This time of year, when your entire body is hidden under layers of clothing, shelling out your hard-earned cash for a professional wax seems like a waste of money. However, letting your hair run wild doesn’t seem like a very appealing option, either. Enter: the at-home wax. While it’s certainly a more cost-effective solution, the at-home wax is not without drawbacks. Luckily, you can overcome many of the obstacles associated with at-home hair removal if you enter the experience armed with a little know-how.
Keep reading for all of the dos, don’ts, and need-to-know facts of hot wax situations!
The best time to wax is post-shower when your hair and skin are clean and softened from the steam and warm water. Your skin needs to be free of dirt and oil for the wax to adhere. Add gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, let the hair break through the surface, and you’re set.
Your skin needs to be clean and totally dry. After cleansing, sprinkle a small amount of baby powder onto the area you want to wax. This absorbs any excess moisture so the wax can really cling to your hair.
The wax should be a liquid, but not runny, consistency. Always test it on the back of your wrist to make sure the temperature is comfortable before you spread it anywhere more sensitive. To keep the wax at the right consistency, stir it constantly throughout the process.
If you think slathering on one giant sheet of wax is going to save you time, you would be painfully incorrect. Work in sections that are about one-inch wide and no longer than three inches long. Smear it on thicker than you think you need, especially if you’re using hard wax, because with hard wax you need to have something to grab onto. Always apply wax in the direction of hair growth.
Despite being the most dreaded part of the waxing process, removal is also the step most people mess up. Use one hand to pull your skin taut. Use the other to quickly pull the section in the opposite direction of hair growth. But here’s the real trick: Pull the strip back, not up or away. The motion should be like turning the page in a book. Then, immediately press down on the area with your finger. Applying pressure helps relieve the pain, which will still be very painful.
Also, never wax the same area more than twice to avoid damaging your skin. If you have stray hairs that wax won’t grab (and you will), use tweezers to remove them. It won’t be pleasant, but it’s better than tearing your skin.