wooden applicatorWeeks ago I mentioned on SnapChat that I was going to be waxing that day and several of you snapped me back asking me to make a tutorial. So this post was created upon special request by my SnapFam! 😉 My personal wax of choice is hard wax, so that’s what I will be using in this post. Confused on the difference between soft wax and hard wax? Just keep reading!
I think I started getting waxed about 2 years ago…and loved the results so much I kept it up and switched to doing it myself at home. Because, let’s be real, it gets pricey in a salon! So if you’re like me and don’t have the budget for it, I hope this post answers some questions for you and gives you the confidence to do it at home!
The Difference Between Soft & Hard Wax?
There are many different types of waxes that you can use (ever heard of sugar waxing? 🙂 ) but today I’ll be using hard wax. I prefer it, personally, and if you plan to wax sensitive areas (summer is around the corner….biniki line, anyone?) I highly recommend you use hard wax. The most popular type of wax on the general market is soft wax — where you use the clothe strip to place over it — so I want to compare the two of them really quick for you. 🙂
Soft Wax — This is very liquidy and is applied to the skin in a thin layer. A muslin clothe is placed over the wax, rubbed down to fully adhere the wax to the cloth, and then once it starts to harden you pull the clothe away, bringing the wax — and hair — with it. You can’t go over the same area twice, as it removes layers of dead skin and repeating on the same section will results in more skin damage and possibly bruising. This type of wax is best used for large sections of the body, tougher areas, and if you have particularly fine hair — your thighs/legs, for example. Also, this method of waxing is most commonly more painful.
Hard Wax — It gets it’s name from the fact that it does not require a clothe strip to be placed over it to remove it, you simply let it dry and it’s thick and firm enough for you to grab an edge and pull it off. This wax is a lot thicker than soft wax and when it cools it adheres — or ‘shrink wraps’ — around the strands of hair (as opposed to sticking to your skin). It still strips away a layer of skin, but is comparable to using an exfoliate. This wax is ideal for sensitive areas of the body that has coarse hair — bikini lines, Brazilians — but can be used anywhere and on any type of hair. Which is what I do. Also, if you don’t have a high pain tolerance, this is the wax to go with.
While ripping your hair out in one big chunk can’t be painless, using hard wax greatly reduces the amount of pain you feel. I know this is kind of TMI — but, hey, we’re talking about waxing here! — I use this wax for my bikini area and while there is some level of pain the moment the hair is pulled out, it goes away instantly and there is no lingering pain afterwards — which I always experienced with soft wax.
So, yes, in a nut shell soft wax is commonly available and hard wax is gentler and less painful. My recommendation is hard wax, all the way! 😉
How To Hard Wax at Home
I know you might think this is a sponsored post for GiGi, but I promise you, it’s not. In fact, I do NOT recommend you using the GiGi’s waxes. At least not on sensitive areas, as in my experience they cause more pain and are harsher to your skin. But their companion products work fine and are affordable, which is why I use them. 🙂
- Oil or powder (depending on skin needs)
- Hard wax
- Wax warmer
- Wooden wax applicator
- Wax remover cream
- Hair minimizer lotion/serum
The hard wax that I highly recommend is the Cirepil Blue Wax available on Amazon. It’s the best quality I’ve ever tried — way better than the GiGi hard wax! First thing to do is to warm the wax. You want to allow at least 30 minutes, as it will take a while for the whole tub to melt. Test it on the back of your hand. If it applies smoothly, and isn’t too hot, it’s at the perfect temperature. 🙂
For this post I’ll be using my arm to show an example of how I do this. As I stated, I use this in the bikini region…and cameras are not allowed down there 😉 Make sure your hair is at least 1/4″ in length. A bit longer is better. But keep in mind you don’t want it too long! That will make it more painful! If it’s longer than 3/4 of an inch, and it’s in a sensitive area, trim it first. For my arm, though, I don’t find waxing painful, so didn’t bother to trim it. 🙂
You want to make sure the area is cleansed before you start ripping out the hair. This will help prevent any bacteria or ‘junk’ that is on your skin from getting into the freshly-opened areas on your skin and starting an infection. Here I’m using GiGi Pre Honey Pre-Epilation Cleanser.
The next step is to either apply some oil or baby powder to your skin to create a barrier. If you have really dry skin, apply just a little to prevent the wax from aggravating the dry skin and making it worse. If you have oily or sweaty skin, use baby powder to help soak up some of that extra moisturize, as it can prevent the wax from fully adhering to the hairs. So depending, I use either the GiGi Pre-Epilation Oil or the GiGi Pre-Epilation Dusting Powder.
Using these wooden applicator take a gumball size amount out and twirl it to keep the wax from dripping. Then apply it to your hair, following the natural direction your hair lays. This gives you the best results when you go to remove the strip. When you are gliding it on, make sure you make it a decently thick layer. Too thin and it will just crack and break into a million pieces when you try to remove it!
Also make sure you leave a thicker piece at the end so you can easily create a ‘lip’ — as pictured above — and remove the wax strip. If you can’t get a lip, you’ll have to slowly pick at the wax until you bring enough up to create that lip…and that’s not a pleasant feeling to slowly be pulling at a few hairs at a time.
Once the wax has cooled and is firm to the touch, grab the lip and pull in the opposite direction of hair growth. Do this in one quick motion, if possible, to lessen the pain. Also make sure you keep your hair close to your skin as you pull it — you never want to yank the strip straight up as this intensifies the pain and can bruise or damage to your skin.
And you should be left with a clean, hairless patch of skin! Repeat the steps until you’ve removed all the hair that you want to. 🙂 Keep in mind with hair wax you want to work in small sections. This may make it longer, but the results are worth it. 🙂
My arm hair is really fine, but I tried to get a good shot of it so you can see all the hair that this wax pulled out from the roots. No breakage or patchy areas at all! And you have to admit…there is something extremely satisfying to see all that hair stuck in the wax and not on your body! Makes the process worth it 😉
Once you’ve finished waxing off all the hair you will no doubt have random patches of wax that didn’t come off. When you first start off, there will be a lot of these patches, but as you continue to practice and get better at it, you won’t have as many. I used the GiGi Wax Off Wax Remover, but I am in the market for a better one. This one requires too much ‘scrubbing’ to get it all off.
After all that hard work, I recommend using a lotion that helps to slow the growth of the hair. It can take a long time to wax (especially if you do your legs or a Brazilian!) and I want my skin to remain hairless for as long as possible! I’ve been using GiGi Slow Grow Hair Minimizer and when I remember to use it daily (that is the key!) I do notice that the hair takes a bit longer to grow back in.
EDIT MADE MAY 20, 2018: I get a lot of questions on what I use to prevent ingrown hair. I definitely recommend you use something daily — I’ve been using this one from GiGi and it works pretty well for me.
Now tell me, do you wax? In a salon or at home? I really hope this tutorial was helpful for you! If you have any other questions, or would like to see how to use soft wax, or sugar wax…anything! Just let me know in a comment below!
I purchased all products on my own. I was not compensated for writing this post. Links used are affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. Any questions about my disclosure, read here. Thank you for your support!