Have you ever admired someone’s smooth, hairless skin and wondered how they do it? Wax strips offer a quick, easy way to remove unwanted hair right from the comfort of your own home. This handy hair removal method leaves your skin silky smooth for weeks at a time.
In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn all about wax strips from start to finish. You’ll be a pro in no time!
Types of Wax Strips
When it comes to wax strips, you have a few options to choose from. The type you select depends on your hair type, pain tolerance, and specific hair removal needs.
Hard Wax Strips
Hard wax comes ready loaded onto strips made of cloth or paper. It works well for coarse hairs on the face, underarms, and bikini zone.
Hard wax strips don’t require fabric strips during the waxing process. As the name suggests, the wax hardens around each strand of hair as it cools. Then you simply pull the strip off to reveal smooth skin. The lack of added fabric strips makes hard wax less painful overall.
Hard wax strips provide the least amount of discomfort of any waxing procedure, which is ideal if you have sensitive skin that is prone to irritation or redness. Your skin is not pulled at since the wax sticks to your hairs.
Soft Wax Strips
Soft wax is gentler, making it a prime choice if you’re new to waxing. It comes prepped on fabric strips that you apply to the skin, allow to cool and harden slightly, then rip off abruptly against the direction of hair growth.
Soft wax is very effective if you want to catch shorter, fine hairs that hard wax may miss. It works for all body areas and is a great option for touch-ups between salon visits.
The biggest downside to soft wax strips lies in the fabric application strips. They adhere to live skin cells in addition to hairs, so removing strips often feels like ripping off a band-aid!
Pre-Made Wax Strips
Pre-made wax strips fall into a personal care category of their own. Rather than heating wax in a microwave or crockpot then applying it yourself, pre-made strips come ready to use straight out of the package.
Popular pre-made brands like Parissa or Veet require only a quick rub between your palms before you separate the edges and apply to the skin. They provide on-the-go convenience with no prep or cleanup.
On the other hand, pre-made strips often carry a higher price tag per use. The wax also tends to be thinner, so may not catch every single hair in just one pass. For quick touch-ups though, nothing beats the ease of pre-packaged strips!
Preparing for Waxing
Getting your skin prepped for waxing is nearly as important as the waxing itself. Taking a few easy preparatory steps helps the wax adhere optimally to hairs without damaging your skin.
Prepping Your Skin
Gentle exfoliation removes dead cells from the skin’s surface about 24 hours before you wax. Use a body scrub containing small beads, a textured wash cloth, or try dry brushing. Avoid super gritty exfoliators that might cause microtears or excess redness.
Give products containing retinol a miss for 1 to 2 weeks prior to waxing wherever you plan to apply strips. Retinol loosens the top layer of skin cells, causing burning and skin lifting when combined with waxing.
Thoroughly cleanse then dry the regions you intend to wax immediately beforehand. Wax grips best to totally clean, oil-free skin. Use a gentle cleanser without added moisturizers.
Fully hydrate your body by drinking more water than usual starting 2 days prior to waxing. The hairs in well-hydrated skin pull out far easier. Trust me, the difference is shocking! Dehydrated skin gets irritated much faster too.
Pre-Waxing Pain Relief
While waxing does sting, you can minimize discomfort with a few simple tricks.
Pop an oral pain reliever like ibuprofen about an hour beforehand to lower sensitivity. Applying an ice pack for 15 minutes pre-wax numbs the area beautifully.
If strips end up feeling too hot against your skin, run the closed package under cool water briefly before using them. This trick makes thick hair practically painless to remove!
Using Wax Strips
Once you select your strips, using them involves just a few simple steps. With practice, perfect smooth, hair-free skin awaits!
If using soft or hard wax strips, heat the wax first following package directions before proceeding. Heating helps the wax spread on more evenly. Pre-made strips simply need a brisk rub between your hands to warm.
Next, separate the strip edges and apply the sticky wax side down onto your skin, smoothing the strip to make full contact. Rub the strip over itself 2 to 3 times with your palm. This ensure wax thoroughly coats the hairs beneath.
Leave an unwaxed margin on part of the strip to grasp onto. Hold skin taut with one hand, then swiftly rip the strip off against the direction of hair growth. Quick like a band-aid for less discomfort!
Repeat on adjacent areas, overlapping strip edges slightly to catch hairs the previous pass may have missed. Use leftover wax on stripped skin to catch any stubborn short hairs.
Finish by wiping residue away with a moist towel or included aftercare oil. Moisturize just-waxed skin gently with a nourishing, non-comedogenic lotion to prevent dryness.
Waxing Different Body Parts
Wax strips work wonderfully to remove hair from the face, underarms, bikini line, arms, legs, back, and chest. Wherever unwanted hair sprouts, strips swiftly dispatch it!
Facial waxing requires extra care not to remove hair you wish to keep. Work carefully around brows. Tweeze any stray hairs afterward for a clean look.
Underarms, bikini lines, and legs need exfoliating and possible trimming for best outcomes. Bony areas like knees and ankles wax less painfully if you stretch the skin flat first.
Waxing Tips and Precautions
Like any hair removal method, waxing has some key dos and don’ts to follow. Pay attention here to prevent undesirable outcomes!
Wax strips work optimally when hairs measure between 1/4 inch to 3/4 inches long. Any shorter, and strips struggle to grip enough to remove the whole strand. Hair longer than 3/4 inches may get tangled in wax instead.
Never wax the same patch of skin twice in one session. Always apply fresh strips to prevent skin damage and burns. If hairs remain after one pass, tweeze them instead or wax again in 24 to 48 hours.
Post-wax care impacts results almost as much as the waxing itself. Avoid direct sunlight, sweaty exercise, super hot baths or showers, and friction from tight clothes for 24 hours following. Skipping this step often leads to pesky ingrown hairs later.
Plan waxing sessions 2 to 3 days prior to special events or vacations where you’ll wear revealing clothing. Some post-wax redness or irritation can occur even when carefully performed. Building in buffer time lets your skin fully settle.
From choosing the right wax type to perfecting techniques, this complete guide teaches everything you need to know about wax strips for smooth, sexy skin from head to toe!
With some practice, waxing at home with strips lets you skip pricey salon visits while still rocking gorgeous bare skin whenever you please. Just follow these tips and enjoy your new smooth, polished look.