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Waxing has become a go-to beauty routine. Most women and a lot of men prefer waxing over other hair removal methods. This is because it’s much faster than plenty of other hair removal kits, while also being long-lasting.
However, in the hectic life of a busy person, not everyone has the time or the money to go to a beauty salon or to get a professional waxing session. This is why home waxing kits are becoming increasingly popular.
As there are plenty of types of waxing kits, it’s easy to get confused when it comes to using them. Some require a special type of wax; others need a special routine… It’s very easy to get lost in all the instructions, or to forget to read them entirely!
To help you with this, we will explain how to use home waxing kits – yes, all popular types of them.
- Check out our top 10 best waxing kits available to buy now
- Want to remove nose hairs? See our best nose hair trimmers or our how to use a nose hair trimmer guide for more info
How Does A Wax Warmer Work?
If you’ve ever been to a beauty salon before this, you have probably seen a wax warmer before. These small appliances serve to heat wax before applying it to your skin. They are used for both hard and soft wax.
While it isn’t as common knowledge, there are plenty of at-home wax warmers for your home waxing kits. While many people prefer heating their wax in a microwave, using a wax warmer is a much safer method. Not to mention that it’s more economical as time goes on.
A wax warmer will heat the wax to the desired temperature. Many have precise temperature controls and not just an on/off switch. This can help you not get burned, especially if you only have a small amount of wax remaining. Also, this is the biggest advantage of using wax warmers instead of microwaves, as microwaves can overheat the wax or heat it unevenly.
- Another method of hair removal is epilation, check out our best epilators available for this year
- If you’re unsure on how they work, see our How to use an Epilator guide, complete with tips for newbies
How to Use a Hair Removal Wax Kit at Home
Most kits are quite simple to use with straightforward instructions that range across all brands, but it is important to check each manufacturer as there may be slight variations. Keep this in mind whilst reading the instructions below.
This is a basic process:
- Begin on clean, exfoliated skin. This will help the wax to catch all the hairs.
- Place the beads in the chamber or leave the hot wax pot inside.
- Depending on the type of wax and heating method stated in the instructions, begin heating the warmer, increasing the temperature slowly.
- Continue stirring with an applicator until it has a thick honey-like consistency.
- Patch test on the back of your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot. It should be hot enough to be in liquid form, but not too hot to burn you.
- Keep the heat on medium or low depending on the type of wax.
- Using a spatula/applicator, dip in the wax and twist it around the utensil to avoid putting residue on the sides of the equipment. This will make cleaning afterward easier.
- Follow the epilation instructions depending on if it’s soft or hard.
- Turn off the power and leave leftover contents in the warmer for next time (up to a week). Don’t throw it away – the wax is reusable.
- Ensure the lid is on tightly to keep it protected.
Here’s how the process is different depending on the type of wax:
What Types Of Hair Removal Wax Are There?
Waxing isn’t the most pleasant procedure, and not everyone likes the same procedure. This is why there are several types of hair removal waxes. Not all work the same for all areas of the body. Some might not ever work the same on all hair types. It is up to you to find the one that works the best for you.
Overall, there are seven types of hair removal wax. These are:
- Warm soft wax
- Warm hard wax
- Cold soft wax
- Pre-made wax strips
- Sugar wax
- Fruit wax
- Chocolate wax
We’ll explain the differences between them and how to use them below:
1. Warm Soft Wax
Warm soft wax is used for strip waxing. It can be either cream or resin-based. This type of wax has to be warmed gently, so look carefully at the recommended temperature.
The soft wax should be applied in a thin layer, before pressing a cloth strip on it and removing it, pulling away the hairs. You can use this wax for larger areas on the body, such as arms or legs. It can pick up even the finest of hairs.
Keep in mind that this type of wax shouldn’t be used over the same skin area twice. It’s very sticky and it can hurt your skin. A cream-based wax is a bit gentler, but you should still be careful if you have sensitive skin.
2. Warm Hard Wax
This type of wax is very effective for both fine, thin hair and strong, thick one. You apply it while it’s warm, and wait for it to harden as it cools down. Cloth strips aren’t necessary for this type of wax, as you can strip it alone once it’s hard.
You should apply warm hard wax in a thicker layer. Make sure you’re applying it in the direction of hair growth. Otherwise, once you pull the hairs, you might break them. This will not only make the epilation process shorter lasting, but you can also cause ingrown hairs.
Warm hard wax is best used on smaller skin areas, such as the nose, above the lips, underarms, or bikini areas. It won’t work as well on larger areas, as it can break the hairs. Also, while it’s more delicate than soft wax, it might not grab the hairs from the bulb, which might force you to go over the same area twice or more times. This can irritate your skin.
3. Cold Soft Wax
Cold soft wax doesn’t need to be warmed before using it – although some users like to make it slightly warm just so it can stick better. You apply it directly to the skin. It often comes pre-prepared on a strip, so you won’t need to buy any type of cloth strips. Many people prefer this type of wax as it can’t burn them.
You should apply it in thin layers before pulling. Keep in mind that it’s rather thick, so this might be tricky. Also, it’s not as effective as warm wax, so you might not want to use it in areas with strong hairs.
4. Pre-Made Wax Strips
These strips come with just the right amount of cold wax attached to them, and you can use them immediately. This makes this method mess-free and user-friendly, as you cannot put too much product and you don’t need any cloths. Most strips can also be used more than once, so they can be rather affordable.
Before applying them to the skin, warm them a little bit by rubbing them with your palms. This will help them catch more hair. However, most strips are small, so they might not be convenient for larger skin areas.
5. Sugar Wax
Despite what its name suggests, sugar wax isn’t actually wax. It’s usually made by mixing sugar, lemon, and hot water.
You use this type of wax the same way as you would warm soft wax, by warming it up before removing it with strips. However, it might be too weak for stronger hairs. Unlike traditional wax, you should apply this one against the grain, and then remove it the other way.
Sugar wax is water-soluble, so you can simply clean it with water. Also, it won’t get stuck in open hair follicles, so you’ll unlikely have any ingrown hairs.
6. Fruit Wax
Fruit wax is applied the same way as hard wax, by warming it up, applying it to the skin, and then pulling it away once it hardens. The biggest difference is that it’s perfect for sensitive skin, as it contains plenty of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
7. Chocolate Wax
This is the gentlest type of wax. It can be either soft or hard, and it has to be warm before applying it. Make sure to check out the melting temperature, as it’s usually much lower than that of a regular wax. While this is much better for your skin, watch out that you don’t overheat it as it can burn.
How to Clean Up Hair Removal Wax
Regular users of home waxing kits know that removing hair is just half of the job. Some might even say it’s the easier part! Removing it, however, can be extremely complicated – unless you’re using a sugar wax, which can simply be washed off.
Waxing can end up being rather messy. Just think about it – you’re applying layers upon layers of warm, gooey product on your body, sometimes on areas that are a bit difficult to reach. It is almost certain it’ll spill or drip at least once, no matter how experienced you are.
Not to mention that even if you apply it without creating a mess, you’ll still have to remove the residue from your skin. Wax can be sticky, especially soft types, and wiping it is not always a good option.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can try:
How to Get Wax Off Skin
There are several methods for removing wax from the skin. The first thing you should do, however, is to wash the waxed area using warm water, as well as moisturize. Don’t use oil-type lotions for this step, as they can make cleaning more complicated.
Hot water compress
Soak a clean washcloth in hot water, then place it on the area where you have waxy residue. Let it sit for around a minute and it should soften the wax. You should be able to remove the wax with a washcloth after this.
Another good tip is to use some type of oil. It doesn’t matter what type of oil you use – it can be massage oil, olive oil, or mineral oil – as long as it’s slightly warm. Soak the pad with oils, and then press it on the wax residue for about two minutes, before wiping it off with a cotton pad.
Use a generous amount of petroleum jelly and apply it to the area with residue. Wait for approximately five minutes, and then wipe it.
Apply alcohol on a cotton pad, and then rub the wax residue until it peels off or dissolves. Make sure to use a moisturizing lotion afterward, as alcohol can irritate your skin.
Take an ice cube and place it on the wax residue. Let it stay for half a minute, then peel off the wax. Keep in mind that this won’t work for all wax types. If you feel like you have to scrape, try some other method, as this can hurt your skin.
How to Get Wax Off Clothes
Wax can also get on your clothes or other surfaces, such as carpet or sofa. Don’t panic – you can remove it! Here’s how:
- Take a brown paper bag or some old towel and lay it over the wax. Don’t use anything that has ink on it, as it might transfer on the surface.
- Take iron and heat it on low. Don’t use steam! Then, rub it over the towel or the bag.
- If you don’t have an iron nearby, use a hairdryer. Turn it on a high heat and keep it a few inches away from the bag/towel.
- Remove the towel or the bag. The wax should be transferred to it. Be careful where you’re placing it, as you don’t want to further transfer the wax.
- Repeat the process until you’ve removed all the wax.
Once you’ve removed the wax, you might notice some staining. This can be somewhat tricky to remove, but it isn’t impossible. Here’s a tested method:
- Pour some washing liquid on the stain.
- Without rinsing it, place the cloth in the washing machine.
- Wash it at the hottest wash temperature that the fabric can handle. Keep in mind that coloured clothing cannot be washed at too hot temperatures.
Sometimes it might take more than one wash to remove the stain. This is the case with greasier stains. Use any stain removal kit you may find that specialises in removing grease.
Hair Removal Wax Safety Tips
While home waxing kits are more or less safe, there are still a few things you need to be aware of.
- Use pre-epilation oils, especially if you have sensitive skin. This will keep your skin safe.
- Test the warmed-up wax on your wrist before applying the wax to the rest of your skin.
- Don’t wax the same area several times.
- Don’t wax irritated skin
- Don’t remove hair from moles, warts, and any types of skin growths, soft tissue, nostrils, or eyelid.
- Don’t share wax with other people, as this might spread infections.
- Carefully read the instructions on your waxing kits
Know the Potential Side Effects
Like most things in life, there are potential side effects if the wax isn’t used properly, and sometimes it will just happen and be unavoidable. If you experience any of these, then perhaps opt for epilation or laser hair removal, but most people are fine dealing with the bumps for a day or 2 after.
These are some things to look out for:
- Pain is probably the number one thing that puts people off, but it’s definitely something you can get used to. Also, with the proper techniques and pre and post-care, pain can virtually become non-existent. It will vary on the type used (some people say hard wax is less painful), your skin sensitivity, tolerance of pain, amount of hair and length, and some areas may be more sensitive than others.
- Ingrown hairs or bumps can occur if you don’t remove it against the direction of follicle growth, or if you pull it off hesitantly and hairs break without being removed from their roots. Make sure you’re using the right methods, and you can put a balm, cream, or oil on after to prevent bumps.
- Reaction or irritation could be likened to redness, which is completely normal on most areas, as the face or underarms. If you’re sensitive or allergic to the ingredients in the wax, you may get irritation. Always check the ingredients and do a small patch test on the back of your arm beforehand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Use Hair Removal Wax?
Most types are formulated for use on all areas, like the bikini line, underarms, legs, arms, back, face, private areas, and even the toes, fingers, ears, and inside the nose.
This all depends on the type though, as you may need one that is suitable for sensitive parts of the body. Some can be too thick or harsh, which won’t work for the facial area.
Is Wax Safe to Use on my Private Areas?
It is completely safe; however, there are a few things to consider:
- Hard wax is ideal for these areas.
- Ensure your hair is at around a ¼ of growth to reduce some pain.
- Pre-clean and dry thoroughly to help it grip.
- Test the temperature on your inner thigh before placing on any private sensitive areas.
- Work in sections and place in the direction of growth. Rip off in the opposite direction.
- Exfoliate for the next few weeks to prevent ingrown follicles and ensure to moisturize after each shower.
How Long Does It Take for Hair to Grow Back After Waxing?
The typical rate of growth after this process is around 4-6 weeks. However, this greatly depends on each individual. Your own growth cycle, hormones, and area of the body will massively impact how fast it takes for things to grow back.
How Do You Clean a Wax Warmer?
- Turn up the warmer on its highest setting to soften the wax completely.
- Use rubbing alcohol or a wax equipment cleaner and paper towel to scrub and take off any build-up on the sides of the pot and the inner chamber. This should ideally be done every time you use it. (TIP: You could also use the fabric, paper, or bonded fibre strips that you use for waxing your body to clean. DO NOT use tissue or cotton pads as the fibers will stick everywhere and be very difficult to clean)
- Save any remaining wax in a sterilized container if there was no contamination, and if it’s been less than a week.
- Turn the heat down so that it isn’t overly hot and unplug the power.
- Fold the paper towel (or strips) to make it thick and scoop out any wax.
- Be careful as the bowl may still be hot. Only touch it with the paper towel/strips.
- Once it’s cooled down, use rubbing alcohol again on the paper towel and wipe the bowl.
- Continue checking to ensure you’ve removed all residue traces and stickiness.
How Long Can I Leave Wax in a Warmer?
As long as you keep the lid on securely and in a dry, cool area away from sunlight, you can leave it in for up to a week. You can keep re-heating it as long as you are the only person using it, or you’ve used new applicators each time you’ve dipped.
Never leave a warmer on overnight, and never heat it without wax in the pot.
How Long Should Hair be to Wax?
Reaching a certain length makes it easier to pull it out from the root of the follicle. ¼ inch is the recommended length for the cleanest and most pain-free results.