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At-Home Waxing Tips

Updated on November 4, 2013
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Waxing can be a sticky situation for many women, literally. When you finally gain enough courage to handle the temporary pain of facial and body waxing, the next task is determining whether you want to waste your money to have someone else groom you, or if you would rather just do it yourself.

I, for one, am a huge advocate for anything DIY for many reasons, one being that anything you pay to get done, you can easily do yourself for free or at least at a much cheaper price. This applies to waxing at home as well.

In my 22 years of living, I’ve gotten my eyebrows professionally waxed only once, and every other part of my body was subjected to the brutal treatment of a razor for many years. I was too afraid to endure long and painful waxing sessions, but razors were beginning to really irritate my skin and I was getting sick of looking at razor burns in areas that should not have razor burns, if you catch my drift. But I digress—what it really made me realize was that if I were going to wax instead of shave, then I would need to do it myself. The only issue was that I had experimented with self-waxing kits when I was in my teens and failed miserably. All I managed to do was burn my skin with the hot wax and make a complete mess of everything each time I tried.

But, after trying new waxing methods, along with more knowledge and experience with waxing, I now have a solid waxing routine every two weeks, and I want to share some tips with you about the dos and don’ts of waxing at home. If you consider this option, I highly recommend that you acquire as much information as possible so you don't harm yourself during the process. Waxing at home must be handled carefully so you don't burn your skin or give yourself rashes by waxing over one area too many times.

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Why Razors Are Not Your Friend

Yes, they get the job done quickly, but using razors to shave your legs, bikini area, arms, or anywhere for that matter does more damage to your skin than good. For one, each time you shave, your hair grows back faster and much coarser than it was before. Shaving also irritates the skin and can dry it out easily. And, there's always the risk of cutting yourself as well of the risk of ingrown hair formation. And of course we can’t forget about those hideous razor burns that show up in the worst of places at the worst of times.

With waxing, your hair grows back SIGNIFICANTLY finer and at a much slower pace than if you shave. And, no razor burn. You are guaranteed a smooth surface each time you wax. And while you may have to shave again after a few days if using razors, waxing is guaranteed to last you at least a couple of weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. Keep in mind that everyone is different.

Which waxing method do you prefer?

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Which Waxing Method is Best For You?

If you decide that waxing at home is the best option for you, the next step is to determine which method works best for your skin.


Hot Wax

While this option may work for some, I don’t like using the hot wax because of the mess as well as the hard labor. I’ve tried the standard kits where you have to heat the wax up, slather it onto your skin, and use a cloth strip to rip off the hairs. It’s too long of a process when there are many other viable options out there. Figuring out the perfect temperature to heat the wax was also a daunting and unnecessary task for me. And, some hot waxing kits can be too overpriced for something you want to do at home. I’ve seen some brands sell their kits for upwards of $45! Don’t worry though, there are plenty of other brands that are affordable if you do decide to take this route.

However, using hot wax may be better for some than for others. It depends on the coarseness and thickness of your hair. Hot wax picks up hair with deep roots very effectively, so if your hair is thicker and you can stand the process, then using hot wax should not be a problem.

Waxing Strips

Another option is to use wax strips. This is my favorite method of waxing simply because it works just as well as the messy hot wax WITHOUT the mess and at a much cheaper price than other kits. This is also a very practical method because the wax is already prepped for you on strips. I use Veet wax strips that go for $11 to $12 a pack, but there are plenty of other brands to choose from as well. Nair also has comparable wax strips with Brazilian spa clay and claim that their results last up to eight weeks!

The way to heat up the wax in the strips is with your hands. I just rub the strips in between my hands until enough heat has built up. All you have to do next is peel the strips away from each other and place them on the area to be waxed. And, different brands have different strip sizes; larger strips for legs and arms, and smaller strips for facial and bikini waxing. Once you're finished waxing, use the wipes provided with the strips to remove any excess wax from your skin.

This method is much quicker than using hot wax, and it is also much simpler for beginners because it does not require all of the steps that hot wax requires. If you are a beginner or are in a hurry and need to wax quickly, this option would be best for you.

Other Methods

There are other methods of hair removal such as hair removal sprays and lotions that can be used in the shower. However, these methods are not as reliable as the normal waxing regimens listed above, and I have found that hair removal lotions burn the skin and do not remove hair as efficiently as wax. Also, the mess was unbearable.

What You Need To Know Before You Wax

These are the tips you need to know before you wax yourself for the first time. Once you form a habit of doing these things, waxing at home will be a piece of cake.

  • Before you begin waxing, you must make sure that your hair is long enough to be lifted. Wax picks up hairs that are at LEAST ¼ inch long, or as long as a grain of rice. Anything shorter will not be picked up and you will just be damaging your skin and wasting wax trying to remove the hairs. However, if your hair is too long, it might be more painful for you to remove it, since the roots of the longer hairs are much deeper than shorter hairs.
  • The best time to wax is when your skin is taut. This essentially means when your skin is “tightest” which is usually once you get out of the shower. You should also hold your skin taut before you apply a cloth strip so the wax adheres to the hairs more effectively.
  • If you choose to use hot wax, you need to make sure that it’s at the right temperature. If it is too cold, it will be noticeably solid and will not spread. If the wax is too hot, you’ll be able to tell if it is too runny and not at a smooth and creamy-like consistency.
  • Probably the most important step in waxing is applying the wax in the same direction that the hair is growing. If you apply the wax in a different direction than the direction of hair growth, the wax will not adhere correctly and the hairs will not be picked up.
  • After you apply the wax (or if you’re using wax strips), place the strip firmly down on the wax and smooth it in the direction of hair growth.
  • Do NOT remove the cloth in the same direction as hair growth. Remove it in the opposite direction that you put it on. Remove the cloth as fast as you can. Think of it as like ripping off a band-aid.
  • You should not wax the same area more than twice. You will just cause yourself more pain and your skin will be very sore if you keep going over it with wax. If there are a couple of hairs left over, you can either shave the remaining or pluck them with tweezers.
  • You should moisturize your skin after you finish waxing. I recommend using Hempz Moisturizer because it makes your skin extremely moisturized for many hours, without a greasy or oily finish at all.

Waxing the Bikini Area

This may be the most frightening of any area on your body to get waxed, much less to try to wax it yourself. But I assure you that the intimidation goes away once you practice a couple of times. However, there are some very important things to know before you tackle this very sensitive area.

  • The skin in this area is much more sensitive than the skin on your arms or legs, so keep in mind that it will hurt more.
  • You should moisturize the bikini area before you begin and wipe off any excess moisture before you apply the wax. This is done to prevent the skin from getting too aggravated.
  • If you decide to do a Brazilian wax on yourself, you need to take more caution.
  • Brazilian waxes remove all the hair on your bikini area, not just the sides. So this region will be a little more difficult to wax than other areas.
  • You need to be in a comfortable position to wax this area. I usually lay a towel on the floor and lay down in front of a mirror so I can see what I’m doing. You won’t be able to wax properly if you are standing or sitting.
  • If you don’t have a big mirror, just use a hand mirror. You just need to be able to see where you’re placing the strips.
  • If you’re using hot wax, you need to be more mindful of how much you slather onto the skin because it is more sensitive and is prone to burn more easily.
  • If you’re using waxing strips, this process will be easier for you because you just need to apply the strip to the skin. I recommend using waxing strips on this area regardless because hot wax is much more dangerous.
  • Use small strips for this area. Strips that are meant for your arms or legs will be too big and you’ll waste a lot of wax. You also won’t be able to get into the nooks and crannies where it is more difficult to remove hair.
  • Speaking of these nooks and crannies, you need not be afraid. It may seem like the inner bikini area would be quite painful to wax, but it’s not that bad. Just make sure you’re placing the strips straight down firmly and against the direction of hair growth.
  • Relax. The tenser you are, the more afraid you will be to actually get the job done.
  • Remember that the pain is only temporary. Once you remove the first strip, you’ll get the hang of it. And, once you see the result from the pain, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Conclusion

Hopefully by now you have a solid idea of how to successfully wax at home and save a ton of money in the process. I can understand that some may value the “salon experience” of being pampered and having someone else do all of the hard work. But, this hub is meant to help you if that salon experience becomes too expensive and you want to find a cheaper way to achieve the same results. Good luck and let me know if this helps you!

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© 2013 Ameera Nassir

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