When waxing your hair, you’ll inevitably see some stubble reappear between sessions. Despite designer stubble long being a popular style for men, it’s less appreciated in other bodily areas, e.g., the legs, arms, or bikini region. No sooner do the bristles rear their heads than we’re wondering how long it is to our next waxing session.

That raises an important waxing question: how long should hair be to wax?

You may think that waxing is suitable for all types of hair – not so. In fact, there’s a tricky dilemma: If your hair is too short, then the wax may not be able to grip the hair as the strip is removed. Alternately, if it’s too long, hair is easily missed – meaning the procedure is more painful and protracted than necessary. 

So, what is this perfect “Goldilocks” length of hair? How long does your hair need to be to wax? Keep reading to find out the answer – and other related waxing advice.

How long should hair be to wax?

As a rule of thumb, your hair should be around ¼-inch in length for the wax to grasp the hair. That’s about the length of a grain of rice. However, you’re unlikely to be measuring your hair or comparing it to rice. Instead, ensure there is enough hair for you to be able to pinch.

In short: if you can grasp it, the wax can too.

A ¼-inch of hair growth takes around two weeks, depending on your genetics, diet, and other factors. We recommend waiting around two weeks between waxing sessions – and an absolute minimum of 5 days. How quickly hair grows differs from person-to-person, and even between body areas.

Does hair growth differ between body areas?

Yes! While the ¼-inch rule applies to waxing hair all over the body, how long that hair takes to grow can differ substantially. Indeed, hair can grow faster or thicker in different body areas. In general, underarm hair or pubic hair is likely to be thicker than on your arms or legs.

That means you may notice the hair earlier between sessions, but you’ll still need to wait for it to grow long enough to pinch it between waxing. In fact, thicker hair often needs to be longer than ¼-inch, as the wax needs to adhere to the heavier hairs – preventing breakage.


Why does hair length matter?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, we’ve all seen how sticky wax is to skin and hair. It’s what makes it so effective. Yet, the wax still needs something to grip on to. Without enough hair, it won’t adhere correctly – meaning you won’t remove the hair. 

Even worse, in some cases, the hair may break in half or cause external skin irritation. Broken hairs can also become ingrown, causing significant pain, inflammation, and sometimes infection.

If a hair isn’t removed in the same cycle, it’ll result in irregular growth. As some hairs get longer, others have just started growing. As such, if your hair isn’t ¼-inch long, your technician may ask to reschedule the appointment. 

It’s best to schedule your appointments routinely based on your average hair growth time. Say, every four weeks – to ensure all your hair has reached ¼-inch long. Consistent waxing sessions can also lead to slower and thinner growth over time. If so, you can lengthen the time you wait between sessions to around 5 to 6 weeks.

In addition, always try to avoid scheduling waxing sessions on a week you’re not on your period. During this time, the skin around the hair tends to become more sensitive. It would help if you also avoided caffeine or alcohol on the same day – as this can also increase your discomfort.


What should you do between waxing sessions?

As far as the hair goes – absolutely nothing! Avoid plucking, shaving, or any other hair removal method in this in-between stage. Not only does it prolong your time till your next waxing session, but it can also cause skin irritation. 

We understand that it can be a little uncomfortable as your waxing session approaches – but resist the urge to intervene. It’s far better to wait until your waxing session.

You should exfoliate and moisturize your skin, however. You’ll want to keep the hair follicle clear and keep the skin barrier healthy. Ensure you eat healthily and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and in glowing condition.


Can your hair be too long for waxing?

Most definitely. It sounds odd – after all, we’re asking, “how long does your hair need to be to wax.” But there is such a thing as too long; it’s anything longer than ½-inch. There is a simple solution. Before a session, trim the hair with a pair of clean scissors or shear. The technician may also trim the hair for you during your appointment. 

If the hair is left long, it’s more likely to break or to miss some of the hairs. 


Final thoughts

Let’s recap: hair should be between ¼ to ½ an inch in length for waxing. If the hair is too short, reschedule your waxing appointment; if too long, trim the hair before applying the wax. Waxing too short hair can lead to skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and more discomfort than is necessary. 

Between waxing sessions, keep the skin clean, hydrated, and exfoliated to ensure the hair follicles are clear and the skin is healthy. Try to avoid shaving, plucking, or any other hair removal technique when waiting for your next waxing session – it only means you need to wait longer.

If you’d prefer a more permanent hair removal option, speak to our team about laser hair removal. Otherwise, we’re always available for waxing appointments across all our sites.