waxing arms

My question is, can waxing arm hair make it thicker, longer and darker. Mine certainly seems to have done this. Can it go back to the way it was. I waxed 3 times this year and the change is extremely noticeable.

no, waxing and sugaring both pull the hair out of its root, so hair grows back finer over time. if u wax/sugar for long enough, the hair will stop growing back! how nice!

what happens is that by pulling the hair from the root, u damage the follicle, so it weakens and eventually stops making new hairs.

u need to exfoliate regularly, however, to avoid ingrowns!!

Since my post on waxing arms I have done some research. This is from another post.

Barbara Kieffer Greathouse of Topeka Kansas writes:

Some individuals have an enzyme in their skin that is like a magnet to their normal circulating hormones. These individuals will grow hair in these areas. The areas seem to follow the pattern of the Ferriman and Gallwey hirsutism rating scale. The individuals with this enzyme will have coarsening of hair with the irritation of waxing. Individuals without this enzyme will see less hair with waxing. The people with this enzyme are the people who will see a product like Vaniqa work - IF they use it consistently, however, they can spend the same money on electrology treatments and REALLY get rid of the hair.

I have also looked into this and asked around at various shops. One beautician I talked to has stopped waxing because she noticed that at least 50% of her client’s hair increased with waxing. Mine definitely does as does my daughters. I don’t know if there is a test to see if you have this enzyme but it sure would be great to know before a person starts waxing.
For years I have been told by friends to wax. They had great results with their hair getting finer on their legs. When I wax it just get thicker and coarser. Some follicles have 3 hairs growing from them now. I just wanted to post so people are aware that waxing can and does trigger hair growth on some people especially on the face.

oh wow! never heard of that before…

but then it’s not like u have a choice with temp hair removal, since all of them would increase the hair in ur case… try laser, i hear it’s great.

if laser is too expensive for u, then i would stick to waxing… it would still be ur best choice because i think shaving and depilatories will cause even more hair to grow than wax does.

Let me just pop in here,caramel, to emphatically say that shaving does not cause more hair to grow. It doesn’t even come close to worsening an existing problem. Just wanted to dispel that negative shaving myth AGAIN!



Once a hair turns coarse, it cannot regress to a thinner hair. If you wax regularly, you may stimulate the hair to grow to a sturdier form than before you waxed. If scar tissue develops,as it does in some follicles that have been violently ripped out of the body, THEN the hair may return finer because of the scar tissue. This is not the usual case though. Many people that wax regularly have the unfortunate consequence of returning hair being more noticable (coarser hair). As far as hair becoming thinner from waxing the legs, this would most likely happen even if the legs had never been waxed. Thinning hair on the legs happens as we get older anyway because of diminishing blood circulation to these lower extremities. Check out the legs of elderly men who had hairy legs in their youth who have never waxed. You’ll find very little hair left.

A SPEEDY electrologist with a STEADY HAND and a GOOD EYE(magnification) can bring about noticable results in a good time frame for the arms. That is,if you put in the time up front and keep it cleared until there is nothing left to work with. Be careful with the waxing, you may not be one of the lucky ones who gets scar tissue from waxing or you may have those little magnet enzymes that was referred to previously.


Thank you for saying that shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker. I am currently getting electrolysis on my face and tummy and it is working fine. I can’t afford it on my arms and legs right now and shaving my arms leaves it prickly and not very comfortable. I resorted to trimming and bleaching. That still looks rather strange but better than the dark hair. I am going to try laser on the arms next year in the spring. I also wanted to ask if waxing causes scars like sluffy age spots. Since I waxed I noticed that the skin looks like that and it didn’t before I waxed?

Let me just pop in here,caramel, to emphatically say that shaving does not cause more hair to grow. It doesn’t even come close to worsening an existing problem. Just wanted to dispel that negative shaving myth AGAIN!


oh well i guess i was basing my post on personal experience, maybe it’s not the same for most.

I have been to school and have never heard of this enzyme, it was never mentioned in my training or in any of the materials the government puts out for studying for you liscence.
Ofter hair appears thicker for one of a few reasons-
breakage makes it appear thicker as it grows out
the conditions that made the hair seem to need removal to begin with continue to increase growth
often people forget the true extent of their hairgrowth
the other thing I often see is that as your growth cycles get closer together the hair will seem to be more since there is more, when this happens the time between waxing should increase

Again I say
I have never seen any medical article that suggests that anything but hormonal changes, disease and medication can increase or change hair growth

thus shaving can not change your hair growth, when you shave you are cutting the hair at an angle through the thickest part of the shaft so it appears thicker and sharp but it is really an illusion and with time the hair will grow smooth as before- it just takes time

Hi! I have some of the same concerns as Olivia and Caramel about waxing and shaving. It seems from Dee’s experience that waxing sometimes DOES promote hair growth and may cause hairs to turn coarse. I’ve been considering getting my chest waxed–I don’t have that much chest hair and very fine hairs on my abs, so I’m worried that I might do more harm than good. The hairs on my abs are generally light and fine, so I don’t want them coming back darker and coarser.

Awhile ago, I shaved my upper arms which basically had very fine “baby hairs” that were light but now they seem to grown back darker which really bothers me. Dee, have you heard of such similar stories??? I had never shaved them off before and now I regret doing so because they really do seem darker and I also think that there are more of them. I know you said that is a myth but could it be that they have in fact “turned darker” and so it “seems” that there are more hairs? Quite a few of us have had such an experience, so I can’t believe that we’re all just “imagining” this change.

"Awhile ago, I shaved my upper arms which basically had very fine “baby hairs” that were light but now they seem to grown back darker which really bothers me. Dee, have you heard of such similar stories??? "

Hi smoothlover.

I don’t know how old you are. You said that you shaved awhile back, but how long ago was awhile back?? It is an undisputable fact that shaving has no effect on making hair coarser, deeper or darker and shaving does not stimulate more hairs to grow that were not present before you shaved an area. Many people swear that shaving has caused their problem to worsen, but that is not the case. As a young man especially, your hair pattern starts to sprout in a small way and there on can continually and gradually keep spreading outwards,downward,upwards from age 15 - 45. If you shave an area when you are say age 18 and conclude that shaving caused more hair, that is not what is really happening. Rather, simultaneously with the shaving, your male hormones are stimulating follicles to become alive and grow hair that was pre-determined to grow at certain times in your life while you were just a pleasant memory in your mother’s womb. So, your observations about hair growth and shaving are very logical, but in fact, the real culprit is hormonal stimulation of hair follicles as you age, not the act of shaving.

“…could it be that they have in fact “turned darker” and so it “seems” that there are more hairs? Quite a few of us have had such an experience, so I can’t believe that we’re all just “imagining” this change.”

Of course you and other’s are not imagining this change. When one shaves, you are cutting off hair at the thickest part of the shaft and you now have created a blunt prickly feel at the end of the hair. Gone is the tapered tip that makes a hair feel softer. So why would’nt one conclude that you have made the hair coarser. I understand that, but indeed, you have not changed the number of growing hairs in an area. When you shave, the non-growing hairs don’t come forth after you cut them off, they sit like dud’s at the skin’s surface. The growing hairs, however, do sprout forth with vim and vigor and color usually giving you the illussion that you have created a real mess for yourself. If you develop more hair, thicker hair,darker hair it is hormonal in nature not from mechanical means like shaving that caused this.

Do an experiment. Count the number of hairs in a 1 square inch area and then shave it. Use a perm. marker to outline the area. When the hair returns, recount it and let it grow out. You will find nothing has changed in amount, texture or color.

Don’t be surprised if you keep developing more hair if you are a young man whether you shave or not.


Thanks for your explanation Dee. I’m 35 and shaved the upper arm hairs of in the summer. I basically shaved a bit below the elbow on up and haven’t reshaved that area since August–there are fewer hairs around the elbow and they appear thinner but my upper arms which didn’t have much hair to begin, do seem a bit darker. I think that I’m past my “peak” for hair growth so I really don’t know why I would get these hairs now.

Going back to waxing. Have you had patients who’ve had the type of change that Olivia wrote about? I’ve read quite a few posts and other info on the web which claims that plucking hairs out from the roots or waxing causes coarser hairs. Could the waxing or plucking stimulate this latent hormone?

Thanks again!

I had gone to salons for waxing for alomst 10 years. Of course, I also had the idea that continous waxing will eventually damage hair follicles and i will have fewer hair. Nope, in fact I started noticing coarser hair and multiple hair growing out of one follicle – if due to any reason I am unable to pay timely visit to my salon!! I hate that look … looks like a jungle!!!

Then, life started becoming busier to pay such regular visits to salons – appt. issue, time issue etc etc – so I decided to figure out that why is it when every salon I visited have always told me that waxing is eventually going to reduce hair growth – but it certianly did not in my case and made it worst. When, I started researching I fugured I was not alone!!!

That is when I decided to switch to other options - I started making sugaring paste at home – it did not reduce any hair growth but my hair are fine [I guess the way they are … my hair are very fine but they are black so they are very noticable] and grow a little slower than wax – and I use shaving as much as possible … sugaring only one areas on which I do not want hair to grow for 4-6 weeks or I do not like to shave.

I strongly recommend against waxing.

Hi bdchc!

It really seems like waxing as well as tweezing or epiliating causes more long-term harm than good. So many members write about darker and coarser hairs after repeated waxing. The same thing happened to me on my upper arms–I thought that I’d clear out some of that “baby hair” growing on my upper arms by tweezing–big mistake, it came back darker and thicker in some places! I’m not taking tweezers near there again! I guess that any hair removal from the roots could cause this reaction.

You mentioned that you’ve switched to sugaring–is this any “safer” because it doesn’t remove the entire hair follicle from the root? What kind of results have you had so far? How does it compare “painwise” to waxing?

I really cannot comment on what would be the long-term effects of sugaring. But, I find it better than waxing and I make it at home. And, once the paste is ready – I just pull out some with a spoon, roll it in my hands and then apply in the direction opposite to hair and pull out in the direction of hair. No strips, no heating!

Initially it use to take me long to get done on my upper arms … but now I can get through them quite quickly. The benefit that I have experienced is that the hair grow slower and finer in my case … I can at times live without sugaring my upper arms for 3 months - Only because the hair are finer, and are not so noticable. But once I guess I have 100% hair growth – I have to get rid of them!

I find it is less painful than waxing, and I do not like to shave upper arms … the skin is just so soft there to touch a razor.

Since, I am olive skinned and have fine hair – I am not sure if I should even attempt to try laser … so this and shaving seems to be the best option at the moment.

When I shave, I use emollient continously on my skin, which keeps the hair soft and it does not get pricky – I use 10% urea lotion.

I started waxing my lower arms a few months ago. As expected, the hair grew back just fine after the initial softer looking hair (because it had to grow in from the root).

I find that it helps a lot. It’s not ideal (since it’s temporary) but with the right wax and waxing technique, it’s manageable. It slows down the hairyness long enough to where I don’t worry about how my arms look for a 4+ weeks or so.

I’ve also used an epilator a few years ago. While the results were great on long hair, the pain was ridiculous. I also feel like it distorted my hair growth.

I’m actually about to go wax my arms right now. I have been meaning to for the last few weekends, but I got too busy. But my hair comes down to my hands and it’s been bothering me. Yikes.