Embarking on the journey to smooth, hair-free skin often leads us to the crossroads of two popular waxing techniques: strip wax and hot wax.
If you are still trying to decide between these waxing methods - hopefully we can help.
Should you opt for the convenience of strip wax or the precision of hot wax?
How can you make the waxing process as painless as possible?
In this article, we'll demystify the differences between strip wax and hot wax, while also sharing tips and tricks to ensure your waxing experience is effective and comfortable. Then we'll give some tips and advice on what it takes to become pro waxer if you're keen.
Strip Wax vs. Hot Wax
What is the difference between hot wax vs strip wax? You may have noticed that when you walk into a salon, different beauticians will use different methods of wax application for your hair removal, hot wax or strip wax.
They both have advantages and disadvantages depending on what area of your body is getting hair removal and your skin and hair type.
So, we have a few waxing tips for you and recommended a few options for your skin type.
Let's get started with a look at strip wax.
When to Use Strip Wax
Strip wax provides a speedy application with an extra strong grip, no sticky residue and no skin drag.
Strip wax is ideal for areas on the body with thicker and less sensitive skin, such as the arms, legs, shoulder and back.
After the wax is applied in a thin layer, hair is removed using a calico or non-woven strip. However, when used on more sensitive areas, it can do more damage to your skin. It needs to adhere to both the hair and skin in order to work, otherwise causing bruising, tearing and ingrown hair growth, which can be painful.
Strip wax is ideal for longer parts of the body, making it very popular among salons.
Strip Wax Products
Strip wax products often come in convenient cylindrical canister packaging and can be safely inserted directly into most wax heater appliances. This maintains a continuous temperature, sanitary workflow and express wax refill whilst the existing canister remains in the appliance.
When to Use Hot Wax
Hot wax is ideal for use over smaller and more sensitive areas of the skin. It is perfect for any short and stubborn hair on any part of the face and body, as short as 1 mm!
Hot wax is spread along the skin and once dried in a few seconds, it is easily removed by lifting the corner with your fingers and pulled against the hair grain. The benefits include less ingrown hairs, less breakage and longer regrowth periods.
A big advantage of hot wax is that it promotes skin hydration with all its natural and soothing ingredients which leave your skin feeling smooth and completely hair-free, hence making them more suitable for more sensitive skin.
Hot wax also lessens the chance of skin reddening. It can also be reapplied a few times without causing discomfort.
What to Choose for You - Strip Wax or Hot Wax
In terms of choosing the right type of wax for you in the hot wax vs. strip wax dilemma, just ensure you are aware of what the differences are between each product and what works best for different skin and hair types.
Strip wax is suitable for longer areas and less sensitive skin, while hot wax is better for more sensitive and delicate areas.
Then also be mindful of what key ingredients each product uses to most benefit your skin and hair growth type. Look for all-natural products and if you want some advice you are always welcome to chat with our waxing experts at AMR.
Pain-Free Waxing Tips
Does such a thing as pain-free waxing actually exist?
It can, but it depends on the methods you use and let's remember that pain thresholds differ so what's considered comfortable for one person may be different for another.
Here is some info along with some tips to tackle it head-on whether you are in the comfort of your own home doing it privately or leaving it to the experts to take care of business.
First Time Will Likely Hurt - Sorry!
The anticipation of getting your first wax can be quite daunting, especially when it comes to the downstairs business.
The reality is that the first time will very likely hurt at least a bit, but gradually over time, it will get easier.
Aunt Flo, can you like not?
If you are planning to get a Brazilian done at home or at the salon, try and avoid going one week before and after your period. The reason is that during this time, your hormones are raging so your pain threshold is a few notches lower.
Typically, a woman's pain tolerance is highest during the most fertile time of her cycle, so this is usually about three or four days after a period.
It is only normal to clench your body tight and hold your breath when getting waxed, but try to avoid this if you can.
Regulating your breathing during a waxing session will calm your nerves and senses. Take a deep breath and exhale when the wax is being pulled off your body.
Or if breathing doesn't cut it for you, turn your head and cough when the wax is being pulled off this helps as a noisy and funny distraction between you and your beauty therapist.
Venturing into the world of wax can be complex in regards to what kind of wax to use, what technique, where to apply it and how much pain can you handle.
It is recommended you start off in small sections. Waxing ads make it look easy and simple when you see them apply the wax smoothly in one fluid motion that is about 20 centimetres long. However, doing this yourself will make your at-home waxing experience messy and difficult.
Being a beginner and applying long sections of wax will make it too dry and too hard to pull off in one go. So, opt for little patches of wax to rip off.
Try first to apply wax the size of a watch. When you get the hang of things and become more confident, go a little bigger in size application.
Tip: As mentioned earlier, Hot Wax is ideal for more sensitive areas like your face, underarms and bikini areas and Strip Wax is best used for your other areas like your arms and legs.
Make sure your hair is at the right length to ensure a painless waxing experience. The hair should be no longer than a centimetre. The longer the hair, the more resistance you are allowing for the wax to come off.
You can self-groom with a little trim or get your beauty therapist to do it for you.
I've Become So Numb
If you are extremely sensitive and do not have a high tolerance for pain, try to use a numbing spray. Use a numbing spray 30 minutes prior to your waxing appointment to get the best results for pain-free waxing.
Try using Natural Look's numbing spray as it reduces the pain of waxing, electrolysis, tweezing, and ear and body piercing.
Tip: User beware, apply only on the surface of the skin and not internally (if you know what I mean).
Take the Pressure Down
In my experiences with beauty therapists waxing my unwanted hair, what I find helps immensely to ease the pain is when they apply pressure to the waxed area for a few seconds.
They then move on and do another area if I do feel extra sensitive in that area.
Putting pressure on the waxed area gives you some relief so that you're not in shock with the initial rip of the strip or wax.
Tip: If you are doing a home job, ensure that you are not going over the section you waxed over and over again to get the little hairs. Continuously going over freshly waxed skin over and over again to get the stubborn hairs is going to make your skin extremely tender, raw, red and sore.
Tight Like a Tiger
Another way to make your waxing experience less painful is to pull your skin taut in the direction that you are pulling whether this be at home or assisting your beauty therapist.
This technique allows the wax strip to rip off the hairs with ease without lifting your skin at the same time.
It Puts the Lotion on its Skin
After a wax session, I ask for the beauty therapist to apply a soothing lotion to my freshly waxed areas to cool down those sensitive spots.
Lycon Soothing Cream is a luxurious cream enriched with shea butter and chamomile to rehydrate and soothe skin after waxing. The skin is moisturised and delicately perfumed with its rose scent.
Tip: If you are doing this at home, place the soothing lotion in the fridge for the whole duration of your at-home waxing session and then once you are down, take it out of the fridge to apply it on your sensitive areas. This will make the lotion extra cooler to relieve and calm your agitated skin.
If you have joined the waxing wagon, ensure that you stick to your waxing plan from now on as continuously shaving in between your waxing sessions may make it more painful.
Shaving makes your hair feel coarser and thicker. When you shave, you are cutting the hair at an angle. Imagine that your hair follicle looks like a javelin where it is tapered at the point and when you cut that off bluntly, the hair will regularly grow with the blunt cut-off end making it feel more rough and spiky.
Waxing rips the hair follicle right out of the root for a new hair follicle to grow and make it feel softer.
So there you have it guys, some tips that you can take with you to your next beauty appointment for pain-free waxing.
If you want to really up your game and become a trained professional in waxing, read on.
How To Become A Waxing Expert
To become a waxing expert you don't have to be a speed waxer. Being quick and efficient to get your client out the door will be great for business, but is it really quality work?
These tips and tricks will help you learn how to become a waxing expert and have a happy clientele.
Waxers not only need to be skilful in their technique but also in their knowledge of skin prep and the study of their client's skin as rushed waxing procedures can cause infection, skin abrasions and permanent damage to the skin.
First and foremost, it is highly recommended to obtain an accredited certificate. Having the tertiary education of getting qualifications via TAFE or a private college to be a certified beauty therapist is a must for attracting clients.
In some cases, private colleges or TAFE courses, lack that little bit of extra focus and concentrated coursework around the topic of waxing and how to treat that specific client and their skin.
Michele Hetherington, the Ambassador and National Training Manager for Jax Wax states that: "An expert waxer needs to understand the skin, waxing falls under the skin penetration act as it involves removal of the hair from the follicle that is situated in the dermis and sometimes the subcutaneous layer of the skin".
Michele cannot stress enough the importance of having proper client consultations, quality products and sound knowledge of the skin.
Pictured - Michele Hetherington (Educator and National Training Manager for JAX WAX)
In recent years AMR Training Academy has been proud to partner up with JAX WAX offering exclusive waxing workshops. Stay tuned for more courses in the future.
Get to Know Your Client Preferences
Know your clients, and build a rapport with them where you know what waxes will benefit their skin type.
What kind of techniques or procedures do they prefer you to do there is nothing worse than being treated like a number and having your needs not met and all you want to do is go in for a pampering session.
Consider Health & Allergies
Always find out if your client has any allergies or health conditions such as varicose veins, poor circulation or diabetes.
Ask if they're taking any medications or topical medications. it's not prying, because if the skin has been thinned by a medical condition, you need to know about it.
Getting the Right Furniture
Having the right furniture and equipment will not only make your salon look professional but visually pleasing to the eye, too.
A sturdy and professional proper beauty bed to do all your work on is a necessity to give yourself that qualified look as well as a clean workstation to work from.
Sanitation & Cleanliness
Be clean, clients will come back to you more if you are neat and the place is well-maintained. Keep it spotless and professional, no one likes to go somewhere that is untidy and messy and keep it hygienic always.
Sanitation and cleanliness when it comes to waxing should be of the utmost importance when approaching a client and their body hairs. Using disposable items after every client shows care and the need to be as sterile as possible with each appointment.
Here at AMR, we offer an abundance of gloves, bedrolls, pillowcases, tongue compressors, brow beaters and many more disposables for every waxing job.
Invest in Quality Products
Investing in a really good waxing pot, a two-in-one waxing pot is ideal as you can have two types of waxes warming up at the same time.
Have a mixture of hot/hard wax and strip wax to cater to clients who may have particular skin types or are doing a mixture of sensitive and larger areas of skin at once. This is convenient to have two waxes heating up on the go if you have a client wanting multiple areas done.
Lycon Lycopro Duo Wax Heater 2x800g
Using Hot/Hard Waxes
Hot/Hard Wax should be used on the sensitive areas of the face or bikini and underarm area anyway because of the delicate and thin areas of skin. The only con is the fact that they may take a while to cool down and you need to spread the hot wax like you would icing a cake.
Lycon Hot Wax Apricot 1kg
Using Strip Waxes
Strip waxes are the quickest way to remove hair. You apply the wax on with the hair growth and then apply the calico strip on top and rip off the strip of material against the grain of the hair.
Lycon Strip Wax Rosette 800ml
Post Wax Products
Pre and post-waxing products for the client come in many different solutions of powders, creams, lotions, oils, sprays and gels.
At AMR we offer a variety to choose from to cater to each client before and after every waxing appointment, some even come in two-in-one bottles.
Running a Waxing Business is a Lot of Work
Beauty therapy is not pretty. The washing of towels, scrubbing of floors and general cleaning is certainly not something they mention enough at beauty school.
Waxing rooms should look magnificent and hygienic. A wax pot is always to be shiny and clean after each client before the next one arrives. Ensure no wax residue remains anywhere but the wax pot and the bin is to be out of a client's sight.
I've seen salons with strings of strip wax all over pots, trolleys and floors. There's nothing worse than a client getting home from a treatment with wax stuck to the bottom of their feet or shoes or even worse their clothes.
Yes, all very basic, but all too often forgotten! At AMR we have sanitation products for a cleaner and fresher-smelling environment.
After Waxing Advice
After you are done with your client advise them to do some TLC when they are at home with taking care of their skin.
Giving the freshly waxed area 48 hours to rest and recuperate advise your client to encourage exfoliating that certain area to stimulate blood flow for hair growth to avoid those annoying ingrown hairs.
Lycon Ingrown X-IT Solution
Keep on Learning
With running a beauty salon, never think you or your staff know it all, especially with waxing!
There are so many wonderful techniques, hints and tips you can gain learning from each other. Something that may seem so simple and obvious to one may be a turning point for someone else in how they will do things.
One idea for continuous learning is to spend time once a month with all your staff performing a treatment and see just what you can learn from each other. Look into specialised training in certain techniques such as Brazilian waxing.
It can often take more formal classes for therapists to become comfortable with performing treatments like this. Investing in your staff is certainly worth every penny!
So there you have it, all the tips and product advice that you need to be a successful waxing expert.
Hopefully, now you have a good idea of whether to choose strip wax or hot wax and how you can achieve pain-free waxing (as pain-free as possible).
Good luck and remember practice makes perfect!