Teenagers and waxing: what you need to know as a parent
Excess hair can feel uncomfortable to deal with at any age, but especially as a teenager. Conscious of how they look compared to their friends, many teenagers want to find ways of removing unwanted hair. If your daughter talks to you about this delicate subject, it’s always good to be armed with as much information as possible. I have mums with daughters as young as 10 or 11 looking to come in for waxing, and while I don’t believe there is a hard and fast rule about the right age to begin waxing, I do think it’s preferable to other hair removal methods.
Hitting puberty can be an emotional and physical rollercoaster. With the ever increasing access to the internet and social media in particular, it’s very easy for teenagers to pick up misinformation or bad advice about ways to tackle excess hair. So here are the facts you need to know about teenagers and waxing.
A teenager’s skin is different from that of an adult
The skin of a teenager is thinner than that of an adult, resulting in a greater risk of sensitivities to products. In fact, babies skin is 20% – 30% thinner than adults and whilst the skin thickens with age, it is still important to take this into account.
In additional, teenage skin reacts to heat more than adults. This is why it’s better to have a professional beautician waxing your daughter than using an at-home wax kit, where there is less control over the temperature of the wax.
My feeling is that going to a professional who understands the different needs of teenage skin can make a huge difference. They will be able to prevent scarring, burning and long term damage to the skin as well as using the correct products both before and after hair removal. Plus beauty therapists are usually super quick at waxing so the pain is over much sooner!
Hair removal creams are the worst possible form of hair removal
Hair removal creams work by dissolving the keratin in hair strands, allowing them to ‘slide out’ of the hair follicle and be washed away. The problem is that there is also keratin in the skin and so you are essentially breaking down the epidermis (the top layer of skin) as you’re using hair removal creams.
And if you don’t think that sounds so bad, let me tell you about a client I saw very early on in my career. She had come in for an eyebrow wax and I saw that she had thickened, scarred skin covering her neck. I asked her if it was a medical condition that I needed to be aware of, and she said that no, but that she’d been using hair removal creams on her neck every week for 15 years or so and she’d essentially burned off the whole of the top layer of skin in that area.
Given teenage skin can be thinner (as mentioned above) this is especially dangerous. Even shaving is preferable using hair removal creams in my opinion.
Teenagers are often quite self-conscious of their unwanted hair, and talking to someone other than a parent can help
I see a lot of teenage clients, and what I think they value is the unbiased, experienced advice from someone who understands what they’re going through. I also only recommend products that I’ve thoroughly researched and I know are suitable for teenage skin. There is an overwhelmingly amount of information about ways to remove unwanted hair, along with products to help you get the most out of your hair removal routine. I think most parents would rather their teenagers get advice from a beauty therapist than from their friends or places like youtube.
If you feel excess hair really is a problem, waxing can help to slow hair growth making it a better long term solution
Waxing works by removing hair at the root. The more times the hair root is removed, the more traumatised and weakend it becomes. It can sometimes eventually die, resulting in the hair not growing back at all, although this may take a number of years. Either way, the hairs should grow back finer and more patchy (especially with monthly waxing). This is in contrast to shaving which often needs to be done daily, and doesn’t pull the hair out at the root, therefore making no long term difference to hair growth.
In conclusion, I don’t believe there is an objective ‘right’ time to start considering waxing for your daughter. A lot will depend on how far into puberty they are, how thick or dark the hair is, and whether it is affecting them emotionally. I also think it depends on whether you think your teenager is mature enough to follow appropriate aftercare advice. This is particularly important on areas where the skin is already sensitive such as underarms and on the face.
If you have any further questions about teenagers and waxing please do send me an email on email@example.com