3rd March 2022

Waxing & IPL: Why These Popular Hair Removal Methods Aren’t Working For You

Last Modified: March 3, 2022

Silky smooth skin. That’s what we all want. Sadly, this is not always an easy feat to accomplish. If your favourite hair removal method hasn’t been working for you, you’re in the right place to find out why. In this post, we highlight two popular hair removal methods: waxing and IPL (intense pulsed light) and the reasons why they may produce subpar results.

In case you missed part one, which focuses on laser hair removal, you can read it here.

Why Waxing Isn't Working

Did you know that waxing is one of the oldest hair removal methods? It's an effective way to remove large amounts of hair at once. Also, its results are longer lasting than other physical hair removal methods like shaving.

 While you can now get at-home waxing products, most people prefer getting waxed at spas and beauty salons. 

That being said, there are times when even that might not work as expected. Generally, it's normal for a couple of strays to be left over after waxing. But if most of your hair isn't being removed or is breaking during the process, it's time for some investigation into why.

Below are some of the biggest reasons waxing isn't working for you.

  • You aren't doing it properly. There is a technique to waxing correctly. Wax needs to be applied in strips in the direction of the growth of the hair. Then firmly and rapidly pulled off in the opposite direction of the growth of the hair. If you are waxing at home, it is essential to make sure that you follow it. This will help prevent hairs from breaking off just below the skin and reappearing only a few days later. 
  • Your spa technician isn't well trained. If you are getting your waxing at your local spa, the technician might be the issue. Maybe they haven't taken the time to match the correct wax and technique with your skin and hair type. Talk to them about it and see if this might be the reason behind your poor waxing results.
  • Your hair has been weakened by years of waxing. Weakened hairs tend to break off at skin level no matter what you do. If you notice that many of the hairs you remove have broken off, then waxing might no longer be the suitable form of hair removal for you. At this point, it might be time to turn to a different form of hair removal. Preferably more permanent ones such as laser hair removal.
  • Waxing only targets the hairs that are visible. Just below your skin's surface, there are numerous hairs just waiting to pop out! While your wax session may pull out the hairs that have grown above the skin, it does nothing to the ones below. This means that you may see hairs coming through as early as 1 or 2 days after you have waxed. These are not hairs that have already regrown, but the ones you couldn't see before.​ What then do you do? Again we recommend laser hair removal, which targets the hairs all the way down to the roots. Through a treatment plan with laser hair removal, no hair will be missed or spared.

Why IPL Isn't Working

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and it is a form of energy-based therapy, similar to laser hair removal. IPL hair removal uses broad-spectrum light to target the pigment in the hair and, in turn, put a stop to the hair growth. But there are cases where this doesn't happen.

  • Hormonal imbalance. We also covered this in our post on why laser hair removal might not be working for you. Since hormones are the main drivers behind hair growth – any imbalances can make hairs more stubborn and resistant to any hair removal treatment. The best option is to get advice from a specialist. The goal should be to develop a holistic approach that combines laser hair removal with therapy for the underlying condition. It's important to note that we've seen good results with laser hair removal for women with PCOS. But often, this might call for more treatments than the average person. If you are okay with a few more treatments than average, then talk to us today.
  • Your skin tone/hair colour contrast. On people of colour, some IPL devices transfer heat energy onto the skin cells, causing discolouration and, in severe cases, painful burns or blisters! Most IPL can't differentiate the colour contrast between the hair and skin's pigment. For this same reason, anybody with light coloured hair (light blonde, grey, white) and those with red hair (which features a different type of melanin, called pheomelanin) may also struggle to see results.
  • You waxed or tweezed before your treatments. While it's recommended to shave before your treatment, you shouldn't wax or tweeze your hair. The broad-spectrum light produced by the IPL device needs to target the pigment in the hair follicle. However, waxing and tweezing removes the entire hair and follicle, so there is no pigment to target, which in turn renders the treatment useless.
  • You are working with an unqualified technician. Unfortunately, many people decide on their hair removal approach solely based on cost, only to end up with subpar results. Remember, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Energy base systems like IPL need to be customised to each individual, which means you need to choose a specialist who knows which settings will work best for you. For instance, if it's set too low, you won't get the desired results. On the other hand, you might end up with scars and burns if it's set too high! That's why we always conduct a patch test before any starting laser hair removal method on a new patient.
Intense-Pulsed-Light-not-working

Our Favorite Hair Removal Method: Laser Hair Removal

People usually start with razors. After all, shaving is quick, easy, convenient and inexpensive. But it's easy to forget that the combined cost of shaving will add up over the years. After that, they often move on to waxing, but as we have ascertained, it too has its own limitations.

As a result, the quest to find the perfect hair removal cream method can feel never-ending. But it doesn't have to be this way. Laser hair removal is simply the best alternative for hair removal. 

It tackles 99% o the challenges your face, and advancements in technology have made it an excellent treatment even for people of colour. Even if you are suffering from conditions like hirsutism, laser hair removal can still work for you.

Talk to our laser technician today about this fantastic hair removal method.

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