Waxing is becoming increasingly popular among teenagers as part of their beauty and hygiene routines. However, a growing number of pre-teens of all ethnicities are seeking professional hair removal in order to feel more comfortable with their changing bodies.
The reality is that social media has become increasingly important in our lives, and children are growing up in an era of Instagram and YouTube, which increases their self-consciousness about their appearances as they enter adolescence. Furthermore, some research indicates that children are reaching puberty earlier. So, sooner than expected, the issue of hair removal and which option is deemed better becomes a burning question for moms and their children.
“We understand that as a teenager, dealing with the changes you are seeing in your body, one of which is the growing presence of hair, can be overwhelming,” says Sharon Andrew, owner of WAXIT Ballito.
Sharon has seen a lot of teenagers come to her waxing salon, whether for purely aesthetic reasons or for sports.
“It’s a much more visible issue for girls with darker hair or skin, and it may even come up at a younger age. In the summer, when girls go swimming at school or for fun, there’s often the added worry that their hair will show through their costumes. As parents, we want our children to be at ease and content in their own skin, and to love themselves for who they are. Unfortunately, society and the body images we are exposed to on a daily basis promote smooth and hairless women as the ideal look, which is why girls, in particular, begin to feel self-conscious about their bodies at a young age, and the issue of hair removal begins for some girls as early as pre-teens.”
While shaving is the most popular method of hair removal (cheap, quick, convenient, and relatively painless), it comes with the risk of cuts, rapid regrowth, and ingrown hairs. Waxing, on the other hand, pulls hair out from the root, resulting in slower regrowth (three to six weeks) but more pain, and requires extra caution to ensure the warm wax does not burn the skin.
“Because we specialise in waxing and hair removal, we know that waxing younger skin requires more caution than waxing adult skin. For example, a teenager’s skin is thinner than an adult’s, resulting in a higher risk of product sensitivities,” Sharon claims.
“Teenagers’ skin is also more sensitive to heat than adults’ skin. That’s why having a professional wax your daughter is preferable to using an at-home wax kit, where you have less control over the temperature of the wax and are more likely to burn their skin. Going to a professional can help prevent scarring, burning, and long-term skin damage, and we’re also up to date on the best products to use both before and after hair removal.”