FAQ's About Hair Removal Waxes and Techniques

Which direction should I apply wax on the skin?

Determine the direction of hair growth and apply the wax in the same direction of hair growth and remove in the opposite direction of hair growth. Remove the wax horizontally, staying as close to the skin as possible. Do not pull up (perpendicularly) and away from the skin which could result in bruising, breaking hair, or removing skin.

How much wax should I use to apply on the skin?

Using firm pressure, soft wax (removed with a strip) should be applied in a thin layer using the edge of the spatula. A thinner application of wax provides less pull on the clients skin and is, therefore, less painful. Additionally, a thinner application means less product used per service, yielding a greater return on investment for you.

Are there some skins that I should not wax?

Yes, there are numerous situations that may contraindicate a client for waxing. This is not a complete list, but a general guideline. Client consultation is a must to determine if a client is eligible for waxing. If uncertain, always perform a patch test first and err on the side of caution. Do not wax clients:

  • Taking Accutane, or have stopped taking it less than 6 months ago
  • Taking any topical or oral prescription acne medication (such as: Adapalene, Alustra, Avage, Avita, Differin, Isotretinoin, Renova, Retin A, Tazarac, Tazarotene, Tretinoin)
  • That have lupus or AIDS
  • That are undergoing cancer therapy including chemotherapy or radiation
Do not wax areas:
  • That have irritated, inflamed, cut, or sunburned skin.
  • With varicose veins.
  • Any area that has a rash, recent scar tissue, a skin graft, pimples, cold sores, moles, warts or fresh bruises.
  • Where the client has undergone dermabrasion services within the past three months.
  • Where the client has undergone laser skin resurfacing within the last year.
  • Where Botox or collagen injections were performed within the last seven days.
  • That have been waxed within the last 24 hours.
  • Where clients have been using AHA's, BHA's, Retinols or light peels within the last 7 days.
  • With body piercings.
When would I use a Hard (also known as Stripless, Non-Strip, or Hot) Wax?

Hard waxes are used on more sensitive areas of the body; i.e. face, underarms, nape of the neck, bikini/brazilian. Since hard waxes shrink-wrap around the hair and do not attach to the skin, they are preferable to use in wax services where the client may have very sensitive skin. Hard waxes are great for waxing the upper lip because they are more gentle on the skin. Hard waxes are desirable to use on the labia in Brazilian services. A 1/4" of hair growth is ideal for most Hard Waxes to grab and remove the hair efficiently.

Which wax would I use on skins of color?

Until you become familiar with your clients skin, always consider skins of color to be more sensitive and opt for using a Hard Wax on the face, underarms, and bikini zone.

What can I do if some of the hair stays on the skin after I've waxed?

We do not recommend reapplying a soft (strip) wax over an area that you just waxed with a soft wax. You can use the existing wax on your non woven or cotton strip to press over a hair to remove it (always horizontally). If you're using a Hard (non-strip, stripless) Wax, you can reapply up to three times in the same freshly waxed area (depending on how your clients skin is responding).

Additionally, if you're using a Hard wax and leave a few hairs behind, you can clean up with a soft wax (again, depending on how your clients skin is responding). To summarize: you can use Hard Wax after Hard Wax; Soft Wax after Hard Wax; or you may use Hard Wax after Soft Wax to clean up.

What is the technique for using a Hard Wax?

Please see our Hard Wax Usage Guide. Using firm pressure, apply a thicker layer of wax (think nickel thickness) in the direction of hair growth leaving an even edge around the perimeter. Use an adequate amount of pressure in application to trap the hair within the wax. You can press the wax with your fingers or hand as soon as it's "set" (typically about 5-7 seconds, depending on the wax). This helps to further entrap the hair in the wax. Remove the wax in the opposite direction of hair growth.

I stripped away too much skin. What went wrong?

Oftentimes, the client may be using a home care product or taking a medication that encourages sloughing; i.e. Retinols or AHAs. Even a mild product containing these types of ingredients can make a difference on some skins. If a topical skin care product is the issue, inform the client to discontinue use of the product at least 1 week prior to their next service. You may want to opt for using a hard wax on clients who are highly sensitive as well. Client consultation to confirm they aren't using anything that may contraindicate them prior to the wax treatment can help avoid this situation - even with your regular clients.

Sometimes, it could be the technique. If you've pulled the wax strip perpendicular (up and away) from the skin, you'll surely remove deeper layers of skin. Also, we suggest removal with a smooth, easy stroke instead of an abrupt, excessively fast jerk. If the wax is too hot, then you'll encounter a problem with removal of too much skin or burn the client.

What do you suggest using to calm the skin after waxing?

Cirepil After Wax Gel is ideal for cooling and calming any inflammation and feels refreshing to your clients. Cirepil Jasmin Oil is soothing and works to diffuse inflammation while simultaneously removing any stray wax residue on the skin.

Should I apply Oil or Powder before waxing?

Waxes do not like moisture on the skin, so if the client is perspiring or moist then a light application of powder to absorb the excess moisture is okay in a pinch. Cleansing the skin with Blue Lotion cleanser and wiping dry with an esthetic wipe is really preferable to using powder.

On the other hand, if the skin is too dry and dehydrated with lots of dead cells, waxes will likely stick to the skin (making it more difficult to remove), so use the slightest amount of Jasmin Oil (a drop or two) and massage well into the skin prior to wax application. Hard waxes work well with a breath of oil, so apply a drop or 2 on your glove, and massage well into the area. If too much oil remains on the skin, simply blot away excess with a tissue. Be careful not to leave excess oil on the skin, as this will prevent the wax from properly adhering to the hair.

My state doesn't require that I wear gloves. Should I wear gloves?

Removing body hair is an intimate service and wearing gloves helps to eliminate the possibility of spreading germs and coming in contact with blood-borne pathogens. Wearing gloves is part of providing a professional, sanitary service for your clients. If you don't wear gloves, your client will notice whether they say anything or not. Wearing a fresh pair of snug fitting soft vinyl or nitrile gloves will help protect you and your clients and help prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.

What about Double-Dipping?

Not only is double-dipping unsanitary, but technicians may receive a citation or fine for double-dipping the spatula into the wax. If they notice, there are clients who will report this action. Do not double-dip wax applicators and please use disposable spatulas.