“Is waxing forbidden on your period?” This is a question we’ve heard many times before and one that many women have probably wondered to themselves. The reason behind the myth that you shouldn’t get waxed while on your period has to do with how your hormones affect your body. The reality is that hormones impact our bodies in a variety of ways. Hormonal imbalances are most common while on your period, when you’re pregnant, and during menopause, but they can also occur at other times. Although hormones are the common culprit, which specific hormones are affected and whether they rise or drop is what ultimately determines how your body will react. Below, we delve into how hormones can affect a woman’s body during her period, pregnancy, and menopause, and what this means for hair removal. We’ll be discussing which hair removal options are the best and most safe, as well as what you can do to minimize any pain or discomfort you might be feeling. Let’s get to it!
Hair Removal While On Your Period
There’s no denying that being on your period is like being strapped into one very emotional rollercoaster. However, this rollercoaster, caused by your hormones, doesn’t just affect your mood, it also has an affect on your physical body. When on your period, the change in hormone levels can result in physical changes like dry skin and skin that is more sensitive and tender (this particular side effect is due to an increase in prostaglandin). That is where the myth surrounding “not getting waxed while on your period” came from. However, it’s important to note that not all women experience these symptoms and for those that do, there are ways to mitigate the pain of hair removal during this sensitive time. Overall, being on your period doesn’t mean you should forgo all waxing appointments. In fact, there’s really no reason to avoid hair removal of any kind while on your period. There will inevitably be special occasions or vacations where it needs to get done within a certain time frame, and that time frame may happen to overlap with your period. The key is knowing how to prepare for a hair removal appointment to make it as comfortable as possible.
For example, if you’re getting waxed, first exfoliate the area the night before your scheduled appointment. (Pro tip: always exfoliate in an upwards motion against the hairs to lift them up and away from the skin whilst removing dead skin cells - this ensures a smooth area which alleviates any discomfort associated with waxing.) A few other tips to minimize the discomfort include taking an Advil or ibuprofen prior to waxing, using Zensa Numbing Cream, choosing a salon that uses hard wax for bikini/brazilian services (using strip wax for this especially sensitive area is far more uncomfortable), and ensuring that the hair being waxed is at least a 1/4 inch long or the length of a grain of rice (when the hair is too long it can tug and pull which only makes things more uncomfortable and could cause irritation). Lastly, don’t spend any time being embarrassed because we promise you, our Waxologists won’t bat an eye about the fact that you’re on your period. As a courtesy, we simply ask that you freshen up with a South Fresh Wipe and tuck the tampon string inside and away so we can wax thoroughly.
Hair Removal While Pregnant
Just like waxing while on your period, there are certain misconceptions around hair removal while pregnant, with many women feeling its taboo. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It really just comes down to choosing the safest method of hair removal during this time. Before we dive into that, let’s consider how being pregnant (and the hormones that come with) affect your body. First, many women notice that there are a few unwelcome side effects of their pregnancy glow. Sure, the hormones can cause longer fingernails, shiny hair, and clear skin (for some women), but they may also result in slightly less desirable changes, like an increase in upper lip, underarm, belly, and pubic hair. Fret not, as in almost all cases, this extra hair is just temporary and will return to normal within six months of giving birth. But in the meantime, removing those unwanted hairs might be pretty high on your to-do list.
Waxing is typically the best option for the bikini area, especially as your belly grows which makes it difficult to see or reach that area yourself. Some women experience heightened sensitivity during pregnancy. If you fall into this camp, be sure to take the proper precautions before hair removal, just as you would if you were getting waxed on your period. For those that are so sensitive you aren’t willing to deal with the pain of getting waxed, you have a few other options, like shaving, tweezing and trimming, or depilatory creams. One other method of hair removal you might be curious about is laser. While laser is generally considered totally safe, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast feeding, simply because there haven’t been any studies done to unequivocally prove that it is safe for mothers and babies. Generally speaking, we recommend all pregnant women speak to their doctors before undergoing any form of hair removal to ensure that it is safe for them and their child.
Hair Removal During Menopause
As if the hot flashes and mood swings weren’t bad enough, there are a few other unfortunate symptoms of menopause and they relate to your hair. Unlike during pregnancy when you might find the hair on your head gets thicker and shinier, the hair on your head can actually thin out during menopause. To make matters worse, while your hair is thinning up there, it can grow thicker in places like your upper lip and chin. Research suggests that thinning hair happens to about 50 percent of women, while increased hair on the upper lip, chin, and even on the cheeks, occurs in about 15 percent of women. The reason behind these changes? You guessed it - it’s hormones. Specifically, the levels of estrogen and androgen both drop during menopause, but the level of testosterone stays the same. It’s this imbalance of hormones that can lead to peach fuzz on the face and even dark, wiry hairs on the chin. While there’s nothing wrong or harmful about a few stray facial hairs or a bit of peach fuzz, some women prefer to have this extra hair removed. In menopause, just like in any other stage of your life, there are many different hair removal options available to you.
Tweezing, depilatory creams, and waxing are all great options. Waxing in particular is one of the best ways to eliminate unwanted peach fuzz. Laser is another option, however, it tends to work better on thick, dark hairs rather than fine blonde hairs. Generally speaking, when considering laser, be sure to set up a laser consultation with a specialist to find out if you are a good candidate for laser before proceeding with treatment. Finally, if you recently entered menopause and are worried that the appearance of new facial or body hair has come too quickly, be sure to consult your doctor to make sure that it isn’t a sign of anything more serious.
There you have it! Although the change in hormone levels women experience while on their periods, pregnant, and in menopause, can all affect your hair, your skin, and your body’s overall sensitivity, it shouldn’t prevent you from removing the hair whichever way you please.
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