How to wax safely from home: Best products to try, things to note, and aftercare procedures to do

How to wax safely from home: Best products to try, things to note, and aftercare procedures to do

Strip down

Text: Emily Heng

It's plain to see that the temporary closure of spas and salons have put business owners — and us consumers — in a tailspin. Still, we've had a month to adapt to this newfound situation, and so, have done everything from donations to delivery orders to keep our go-to establishments afloat. The next step, bearing that there is still a month of self-isolation to go? Self-sufficiency. That is, learning to conduct our favourite beauty practices without the help of a professional. So far, we dished the dirt on cutting and dyeing your tresses as well as brow maintenance. Now, we'll be shifting our focus to your bod. More specifically, your body hair and how to remove it safely in the confines of your home. No re-enactments of that one scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, please.

What are the tools you need?

Cool wax or waxing strips, popsicle sticks, a mirror, and towels are recommended. While most therapists typically opt for hot wax during treatments, they require more skill to utilise and could result in heat burns when not applied incorrectly.

How can you prepare your skin before waxing?

Skin must be thoroughly dry, cleansed, and un-moisturised before waxing. Pat at the area with a moisture-wicking towel if you must, because the last thing you'd want is to apply wax to wet, sticky surfaces seeing how it will adhere strongly to skin and make it impossible to remove after. This goes without saying, but do remember to avoid any areas with wounds or pimples, too.

Take note of your current hair growth either. Ideally, it should be about 0.5cm long. Any shorter, and it'll be close to impossible to remove the hairs cleanly. If you're thinking of doing a Brazillian, you can trim stray, longer hairs away first with a pair of scissors.

How should you use waxing strips?

For those with sensitive skin, the general consensus is that you should conduct a 48-hour patch test beforehand. Yes, that means applying the strip to an easy-to-reach area — let's say, your arm — and seeing if it incites any kind of reaction.

Once you're in the clear, position yourself before the mirror accordingly. You'd probably need to switch it up a couple of times depending on the area you'd like to wax. Try standing and propping your foot up on a bathtub or chair, or even lying on your bed and propping your back up with a pillow. Essentially, manoeuver yourself until you're comfortable and good to go.

Next, apply the wax on using a spatula or popsicle stick. Use careful, swirling motions and cover the area thoroughly.  Be sure to work in small areas and swathes to avoid friction burn and bruising.

Now, for the grand finale. Hold the skin taut with one hand, and pull the wax swiftly against the direction of hair growth. Rinse and repeat until you're satisfied. If there's still lingering stray hair, yank them away with a tweezer — though be careful not to dig too hard into the skin, as this could cause ingrown hairs.

What about aftercare?

What's most important is that you reduce the likelihood of skin irritation after. Avoid hot showers as well as thick, heavy creams. You don't want any of that touching your skin now that your pores are open and exposed, and overloading them with too much stimulus is a surefire way to develop pimples, pustules, and more. Instead, grab your trusty aloe vera gel (also great for burns, FYI) and apply a thin coat over waxed areas for several days. There, sorted.

What are the best products to try?