Waxing: Hot wax hair
When it comes to hair removal, in our view the longer it's gone the better. That's why we're major fans of waxing. It's one of the easiest and longer lasting ways to remove hair and keep it away.
Better still, the more you wax the less hair regrowth you will have. Sounds good right?
Hot wax is fast becoming a salon favourite and more often than not this is what's on offer when you have a bikini wax. But what is all the fuss about with hot wax and which type of waxing is right for you?
We spoke to beautician and waxing pro Tira, from Harrod's Urban Retreat to find out more about hot wax and the waxing do's and don'ts we all need to know.
What is the main difference between hot wax and strip wax?
Strip wax is removed with a cloth strip whereas hot wax stiffens on the skin, meaning it can be peeled off quickly to remove the hairs.
Tira says: "One way to remember the difference is to think that strip wax sticks to your skin so it's better for fine hairs, whereas hot wax holds onto the hairs rather than the skin, making it ideal for coarser hair like the underarms and bikini line. Plus because hot wax just clings to the hairs it doesn't necessarily hurt as much as strip wax."
While pain is definitely a consideration with waxing, the different types of waxing are good for different areas.
Strip wax is good for:
Hot wax is good for:
How does hot wax work?
Hot wax is so effective because it is just that - hot. The heat encourages your pores and hair follicles to open up making it easier to remove the hair.
Because the hot wax is able to cling to the hair as it dries on the skin it is super effective at stripping out that hair without irritating your skin.
There are lots of different types of hot wax too, from scented rose wax to chocolate hot wax, some types even have extra ingredients for skin benefits. Ask your therapist to know what type of hot wax they use.
What are the possible risks of waxing?
Most people won't have a problem with waxing, although there is some pain, it's usually over before you know it and the smooth fuzz-free result means that it's well worth it.
However, as with most things, there are some risks. Possible side effects include redness, sensitive skin and in some cases people can experience bruising post waxing too. Ouch.
Tira says: "Most people are fine with waxing but if it does feel sore or itchy apply a cold compress like a cold wet towel and dab the area. If this doesn't help it may be worth going to your GP as you may have had an allergic reaction."
What should you do after your wax?
There are some lifestyle no-no's if you want to have the best waxing results. So post treatment avoid anything that is going to bring you out in a sweat. After waxing your pores are very open and are more vulnerable to getting blocked.
Avoid exercise, sunbathing, really hot showers, swimming and saunas for at least 24 hours after your waxing treatment.
Who is suitable for waxing treatments?
Tira says everyone is siutable for both hot wax and strip wax unless they have any sort of specific allergy. Strip wax and hot wax are effective on everyone but hot wax is used more often for male waxing as their hair is thicker and their roots are deeper.
However, if you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, getting waxed is not always going to be a good idea. Likewise if you have acne or are taking medication that thins the skin it is always worth checking with your doctor first.
When can you wax?
Hair can be waxed as long as it is half a centimeter or more. Tira says: "It's not recommended that hair is longer than 2cm as longer hairs can cause more pain. Once a hair has reached this length the root is stronger.
How to prepare for your waxing treatment
Before getting your wax it's a good idea to avoid using any body oils on the day. Three days ahead of your wax try exfoliating the area to prepare the hair.
Got a low pain threshold? You're not alone. If the thought of a wax makes you a little bit nervous then try taking a parcetamol before the treatment to help deal with the pain. Tira says: "Just relax before you come in and don't keep yourself tense."
A common myth is that you need to trim before you go for your wax. This is not always the case as a good waxer should be able to trim if required, before going ahead with the waxing part.
"Best of all though," Tira says, "is to try and get it done every 4 weeks."
How to avoid ingrown hairs
Sometimes waxing can lead to lumps and bumps, otherwise known as ingrown hairs. These little blighters will work themselves out eventually but if you are concerned you can always ask your beautician to help with any stubborn ones.
As with most things, prevention is better than cure so try and exfoliate the waxed area at least once a week.
Tira says this is best done with a body scrub; "Thalgo do some great body scrubs."
Where possible try to avoid shaving the area too as this can help to restrengthen the roots and sabotage all your waxing efforts to reduce hair regrowth.