There are essentially two types of Hot Wax available for the beauty therapist / esthetician to use. Traditional style Hot Wax takes its name from the temperature it has been heated to, it can feel quite hot on the skin. And the new style Non Strip wax.
Traditional Hot Wax It is applied using a wooden spatula in a figure of 8 motion adding additional layers to build up the thickness and ensure all the hairs are caught in the wax prior to removal. The wax does have a strong grip of the hairs, but when it cools it sets hard on the skin and is often very difficult to remove. In some cases it can feel like using a spatula to chisel away at the wax to get it off.
Most therapists now are moving to the new style of Hot Wax that was initially developed in the early 80’s by a French chemist. This style of wax comes by various names such as Non Strip, Brazilian, Peelable, Hot Film etc. They all essentially work in the same way and with a much lower melting temperature which makes them a lot more comfortable for the client.
Before beginning the waxing check the area to be waxed, look at hair growth directions and where needed if the hair is too long (generally over 1cm in length) using some clippers trim it down to about a grade 2 (6mm) – but no shorter.
Before applying the wax cleanse the skin using a suitable cleanser product on a cotton pad. Next prepare the area for waxing by using a very small amount of pre-wax oil. Several wax companies now make these, commonly with a jasmine fragrance. Using oil instead of talc is a much better way of preparing the skin, you create a lipid barrier between the skin and the wax which means it sticks to the hairs and not the skin. As a result removal of the wax is much easier and a lot more comfortable for the client. If the wax slips off when you apply the oil you have put too much on, wipe over the area with a strip and this will remove all the excess oil and leave the perfect amount behind.
To apply the wax scoop out a small amount from the pot onto your disposable wooden spatula and apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth as you would warm strip wax. The line should be fairly thin, but not too thin as it will break when removed. There is a little bit of an art to getting the thickness correct, and each wax is slightly different so play about with yours to practice this. If the wax is too thin you can apply some extra over the top to thicken it up. You can also extend the length of the strip by overlapping slightly and continuing down.
To save time you can apply a second strip to the skin, adjacent to but not touching the first strip. Once you have completed applying this strip the first one will be ready for removing.
Before removing the wax just touch it where it is thickest to ensure it is set, then start by flicking the end of the strip with either your finger or the end of a spatula. Now bracing the skin to keep it tight remove the strip, if it is a long strip do not remove in one pull! Instead remove a short section, move your bracing hand near the end of the wax you are removing and stretch the skin again. Continue this all the way up the strip. Once removed press your hand into the skin or rub over once to soothe it.
Once all hair has been removed apply a generous amount of oil and remove it using your cleanser product on a cotton pad. This removes any sticky residue and prepares the skin for the after wax lotion or products.
For very short stubborn hairs you can apply the wax against the direction of hair growth and then remove as normal. This can help to lift the hairs into the wax to ensure they are gripped tightly in it.
Mathew O’Marah is a professional therapist with over ten years experience, he now specialises in intimate waxing and provides training to others.
He has his own private practice (The Treatment Den) providing massage, facials, waxing and manicures to male and female clients from Wolverhampton, Birmingham and the West Midlands in the UK.