Given the variety of waxing techniques available, it is almost certain that there is one available to address your individual needs. Each technique is best suited for particular treatment areas or different skin types, however the fundamental method is largely the same across all variations; the removal of the hair and its root in entirety, through the application of wax <link: what is waxing and how does it work><link: what are the pros and cons of waxing?>.
When comparing various waxing types, the following are the most commonly used or commercially available;
Split into two different sub-types, hot wax involves what its name suggests; the removal of unwanted facial and body hair via application of heated wax to the skin. It is the most common type of commercially-available waxing treatment and readily provided at most beauty salons. Treatments are usually advised to occur every 4-6 weeks when the hair has had time to grow to an appropriate length for easy removal. Although it is often referred to as “hot”, the wax that is applied to the skin is simply warm and poses no risk of burn if applied by skilled and well-trained personnel. Pricing sheets or websites will refer to the treatment as “Hot Waxing” to assist with differentiation from “Cold Waxing”. Within the hot waxing category; the two subtypes fall under hard wax and soft wax:
- Hard Wax: a heated wax type that is applied thickly, and dries into a hard strip that can be removed without the assistance of muslin or cloth strips. This type of wax is typically used on areas such as the bikini line, underarms, and face, where hair is coarser and skin is more sensitive.
- Soft Wax: also applied after having been heated, but in a much thinner consistency. It is removed with the aid of muslin or cloth strips. This technique is the most commonly used on larger areas such as legs; chest, back and arms, and is the standardly-available option when purchasing at-home hot waxing treatments.
Applied without excessive prior heating, cold wax is often found as an easy option for a home-waxing kit, such as Veet strips; where the waxing agent is pre-applied to plastic or disposable cloths. These strips are warmed between the palms of the hands and then placed against the skin, rubbed in the direction of hair growth. These strips are then pulled off sharply, against the direction of hair growth, as is standard for both Hot and Cold waxing. Cold waxing is often very convenient when compared to hot wax, and much easier to perform on yourself as there is no need to heat the wax, prepare removal strips or application spatulas. However, many varieties leave a residue on the skin, which needs to be washed off with a cleansing wipe, or soap and water. On the plus side, the prepared strips can be trimmed or cut to suit the area you are waxing, and are useful additions to travel kits. <link: what are the advantages of cold waxing vs. hot waxing?>
Both hot and cold waxing requires a waiting period of approximately 4 to 6 weeks between treatments, depending on the speed of your individual hair growth <link: how often should I wax? How long do the results last?>. Some people have commented that hot wax seems to be better at removing shorter hairs when compared to cold, however, it is harder to cover large areas at once due to the need to keep the wax warm for the application. While both are viable options for hair removal, the differences in cost, effectiveness, and convenience may play a role in your ultimate choice of treatment.
A traditional form of waxing that has existed for centuries, this method involves the application of an agent that is only mildly warm, resulting in a low risk of burns. While conventional waxing methods involve the use of factory-made products, Persian waxing is based around a 100% natural, hypoallergenic recipe involving sugar, water, lemon, honey or molasses, and cornstarch. This method is less common in salons compared to modern waxing methods, however, remains popular for those with extremely sensitive skin, or those who are worried about a negative reaction to ingredients in commercially-available waxing agents. This method of hair removal can be tricky to get used to if performing at home, as home-made recipes can be difficult to master and require some practice to get the right consistency and results. In addition, if applying at home, there is an increased risk of burn for those who are inexperienced with the application techniques and correct temperatures. There are some commercially-available treatments available for purchase, however, these are less common than modern versions. Clean up is very easy, as any excess can be easily removed with warm water.
While not technically waxing, Sugaring is a method of hair removal that applies strikingly similar methodologies; a sticky substance is applied to the skin and removes unwanted facial and body hair, sometimes with the use of cloth strips. However, there is an important difference between the two methods. While typical waxing agents adhere to all substances; both hair and skin alike, sugaring products are designed to only stick to the hairs and dead skin, meaning less chance of skin irritation when removed. This method of hair removal is most similar to Persian waxing, as the agent is traditionally a wholly-natural substance, and well-suited to sensitive skin types.
Within the sugaring category, there are two variations;
- Paste type: this is the more traditional method and involves a warmed product applied to the skin using your hands, and then removed in the direction of the hair growth.
- Gel type; also applied in the direction of hair growth, and removed against the hair grain with the assistance of a muslin or cloth strip.
Similarly to Persian waxing, the excess waxing agent left on the skin can be easily removed with warm water. As the waxing agent is a natural product, there is less chance of skin irritation when compared to conventional waxing techniques. However, as is also the case with Persian waxing, Sugaring does carry a risk of burns for those who are unfamiliar with the correct application temperatures, when using a home-made recipe.
As you can see from the examples listed above, there are multiple variations of waxing methodologies available. There is no method that is perfect for all people, and so in order to find the one best suited for you, it is recommended that you research all options, and consider trying a few that appeal to you in order to determine whether they are suitable for your skin type, budget or schedule.