What effects does it have?

What is it?

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

How long does it last?

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

More information

Waxing can be used to remove hair from many parts of the body, most commonly to remove leg hair and to reshape eyebrows. As the entire hair is removed, unlike shaving where only the hair above the surface of the skin is removed, hair removal may last up to six weeks. However, waxing can only be carried out when a certain length of hair has regrown above the surface 1.

A traditional alternative to waxing is a similar technique called sugaring, which replaces the wax with a sticky paste.

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.

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.

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.


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

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Page last updated: September 2017