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What is waxing?

Temporary removal of body hair by coating in wax and pulling off.

What does waxing do?

How long does waxing last?

The effects last until the hair regrows (days to weeks).

Why might I want waxing?

Waxing can be used to remove hair from many parts of the body, most commonly to remove leg hair and to reshape eyebrows. Eyebrows are often waxed to remove stray hairs that are separate from the main eyebrow, to reshape the eyebrows or make them thinner, or to remove hair from the bottom to make the eyebrows look higher up on the face.

How do I wax?

Waxing can be carried out using an at home kit bought from a supermarket or chemists, or by a professional beautician in a beauty salon. Some salons may offer a similar technique called sugaring, which replaces the wax with a sticky paste. Waxing can only be carried out when a certain length of hair has regrown above the surface 1.

There are currently no national standards for beauty salons, and anyone can legally start a salon in most parts of the country. However, many salons have voluntarily joined professional organisations that maintain registers of beauticians who have a minimum level of educational qualifications to be able to provide safe and hygienic treatment.

You can search for salons on the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) database, or look whether the salon advertises membership of professional organisations such as the Health and Beauty Industry Authority or the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses.

Are there other options?

Alternatives to waxing on larger areas of skin are shaving and depilatory cream, while on smaller areas you could consider plucking.

Unlike shaving, waxing removes the entire hair rather than just hair above the surface of the skin, meaning hair removal from waxing may last up to six weeks.


  1. 1.
    Wanitphakdeedecha, Rungsima and Alster, Tina S (2008) “Physical means of treating unwanted hair.” Dermatologic therapy, 21(5), pp. 392–401. Link

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