Waxing from home can be a daunting task for newbies, and mistakes will be made. However the benefits are huge: Savings on salon bills, blissful convenience, and having smooth skin at your command within minutes. With just a little bit of practice and technique, you will be an at-home waxing expert in no time. To help you on your way, here are some of the most common waxing mistakes (with their solutions!) that we see consistently.
1. Preparing your skin the wrong way for the wax you’re using.
To wash or not to wash. It depends on the type of wax you’re using!
Wash your skin: If you are using a sugar-based wax, wash your skin before waxing. Sugar wax is soluble with water, and it doesn’t like any residual oils on the skin. Clean and dry skin will help the wax grab onto the hair for best hair removal results.
Don’t wash your skin: If you are using a resin-based ‘salon’ style wax, do not wash your skin before waxing. Resin based waxes are oil soluble. You actually need that layer of natural skin oils to remain. This reduces discomfort as the wax sticks less to your skin, but it will still grab and remove the hair just fine. Don’t stress too much if you have washed your skin, but in that case it is highly advised to use some talc or soft powder to give that layer of protection between skin and wax.
2. Applying a layer of wax that is too thick.
This point is for liquid waxes that are removed with fabric (epilation) strips. With these waxes the key to great results is in applying a super thin layer of wax. Sounds weird? Surely more wax would mean more results? No. A thick layer of wax will not remove hair as well as a thin layer. This is a very common mistake, and one that means some newbies will give up on these wax types completely. Now repeat after me, ‘For liquid waxes removed with fabric strips, a thin layer of wax is key’.
Correct temperature, and therefore correct viscosity, is needed to apply a nice thin layer of wax. Liquid waxes all require some heating using a microwave or a wax warmer. If the wax is too cold, the wax will be thick and hard it spread. If the wax is too hot, it will be too thin and could even burn you. The correct wax consistency is like liquid honey. Think of Goldilocks, the perfect temperature matters for wax as well as porridge.
3. Waxing when the hair length is too short.
Caller: ‘The wax didn’t work.’
Parissa Wax: ‘Tell me where you were using the wax?’
Caller: ‘My legs, I usually shave them. I used your sugar wax.’
Parissa Wax: ‘When is the last time you shaved your legs?’
Caller: ‘Just under 1 week ago.’
This is a very common mistake! We strictly advise a ‘two week rule’. You really do have to wait for at least two weeks before waxing, especially if you previously shaved that area. Hair length should be around ¼ inch or 1 cm. This will give the wax enough hair to grab onto for the best results.
If you combine not enough hair length, with using the wrong wax type (previously shaved legs will need Wax Strips or Warm Wax), then you are headed for a hair removal disappointment.
While it’s tempting to wax right away when you see new hair growth, it’s always best to wait at least two weeks before you wax again. This will ensure that the hair is long enough for effective hair removal and super smooth results.
4. Starting by waxing a difficult area instead of an easy one.
Most people wouldn’t climb Mount Everest on their first time hiking. If you have never waxed before, don’t start with a Brazilian or your underarms. An easier area to start waxing is always arms or legs. These are a larger area that is easily accessible. As you learn good waxing technique and gain confidence, you can tackle harder to reach areas including your bikini area, underarms and face waxing. Some waxes are easier for beginners to use than others. We recommend Wax Strips as being the easiest to use for those new to waxing.
5. Choosing the wrong type of wax for the body part.
Waxing products are not a one-size fits all. Most people don't know what there are different types of wax. Understanding what each type of wax is intended for will help save you achieve best hair removal results, and reduce discomfort.
Hot Wax is for face, upper lip, underarms, bikini and Brazilian. It’s also an option for eyebrows if you’re skilled with application. Hot Wax (or Hard wax) is a ‘salon’ style wax for waxing smaller sensitive areas and areas with short or very coarse hair. Hot Wax is applied liquid, firms as it cools, and ‘shrink wraps’ all hairs for effective hair removal. We do not recommend Hot Wax for waxing large areas such as your legs or arms. It’s time consuming and Hot Wax is not designed to cover such a large area. There are better options for waxing larger areas
Warm Wax is for arms, legs, body, chest. Warm Wax is also a ‘salon’ style wax and is great for all hair types even coarse hair. The reason you’d choose Warm Wax (over Hot Wax) is for waxing a larger area. This liquid wax can easily cover larger areas and the waxing process will be faster. For example, Warm Wax will be the very best option for waxing leg hair that has been previously shaved. Once you have perfected the technique with Warm Wax, you’ll be surprised just how speedily you can zip away hair from a larger area.
Wax Strips come in different sizes and can be used on legs, arms, bikini and smaller ones for face and brows. The wax is also a ‘salon’ style wax. The reason you’d choose Wax Strips over Hot Wax or Warm Wax is for ease of use. Wax Strips are perfect for those new to waxing. There’s no liquid wax to deal with, and no heating. The wax is pre-lined on cellulose (see-through) strips and is as simple as ‘press on, zip off’.
Sugar Wax can be used anywhere, but not on short or coarse hair. Sugar wax is the most gentle wax, it’s great for those with sensitive skin or who like a water washable wax. However you will get the best results with fine to medium hair types. If you have short, coarse, or very dark hair, see your other options above for a ‘salon’ style wax.
6. Using the wrong method to clean up after waxing.
This point follows on from correct skin preparation. What the wax is made of dictates the best way to clean it.
Sugar wax = wash away with water. For sugar waxes you can remove any excess or spilled wax very easily using soap and water.
Resin wax = remove with oil. For resin based ‘salon’ style wax, you must use oil to remove any excess or spilled wax. These waxes are not water soluble. Parissa ‘salon’ wax kits all come with Azulene oil. You can also use other gentle oils such as baby oil or mineral oil to clean these waxes.
5. Removing the wax too slowly, and not holding the skin tight.
Ouch! Yes it hurts, but it will hurt a lot less if you follow these correct wax removal techniques.
Zip-off quickly. Have you ever tried to pull off a wax strip very slowly? It not very effective, it hurts more, and you will leave more wax on your skin. Be sure to always zip off the wax quickly for the best performance. The quicker you remove the wax, the better the results and the less the discomfort.
Hold your skin tight. Your skin has a lot of mobility, some areas more than others. If you aren’t holding the skin tight, it can be tugged outwards/upwards when removing the wax. This causes extra discomfort. For best hair removal results and least discomfort, hold the skin firm and tight. Zip off backwards and in parallel to the skin, don't pull straight up. Removal of wax is always in the opposite direction of hair growth.
7. Forgetting to do a patch test before using wax for the first time.
Natural does not mean allergy free! You may be one of those unlucky people who has an allergic reaction to a particular plant extract. Before putting any new beauty products on your face or a large area of skin, alway patch test a small area and wait 24 hours. If you don’t see any reaction, no redness, you’re safe to use the product. Take note, sugar waxes are the best bet for people who are prone to allergies.
8. Applying the wax when it's too hot, burning the skin.
It’s entirely possible to burn yourself using liquid wax that has been heated for too long. Before applying a large amount of wax on your skin, test the temperature on a very small area. Even better, judge by appearance, if the wax is very watery or runny it’s likely way too hot. As you gain experience you’ll learn to tell when the wax is the right temperature by how viscous it is. It’s important to read the instructions, follow the microwave heating times and be careful when moving heated wax. Most waxes only need to be gently warmed, not heated like hot lava.
9. Not having everything ready before starting to wax.
From the safety of your bathroom, make sure you have time, space and everything you need before starting. There’s nothing worse than getting liquid wax onto your thigh and realizing the fabric epilation strips are in the other room.
Do you know what you need for your waxing session? Parissa Wax Kits each include everything that is required. However, here are a few extra things to keep close by:
- Some type of floor covering that you don’t mind getting wax on.
- Scissors and tweezers. For trimming long hairs before waxing and tidying up missed hairs after waxing .
- Keep the Parissa photo instructions nearby, these come with every kit.
- Parissa Wax Warmer for keeping liquid waxes and Hot Wax the right temperature.
- Azulene oil, or other oil, for cleaning up ‘salon’ style waxes.
- A damp or wet cloth for cleaning up sugar waxes.