We have hair over our entire body, except the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. The number of follicles our body has, is decided by genetics. We never regenerate new hair follicles at any time in our lives after we are born.
Most of our hair is vellus hair, that soft transparent downy covering that we see when the sunlight shines across us. The hair on our heads, brows, underarms, and pubic area is called terminal hair. When we reach puberty hormones can change a vellus hair into a terminal hair and it can happen again during menopause. Thank you chin hairs!
The hair on our bodies are controlled by genetics. It’s color, texture, density, even the length that it’s able to grow. It grows in three cycles or phases. Hormones stimulate growth or slow it down. As a Sugar Technician these are things we can’t do anything about. We do however have some tricks.
When we pull out hair with sugar, our goal is to remove the whole unit. This includes the hair shaft ( the hair we see above the skin) the root, ( the hair below the skin.) the bulb (the dark dot at the end of the hair) the sheath (the translucent glove that covers the bulb and root)The bulb covers the papillae (this is where all the living tissue is protected and it is here that the hair is attached to the body via capillaries.
Our hair generally grows in three phases. The first phase is the Anagen stage.
The papillae plumps up and using nutrients in the blood from the capillaries and skin cells, starts to grow a hair. During the growing process, the cells double every 23-72 hours. The new hair uses a tunnel like structure (the follicle) to reach the surface.
When we sugar our client,their body temperature warms the sugar and it becomes more liquid wicking deep into the follicle wrapping around the shaft and hair. When we remove the sugar we usually get the bulb and all. If there is a dot of blood we call “pinpoint bleeding” we know that we’ve involved the papillae. If we remove the whole papillae, that hair might not ever come back. If we left behind just one cell, it will replace itself. The beautiful thing is, if we see pinpoint bleeding and we left a cell behind, the hair will grow back, but it will never be the hearty hair it was.
When we sugar hair during this phase, we get the best results. Everything is attached and we have a better chance to get the whole unit!
The length of anagen phase varies depending on where on the body the hair grows. The hair on our heads takes longer to grow and stays in the next phase longer.
The next phase is the dormant phase. The Catagen Phase. Your hair is no longer growing, it’s still receiving nutrients from the capillaries and the papillae is starting to shrink and dry. A thin translucent sheath is forming over the bulb and root. As this coating get thicker, the papillae gets smaller and dryer until it breaks off and the hair is no longer attached to the body . the sheath becomes an anchor keeping the hair in the follicle without using energy from the body. If we sugar when the hair is at this phase we may get the whole unit, but there is only a small chance of damaging the papillae and permanently weakening the hair growth. At the time of separation, It moves into the Telogen Phase.
It stays in the Telogen Phase until it is shed, or pushed out by a new hair growing up underneath it. Keep in mind all three phases are happening at the same time. Otherwise we would be bald, then furry, then shaggy, then bald again.
When a client comes in the first time, there may be hairs just under the skin that we can’t see, or just peaking up. If you have a healthy bulb, odds are we wont get those “peekers” at that visit.
We suggest that a client has a “fresh follow up” right away after their very first service to help get two of those phases together. This gives the guest a chance to experience smoother skin longer. After about 4 to 6 visits we assume we’ve pulled every hair out at least once.
Ideally the guests starts to experience thinner, weaker, sparser hair. It may take longer for the hair to grow the desired ¼ inch, if the client came in every 4 weeks to enjoy our VIP pricing, we might be able to push it out another week until their hair reaches ¼ inch.
Most guests experience some improvement however. Strong genetic and hormones will always win!