Should you wax clients with hard wax (aka hot wax) or soft wax (aka strip wax)? So many factors come into play. The body area, skin type, cost, and skillset.
Regarding body area, let’s start from the top down. As a general rule, strip wax should not be used on small sensitive areas like the face. Strip wax is more aggressive because it adheres to the skin a little tighter than hard wax. The face is an area where the skin is thinner plus with the added complication of clients applying products to their skin such as cleansers, moisturizers, and active serums, the risk of adverse reaction is higher. Clients may also receive chemical peels, microdermabrasion or other resurfacing treatments on their face, which are contraindications to waxing. Hard wax is gentler on the skin which means less chance of lifted skin. These days, most skin care products include at least one ingredient that is a contraindication to waxing. Clients may not even know what ingredients are in their products. Products used for lightening, brightening, firming, smoothing, anti-aging, clearing and acne will almost certainly contain ingredients that exfoliate and thin the skin.
While beneficial for the skin, the client must discontinue use of the products prior to getting waxed. Because serums and topical treatments can spread, even use on the décolleté, neck or chin might affect the skin under the eyebrows. Once you have ascertained that no contraindications are present, proceed with the waxing process using hard wax for the face. Using hypoallergenic wax is also a smart strategy. A hypoallergenic wax like Cirepil Boudoir, is created for sensitive skin and will remove all the hair without unnecessary irritation, and it has a subtle scent reminiscent of cotton candy!
Other sensitive body areas include the underarms and the bikini area. Both areas require the use of hard wax which will be much less painful for the client, cause less or no ingrown hairs and will leave the skin with little irritation or redness. Cirepil Cashmere is an excellent choice! It is a hypoallergenic wax that was created for intimate areas with sensitive skin.
Arms and legs are larger body areas that fare well with strip wax. While hard wax can certainly be used for every area of the body, it might be more cost effective to use strip wax for larger areas. The back and chest are sensitive and prone to breakouts post waxing, so a hard wax is ideal. For skin types that aren’t sensitive, strip wax may be the way to go.
Strip wax is easier to apply and remove when first learning the waxing process. This is because it does not require advanced skill. Yes, there is still a lot to know before attempting to wax clients, but strip wax is more basic. Hard stripless wax is technically more complex, but once mastered, the waxing process is much quicker, you won’t be slowed down with any sticky clean up.
Strip wax and hard wax beads both require the same pre and post wax attention. The skin must be prepared to protect the skin, to create a barrier between the wax and the skin for comfort and to ensure every hair is removed with only one application of wax. A post waxing product should also be used to calm and soothe the skin.
Hair removal is a lucrative service to add for your clients and will be successful whether done with hard wax beads or soft strip wax. The client’s preference, body area and your own preference will determine which wax will be used. But, be sure to have both strip and hard wax in the treatment room melted and ready to go.
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Article Written by Cali VanAelst, National Training Director at Perron Rigot Inc., 28 May 2021.