nourishes the hair follicle. And that makes it stronger. Now in some cases, if you are lucky,scar tissue will form around the follicle area where the root was pulled, preventing hair growth, which is why some women may notice less hair growth when they wax or sugar (but rarely do they notice it with tweezing). Most women who wax or sugar are not so lucky and find that they have to keep repeating the process because the hair quantity remains the same. What’s even worse is that the hair may grow in coarser and darker with these methods."
“Since hair is designed to protect the skin from harsh elements, when you irritate the skin with hot wax or other hair-removal chemicals, the response will be to nourish the follicles with blood, too.”
“Here’s another problem: if a hair is tweezed during a resting phase, the tweezing sort of “wakes up” the hair growing process, and as a result the hair is stimulated back into the active growing phase. Waxing and sugaring can also pull out perfectly harmless vellus (fine) hairs, stimulating them to become coarser and darker.”
Source #3: Is from another book “Female Hirsutism: An Enigma” by Linda Edsell
Exact words pages 84-85: " Plucking or tweezing (pulling with force) is probably the first thing we think of when we want to remove hair. Women seem to prefer tweezing on facial areas because they believe it is more feminine than shaving. They erroneously feel it is the safest method to remove hair. Actually, plucking or tweezing is one of the least desirable ways to remove hair. In most cases it creates additional problems. It is definitely not a painless proceedure. Used repeatedly, it eventually causes a dermal inflammatory reaction and or infection. Tweezing does in fact increase the coarseness of the hairs and distorts the hair follicle. Eventually scars and ingrowing hairs occur from these distorted follicles, which make subsequent permanent hair removal technically more difficult."
“Each time a hair is forcefully torn from the dermal papilla, the resulting injury causes and increased blood supply to feed the germinative cells in the follicle and papilla. For self-protection, it follows that now they will rebuild a deeper, stronger, darker hair to replace the one you yanked out, (ask any woman who has been tweezing for a while). In all instances,I advise my clients not to pluck, anywhere but the brows.”
“Waxing is wholesale tweezing”…“all the negative things said about tweezing and plucking are magnified many times over with waxing.”
“Waxing the face can have unfortunate consequences. The fine blond vellus hairs discussed earlier become imbedded in the wax and are removed along with the dark coarse hairs. Repeated waxing of this vellus hair causes it to coarsen and eventually grow into a dark terminal hair. Since the face has a possible capacity of 1,000 to 5,000 follicles per square inch of skin, you could compound a relatively small problem into a real nightmare.”
Linda Edsell wrote this book as a practicing electrologist. She researched her subject at the St.Louis Metropolitan Medical Society Library and had input and critique from a few doctors.
You can purchase any of these books online. The Montagna books are very expensive, like $175-$350 for some that are used. My family refuses to get me such a thing for my birthday as I requested, so instead I get neat things like a Sears Craftsman cordless screwdriver.
Hair researchers names that I am familiar with are R.B. Greenblatt and William Montagna. You’d have to do your own research on those guys. The bibliographies of the above mentioned authors are replete with information if you want to get deeper into this yourself. There is probably conflicting information out there, but all this makes sense to me with my understanding about how the body systems go into action immediately when it is harmed.
Hair is very, very complicated. A short while back here on hairtell, there was a quote from an electrologist in Topeka, Kansas talking about certain enzymes that act as magnets for male hormones. I hadn’t heard that before and was glad for the input. With all that was quoted above, I really do see the end results of repeated waxing and I find myself pleading with young women like 13 year old mimi2 on another thread, not to even start this practice.
I hope this helped and thank you for your question,autumn, and I would be very glad if you could share any reputable sources you have regarding waxing NOT causing problems for the already hirsute.
I found a Montagna book for $54 on e-bay without the hardcover much better than the upper prices I’ve seen.