Waxing is a popular hair removal method that provides smooth skin for weeks at a time. After waxing, it’s best to wait at least 2 weeks before shaving again. Shaving too soon after waxing can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and other problems.
Why You Should Wait Before Shaving After Waxing
There are a few key reasons why you should wait 2 weeks or more before shaving after getting waxed:
- Allows hair to grow in: When you wax, you are pulling hair out from the root. This removes the entire hair follicle. It takes time for the hair to grow back in and appear above the surface of the skin again. Shaving too soon means you’ll just be going over mostly bare skin.
- Prevents irritation: Your skin needs time to recover after waxing. Waxing causes irritation and inflammation of the hair follicles and skin. If you shave too soon, it can further aggravate skin that is still sensitive.
- Avoids ingrown hairs: Shaving also causes irritation. Combining shaving on top of freshly waxed skin increases the chances of developing painful ingrown hairs when the hair starts growing back in.
- Makes waxing more effective: When you wait the full 2 weeks or more before shaving, you allow all the hair to grow back in at the same rate. This makes waxing more effective next time. If you shave sooner, hair will grow back in sporadically.
When is it Safe to Shave Again After Waxing?
As a general rule, you should wait at least 2 weeks between waxing and shaving the same area. However, the ideal wait time can vary based on a few factors:
- Coarse vs. fine hair – Coarse, thick hair may require closer to 3-4 weeks before shaving again. Fine, thin hair may be OK after 2 weeks.
- Sensitive skin – Those with very sensitive skin may need to wait longer than 2 weeks if waxing caused a lot of irritation.
- Face vs. body – The face, especially the upper lip area, is very sensitive. Wait at least 2 weeks before shaving facial hair after waxing.
- Type of wax used – Hard wax adheres closely to the skin and may allow shaving a few days sooner. Soft wax causes more inflammation so wait the full 2 weeks if this type was used.
What Happens If I Shave Too Soon After Waxing?
Shaving too soon after waxing comes with risks, including:
- Razor burn – Irritated skin is even more prone to razor burn from shaving.
- Ingrown hairs – When hair regrows into the skin instead of rising above it.
- Bumps – Red, irritated bumps from hairs trapped under the skin.
- Hyperpigmentation – Dark patches on the skin that can occur from repeated irritation.
- Scarring – If severe irritation causes wounds that turn into scars as they heal.
- Skin infection – Inflamed hair follicles are at greater risk of becoming infected.
These problems may cause discomfort, embarrassment, and skin discoloration. In rare cases, a skin infection may require antibiotics. That’s why it’s always best to wait at least 2 weeks before shaving after waxing.
What About Using Other Hair Removal Methods?
Waxing removes hair at the root, so no hair removal is necessary for 2-4 weeks. What about using other temporary hair removal methods in between?
Shaving Alternatives After Waxing
- Epilating – Wait 2 weeks just like for shaving. Epilators also remove hair at the root so skin needs time to heal.
- Depilatory creams – Chemical hair removers also cause irritation. Wait 1-2 weeks.
- Tweezing – Plucking hairs can be done sparingly a few days after waxing if needed for tidying up stray hairs.
What’s Safe Right After Waxing?
Gentle hair removal methods like the following are generally OK within a few days of waxing since they only remove hair above the skin:
- Bleaching – Lightens hair color above the skin’s surface.
- Trimming – Cuts long hairs down to size with scissors or clippers.
- Threading – Removes short rows of facial hair using twisted cotton thread.
Just avoid harsh chemicals and friction over freshly waxed skin.
Tips for Shaving After Waxing
Once the 2+ week waiting period has passed, keep these tips in mind for shaving after waxing:
- Exfoliate first – Gently exfoliate to remove any dead skin cells before shaving.
- Use a fresh razor – Dull blades cause more irritation.
- Shave with the grain – Shave in the same direction your hair grows to avoid ingrown hairs.
- Rinse razor often – Keep rinsing the blade to wash away shaving cream, hair, and dead skin.
- Moisturize – Apply a soothing, fragrance-free moisturizer after shaving.
- Avoid heat – Don’t take hot showers or use hot tubs/saunas right after shaving.
How to Prepare Skin for Next Waxing Appointment
To make waxing as comfortable and effective as possible next time, be sure to:
- Wait the full time before shaving again.
- Exfoliate 2-3 times a week leading up to waxing to remove dead cells.
- Let hair grow to an ideal length for waxing (a little less than 1/4 inch).
- Avoid sunburn a week before waxing.
- Stay hydrated and moisturized.
- Take a pain reliever if your skin is very sensitive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t I just shave the next day after waxing?
Shaving the day after waxing removes the very short hair stubble left behind. However, this causes irritation on skin that is still inflamed from having hair ripped out at the roots. It’s best to wait the full 2 weeks for hair to regenerate enough length to shave properly.
Can I use Nair right after waxing?
No, chemical hair removal creams like Nair should also be avoided right after waxing. The chemicals further irritate and inflame the skin, making problems like rashes and ingrown hairs more likely. Give your skin about 1 week minimum before using a depilatory cream after waxing.
What about shaving between waxing appointments?
Waxing removes hair from the root and keeps skin smooth for 2 to 6 weeks normally. There is no need to shave in between waxing, as no visible hair growth will occur. Shaving between waxes can cause ingrown hairs and bumps.
Why does my skin feel rough and dry after waxing?
It’s normal for skin to feel a little rough and dry for the first day or two after waxing. The waxing process causes irritation that inflames the hair follicles and outer skin layers. Moisturizing daily helps hydrate and smooth the skin as it recovers.
Is it OK to use a loofah or scrub right after waxing?
No, you should avoid harsh exfoliation for 1 week after waxing. Scrubs and loofahs can damage the tender skin and cause further irritation. Wait at least a week before using an exfoliating scrub or tool.
Shaving too soon after waxing can lead to irritation, ingrown hairs and other problems. Follow these waxing tips:
- Wait 2 weeks minimum before shaving after waxing.
- Use gentle hair removal methods like trimming or bleaching if needed.
- Exfoliate and moisturize to prepare skin for next wax.
- Never shave in between regular waxing appointments.
Giving your skin plenty of time to heal between hair removal sessions helps prevent discomfort. Be patient and let everything grow back fully before removing hair again from freshly waxed skin.