Are you feeling a bit fuzzy six weeks after salons shut down? If you’re used to going to the salon every month to get waxed, the coronavirus shutdown can feel like an eternity. And, even as states open up, you may not be keen to potentially expose yourself to the virus just to get great brows or a smooth bikini line.
Before you pick up a razor or start plucking, I’m here to tell you to give home waxing a try. It might sound horrific, but waxing at home can be a convenient and affordable hair-removal solution, and it’s easier than you think.
I’ve been waxing at home for decades, at this point. As a tween and teen one of my aunts, a dedicated home-waxer, started doing my eyebrows and upper lip. Although she offered, I drew the line at having her wax my bikini line, so I started doing that myself. By college, I had my wax routine down pat and could pull it off in my dorm room.
And, a dorm room isn’t too different from a home filled with quarantined family members. If you’re willing to give home waxing a try, here are my tips. And remember: worst case scenario, you can just quarantine until the hair grows back.
Select Your Wax
The first step is to order an at-home wax kit. In recent years hard waxes have become popular, but I haven’t had much luck with them. I prefer the microwaveable all-purpose Honee wax by Gigi ($10.50). You can buy it in a kit ($21.50) with all the accessories, like sticks, strips, and post-wax cremes. Although Gigi offers different wax kits, I’ve always kept it simple and used the all-purpose wax for everything. No need for bulky warmers of different jars of wax.
Get Set Up
Once you’re ready to wax, you’ll want to find private space. The bathroom is great, but you can also use a bedroom: anywhere that has a lock, a mirror and a seat. I start by putting a large, junky towel down to catch any wax drips (it’s much easier than scraping them off the floor). Then, I set up my strips and sticks, a trash can, a glass of water, and some good music.
To get the wax ready, microwave in 30-second internals. You want it to be melted to a liquid, but not too hot to burn your skin. Always test the temperature on the back of your hand before applying the wax.
Now, for the scary part. It’s time to start waxing. If I’m doing the full work-up (bikini, brows and lips), I start with the most painful area: the bikini. Like at the salon, you’ll want to make sure your hair is trimmed to between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch long. Then, apply a little bit of baby powder to your skin: this will help the wax spare your skin, while gripping the hair.
Next, apply a generous portion of wax, moving in the direction of hair growth. Immediately put the strip on. Hold your skin taut using your other hand, take a deep breath, and pull the strip quickly and firmly in the opposite direction of hair growth. If it stings, put your hand firmly on the waxed patch after ripping the strip off.
That’s it. Just repeat that process again and again until you’re satisfied with your hair removal. along the way, you’ll likely need to reheat the wax: you’ll know when it becomes stringy.
Key Tips and Tricks:
Wax Before You Shower
Showering can leave your pores open and sensitive, so it’s best to wax before you’ve showered for the day, or wait a few hours after your shower.
Never Wax the Same Spot Twice
Going over the same spot can irritate your skin. If you have hairs left after one pass, use tweezers or try again another day.
When in Doubt, Always Stop
This is most important for your eyebrows. If you’re wondering whether you should take a little more, the answer is always “no.” Stop. You can always wax more the next day, but you can’t replace hair you’ve lost. I’ve followed this rule and have never wanted to go back and take more off my brows.
The Benefits of Waxing at Home
I’ll admit, I’m a control freak in all areas of my life. But, when it comes to waxing, I think this is actually useful. I love waxing at home because I’m in control of exactly what’s happening. I know when the pain will come and what the final product will look like.
While we’re all stuck at home, you may as well give home waxing a try. Like me, you just might find you like taking control.
Kelly Burch is a freelance writer covering finance, family, business and more. When she's not behind the computer she enjoys exploring the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire, where she lives. Connect with Kelly and read more of her work on Facebook or Twitter.