Soft Waxes vs. Hot Waxes

Soft Waxes vs. Hot Waxes

August 01, 2017

Waxing can be intimidating or nerve-wracking for a lot of people, especially those who aren’t used to intensive beauty regiments. The truth is that there’s nothing to be afraid of as long as you follow the directions and use the correct products. As you’re looking up the different kinds of waxing procedures, you’ve probably heard the terms “soft wax” and “hard wax.” What exactly is the difference? Luckily, we’re here to help!Soft Wax

Soft Wax

The yellowish soft wax or “strip wax” is the typical image that most people think of when it comes to body waxing, but in reality, these types of wax are quickly becoming outdated. Soft wax is heated and applied with a spatula, but it needs to be removed using a cotton, muslin, or paper strip. Supporters of soft wax believe that it is more suitable for fine hairs or for larger expanses of skin because it is applied in a thin layer and not allowed to cool enough that it would crumble or break. Unlike hard wax, you don’t have to wait for the wax to harden or cool before peeling it off with the strip; many wax users prefer being able to quickly remove it and not have to wait for the setting period to finish.

Soft wax also adheres directly to the skin, which can make it more painful for some people. More importantly, it cannot be applied to the same area twice, as it is so sticky that dead skin cells are removed. Waxing the freshly-exposed skin layers can be quite painful. The exfoliating effect is preferable for some wax users, but great care must be taken and baby powder is usually applied afterward to prevent ingrown hairs or further irritation.

Hard Wax

Usually blue or purple in color, hard waxes can come in a variety of other colors and scents. Hard wax is applied warm with a spatula or other applicator much the same as softer waxes, but it is melted at a lower temperature. Generally applied in a thick layer, hard wax is favorable to soft wax for several different reasons, although some people prefer softer wax for larger areas like the legs or the back, since hard wax works best covering smaller areas at a time. Once hard wax cools, it is sturdy enough that it can be quickly peeled off simply with your fingers.

While the hard wax is sitting, it lifts off the skin and “shrink wraps” closely around each hair. Among the many benefits of this is that it generally is much less painful than soft wax. Since hard wax is great at grabbing on to short or coarse hairs, there usually is no need to wax the same area twice, but if you miss a spot, you don’t have to worry about irritating your skin. Additionally, the extra heat from the thicker mass of the wax allows pores and follicles to relax, so the hair is removed much easier; and, perhaps best of all, hard wax leaves no sticky residue and is much easier to clean up!

Since hard wax requires fewer steps and works best doing small amounts at a time, it is best for beginners who are trying some DIY-wax at home. Keep in mind, it’s best to begin with doing your underarms, legs, or arms yourself before trying to wax more sensitive or harder-to-reach areas like your face, back, or bikini area.

At the end of the day, we encourage you to give both techniques a try, since every client is different and no two skin types are entirely alike. You never know when you might be allergic to an ingredient in one type of wax but not another. We do encourage you to keep in mind that hard wax is much less painful than soft waxes, which tends to be most wax users’ primary concern.Want to see a couple of waxing amateurs test out how painless hard wax tries to be? Check out this video by Today below (please do not treat this video as a tutorial, and you should never consume alcohol before getting waxed):

Want to see a couple of waxing amateurs test out how painless hard wax tries to be? Check out this video by Today below (please do not treat this video as a tutorial, and you should never consume alcohol before getting waxed):