Even though it's 2015, us women are still expected to be smooth, soft and hairless on just about every inch of our bodies — except for our heads, which should be Victoria's Secret-voluminous, and our eyebrows, which apparently should be "on fleek." Well, I'm here to tell you why, if there's one hair removal habit to quit for good, it's that we should all stop waxing our arms immediately.
All of those hair (or lack thereof) expectations can start to get a bit draining, not to mention painful if you're partial to plucking, waxing or threading. If you're starting to feel drained by your hair removal routine, you may want to consider removing one body part from the list instead: your arms. Many experts agree that waxing your arms isn't just unnecessary, it may even be harmful.
While you've always had hair on your arms, for most people, it begins to grow in thicker and darker once you enter puberty. Arm hair, like all androgenic hair on the human body, was important for humanoids millions of years ago because it helped them to stay warm and it made their sense of touch much keener. Unfortunately, this heightened sensitivity also means that today, your arms are still very sensitive — especially when it comes to ripping those fine hairs out from their roots.
If you've just about had it with The Pressure To Be Hairless, here are five very legit reasons to stop waxing your hair ASAP.
1. It hurts like hell while its happening...
This one's kind of a no brainer if you've ever waxed before. Ripping the hair out of your skin is not a relaxing spa experience.
2. ...and after you're done.
Many people report that the skin on their arms feels incredibly tender or painful after waxing. Even if you visit a highly trained esthetician to perform the treatment, you will likely still have red bumps, inflamed skin and a tingling, burning sensation for a day or two after.
3. You're more prone to sun damage.
Once the irritation goes away, your arms will continue to feel exposed and highly sensitive to outside stimulants, such as the sun or even the sleeves of a coat. Since any dead skin gets waxed off with your hair, you'll get a fresh layer that needs extra UV protection if you're going out in the sun. So, even though your arms are hair-free, you won't be able to pop on a tank top immediately.
4. You could get an infection.
Because waxing your arms makes your skin a bit raw, it also means that you're susceptible to infection if the esthetician's tools weren't cleaned properly. These types of common infections likely won't make you sick, but they will certainly make your arms itch and look red, irritated, and certainly worse than they did when covered in natural hair. In some cases, however, that raw, exposed skin could contract a more serious staff or strep infection even after you leave the salon.
5. You'll have to let it grow out anyway.
If all of that isn't enough to make you forget about waxing your forearms, the so-called "growing out" period just might. Like with all areas of the body, you have to wait until the hair on your arms grows to at least 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch before you're able to have it waxed, according to Women's Health. That means dealing with prickly stubble all over your arms in between waxes, and because your arms come in contact with the general public much more than, say, your legs, it could create some awkward encounters with anyone who brushes up against them. Because the wax isn't able to grab onto hairs that are much shorter than 1/8-inch, there's really no way around the hated growing out period.
While the procedure itself isn't unbearable (in fact, the arms are actually some of the least painful body parts that you can have waxed), it may not be as quick and simple as you think. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons before scheduling an appointment or attempting to wax your arms at home, and consider whether or not you want to continue waxing your arms every time the hair starts to grow back. Most importantly, consider if your arm hair is as noticeable as you might think — or if, as a woman in 2015, it even matters if you have a bit of hair on your arms.
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