Everything You Need to Know About the Waxing World
Everything You Need to Know About the Waxing World: Hard vs. Soft Wax
Waxing is one of the most common services performed in spas. The hair removal procedure can be performed on almost every inch of the body including legs, arms, underarms, chin, lip area, eyebrows, hairline, and the bikini line. The options are endless! With results lasting anywhere from four to six weeks, it is no wonder why waxing is the preferred method of hair removal, (and the easiest and quickest way to make money in the industry!)
If you’re new to the world of waxing, you may not know what to look for when choosing between hard and soft wax, where to schedule your first service, and how to calm sensitive, red, post-waxed skin. Have no fear! We sat down with our Skin Care educator, Kelly Ann King, to discuss the nitty gritty of the wax world.
What is the difference between hard and soft wax?
Depending on the salon, the area of your body being waxed, and personal contraindications, your service professional will choose to use either hard or soft wax. When a service professional is choosing a wax, it really comes down to what they prefer to use and what is the best option for your safety and skin type. Both wax types are similar when it comes to price. Hard and soft wax are applied the same way as well; each is melted and applied directly to the skin.
Both hard and soft waxes are made up of many of the same ingredients including honey, beeswax, oils, and resins. These ingredients are combined and melted in a heated wax pot and applied to the skin using a stick or spatula.
There are, however, a few ways in which the two types are distinguished. The main difference between hard and soft wax is the way in which they are removed from the skin.
Once the wax is warmed, melted, and applied to the skin, it hardens for approximately 15 to 30 seconds before being lifted at one end with fingers and pulled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. Kelly King suggests using hard wax for courser hair, specifically under arms and bikini areas. Hard wax is also great for those with sensitive skin because the wax sticks to the hair and not to the skin. This causes less irritation so that you can rewax over the same area.
On the other hand, soft wax can only be applied to the same area of skin once. Often used for facial hair, soft wax is quick, popular, and more common. Applied to the skin in a thin layer, soft wax is removed in the opposite direction of hair growth using strips made of Pellon or muslin. Pellon strips are good for those with oily skin and muslin strips are recommended for those with dryer, more sensitive skin.
How do I choose the right spa for my service?
Look for cleanliness.
Waxing is a relatively simple and quick service; however, if a service professional or salon does not follow strict rules regarding hygiene and cleanliness, the results might not be pretty. It is important to seek out a reputable spa or salon. Kelly King’s tips for a worry free wax service are listed below.
1. Make sure that your aesthetician is using a new stick each time they apply more wax. The same stick should never be inserted into the wax pot twice! Jackie Traino, a Cosmetology Educator at PB Beauty School, uses the analogy of double chip dipping; “When you’re dipping a chip, you never double dip! The same goes for working with wax.”
2. Tweezers should never be used on more than one client without being sanitized. Check to make sure that the esthetician is taking the tweezers out of a sanitizing jar before using them on you (or putting them back into a sanitizing jar after using them on you.)
3. The cardboard around the lip of the pot should be changed daily as well. A good rule of thumb is that if the area looks messy and unmaintained, the area probably does not follow hygiene standards.
4. Discuss your skin type! A good aesthetician will always test the wax temperature on her wrist before applying it to your skin and should ask you a few questions for safety and for optimal results. Important information they would need to know is whether you have recently applied prednisone, cortisone or have taken Accutane. It is also important to discuss any skin sensitivities to avoid damage to your skin. Make sure you have a thorough conversation with your aesthetician before your service so that she knows how sensitive your skin is.
Tips for your post-wax sensitivity
Due to the fact that the warm wax is pulled away in a quick manner, it is common for the skin to be sensitive afterwards. If your skin looks red and puffy, Kelly King suggests applying a mixture of water and baking soda to the sensitive area; the baking soda should reduce swelling. She also highly recommends Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Concentrate (it is one of her favorite products!) The concentrate is high in oliopeptides which decreases redness.
Waxing is a great way to make money as an aesthetician. Are you interested in learning more about the world of waxing? PB Beauty School offers an Advanced Waxing Class to licensed professionals to learn the theory and fundamentals of waxing with hands-on demonstrations of leg, arm, facial and bikini waxing. Request more information by calling our Admissions Offices at (856) 456-4927.