Waxing is one of the most effective hair removal methods out there – not only does it get rid of hair in the short term, but it also gradually works on weakening hair follicles and slowing/reducing hair growth over the long term.
Since it pulls hair out at the root (unlike surface hair removal methods like shaving or depilatory creams), it is also longer-lasting. In addition, there are little to no side-effects with waxing if it is done right – none of the rashes that might come with depilatory creams, for example, or the nicks, cuts and stubble you might have to deal with as a result of shaving, which lead to prickliness, irritation, and excessive ingrown hairs.
Waxing results in smooth, clean skin that remains hair-free for weeks on end.
While waxing is generally safe, there are certain precautions to keep in mind. Waxing is generally not recommended for people with diabetes, varicose veins, rosacea, phlebitis, poor circulation, and any condition that causes the skin to become thin and sensitive, thus increasing the risk of infection. It is also not safe for individuals suffering from diseases such as lupus and AIDS, or receiving treatment for cancer.
Waxing may also be unsafe if you are pregnant, on birth control, using blood thinners, taking hormone replacement pills, using Accutane, or on prescription acne medication.
It is also unsafe to wax areas that are inflamed, irritated, sunburned, have body piercings, have rashes/moles/warts, or are being treated with Botox, Retin-A/Differin/Renova or any powerful skin exfoliators. Areas that have recently undergone sun exposure for tanning (both real and fake) or have already been waxed during the past 24 hours should also not be waxed.
If you have any doubts whatsoever, please consult with your doctor before getting a wax, and also alert your esthetician about any conditions you might have beforehand (this includes any allergies you might have, so the waxing professional can ensure that the wax contains no ingredients that might be harmful for you).
Wax can safely be used for hair removal on various areas of the body – these include legs, arms, underarms, bikini line, eyebrows, face (for women), chest, and back. When in doubt (and sometimes even when you’re fairly certain), it is always advisable to do a patch test, to gauge skin sensitivity and the suitability of the wax.
However, some areas which are completely unsafe and always a no-go when it comes to waxing includes beards, the insides of ears and noses, eyelashes, and male genitals. In addition, keep in mind the precautions mentioned in the question above (Are there any risks/precautions associated with waxing?). For certain areas, you can always just use a tweezer.
Pain is subjective and depends on each individual’s pain threshold. Waxing pulls hair out by the root, so there is a certain degree of pain involved. However, using good quality wax (particularly good waxing beans) and employing the correct technique (or just going to an experienced professional for your wax) can minimize the pain to a great extent.
If you are particularly sensitive to the pain, you can use a numbing cream, or try distracting yourself with deep breathing, music, conversation, etc. Also keep in mind that the first time will probably hurt the most – if you develop a regular waxing routine, you will find that the pain will gradually reduce, and start to seem like nothing more than a slight pinch at most. Meanwhile, for a particularly painless experience, there’s always waxing beads to turn to.
A properly done wax can last from anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks. However, how long your wax lasts also depends on a number of factors such as individual traits and hair regrowth patterns, where your hair was in the hair regrowth cycle when it was waxed, the regularity/frequency of your waxes, and the quality of the wax you use. The weather can also make a difference, as hair grows back faster in summer as opposed to winter.
For more info, read our guide on how long waxes last and tips to increase their longevity.
Yes – however, certain types of wax can be too harsh for the face, so use gentle cream waxes for the face, or waxing beans with nourishing, moisturizing, and soothing ingredients like chamomile, lavender or aloe vera. In addition, do not wax your face if you are using Accutane or anti-aging products that contain retinol.
Since the face is such a sensitive area, it is essential to follow the correct procedure. Make sure your hair is the right length to be waxed (not less than ¼ inch long), and always start with a clean and powdered face when you begin waxing. Apply wax in the direction of hair growth, and pull the wax strip/patch off against the direction of hair growth. Do not wax the same area twice (use tweezers to get rid of any leftover hairs), and always follow up with an aloe-based gel or cream when you are done, to soothe the skin and help it heal.
On a related note, a word of advice – do not use cold wax strips for the face, as these can be highly ineffective and lead to you ripping the skin off your face. When it comes to facial hair removal, stick to heated waxes.
Those pesky sticky patches of leftover wax, post-wax session, can be a real pain! While keeping the hair at an appropriate length, ensuring your skin is moisturized, and leaving the waxing to the pros can help minimize sticky wax residue, there are plenty of ways to deal with a pesky leftover patch should you come across one. Some effective removal methods include:
For more details, check out our quick and easy tips on wax removal from your skin after a waxing session.
The short answer: yes! The long answer: you might want to look into a wax warmer, since it is one of the most effective and convenient tools in a DIY waxer’s arsenal. It is safe to use, portable and keeps wax at a nice consistent temperature throughout your waxing session. However, if you’d rather not invest in one, you can always use a stove or microwave! Simply follow the procedures outlined in the answer to the question “How to melt hard wax beans?” above.
On the contrary! Surface depilatory methods such as shaving and hair removal creams can appear to cause hair to grow back thicker (this isn’t the case, however – since they do not remove hair from the root, the hair grows back with blunt ends, giving the appearance of thicker hair). However, waxing removes hair from the root – this means that when it grows back, it retains a fine point and is smooth and soft. In addition, over time, regular waxing can actually thin the hair, making it sparser and finer, reducing growth altogether (since regular waxing gradually weakens hair follicles).
Aside from taking an individual’s detailed medical history into account in order to make a reasonable estimate, there’s really no way to tell how a person’s skin may react to waxing. Generally, most individuals do not experience any major side effects; at the very most, they may experience mild irritation and temporary redness, while those with more sensitive skin may experience breakouts, etc.
To avoid any minor or major side effects, it is best to take into account all possible risks (please see answer to question “Are there any risks/precautions associated with waxing?” above), and take some necessary precautions. These include:
This depends on:
Redness and bumps after waxing are not an unusual complaint – since the hair is pulled out by the root, those with sensitive skin may experience irritation and inflammation. This is known as folliculitis (a rash which develops immediately after waxing, characterized by bumps and redness owing to the inflammation of hair follicles), and it usually requires little to no treatment, clearing up on its own in anything between a few hours to a day. If the bumps are filled with white liquid, this indicates a mild infection, which may take two or more days to clear up.
If the bumps occur a week or more after waxing, you may be dealing with ingrown hairs. These bumps resemble acne, with hair trapped inside.
Here are a few tips to prevent skin rashes and bumps altogether:
However, if you do end up finding yourself with inflamed/bumpy skin, here are some things you can do to treat and soothe the complains:
On a related note, never get waxed on the day when it comes to special occasions – always plan ahead and get waxed a day or two before any special events, to avoid having to deal with any possible redness/irritation on the day.
There is no conclusive way to completely rule out allergies when it comes to waxing unless you consult your doctor on the matter. However, a patch test can be a quick way to check for any immediate adverse reactions to wax.
To perform a patch test:
In addition to employing the patch test technique, it is also a good idea to read the ingredients list on any waxing product you may be thinking of using, to ensure it does not contain anything that is a known irritant for your skin. Likewise, if you are getting waxed from a salon, make sure you inform the technicians about any allergies you might have beforehand, so they can ensure that the products used are suitable for your skin.
Homemade hair removal wax can be a fun project or a good alternative for individuals who have ultra-sensitive skin that is unable to tolerate commercially produced depilatory waxes. Here is a simple recipe for making hair removal wax at home:
When it comes to hair removal, it is hard to fix upon a conclusive “right” or “wrong”, “better” or “worse”. The best hair removal method will be the one that caters to your specific needs and works best for you. For some, the convenience of a quick shave in the shower to get rid of unwanted hair can’t be beat. However, others might prefer the longevity of a wax, which ensures that the hair does not grow back for a long time.
The advantages of shaving include the facts that it is quick, painless unless you nick yourself (since it is a surface hair removal method), and does not require your hair to be of any particular length in order to be effective. It addition, it takes little to no skill to wield a razor and use it effectively. However, the results generally do not last long, and regrowth tends to be an uncomfortable process involving tough stubble, redness, bumps, and ingrown hairs. Cost can also be an issue, as you will need to keep purchasing new razors and shaving cream every time you run out.
The main advantage of waxing is that the results last longer, because the hair is removed from the root – you can go for 2-3 weeks without seeing much regrowth, whereas shaving results generally do not last for more than 2-4 days. In addition, when waxed hair grows back, it is smoother, softer and finer than hair that has been shaved. Regular waxing, over time, can significantly reduce hair growth altogether. Cost is also a plus with waxing if you DIY – you need a one-time investment in a wax warmer, after which you only need to replenish your wax and applicator supply every time it runs out.
However, the disadvantages of waxing include the fact that there can be a certain degree of pain involved since waxing pulls hair out from the follicle (although this can be minimized with the correct products, processes and techniques), and the process of waxing may take longer than a quick shave. In addition, hair that is shorter than 1/4th of an inch cannot be waxed, so you’ll need to wait for it to grow to the correct length before it can be waxed off. Waxing also requires a certain degree of skill and practice if you plan to DIY, unlike shaving.
Therefore, there is no clear winner here. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you are looking for – the quick fix of a shave, or the longer-lasting effects of a wax.
When it comes to hair removal, there is really no set “right” or “wrong”, “better” or “worse”. The best hair removal method will be the one that caters to your specific needs and works best for you.
Depilatory creams have the advantages of being painless (they do not penetrate to the roots of the hair and work at surface level only), quick (even on the coarsest of hair, the creams do not take longer than 15-20 minutes to work), and easy to use (you need no special skills, simply spread on the cream, let it stay on for the instructed time, and then wipe it off).
However, in terms of disadvantages, hair removal creams provide short-lived results (hair regrowth starts 2-3 days after use), often give off a foul odor (even if a cream claims to be scented, the smell cannot be avoided owing to the chemicals involved in the depilatory process), and leave shadows underneath the skin (since the hair is only removed from the surface and is still present underneath the skin).
The main advantage of waxing, meanwhile, is that the results last longer, because the hair is removed from the root – you can go for 2-3 weeks without seeing much regrowth, whereas depilatory cream results generally do not last for more than 2-3 days. In addition, when waxed hair grows back, it is smoother, softer and finer than hair that has been removed via hair removal creams. Regular waxing, over time, can significantly reduce hair growth altogether.
However, the disadvantages of waxing include the fact that there can be a certain degree of pain involved since waxing pulls hair out from the follicle (although this can be minimized with the correct products, processes and techniques), and the process of waxing may take longer than depilatory cream usage. In addition, hair that is shorter than 1/4th of an inch cannot be waxed, so you’ll need to wait for it to grow to the correct length before it can be waxed off. Waxing also requires a certain degree of skill and practice if you plan to DIY.
Therefore, there is no clear winner here. Ultimately it is up to you to decide what you are looking for – the quick fix of a hair removal cream, or the longer-lasting effects of a wax.
Hard waxing beans are depilatory wax pellets/beads, made of specially formulated wax, designed to remove unwanted body hair effectively, with little to no mess and pain. Waxing beans are stripless – you can melt the wax, apply it to your skin, allow it to harden, and then pull it off directly with your fingers. This also means there is minimal mess and fuss involved – simply apply, let dry, and rip off. They are also super effective at hair removal, relatively pain-free, easy to measure out in precise amounts and come in multiple colors and fun scents. To learn more, check out our complete guide on waxing beans.
Pain is pretty subjective and depends on each individual’s unique threshold. However, waxing beads can be a pain-free (and super effective) hair removal method, if used correctly. You can enjoy pain-free hair removal if:
For more details on the painlessness of waxing beans, go here.
While they may come in different brands, colors and scents, all good waxing beans will contain three key ingredients – rosin (a resin extracted from coniferous plants such as pine trees), beeswax (purified wax from bees’ honeycombs), and EVA copolymer (a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate, which gives wax beads their pliability and clinginess). For more details on what exactly these beads are made of, click here.
In addition to being painless, effective, and mess-free, hard wax beans are also super easy to use. All you have to do is melt them using the method of your choice, apply a patch on the desired area, allow it to harden, then pull it firmly and quickly off your skin. However, remember to start slow and small if you are a first time DIY-er! For a more detailed guide on what you’ll need and the exact process (step by step) for effective usage of hard wax beans, click here.
There are three main ways to melt hard wax beans, and here they are in order of least to most effective:
For more deets on the exact processes and methods, go here.
Please see the previous answer to question “how to melt hard wax beans”. However, to cut a long story short, yes you can use a microwave. Simply pour your beans into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave them in 10-second intervals at a heat setting of 20% or less, stirring between intervals. Once they reach a runny honey consistency, they are ready to be used.
If you have any more questions about waxing and hair removal, please feel free to contact us with your queries. Meanwhile, you can browse some of our latest waxing guides below.