Hair removal was first pioneered by the ancient Egyptians. The Pharaoh's wife used a sugar wax to remove every hair on her body, setting the trend for her subjects. The Greeks, Turks and Romans followed suit. In the 1500's, the practice fell out of favor after Catherine de Medici refused to allow her ladies in waiting to remove their pubic hair. With the invention of the bikini, waxing made a comeback and has been popular for over 50 years.
Hair removal by soft waxing involves a sticky, warm wax that is applied to the hair with a muslin or nonwoven strip, then applied over the wax to aid in pulling the wax and hair off. In recent years, a hard resin wax or stripless wax arrived on the market. Hard wax is best used in small, sensitive areas because an oil can be applied to prevent skin from being removed along with hair. Hard wax is harder to use on large areas (such as the chest, back and legs) than others.
Preperation for Hard Waxing
Hard wax has a lower heating temperature than strip waxes. Heat the wax in the warmer or crock pot on low. The wax should have a thicker consistency than traditional soft waxes. Skin preparation is important to optimal waxing results. Clean the skin with soap and water and pat dry. Application of oil, such as olive oil, will help the wax stick only to the hair and not the skin.
Application and Removal of Hard Wax
Using a tongue depressor or Popsicle stick, apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth. Let the wax cool until the surface is no longer soft or sticky. Using a fingernail or the edge of a tongue depressor, pull up the edge of the wax in the same direction that you applied the wax. This differs from soft wax, with which you pull the wax strip in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Pull the wax up in quick pulses until the entire swath of wax has been removed. It is important not to wait until the wax is entirely cool. This will cause the wax to become brittle and to break.
Brianne Williams has been writing a parenting and early childhood development blog since 2009 and for eHow since 2010. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist and salon and spa consultant since 2001. She also has five years of retail management experience with an upscale retailer. Mrs. Williams has a degree in massage therapy from the Suncoast School.
Gary John Norman/Photodisc/Getty Images