When it comes to at-home beauty treatments, waxing has got to be one of the most intimidating. While there's plenty of mess with dying your hair and a lot of intricacy with manicures, ripping hair from various parts of your body with a hot, sticky substance means that you've got the 'ouch' factor to contend with.
If you do want to use wax to get rid of any leg, pubic, facial or armpit hair, then, experts agree that it's crucial that you opt for the best at-home wax kit. Whether you're feeling a little rusty on the waxing front, or if you've never done it before, WH has round up the best pro DIY waxing products, from strips to sugaring kits.
We've also enlisted the help of Rosie Khandwala, beauty therapist and founder of sugar waxing brand Sugar Coated, who reveals everything you need to know about safe, effective DIY waxing.
What is the benefit of waxing?
'Waxing involves pulling hair directly from the root. Repeatedly waxing an area and continuing every 4-6 weeks with your hair growth cycle can lead to hairs growing back softer, finer, and thinner, eventually leading to less hair growth,' says Khandwala.
But make sure you are pulling the hairs from the root, rather than breaking them. The best way to do this is by using a hot sugar wax, that you apply thinly so it adheres to hair and not the skin. Also, pull the strip in a quick flick motion in the opposite direction of hair growth, and parallel to the skin - this leads to less hair breakages,' she adds.
How can I prevent ingrown leg hairs when I wax at home?
'There are many steps that can prevent getting ingrown hairs: Exfoliating 48 hours before you wax and 24 hours after you wax if the skin isn't irritated. Don't wear tight clothes after waxing,' explains Khandwala.
'Being sure to wax hair that is long enough to be pulled directly from the root - this discourages any shorter hairs growing underneath the skin Most ingrown hairs are caused by skin regrowing faster than hair. This happens because most hair removal techniques remove layers of skin with the hair. Sugar wax sticks directly to the hair so it pulls them out from the root and doesn't pull away any skin,' she adds.
Does waxing at home hurt?
'There will always be some level of pain with waxing, however, using a hot wax can be less painful as the heat opens the pores and hair follicles allowing the hair to be pulled out much more easily,' says Khandwala.
'Also, sugar wax is applied in a thin layer onto the skin, this allows the wax to grip to the hairs and not the skin when you pull the strip off, making it far less painful. If possible, try avoiding waxing when you are on your period as your skin is the most sensitive right before and during your period, making waxing more uncomfortable.'
How to wax your legs at home
Say goodbye to daily shaving, Khandwala gives her step by step guide for waxing your legs at home.
1. Check for 4-6 weeks' growth
'This is the first and most important step as any shorter than this and you won't get the results you want.'
2. Remove any natural oils
'This can be done by applying talc to the legs and completely drying out the skin, this will help the wax to stick to the hairs.'
3. Get into position
'Put your leg up at a 90-degree angle on a chair, so that your knee is at hip height, as this gives you better access to the area.'
4. Apply with care
'Next with your wax at the right temperature, apply it in the direction of the hair growth with your spatula. Read the instructions of the waxing kit carefully as some waxes (like sugar wax) don't require such a thick layer of product to get an effective hair removal.'
5. Remove quickly
'Don't wait after you've applied the wax, be quick and purposeful when removing the strip, and pull it off in the opposite direction of hair growth, parallel to the skin. This leads to less tugging on the skin, making it less painful and more effective with hair removal.'
How to sugar wax at home
'Sugar waxing is very much like normal waxing in technique, but only has 2 ingredients – pure sugar syrup and water. It is gentler on the skin, but more effective with hair removal,' reveals Khandwala.
Simply pop the pot of sugar wax into the microwave for 40 seconds.
Wait for it to cool for a few seconds and then apply a thin layer of sugar wax in the direction of the hair growth.
Get your reusable, washable strips and press down on the wax, leaving room at the end to grab on to. Then flick the strip up quickly in a parallel motion that is in the opposite direction of hair growth.
If your skin is sensitive apply a cold compress to cool down the area and reduce any redness.
Can I give myself a Brazilian wax at home?
'A Brazilian involves completely removing the hair from down there, leaving it totally bare. If you are a newbie to at-home waxing, I wouldn't suggest going for this option first. Start by learning how to wax other body areas, then try to do a bikini wax the first time and work your way to the full Brazilian. Otherwise, your best option is going to a salon professional,' adds Khandwala.
What are the best at-home waxing kits?
1. Best sugar wax
This vegan waxing product provides an ultra-effective hair removal treatment that is gentle on your skin and the environment. Made from just sugar and water, it is completely water soluble and biodegradable (no more messy spills ruining carpets and clothes) and is eco-friendly with our washable and reusable strips. You can use this on all parts of your body.
2. Best wax kit for your bikini line
When it comes to your more sensitive areas, this wax, designed for coarse hair, is a winner. Rather than using strips to remove the wax – and your hair – from your skin, you peel the wax itself away, while holding your skin taut.
3. Best easy-to-use waxing strips
Easy to use, simply warm the strips between your hands for a few seconds before smoothing them on and pulling off. Using on your arm pits? Cut them into smaller sizes to fit the area.
4. Best waxing kit for face
These ‘pre-waxed’ strips take the faff out of facial hair removal. Easy to use, you can warm them up with the heat of your hands before using them to neaten your brows, upper lip. Sold in a portable tin that you can throw in your handbag, these strips ensure that you’re always equipped for hair removal emergencies.
5. Best total body waxing kit
Containing soft wax for the arms and legs as well as hard wax that's better suited to more sensitive areas (think facial hair and the bikini line), this DIY kit helps you to achieve salon-quality results in own home. It heats up quickly, and the wax is designed to stick to the hairs, not your skin, allowing for quick and painless removal. You'll be able to achieve salon-quality results in the comfort of your own home.
6. Best waxing kit for sensitive skin
Formulated with an extract of argan leaf and honey for added moisture, this warm wax kit leaves sensitive skin types feeling soft. Plus, if you make any mistakes, you can simply remove the unwanted wax with water.
7. Best organic waxing kit
Mad with beeswax that is certified organic and enriched with pine resin and white lily extract, this kits forgoes strips, allowing you to pull the wax off straight from your body.
8. Best hard wax kit
A full at-home waxing kit, with a wax heater, spatulas, wax beads and pre-wax cleanser, this hard wax has everything you need to replicate salon results yourself.
9. Best wax strips for a softer finish
Made with coconut milk, these easy-to-use strips will leave your skin feeling nourished, not irritated.
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