Waxing is one of the techniques used for hair removal. There are home waxing kits available for those that do not have the time or money to have this done professionally. However home waxing can be messy if you are not careful. Additionally improper waxing technique can result in irritation and torn or bruised skin. Learn the best way to apply wax without making a mess.
Let hair grow to the recommended length. Most kits recommend hair be at least 1/4 inch long. This is necessary as the wax needs to be able to grab the hair. If hair is too short then the wax cannot surround the hair or remove it. But if the hair is too long then it will break off and not be removed entirely from the skin.
Exfoliate the area that will be waxed 24 hours in advanced with a buff puff or body scrub. Exfoliation will get rid of any dead skin cells. This allows the wax to easily attach to hair and not pull off any skin when it is removed. However, if you exfoliate just before waxing then the new skin will be sensitive and become inflamed and irritated.
Take an ibuprofen at least an hour before waxing. Waxing can hurt and an ibuprofen can make a difference.
Wash and dry skin thoroughly. Apply baby powder to ensure that the skin is dry. Baby powder will also take care of any oil on the skin.
Lay down an old towel or newspapers where you will be waxing. This will catch any wax should it drip onto the floor and makes clean up very easy. With newspapers you simply need to gather them up and recycle. This eliminates the need to scrape wax off the bathroom floor.
Heat the wax to the specified temperature and keep it at this temperature. A small wax heater or water bath can be the easiest way to ensure the wax is at the correct working temperature. If the wax is too hot then it will burn skin and drip everywhere. If the wax is too hard or cool it will be difficult to apply and will not grab the hair for removal. This can be the most difficult part of home waxing. If using a microwave to heat the wax, reheating it every few minutes can help ensure the wax is at the proper temperature. The wax should be between 43 and 68 degrees Celsius.
Apply the wax with the provided spatula or roll on. To be as neat as possible, scrap off the spatula after each application. If wax is left on the spatula then it can begin to harden and this will make it very difficult and messy to apply additional wax. It is not necessary to apply large globs of wax. Smaller amounts applied to small areas can result in a much better waxing job. Roll ons make less of a mess than spatulas but most kits will contain spatulas. If waxing is a frequent activity then purchasing a roll on is a good idea.
Apply the strip provided in the kit to the waxed area following the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure to smooth out the strip several times before pulling it off. Ensure that the strip completely covers all of the wax. If the edges of the wax are not covered cleanup on your skin difficult can be difficult. Gently rubbing the strip onto the wax helps it adhere.
Grab the bottom end of the strip and pull in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Hold the skin taunt with your other hand for easier hair removal.
Repeat the waxing procedure until all the hair is removed.
Apply baby oil to a soft cloth and gently rub the skin to remove any small spots of wax that were not removed in the waxing process. Do not rub too hard as this can irritate the skin. The wax will come off quickly.
Turn off the water bath or wax heater and allow wax to cool. Depending on how much wax was used, you can save the tub for further applications. Allow the wax to cool completely and store in a dry place. Clean off the roll on or spatula and store as well.
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Liz Tomas began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in the "American Journal of Enology and Viticulture," "BMC Genomics" and "PLoS Biology." She holds a Master of Science in food science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in oenology at Lincoln University.
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