Waxing is the one of the best, oldest and most popular hair removal methods. Its popularity is based on several factors including it's effectiveness and relatively low cost. But the practice is as much an art as it is a science. Done improperly waxing can lift the skin and cause permanent scarring. For safety reasons and to achieve best results, waxing ? especially in hard to reach and sensitive areas ? is best left to professionals. If you are determined to do it yourself it is highly recommended that you visit a waxing professional at least once so that you can see how it is done properly before trying it yourself.
Whether you are a professional or a home user it is important to follow some basic guidelines to achieve safe and effective waxing results. This article describes key concepts in how depilatory waxes are formulated and the basic techniques and best practices for safe and effective waxing with soft wax. A later article will describe techniques and best practices for hard wax.
First, we must define the difference between soft wax and hard wax. It is important to note at the outset that the difference in quality from one brand of wax to the next can be significant. Cheap waxes typically use inferior raw materials resulting in finished products with inferior performance and safety characteristics.
Both soft and hard depilatory waxes are designed to be melted and applied to the skin. How the products "cure" or dry on the skin and how they are removed are the essential difference. Soft wax cures slowly and remains tacky. Once applied it must be removed using a waxing strip (a piece of fabric designed for the purpose). Hard wax, often called no-strip wax, cures firmly so that it may be lifted without a strip.
Hard or no-strip waxes tend to be more gentle than soft waxes and are often the esthetician's choice for waxing sensitive areas such as the lip, bikini and underarm. In general, soft waxes bind and pull hairs more forcefully than hard waxes. However, depending on how the wax is formulated and which secondary ingredients are included, there is considerable variation from one soft wax to the next.
For example, Bombshell Wax sells two types of soft wax, Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree Wax and Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Cr?me Wax. Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree wax is a translucent wax that goes on in a very thin layer, almost like cellophane. It is ideal for speed waxing larger body areas such as full legs or arms, backs and chests. The Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Cr?me Wax formula includes titanium dioxide to create a slightly thicker, opaque, cream style wax that goes on a bit thicker to surround and lift even coarse, curly or stubborn hairs. The Bombshell Wax Rose Petal Cr?me wax is gentler than the Bombshell Wax Lavender Tea Tree wax and is therefore better suited for the face and sensitive areas. The point is that subtle variations in product formulation can make an appreciable difference in how a particular wax performs.
To wax with soft wax, begin by choosing a high quality soft wax such as Bombshell Wax or Cirepil.
Melt the wax in a professional wax warmer on low heat until just liquefied. Alternatively, if you use Bombshell Wax or another wax packaged in a polypropylene container, heat the wax in the microwave in 1-2 minute increments until just liquefied. Do not overheat. Keep in mind that waxes vary in how fast they heat.
Clean the skin with an antiseptic, antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86? or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) you intend to wax. Do not use Tonic 86? or Tend Skin on previously exfoliated skin, especially the face.
Pat the skin dry and powder lightly.
Test the temperature of the wax on the wrist using an applicator or spatula. If it's too hot, allow the wax to cool.
Dip a wooden applicator or spatula (think tongue depressor) into the wax. Scrape the underside of the spatula on the edge of the wax jar so that wax is on only one side of the spatula. Twirl the spatula over the jar until you have control of the wax and you have an ounce or two on the spatula. Spread a thin, even layer of wax in the same direction as hair growth. Repeat: spread the wax in same direction as hair growth (if the follicle is the start and the tip of the hair is the end, spread from the follicle towards the tip).
Do not allow the wax to harden.
Cover the wax with a high quality waxing strip such as Bombshell Las Vegas Strips? and press firmly in downward strokes in the same direction as hair growth.
Hold the skin firmly with one hand. With the other hand, quickly whisk the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth staying close and parallel to the skin. Warning: it is extremely important to remove the strip low and parallel to the skin. If you lift straight up you risk lifting the skin, causing bruising.
Using your hand, immediately apply pressure to the just-waxed skin to soothe tingling nerve endings.
Using a waxing strip, press over and lift and wax residue left on the skin.
To prevent ingrown hairs and break outs, immediately after waxing apply an antiseptic antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86? or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) that was waxed. Apply regularly between treatments (3-5 times per week) to clear and prevent ingrown hairs.
To decrease redness or irritation, apply a soothing cream such as Cream 100? Calming Balm to instantly reduce redness, calm inflammation, soothe the skin, and promote healing.
Ben Johnson is the president of Amphora Worldwide, parent company of Bombshell Wax, premium depilatory waxes and waxing accessories, Cream 100 Calming Balm, and Tonic 86, the cure for ingrown hairs.
More information is available at http://www.bombshellwax.com or http://www.amphoraworldwide.com