When it comes to hair removal, waxing generally gives you longer lasting results (unless you’re of course going down the laser route). This is because, unlike shaving, which only removes hair at a surface level, waxing removes hair from the root, helping you to stretch the time between treatments.
Sure, going to a salon every 4-6 weeks may not be problematic and relatively cost effective (generally) but you can save yourself a lot more time and money by doing it at home. Moreover, you may find it more problematic to get a last minute appointment with a technician in the summer when everyone is trying to get in for their own treatments for their own holidays or summer season prep.
So, whether to help you out as and when, trying to DIY to bring down the cost and save time (mostly in travel and waiting), or just because it’s good to know, we share how to wax at home to get the best results.
Assemble your waxing kit
To carry out a professional wax at home, you’ll need the following:
- Cotton pads: to apply aloe gel after application and to clean the skin.
- Talc powder: when waxing larger areas (like your underarm) applying talc to the area will absorb any excess moisture, help protect the skin, and allows the wax to grab onto the hairs. Sprinkle a little on and distribute well.
- Wax strips or waxing paper: use waxing paper/muslin if you’re using soft wax but also not a bad idea to have ready-made wax strips on hand for stray hairs.
- Wax: you can buy soft wax you heat in the microwave or ready-made wax strips- it’s down to preference really.
- Waxing spatula: if using soft wax to help you apply the wax to the area with precision.
- Aloe gel: to apply after to soothe and remove waxy residue.
- Tweezers: to grab any stray hairs and help with any trapped hairs.
Preparing your skin in advance for waxing treatments
It’s best to exfoliate the skin a few days before you intend to wax. This will help to prepare the skin, helping it to be clean by shedding any dead skin cells and allow the wax to just grab onto the hair alone and give you a greater chance of a cleaner, smoother wax first time.
Always apply a moisturiser following an exfoliating treatment as softer, hydrated skin will not only keep the skin smooth and supple but that will actually make waxing that much easier.
Ensure that your equipment is thoroughly clean and sterilized before waxing.
The right way to waxing
When it comes to how to, it’s about getting it right:
The right length of hair
The hair should be at least a ¼ of an inch. Which can be more problematic for the summer months when you want the appearance of smooth skin all summer long. But when it comes to waxing, once the hair starts to grow, it comes through quite quickly so you’ll not have to wait too long to get to the desired length.
Find the right time
To have a painless experience as possible, you should avoid waxing as follows:
- Just after a shower or bath: as this opens your pores but will also make your skin more sensitive (same goes for just after swimming, being in a hot tub etc.).
- Don’t wax after exfoliating: again, it’ll make your skin super sensitive. Do exfoliate the day before but not the day of.
- Don’t wax you’re on your period: it’s actually best to have this treatment a week after your period. Outside of this, your skin is likely to be much more sensitive.
- Don’t wax on broken/sore or sunburned skin: if you’ve spent a little too much time out in the sun, give it a few days to allow for your skin to settle before waxing.
- Don’t do it the morning of a special occasion or the day you go on holiday: always do it a day or two before to allow your skin time to settle so you feel and look your best.
The right temperature
If you’re using wax strips, you’ll just need to warm these up between your hands. But you’ll want to ensure they’re really warmed through to get the best results. We’d recommend rubbing a strip viciously to get some heat in them.
If heating the wax up, the best temperature is 30-40 Celsius, if it’s runny, it’s far too hot. If there’s no movement, it’s too cold. You need to find a perfect balance in between. Once you’ve heated the wax, it’s best to test on a small patch of skin before lathering it on.
Right technique and direction
Using soft wax with a spatula is good for helping you to wax with precision, since you’ll only remove hair where you apply the wax. It gives you total control on how much wax you use and where it is you’re putting it. Soft wax is ideal for both large and small areas for this reason.
Whether you use pre-made wax strips or soft wax, you’ll want to apply the wax and strip so that the hair is smoothed down. So when you pull the wax strip off you’ll be pulling in the opposite direction to the growth of the hair which should help you achieve the desired result. For example, on the legs, it’s likely you’ll smooth the strip down towards the ankle but pull the strip back towards the knee to remove the hair.
Before ripping the strip off, hold the skin around the area your removing hair from taut and from the bottom pull the wax strip away in the opposite direction.
Once you’ve finished waxing, apply an aloe based gel or cream to the area to help calm, protect and remove waxy residue from the area. Be sure to discard any used waxing strips, spatulas, cotton pads and sterilize your tweezers.
If you’re spending a lot of time out in the sun shortly after waxing, be sure to apply a high factor SPF to your skin to prevent burning. Your skin will be sensitive for a few days after waxing so this will help to keep your skin happy and healthy.
Continue to exfoliate the skin every 2-3 days after treatment as this will help to prevent ingrown hairs from occurring. Always apply a moisturiser following too as it’ll help keep the skin smooth and supple, making each application easier. However, it’ll also help with the prevention of ingrown hairs.
After waxing you’re best to wear loose clothing for the rest of the day to make sure your skin doesn’t get irritated.
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