November 16, 2012

Should I wax my upper lip / chin area?


Reader's Query

Asha asks:
I want to wax the excess hair growth on my upper lip and chin, but I am not sure whether waxing will increase or decrease the growth in the long run.




Smitha Replies:

Repeated waxing treatment makes the regrowth finer to some extent as the repeated pulling action over a period of time tends to weaken hair roots. However, the skin on the upper lip is quite thin and sensitive as well and repeated waxing can irritate it and probably make it loose leading to unsightly fine lines. Also you need to have the hair grow to a certain minimum length so that the wax has something to hold on. Now that’s a disadvantage associated with all types of waxing treatments on any area of your body but at least for other areas you can cover up with clothes until  your next waxing session, whereas for your face you cannot do any such thing.

So, unless you have a lot of hair, you will find that for the upper lip and chin area threading is a simpler and quicker method than waxing!

 Even if you can do threading on your own, it’s a far better idea to have it done at a beauty salon. Usually the hair on the upper lip area takes quite a long time around 15 days or more to grow again and that isn’t a big deal. However if the hair on your chin area grows rapidly and camouflaging is a pain, armed with a a good pair of tweezers, you might try plucking them, especially if you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to get it threaded from your beautician / aesthetician. However,  be very careful and pull the hair in the direction of hair-growth to avoid ingrown hairs. Your tweezers should grip the hair and not the skin around it. If you are clumsy and grab the skin also along with the hair, you will damage your skin and that area will become, red, inflammed and tender resulting in an infection. If you repeat this very mistake most of the time while plucking, you will get dark spots, blemishes, scars and uneven skin texture around your chin area. So if you are not skilled enough, don’t attempt it on your own and get your skin into a mess. A beauty salon is the place to visit in such a case and you shouldn’t really hesitate to confide in your aesthetician about those pesky hairs. After all you are not the only girl/woman on this planet burdened with unwanted fuzz; many other women are also having it. So cast off  your inhibitions!

All three forms of hair removal methods – waxing, threading or even shaving for that matter do not increase hair growth in the long run. Waxing and threading on the other hand are believed to decelerate hair growth. Technically, you can even shave facial hair without any problem, except for the fact that hair tends to grow back quickly and has blunt ends; however most women find shaving facial hair very repulsive. So it’s your personal choice whether to go in for shaving or not. In fact, if you have zeroed in for laser hair removal for your face or any other part of the body for that matter, usually your dermatologist advises you not to go in for waxing, epilating, tweezing or threading as it tend to disturb the hair roots. Depilatory creams are also to be avoided. Even bleaching your face to camouflage light fuzz is a strict no-no.  Instead you are advised to shave your hair.You do require several sittings (7-10) to get rid of your facial hair with laser treatment and in between sessions you are  advised not to take recourse to any other form of hair-removal except shaving.

However, do remember that if you are going for laser hair-removal, the results are not permanent as it is hyped. I have talked to several people who have undergone this treatment and I got to know that though initially the hair-growth appears to be drastically reduced, eventually after 1-2 years hair tends to grow back. Besides laser hair removal is an expensive treatment, requiring several sessions and in spite of using advanced ND-YAG lasers it doesn’t work that well on brown Indian skin; so be forewarned before your blow your hard-earned moolah on it!



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