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Hair Removal: Waxing

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Waxing Warm Wax Technique Cold Wax

Waxing is a temporary method of hair removal that lasts longer than shaving or depilatory creams because it removes hair from the root. New hairs typically do not grow back into the empty hair follicle for between three and eight weeks. You can wax virtually any area of your body quite safely and conveniently yourself or have the treatment done at a spa or salon. There two types of waxing techniques:

Warm waxing

The warm wax method involves heating the wax until it becomes warm and is applied with a spatula in a thin film to the skin in the direction of the hair growth. A cotton strip is then placed firmly over the area, the skin is held taut with one hand and the other hand peels the cotton strip off backwards in a quick movement against the direction of hair growth. It is necessary to monitor the temperature of the wax carefully as hot wax can burn the skin. Peeling the cotton strip off too slowly or upwards away from the skin may be painful and cause bruising.

Cold waxing

The cold wax method involves the use of strips of wax which are laid on the skin over the hairs to be removed. The hairs then stick to the wax and the hair can then be removed from the roots with a firm tug against the direction of the hair growth.

Preparing for a wax

  • Whether you use hot wax or cold wax you must make sure that the hair is at least 1/8 of an inch for hair to be embedded by the wax.
  • You must also make sure that your skin is clean and thoroughly dry.
  • If you are using the hot wax method, ensure that the wax is not over heated, as this may burn your skin.
  • The consistency of the wax should be like honey.

Tips on applying the wax

  • If it is your first time, test a small area before proceeding to make sure that there is no allergic reaction.
  • Be sure to apply the wax in the same direction as that of the hair growth.
  • When you removing the wax strip make sure to pull it against the direction of the hair growth.

Tips on after care

  • Applying a moisturising lotion or oil helps to soothe the skin after waxing and keeps it smooth. If your skin is red or itchy after waxing apply an ice pack or aloe vera lotion.
  • Avoid exposing the waxed area to the sun for a minimum of 24 hours after waxing.
  • Avoid waxing just before and during your menstrual cycle, as the skin is much more sensitive during that period.


People with diabetes should avoid waxing because they are more susceptible to infection. People who use acne medications such as tretinoin and isotretinoin may also want to avoid wax methods because those medicines make the skin more sensitive. People with moles or skin irritation from sunburn should also avoid waxing.

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