Eyebrow Waxing

Categories: Skin care
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eyebrow waxingI am not an expert when it comes to waxing since I’ve only had my eyebrows waxed! I don’t like pain, and I don’t like the fact that hair always comes back after waxing, so that’s why I haven’t embraced body waxing. I kind of skipped the whole waxing thing, and jumped into laser hair removal, which I’ll talk about soon. Anyway, I have been getting my eyebrows waxed for years, though. It’s amazing how a few less hairs can make you look so much better! And I know eyebrow shapes come and go, but I am not into bushy brows, so you will never see me with those! And I don’t like the super skinny brows, so I go for ones in between.

Eyebrow Waxing Mishaps
My whole eyebrow waxing experience had been going along great until about two years ago. I didn’t usually stick with one waxer, so I’d just go to whoever was available, until I found someone good, but inevitably they’d be gone when I’d go back in a month or two! The problems began when I had my eyebrows done, and it hurt way more than normal, and then when I was done my skin was flaming red! Yikes! A few months later I went to someone else (obviously) and something similar happened – my face was bleeding in a few tiny spots, and again the skin was bright red. Then a few months after that I had the worst experience of all – after the waxing a big stripe under my eyebrow was sort of shiny and raw looking, but it wasn’t so bad that I freaked out. The Esthetician said it was fine. It was burning like crazy (I had to ice it) and later that day it looked like a giant chunk of flesh was missing from my face! I should have gone back to the salon to complain but didn’t. I then Googled “eyebrow waxing raw” or something like that, and found I wasn’t the only one that has had layers of skin ripped off! The red gash took about two weeks to go away, but luckily it didn’t leave a scar.

How To Avoid A Horrible Waxing
After the last “mishap” I read that if the wax is too hot, that can cause the skin to be ripped off during the waxing. It then dawned on me that the three times I had a problem, the wax was always really hot and stung when it was applied. I know it’s supposed to be somewhat hot, but wax too hot can cause a problem.

You are not supposed to be using retinoids or AHAs if you get waxed. I stopped using them 5 days before each waxing. I know I probably should have waited longer, but I don’t put Differin (the retinoid I use) under my eyebrows, so I don’t see how that could have been the problem.

I went to yet another Esthetician and explained to her my skin had been ripped off and that I would give up waxing if I my skin was just “too sensitive.” She told me that she uses hard wax, rather than the typical wax, and that it would be rather gentle. Sure enough, she did my eyebrows, and the skin wasn’t even pink afterwards! It didn’t hurt as much as the regular wax either. I went to her another time with great success, and then she moved across town (of course). The Esthetician that took her place also used hard wax, and I also had great results. I’ve been going to her ever since. Yay! So, if you have sensitive skin, find someone that uses Hard Wax! Also, I am convinced it wasn’t just my skin that was the problem. One Esthetician told me I had “thin skin” but I think the bigger problem is the skill of the Esthetician. I also got folliculitis once from a waxing. That’s where the follicle gets inflamed, and it almost looks like pimples. Supposedly you can prevent this by waxing in the “correct” direction. I’m still by no means an expert about waxing, but I now know how to get good results! I just worry that all this waxing will permanently damage my hair follicles, and that if I ever do decide I want giant bushy brows, I won’t be able to grow them:( Oh and if you’re looking for a good tweezers to use for stray hairs between waxings, get the Tweezerman! Finally, check out a new way to shape eyebrows!

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19 Responses to “Eyebrow Waxing”

  1. Christine Says:

    Thanks for the tip! I keep wanting to get my ‘brows waxed, but pain is scary!

  2. ms. distressedDERMA Says:

    I am so glad you wrote this. I am in serious need of getting my eyebrows groomed but my experience three months ago left me emotionally scarred and scared. I went to a new eyebrow lady (my old one moved to LA (she was great -no pain and fabulous shaping) ) .
    Tthis new one, not only burned my eyebrow skin area,but she managed to drop some of the wax on to my eyelashes (brings a whole new meaning to pain). She over plucked and by the time she was finished my eyebrow area was flaming red and worse than that she shaped them horribly. I was missing eyebrow hair above the inner corner of my eye. Thank God for bangs :) Anyhow, the eyebrow hair has grown back but I am terrified to have them done again. My sister recommended her Esthetician – I’m going to give her a try and am printing this post to take with me. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. Jeni Says:

    I’m sorry you had a horrible mishap with eyebrow waxing too! I think it’s sort of an art to be able to do them well. I know finding the right Esthetician can make all the difference in the world. And the hard wax seemed to be the answer for me, unless I just happened to get a good esthetician. But the hard wax doesn’t go on hot, and it doesn’t seem to rip at your skin as much. It does drip more than the regular wax, though.

  4. Naomi Says:

    Well I’m having this problem with my eyebrows so I’ve just come here and read about your problems and I’m just hoping you can help! I used ready-to-use wax strips for eyebrows and face and afterwards they were red and a little swelled. There was one hair left so I put ice on my eyebrow to try and reduce the swelling, then pluck the hair. I woke up the next day (today) and now the eyebrow which I put ice on is BRIGHT RED and stings a little whenever I move it or touch it!! It’s all dry and just looks terrible! I’m thinking that I have sensitive skin on my face and now I have no idea how to get rid of this mark which looks almost like a hicky (love bite) above my eye!!! HELP!!!! =]

  5. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I think your eyebrows should be okay in a few days, or it might take a week to go away. You probably ended up pulling up some skin with the waxing. That’s happened to me several times, because the wax that was used at the salon was too hot. When I went to a salon that only used hard wax, I never had a problem again.

    I’m not sure if there is anything that would help the pain or your skin (neosporin, etc.) I personally would just leave the area alone, and just know the pain will soon be gone, and the scab might take a week to go away. I covered mine up with makeup, even though it’s probably not the best idea to put makeup on the wound.

  6. Kathleen Says:

    Personally, I would try to find a good threader. I had this done once with excellent results. But skilled technicians are hard to find.

    Stay away from walk-in nail places. I will never wax again. The last time I had this done (June 2007), I was burned. The technician not only waxed my brows, but eyelids!!. She pulled off a large strip of skin on my right brow that left a scar. She pulled off a smaller one on my left brow area. Even worse, my skin is now burned, stretched, dry and discolored. It has been more than a year, so it will not heal. In fact, I will probably have to pursue plastic surgery to eventually reduce the damage. It aged my eyelids about 10 years. I would caution anyone wanting a professionally groomed brow to go to a threader or to a professional shaper who uses tweezers.

    Please don’t make the same mistake I did by trusting a walk-in waxing place.

  7. Ashley Says:

    This happened to me today!!! It’s just three days before school starts up again, and I went to the place that I normally go to, and I’ve never had a problem there before. Anyway, I felt like it hurt a lot more than usual, and when she showed me, it looked fine (just a little red, but that always happens). Usually the pain goes right away, but it didn’t , so when I got home I looked in the mirror closer and realized that my skin got ripped!!! Is there anyway to hide this?? I put some ice on it hoping that it might magically fix it, but it didn’t…. I’m so worried since school is starting soon. Anyway ideas what I can do??

  8. mesha Says:

    I am wondering with reading all these about waxing if any of you are on Retina A acne medications. I am an esthecian and have been waxing for years and find that when people are on medication that rapidly exfoliates the skin it causes the skin to lift off.
    Most of the waxing problems associated with waxing is because the customer has not disclosed their health history. Hope this helps.

  9. Zac Says:

    Got my eyebrows waxed friday afternoon, a huge chunk of skin was ripped off just below my eyelid on both sides… and I am panicked. It doesn’t look any better in fact it looks much worse, bright red and I have a very, very important job interview on Tuesday. Let alone going to work Monday etc… I have tried aloe, vitamin e, aveeno ultra calming lotion. Nothing is helping it only looks worse. Please does anyone have advice about 1. Making this go away as fast as possible, by Tuesday at the very latest and 2. Not causing a permanent scar. I will die if I have permanent scars on my eyelids and under my eyebrows. Thanks

  10. lea Says:

    i need help!! i got my eyebrows waxed yesterday and i have to go to a party tomarrow. my eyebrows look great but the skin around my eyebrow is like white and my regular skin is tan. i layed out in the sun for a long time but its still white. my mom said we could wax my whole face but i dont want to do that. the two things i first think of are tanning spray and makeup. any other ideas or ways to do my ideas?? please!

  11. nisha Says:

    I had my eye brows threaded few days ago and the lady ripped off chunks of skin along. I am hoping I won’t have a permanent scar. I have known threading all my life and I can tell that the person who did this was not an expert. It makes me furious how could she hurt someone this badly. She was very careless.
    I just hope I won’t end up with permanent scaring. The wound has shrunken but is still red. Any idea if it could leave scaring?

  12. Tracey Says:

    I am wondering if any of you ever experienced something besides skin burning and skin peeling… problem is swelling and like a boil, almost in the form of a zit full of liquid…..I mean it’s the weirdest thing ever…..I don’t think the wax my lady used was NOT hot enough…..can that be a problem???? I appreciate any help or suggestions!!!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    This comment is posted in response to mesha Says:

    -Quoted text-
    January 18th, 2009 at 2:27 pm
    I am wondering with reading all these about waxing if any of you are on Retina A acne medications. I am an esthecian and have been waxing for years and find that when people are on medication that rapidly exfoliates the skin it causes the skin to lift off.
    Most of the waxing problems associated with waxing is because the customer has not disclosed their health history. Hope this helps.
    -End of quoted text-


    Most waxers do not request health history… they just whisk you in and do the waxing as quickly as possible to achieve greater turnover and more money. There is no guarantee you will not be burned or scarred regardless of your medication history.

    Additionally, as one of the people who initially posted above, I was on no medication and had been going to a different Esthetician for years with no problem. The issue is more with the quality, or lack thereof, of the technician and technique. This profession should be more highly regulated to prevent the damage and permanent scarring it can cause (and has likely caused several people on this page alone). Most licensing boards do not realize the pain and suffering potentially caused by this procedure and subsequent permanent damage. I just want to alert those reading these posting to (1) either find someone you highly trust or (2) to find alternative methods of hair removal. Otherwise, you risk permanent scarring and discoloration in an area you can never hide.

  14. stranger (: Says:

    here’s a tip for those who get “pimples” after threading!
    exfoliate the day before threading (remove dead skin, etc), wash face again prior to threading (keep pores clear from the day’s oil+dirt), immediately wash and tone face after threading (clean pores again + close pores), exfoliate reguarly thereafter (but only 2 days after threading because the skin will be real delicate the first 2 days!)

    threading sans pimples! :D

  15. DermaTalk Says:

    Its normal for many people to experience some swelling at the first and will go away by itself but if you experience boils that might be folliculitis…. use some antiseptics and keep the area clean

  16. Joy Says:

    Tracey, you probably got some sort of staph infection, and that can cause boils. You should probably go to the dr. for that.

  17. Christina Says:

    The EXACT STORY YOU POSTED happened to me last year. I was on the acne medication Retin-A which makes the skin thin and I always went to get my eyebrows waxed. But when I went to get my eyebrows waxed for the first time after using Retin-A MY EYEBROWS WERE ON FIRE! The first thing I was thinking is I’M SUEING, but i knew it was my own damn fault for not using common sense. Anyways, I couldnt wax them anymore so I decided to pluck my own eyebrows. It’s hella cheaper than waxing and less of a hassle. I suggest plucking.

  18. Emily Says:

    Ok- I’m an esthetics student. There are just some basics you have to follow if you want to get waxed. List any medications you have taken in the last 6 months. Some meds cause skin to be sensetive or weakens it, making it prone to lifting. If you are taking an oral drug that causes sensetivity it could take months for the skin to go back to normal (accutane for example.) If you have taken these and do not tell the esthetician, its your fault if you lift. Also make sure they prep your skin accurately, it has to be cleansed, then dry, and then have a light layer of powder (or oil) applied to create a barrier between the skin and the wax. Before the wax ever touches your skin they are supposed to test it on themselves. Once they apply it they should ask you if the temperature is comfortable. The wax only needs to be warm enough to spread on the skin. Also it should be applied in as thin a layer as possible. After the strip is on the wax they should lift it in the opposite direction the hair grows, but rip it off as parallel to the skin as possible. Lifting straight up can rip off your skin.

    When they are done they should remove any leftover wax and cleanse the area again, and apply something soothing (like aloe gel) to reduce redness. Remember it is common for some people to see a little pink on their skin for up to 24 hours. So dont wax if you need to be somewhere important in an hour, especially if you dont know the esthetician’s technique or how your skin will react.

    As far as breaking out; dont wear ANYTHING on your skin for at least 24 hours, with the exception of sunblock(google: hyerpigmentation after waxing). So no make-up, deoderant, fragranced body washes, and I would stay way from harsh soaps in general. Then 24 to 48 hours after getting wax EXFOLIATE! That will prevent the little “bumps” that you get from waxing. BTW the little bumps are your hair folicles trying to grow new hair, OR you havent been cleansing properly after the wax and you got bacteria, dead skin cells and oil (formula for acne) stuck in the folicle. And you did not have folliculitis, that is a reacuring skin condition found mostly in men with really thick curly beards that they shave, and then since the curly hair does not grow straight up, it becomes ingrown, get infected, and is really painful. You had pseudofolliculitis. Commonly confused with folliculitis, but not the same. Not nearly as severe. And you got it because you didnt exfoliate.

    one more thing to think about: did you know in some states you dont actually have to go to school to become an esthetician? Or the state requirement for the hours they have to complete to get the lisence is like 300 or 400 hours. I live in Utah, the state requirement here is 1200 hours. Meaning I have to learn a hell of a lot more to get my lisence. So make sure your esthetician knows what the hell she is doing before you let her put hot wax on you.

  19. David Dinsmore Says:

    You need to stop using the retin A more than a month before waxing. I recommend 2 months. It thins the skin even in areas where it has not been applied. You could put it on your chin and it could make your brows lift. If you have been using retin A I recommend Threading or tweezing.

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