Waxing

WaxingWaxing  is a semi-permanent hair  removal  process that  pulls  hair  out  by the  root. A solution of wax is applied  to the  skin  over the  hair  and  removed in the  direction of the hair growth. Hair does not grow back for 2–8 weeks, depending on the area of the  body  being  waxed and  the  individual’s rate of hair  growth. Any body hair  can  be waxed, but  the  hair  should be at least  1/4 inch  in length for ease of removal. Women most  commonly wax eyebrows, the  upper lip, legs, and  the  bikini area, while men  typically wax their  back and chest,  although the pubic  area is becoming increasingly popular for men.  Other common areas include arms, toes, armpits, and knuckles.

People  have used  waxing to remove  body  hair  for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Turks used  waxing or sugaring (a similar process involving  a honey  emulsion) to remove  body  hair,  especially  pubic  hair.  Modern waxing is performed using  the strip  wax technique or hard  wax. Strip  waxing involves spreading a wax solution thinly  over the area chosen for hair removal. This wax is typically warm,  although cold wax solutions are available. A strip  of cloth or paper  is pressed over the  wax and  ripped off quickly,  removing both wax and hair  from  the skin. Hard  waxing is similar  but  instead of using  a strip,  the wax is allowed  to cool  and  the  hardened wax is removed directly  from  the  skin.  Hard wax is recommended for sensitive  skin and is typically used  to remove  hair in the bikini  area and almost  always used  for Brazilian waxing.

Brazilian  waxing refers to the process of removing most  to all of the hair from the  genital  area,  including the  inside  of the  buttocks. A strip  of hair  above  the genitals, sometimes referred to as a landing strip is optional. The  J. Sisters  Salon  in New York City, a salon  owned  by seven Brazilian sisters,  first offered  the Brazilian wax in the  United States  in 1994.  They  named the  technique after  their  home country, where  more  extreme forms  of bikini  waxing are common in order  to accommodate the smaller  bikini  bottoms favored by Brazilian women. The  practice was quickly  popularized by Hollywood celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, known to frequent the J. Sisters  Salon.

The  benefits of waxing  include that  it removes large  amounts of hair  at one time  and  lasts longer  than shaving  or depilatory creams because it removes hair from  the  root.  Additionally, hair  typically  grows  back  softer  than with  shaving, which  can result  in rough, coarse  stubble. Waxing  does have other disadvantages. It can  be painful, particularly in sensitive  areas  like the  upper lip or bikini  area. The  pain  generally  recedes  quickly,  however, and  most  women find  that  avoiding  waxing  during menstruation helps  decrease the  pain.  Waxing  can  be  done at  home with  over-the-counter  supplies, but  many  prefer  to  have  professional aestheticians perform waxing services,  particularly for the  bikini  and  facial areas, making the  process expensive. Waxing  is not  recommended for people  suffering from  diabetes, varicose  veins, or poor  circulation because of the risk of infection, excessive  irritation of the  skin,  and  broken blood  vessels.  Users  of prescription and over-the-counter acne  medications are also advised to avoid waxing.

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