Waxing, either at a professional salon or in the comfort of your own home, can be an intimidating process. Either someone else is trusting you to wax them safely and correctly, or your skin is in your own hands, and you’re just trying to do your best. One of the best practices when waxing, either as a new professional or someone doing it yourself for the first time, is knowing which direction your hair grows. Keep reading to learn how to find the direction of hair growth for yourself or another person.
Look at Sections
Most people find it difficult to determine the direction of hair growth in large areas, so start by breaking a larger space into smaller sections. For example, split the area into four quadrants when looking at the back of someone’s thigh or your own area in a mirror. Study which way the hair grows in each quadrant. Some of the quadrants may grow hair in the same direction, but in some cases, hair grows differently in each quadrant. That’s okay. Just break the area down and note how the hair grows in each direction. This will let you know which direction you should apply the wax. Applying wax in the wrong direction is one of the most common waxing mistakes, so whether you’re in a salon or at home, you want to avoid doing so.
Sometimes you can’t discern the direction of hair growth with just your eyes, and that’s okay. If you’re unsure how hair grows in a specific area or quadrant, run your hands over the area. Professional salon workers should wear gloves, but if you’re working on yourself, you don’t need to, although you should wash your hands thoroughly before starting the waxing process. While you run your hands over the area, notice whether your hand pulls the hair away from the skin or pushes the hair onto the skin. The direction of hair growth is when the hair pushes onto the skin and lays flat. You’ll want to apply the wax in this direction and pull in the opposite direction for the best experience.
Why It Matters
Now that you know how to find the direction of hair growth, you need to understand why it’s so important. Applying wax in the direction of hair growth and removing it in the opposite direction is the best way to grab onto the hair follicle so you don’t have to wax the area a second time. If you’re using soft wax, you cannot apply it in a specific area a second time, as it can damage the skin. And even if you’re using hard wax, reapplying wax can still irritate skin and cause unnecessary pain and potential damage. Taking time to find the hair grain on your client or yourself is necessary to avoid these problems.
Finding the direction of hair growth is essential to correctly applying wax to others or yourself. Whether you’re learning this information as you train to work in a salon or want to educate yourself for a better at-home waxing experience, it’s important to follow best practices.