10 Reasons Why Waxing isn’t Working for You

Have you been trying to wax your legs but it doesn’t seem to be working? Are you experiencing rapid regrowth after a waxing session and you don’t understand why you don’t have hair-free skin for the 4 weeks that everyone always talks about?

There are quite a few reasons as to why you are not experiencing the optimum waxing results. Hopefully one or more of these reasons will help you fix the issue or find another method that will work better for you.

1. Your hair isn’t long enough

You hair needs to be at minimum a quarter of an inch (0.6 cm) long in the area where you want to remove your hair. Otherwise the wax cannot adhere to it correctly.

2. Your hair is too long

In case your hair is too long, try trimming it down to at the shortest a quarter inch and at the longest a half inch before the waxing session to see if this works better.​

3. You are dehydrated

​When your skin is dehydrated the pores close firmly around the hairs and they tend to snap off rather than be pulled from the root during waxing.

It’s best to avoid alcohol the night before a wax and to make sure you drink a lot of water both the day before and the day of your appointment.

The more hydrated you are, the better the results. This works for all methods of hair removal, and the added benefit is that it will help keep dry skin at bay.

4. Hair grows in cycles, and the cycles are not synchronized

This means that one wax session will pull out the hairs that have grown above the level of the skin, but nothing else. Hairs grow on average at a rate of 1/3 of a millimeter a day, and you cannot see how many hairs are just under the skin waiting to pop out!

So while your wax session may stop all the hairs that you can see from coming back for 3-6 weeks, there is no way to know at what stage of growth other hairs are at.

This means that you may see hairs coming through as early as 1 or 2 days after you have waxed. These are not hairs that have already regrown, but other hairs that you just couldn’t see before.​

5. You aren’t doing it properly.

There is a technique to waxing correctly and it is important to make sure that you follow it. This will help avoid hairs breaking off just below the level of the skin and reappearing a few days later, and even more importantly, it will help avoid the appearance of painful ingrown hairs.

Wax needs to be applied in strips in the direction of the growth of the hair, and firmly and rapidly pulled off in the opposite direction of the growth of the hair.

If you pull the strip off too slowly you risk breaking the hairs and/or leaving all of the wax behind on your skin.

If you do it properly your skin will be smooth and the wax strip will be full of hairs. You can tell if they have been pulled from the root if they have a black bulb at the end of them.

6. Your hair has been weakened by years of hair removal

Weakened hairs tend to break off at skin level no matter how hydrated and exfoliated you are.

If you notice that many of the hairs that you remove have been broken off then waxing may not be the right form of hair removal for you.

At this point it would be a good idea to look into different forms of hair removal, possibly more permanent ones such as electrolysis or laser hair removal.​

7. Your skin isn’t dry

If you just have got out of the shower or you have been sweating, it may affect how well the wax works on your hairs.

It is always best to rub the skin down with a towel and apply baby powder to the area to the treated to ensure that the wax adheres correctly to the hairs for the best results.​

​8. You aren’t pulling in the right direction

woman waxing leg

Always look to see which ways your hair grows to make sure that you pull the wax off in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

Keep in mind that hair grows in all different directions in some areas, such as the armpits, which may call for more than one pass over certain spots.

Always make sure to smooth the wax down completely before you pull it off.​

​9. Your beautician has not been properly trained

Maybe your beautician hasn’t taken the time to match the correct wax and technique with your skin and hair type or simply hasn't been properly trained.

Try troubleshooting the issues with him or her, but if they cannot come up with a solution it would make sense to try another salon or spa.​

If you ​are waxing at home, try using a different wax or technique.

10. You aren’t using the right type of wax for your hair type

It is probably that you aren't using the right type of wax or you aren’t using the wax correctly according to type.

Soft wax (used with strips) needs to be applied in a thin coat that just covers the hairs. If you layer it too thickly it may not work and can possibly lead to bruising.

Hard wax (stripless) works best on thick, coarse hair, and needs to be applied thickly and left to harden. If you don’t wait long enough it will not have had time to shrink wrap the hairs and will not work.

Cold wax tends to be more painful and is often not pulled firmly enough which will leave you with skin full of wax - and hair.​


For the past 12 months, I have been testing and playing with all sorts of hair removal products for Hair Free Life. My goal is to provide the most accurate and up-to-date hair removal consumer information on the internet. When I'm not photographing, reviewing and researching hair removal products I play the drums in a samba band and am a volunteer for the Swindon Lions! Got any questions? Write to us below:

  • Avatar Nicky says:

    How do you get your hair growth cycles to be synchronized?

    • Avatar Alice says:

      It is a natural, normal process and there is absolutely no way to do that. You will always have hair in different cycles of regrowth. Sorry. It’s a good thing though, or else every so often you’d be bald it’s just frustrating for hair removal everywhere else.

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Hi there. I have horribly thick hair on my chin due to shaving for years and it’s becoming a real confidence issue. I have sensitive skin so I frequently get razor burn and ingrown hairs too. Please if you have any advice to rectify this I’d appreciate it so much, I’m too embarrassed to go anywhere to get it professionally removed.
    Thank you.

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