Types of Wax for Hair Removal

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You will find a couple different types of wax for hair removal- soft and hard. They way they are heated up (or not), packaged, applied and removed varies. It's one of the most popular forms of hair removal as its goal is to uplift hair from the root, providing weeks of hairless skin.

Wax contains resins and it’s not water soluble. This means that you will need a wax remover or use an oil to get all traces off of skin.

Here we’ll go over soft wax in all its forms, as well as hard wax.   

Soft 

It’s also known as strip wax because it will always require a strip to remove it. Soft wax is applied in a thin layer in the direction of hair growth and taken off quickly in the opposite direction. It’s pulled off quickly, meaning the action when it’s being removed, not how long it’s on the skin.

Generally it requires ¼” of hair growth for the product to successfully uplift the hair from its root. After skin is cleansed a little bit of powder helps soak up extra moisture and provide a barrier on the skin.

See: How to Wax

Many companies make soft wax and the quality greatly varies. Fortunately, even those who don’t have a license can buy the same professional products that many salons and spas have in their skincare rooms like GiGi and Satin Smooth. You'll also find ones that use honey and others that use a creamy base.

Also, they are often based on a certain ingredient like chocolate, lavender, tea tree, cherry and so forth.

Different Forms of Soft Wax

Heated: You will find this type in a pot. It’s either softened to via the microwave or a warmer. I suggest this over any other kind of soft wax because the heat makes it easy to spread, and seems to soften the skin and hair somewhat, lessening waxing pain.

And to go a step further, using a warmer with an adjustable temperature is ideal because it will help wax stay at a consistent heat over it being microwaved. This is important because we want it warm, not really hot, to spread easily and remove the hair.

Cold: It’s taken right out of the pot and applied to the skin. Although it’s convenient, it’s firmer and it can be tricky to get a thin layer on evenly. Many, including myself, find cold more painful than when heated and often leaves hair behind.

Pre Made Strips: The strips have the wax already attached. Not only are they easy to use but there’s no chance of putting on too much product. And depending on how much hair you’re removing, a strip can often be used more than once per area.

It’s always recommended that wax strips be ‘heated’ up a bit by rubbing them between your palms which allows them to stick more to the hair. And because it’s not swiped on the skin, the strip is simply placed on and smoothed over in the direction of hair growth.

Hard

This is also known as stripless wax because it doesn’t need a strip to be removed. This wax is always warmed up (usually slightly less than soft) and can never be used cold or at room temperature.

 A small amount of pre-epilation oil normally goes on skin after it’s cleansed. (See video: How to Use Hard Wax.)

It’s applied thicker than soft in the direction of hair growth. As it hardens it shrink wraps the hair and then becomes a strip in itself. The end where it's going to be removed from is flicked up creating a tab. It's then pulled off in the opposite direction of growth. It’s recommended hair be at least ¼” but it may remove hair slightly shorter. It works great for areas with thick hair.

Read more about tips for using and kits: Hard Wax.