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Understanding Hair Growth Cycles & Waxing

Understanding Hair Growth Cycles & Waxing

Understanding Hair Growth Cycles & Waxing

Understanding the hair growth cycles is crucial to providing the best waxing experience for your clients. Educating your clients about these cycles will help build their confidence and trust in you. An educated client is a loyal client.


Hair Growth Cycles

The growth and loss of hair involves a complex process with four distinct phases:

1. Anagen: Growing phase

2. Catagen: Transition phase

3. Telogen: Resting phase

4. Exogen: Shedding phase

By understanding these phases, you can better explain the timing and effectiveness of waxing treatments to your clients.


1. ANAGEN: Growing Phase

The Anagen Phase is the growing stage of hair. You'll know when your hair is in this stage because it will be visible above the skin and ready to be removed. During this time, the hair is still attached to the papilla at the base of the hair follicle. The root of the hair is the largest area and contains the most melanin during this phase. The Anagen Phase typically lasts about two to three weeks plus. 


 2. CATAGEN: Transition Phase

The Catagen Phase begins when the Anagen Phase ends and lasts about ten days. During this phase, hair follicles shrink, and hair growth slows. The hair separates from the bottom of the follicle but remains in place during its final days of growth.


 3. TELOGEN: Resting Phase

The Telogen Phase is the resting stage of the hair growth cycle and typically lasts around three months. During this phase, hair does not grow. Instead, the hair follicle remains dormant while new hairs begin to form underneath in the follicles. This phase prepares for the next growth cycle, as the new hairs will eventually push out the old hairs that have been shed.


4. EXOGEN: Shedding Phase

The Exogen Phase lasts a few weeks to several months and is the final stage of the hair growth cycle. During this phase, new hairs grow in the follicles, pushing out the old ones. If an old hair doesn't fall out on its own, it may result in multiple hairs growing from one follicle.

The first three phases (Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen) cover the growth, maturation, and activity of hair follicles, leading to the production of individual hairs. It's important to note that the duration of the Anagen Phase varies for different types of hair. Body hair cycles faster than scalp hair.


My Personal Opinion on Hair Cycles

I've always believed that there were four distinct hair cycles. In my waxing classes, I've consistently emphasized the existence of a fourth cycle. Traditionally, we were taught that the Telogen Stage was the resting and shedding phase. However, I've always claimed, "There really is a fourth stage where new hair starts to grow and pushes out the old Catagen Phase hairs." It just made sense. At the time, we didn't have a name for it. I'm pleased that this stage now has a name, Exogen Phase and is recognized by many scientists who study hair growth.


What Phase is Best for Waxing?

The best phase to start waxing is the Anagen Phase. During this phase, hair grows above the skin and is long enough to be waxed. Since the root is still attached to the papilla, you can pull that root right out with the hair. A bonus is that removing the hair from the root damages the papilla, leading to weaker, finer regrowth and, eventually, less hair production.


Does Waxing Affect Hair Growth?

Absolutely. Each time you wax, you will have hair that does not grow back. Regular waxing can lead to permanent hair reduction. To achieve this:

Start by waxing your client four weeks after their last hair removal session.

Continue waxing them every four weeks initially.

As hair growth diminishes and becomes less noticeable, extend the interval to five or six weeks. 

For clients seeking a more permanent hair removal in specific areas, we welcome you to "Hair Did it Go?" This hair-inhibiting serum is applied immediately after waxing. The client continues to use it at home for the next 48 hours. This treatment offers results comparable to laser hair removal.


Understanding Each Part of the Hair Growth Puzzle

 What is the White Stuff on the End of Hair When It's Pulled Out?

The white bulb at the end of a pulled-out hair is a bundle of protein known as Keratin. The role of the white bulb is to help the hair follicle and root, allowing it to grow until it naturally sheds. It is part of the lining of the hair follicle.



A hair follicle is a tube-like structure surrounding the root of a single strand of hair. Follicles are located in the top two layers of the skin. Humans are born with over 5 million hair follicles on their bodies, with more than one million on the head alone.


Hair Root

The hair root is situated within the skin, extending down into the deeper layers. It is encased by the hair follicle, which is a sheath of skin and connective tissue. The follicle is also connected to a sebaceous gland. 


Hair Bulb

The hair bulb is the expanded part of the hair follicle and contains the dermal papilla and hair matrix. This structure is critical for hair growth and development.


Dermal Papilla

Dermal papilla cells are specialized mesenchymal cells located at the base of hair follicles. These cells are crucial for hair formation and growth.


What Nourishes the Hair?

The papillary layer of the dermis provides essential nourishment to hair through capillaries that supply oxygen and nutrients while removing waste. This layer also contains tactile corpuscles, which are responsible for sensation.


Hair Matrix

The hair matrix is the part of the hair follicle where matrix keratinocytes proliferate, forming the hair shaft of growing hair. Melanocytes within the matrix provide color to the hair shaft.


Educating Clients for Better Results

By understanding each part of the hair growth cycle and the anatomy of hair, you can provide your clients with better waxing experiences and results. This knowledge helps in timing their appointments and understanding the benefits of regular waxing, ultimately leading to satisfied, loyal clients.

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