There are a plethora of hair removal methods available, each with their own list of pros and cons. Today, however, we are going to discuss waxing—more specifically, choosing the right wax for hair removal.
There are all sorts of hair removal products available at all different price points, so you may be wondering why should I choose wax? The answer is simple: waxing removes hair at the root. This means that soft, smooth skin can last up to four weeks without needing to be groomed. The reason waxing is so effective is thanks to both the application and removal; the wax is applied to the skin—in the natural direction of the hair growth—when the hair is about a quarter of an inch long (this allows the wax to get a nice, strong grip on the hair). After letting the wax sit for just a moment, it is removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth, to effectively remove the entire strand of hair down to its root.
Aside from a slight redness and irritation that follow waxing, there are a few safety concerns to bear in mind. If you are using skin care products that direct you to avoid the sun, it may be best to avoid wax also. Chances are this product is chemically exfoliating the skin, which means it is thinner and more sensitive; waxing may remove skin along with the hair in such cases, so it’s always best to consult with a licensed professional first. Additionally, it’s important to care for your skin with regular mechanical exfoliation and moisturizing in between waxes to prevent painful ingrown hairs.
Hot vs. Cold vs. Sugar
There are two main types of wax: hot wax and cold wax. Then there’s sugaring and while it’s technically not a wax, it is often categorized as “waxing” because it removes hair the same way as a traditional wax does. Read on to learn more about each type of wax and choose which is the best for you.
Hot Wax: this is the most common type of wax used in salons, in fact, the majority of salons only offer hot wax. The wax starts as solid cubes which are then placed into a small melting pot. Hot wax is the most effective at adhering to and removing each strand that it comes in contact with. The application is a bit messy however, which is why it is most common to have hot wax treatments done in a salon; the melted wax is applied to the hair using a stick and is then covered with a strip of paper. Hot wax is the most painful, but the pain doesn’t last long and the procedure will not need to be repeated in the same area more than once.
Cold Wax: an ideal option for at-home waxing, the cold wax comes already applied on the paper strips. After you warm the wax up with the heat of your hands, you must place the strip on the area which you wish to remove hair. Although it isn’t as messy as hot wax, cold wax doesn’t have as strong of a gripping power. The removal does not hurt as much as hot wax, but it may need to be done a few times to be totally effective.
Sugar Scrub: unlike waxes, sugar scrubs are made with all natural ingredients—this is an attractive feature to many. The sugar has more of a paste feel, opposed to a wax, and is applied in the opposite direction of growth, then removed by rolling it in the direction of the hair growth, taking hair with it. Overall, sugar scrub is much less painful than both hot and cold wax.