Back in the beginning of 2020 BC (Before COVID-19, that is), I had a longstanding waxing appointment with a woman who’d been voted best in Atlanta in 2019. I’d go every three to four weeks and get my brows shaped, my upper lip waxed, and sometimes, a bikini wax.
But the likelihood of me returning to my beloved waxing studio anytime soon is pretty much at zero. And while my brows are actually somewhat tame, my upper lip and bikini line are looking a bit rough. What’s a woman to do when she needs a bit of grooming done? Well, you have to step up and take care of it yourself.
Waxing at home is no walk in the park though—there’s risk of infection from waxing improperly, or maybe even burning yourself on too-hot wax. But no fear! There are definitely safe and effective ways to perform your very own at-home DIY wax. Read on to find out more!
Waxing at home is no walk in the park. But there are safe and effective ways to perform your own at-home DIY wax.
Prep Your Skin
The first thing you should do before any sort of DIY waxing treatment is to make sure to prep your skin. With the exception of your face, you’ll want to make sure that any other body parts you want to wax are exfoliated at least a day before you want to wax.
There are multiple ways you can exfoliate: Use a sugar scrub of your choice, a Korean Italy cloth (my favorite way), or scrubbing gloves. Exfoliating before you wax is incredibly important because it helps remove all of the dead skin cells around your hair follicle, which makes the hair easier to remove. If you’re waxing your brows or upper lip, just make sure that your skin is clean and dry.
Right before your wax, you want to make sure that your skin is clean and, mostly importantly, dry. No lotions, no oils. The wax can’t stick to oil or lotion, so make sure to skip it and wait until after you finish.
Check the Length
Check the length of the hair in the areas you are planning to wax. Too long and it’ll be incredibly painful, and too short, well, the wax won’t have any hair to grab on to. The ideal length for waxing is approximately a quarter-inch long, according to Healthline.com.
Gather Your Materials
The absolutely last thing you want to deal with while you’re waxing at home is having to run to another room to grab supplies. You want to be like a sous chef: Everything should already be in place, exactly how you want it.
Speaking of materials, some things you should have on hand are:
- Waxing kit/strips: Depending on the type of wax you’re planning on doing, you may opt to use hard wax (best for bikini lines and Brazilians), or waxing strips that are best for large areas like legs and arms.
- Wooden sticks for wax
- After-care materials such as tweezers to remove rogue stray hairs, jojoba oil to remove leftover wax, and a soothing, antibacterial serum designed for post-waxing.
Time to Wax!
Once you have all of your materials, and you’re nice and comfortable, it’s time to DIY wax. If you are using a hot wax, test to make sure it’s not too hot by applying a small test patch on your wrist. You’ll most likely need to reheat your wax after 10 to 12 minutes.
Whatever area you choose, you want to make sure to apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth. If you’re using a strip, smooth down the strip along the grain, and if you’re applying wax, use the wooden dipper to apply along the grain as well. Do not reuse the wooden dipper again to avoid contamination!
The next step depends on what kind of wax you have. Read all the instructions first before you start applying it. Some wax might need a few seconds to harden, others might say to remove immediately. Whatever the case may be, take a big breath, pull your skin taut with one hand, and on the exhale, use the other to pull the strip or wax in the opposite direction of your hair. For me, the breathing is the most important part. It definitely removes some of the sting/pain associated with waxing, and can help keep you calm. After you’ve removed the wax, press your palm to the area to calm it down. Rinse and repeat until all of your unwanted hair is gone.
Breathing is the most important part. It definitely removes some of the pain and can help keep you calm.
After you’ve finished waxing, it’s time to remove any excess wax and apply a soothing cream or serum to prevent ingrown hair and irritation. I like to use a little jojoba oil to remove the wax (plus it does double duty of moisturizing the area), followed by PFB Vanish + Chromabright to prevent ingrown hair while brightening your skin.
As with any other wax, avoid hot weather, pools, saunas, baths, hot showers, and workouts for 24 hours after your treatment.