tweezing effects--cntd

I was wondering if anyone could clue me in (or at least point me toward some academic literature) on the effects of waxing/tweezing on hair re-growth.

I was brought up under the theory that waxing and tweezing led to slower hair regrowth and–in certain parts of the body–permanent reduction. (This was confirmed both my members of my family and various waxing salons I’ve been to.)

But now I’m seeing that some people (people peddling laser and electrolysis in particular) are advocating the theory that tweezing and waxing actually strenghten the hair follicle and lead to more hair regrowth.

I’ve been wazing and tweezing various parts of my body since I was 10 (I’m 25 now). I don’t want to continue a practice that in the long run contributes to more and stronger hair regrowth. Any thoughts as to this debate?

Here are some facts:

Plucking experiments have shown that repeated plucking can damage some hair follicles. Some react by producing a thinner hair, others develop a coarser hair. There have not been any studies about hair growth and plucking in detail, to my knowledge. Most information about hair removal is discovered through personal observation or the media. Very little information can be found in formal medical literature, which is surprising, since hair removal is a mutli-billion dollar industry and many people consult their physician for advice about it.

It is well known, however, that plucking a resting (telogen) hair can sometimes stimulate the hair follicle to start growing again. Pulling out a hair that hasn’t shed yet can start the cycle of hair growth and then can be misinterpreted as the development of a new or coarser hair.

Waxing evenly plucks a bunch of hairs. Like tweezing, these hairs take 2-4 months to regrow. Newly appearing hairs that appear a COUPLE OF DAYS OR WEEKS after waxing are misinterpreted as the reappearance of the removed hairs. These hairs are often finer than those just removed and are actually NEW hairs that were laying just beneath the skin surface when the hairs that could be seen were waxed.

Only a fraction of all tweezed hair are ever permanently eliminated. Repeated waxing/tweezing eventually causes most hairs to regrow more quickly and to become deeper, darker, coarser and more firmly rooted. The follicle reconstructs itself a little sturdier with a better blood supply each time you rip the hair out. So, you are worsening your problem by waxing or tweezing.

On certain people and on certain areas like the eyebrows, some hair will “give up” after being ripped out many times. Women in their late 40’s and early 50’s, because of hormonal changes, would normally have diminishing hair on their lower legs regardless of what kind of hair removal they use. Waxing/tweezing simply speeds up the natural hair loss in these areas and that is why some report waxing has resulted in hair reduction /removal permanently.

Hope this explains all you wanted.