We hear some horror stories 🥺😱😳 about waxing experiences – but there’s really no need to be nasty! Like painting your nails and styling your hair, practice makes perfect, and the skill of how to wax your legs, upper lips and underarms is easily mastered. If you follow the instructions (and yes, we get that it’s hard for some of you), nothing should stop you from achieving salon results at home.
So, for the best possible experience, get up to speed with the following before waxing.
The longer the length of hair, the more discomfort there is in removing it (think stag party waxing videos on YouTube). It’s also more likely to break off and compromise your results. We advise hair be at least 3 mm long so that the wax can grip it effectively. Likewise, if hair is longer than 15 mm, trim it down to around 3- 5 mm before waxing.
All body areas are not created equal – and this is certainly true when it comes to waxing. Legs are by far the easiest place to start DIY waxing – there’s space to play with, margin for error and legs are far less sensitive than the likes of underarms and bikini areas. Hone your skills here then tackle other areas once you’ve mastered your technique.
Waxing – whether with strips, hot or sugar wax works best when skin is clean, dry, and free of oils and lotions. Dry, scaly skin will affect product performance and results, and slippery, damp skin will compromise the wax’s ability to stick to the skin and hold on to the hair. If it’s humid, using a light layer of talc will help the grip of the wax on the skin. We also suggest doing a patch test with your wax product, just to make sure that your skin and the ingredients are compatible.
Each manufacturer and wax type will have its own idiosyncrasies – so it’s a bit of trial and error while you factor in the strength of your microwave or stovetop, and the amount of wax in the container. Our advice here is to err on the side of caution – heat up in regular, small bursts, rather than overheat and run the risk of burning your skin. The consistency of thick honey is what we’re aiming for here.
An important part of wax prep is stirring the wax to make sure that the heat is evenly distributed. Use the spatula provided and remember to remove it from the container once you are done.
Ok – now you’re ready. Make sure you have good light to see what you’re doing and maybe listen to some music to help you relax. Get your bestie, sister or mom to assist you if you’re feeling apprehensive.
Again, this varies from wax type to wax type (sometimes against the direction of hair growth, sometimes in the same direction) and the knack of having enough wax on your spatula to create a strip or patch. Spread the wax over a small area in an even layer in the same way you’d spread soft butter on a slice of bread. We’re not going for dollops like strawberry jam on a scone. Again, the amount of wax varies depending on the wax your use. Once you’ve created your strip – let the wax set for a few seconds. When it is still warm, and pliable, the wax is ready to remove. Don’t allow the wax to become hard and brittle – big ouch! Rather apply additional liquid hot wax to the strip you’ve created, to warm and soften the strip of wax, ready for removal.
The rule of thumb is always to remove the wax against the direction of hair growth. But wait, there’s more! Please bear in mind these pointers as well:
- Loosen the end of the strip to get a firm grip on the wax
- Removal is a double-handed process – one hand holds the skin taut, the other removes the wax
- Pull back the wax quickly and purposefully in the opposite direction of hair growth. Remember, iffiness = discomfort. It’s really important here to stay close and parallel to the skin – this avoids the hair breaking off
- Use the palm of your hand to apply firm pressure onto the waxed area once you’ve removed the strip – it helps relieve any discomfort
- Any wax residue is easily removed using a cotton wool pad with a little baby oil. Don’t try using soap and water or pick off the wax (ouch).
So – there it is, it may seem a lot to remember, but it’s quick and simple to master. Good luck!