A complete guide to: At home waxing
Hair removal by waxing is most commonly done in professional salons by aestheticians. If waxing is your go to form of hair removal or you want to try saving time and money, waxing at home is a great option. At home waxing kits make it easy to prep and wax with little clean up needed. And they can save money. Let’s learn more about about the at home wax kit options available today.
In this guide:
- Types of wax
- Pros and cons of home waxing
- Features of at home waxing kits
- How to wax
- What about pain
- Reviews for 5 of the best home waxing kits on the market in 2017
- Our top pick: Gigi Student Starter Kit
Types of wax
Wax for hair removal comes in two forms – hard wax and soft wax.
Hard wax is also referred to as non strip wax, peelable wax or hot wax. Hard wax has long been advertized as the better wax as it is supposed to remove all hair without grabbing onto the skin. Commonly, it’s the recommended wax for brazilians or upper lip hair removal. It’s called hard wax because it is liberally applied while it’s pliable and viscous and then it is removed when it hardens.
However, it’s far more difficult to wax with hard wax and even takes experienced estheticians longer to wax the same area with hard wax than with soft wax. It can also be more painful. Even in professional settings, a brazilian with hard wax may take several attempts. Hard wax is applied when warm and becomes less sticky as it cools on your skin. It is then grabbed from an end by hand and quickly removed, taking the hair with it. Because there is no strip, it can be more difficult to get a grip and remove firmly, and so can be a messy and painful process.
None of the at home wax kits we review here have hard wax. All of them use some form of the other type of wax – soft wax.
(If you prefer the hard wax method, we recommend sugaring for a friendlier and less painful at home wax option. Learn more about sugaring.)
Soft wax is referred to such because it is applied when it is soft and removed while it is still soft. After soft wax is applied to your hair, a piece of muslin or wax strip is placed over the wax. When the muslim or wax strip is quickly removed, the hair goes with it, resulting in smooth and hair free skin. The strip or muslin can be discarded. Soft wax also helps exfoliate your skin and removes mature and baby hairs. Soft wax leaves your hair feeling smooth!
Many of the at home waxing kits offer soft wax in several forms – microwavable wax, wax strips, roll on wax, and wax that needs a heat set up. Each of these offer a different kind of convenience and need some kind of electric or or manual heat to soften the wax so that it adheres to your skin.
So why at home waxing?
First, professional salon waxing can really add up. It costs anywhere from $30 per visit for a small area to more than $500 per visit for full body waxes. That can be $6000 or more per year!
Let’s compare that to an at home waxing, which costs about $100 a year which some of the higher price options and even less with a lower cost one. A huge cost difference!
Another great thing about at home waxing is that it can be more convenient to be able to wax at anytime in your own bathroom rather than going to another location for a salon appointment.
If you have never had a professional salon waxing, we do recommend that you go once to see how the professionals wax once before you try at home. If you don’t have access to salons near you and have never waxed your hair before, we recommend watching a video on waxing technique first.
If you have had a professional waxing, then you have an idea of how the wax is applied and removed. Even still, there can be a learning curve to getting the wax temperature warm enough to work but not too warm, how to apply, and how to remove. However, after waxing a small portion once or twice, this learning curve can be overcome quickly.
Features of at home waxing kits
There are many features available in at home wax kits and they come in many price points. So what are the most useful features that make one wax kit a better option than the next? Here are three features to look for.
Many of the best at home wax kits available today are soft wax. To use soft wax for hair removal, you have warm the wax so that it can stick to and remove your hair. Some at home wax kits have microwavable wax, others come with a custom heating machine, and others just need to be warmed up by rubbing your hands together. So the first feature to look for is what heating source you will need for the wax.
The most efficient at home wax kits come with their own wax warming machine that can be plugged in. These warming machines heat up the wax to different temperatures to ready the wax for use and then help keep it at an even temperature while it is used. You do need an electrical outlet near where you would like to use it.
If you do not have an outlet then microwavable wax can be very convenient. This type of wax can be microwaved for a short time and then used until it cools. Wax does not cool very quickly so you can use it for as long as it easy to work with, and then microwave again. If you need to wax in a location that does not have an accessible outlet nearby but want to wax a large area, then microwavable wax is a great solution.
Finally, there are roll on and wax strips. This type of wax can be warmed with your hands. They can be rubbed between your hands to warm up and then applied to your skin and removed for smooth skin. This type of wax can be great for small areas or for quick waxing where you do not have time to wait for wax to warm up.
Does it work?
The second important feature to consider in each at home wax kit is the efficiency – does it remove hair well? Several factors work together to create a good at home wax kit.
The wax must warm enough to use comfortably via the recommended heating method by the manufacturer, whether by microwave, by hand, or by heat warmer.
The wax strips, whether built in or offered separately as rolls, should be easy to use and easily remove the wax with little to no residue.
Some wax kits also offer accessories like catch collars that help catch extra wax or wide popsicle sticks that help spread the wax on your skin in decent quantities. These can be thrown away each time you finish waxing. These accessories are cheap but if you do not want to spend money on more, you can easily find cheaper or almost free options. We’ll cover these as we review the top at home wax kits later.
Finally, the last important to feature to note in these at home wax kits is how easy is it to cleanup. Does the kit offer options or accessories that can be tossed after every use and that help with cleanup?
Perhaps the wax applicator can be tossed after each use. The wax strips can be thrown out. Is the wax easy to work with at a good consistency that does not drip? Some waxes are very drippy and not cool to a easy-to-work consistency very easily and these waxes can create a bigger mess in your bathroom than is worth it.
How to wax
To get started, gather your wax, popsicle stick applicators, and wax strips. Warm your wax in the microwave, hot water, or wax warmer to a comfortably warm temperature so that you do not burn yourself.
If you bought wax strips in rolls, cut a few pieces off the roll in various sizes. Wash your skin with a warm water to remove an lotions or body oils, or apply a pre waxing treatment that will remove any lotion residues from your skin.
2. Apply wax
Dip your applicator in the wax, let some of the excess drip off back into the wax container, and apply on your hair IN the same direction as your hair grows.
Depending on what you are waxing, you can get different applicator styles that can make it easier to apply the wax. Regular rounded applicator sticks are great for larger areas. The rounded applicator sticks also come in a convenient smaller size for under arms or smaller areas. Then there are also skinner angled applicator sticks that are great for eyebrows or for achieving straight lines on your bikini wax.
3. Remove wax
If you’re using soft wax, press your wax strip down on the applied wax. Then pull the wax strip off in the direction OPPOSITE hair growth. You’ll find best results in you pull at a 10-20 degree angle from your skin surface. Don’t pull straight up at 90 degrees because you’ll end up with broken instead of pulled hairs. You won’t be able to pull the wax strip off as fast either, which will also cause more pain.
A common mistake with waxing yourself is to pull the wax or the wax strip up and away. What does that mean? So let’s say your leg is horizontal to the ground and you are waxing your elg. This means, because you’re anticipating pain, you pull the wax away towards the ceiling at almost a 90 degree angle. You’re probably also breaking hair and at that angle, pulling your skin more than you need to.
What you actually want to do is remove the wax a very low angle compared to the body part your are waxing. So if your leg is horizontal, you apply the wax horizontally, and then try to remove the wax by pulling in a close to horizontal angle. This way can reduce broken hairs, remove hairs from the root, and reduce pain.
If you’re using hard wax, use your fingers to grab one end of the wax and quickly pull off the wax to remove the hair. If you can’t get a grip, use your finger tips to slightly peel up one side so you can get a grib
4. Soothe skin
Your skin will be very red after the hair is pulled out, and may even feel like it is burning. Immediately after pulling off the wax,
you can press down on the wax area to lessen the burning sensation.
After you are done waxing the entire area, you use a post waxing oil to sooth and condition your skin. You can also use an all natural aloe vera gel to quickly heal any over exfoliated skin (waxing can sometimes pull off skin too, aka exfoliation, and sometimes it is too much) or soothe any redness. You can also apply a light hydrating lotion that will not clog pores.
What about pain
Waxing can be a little painful. However, many find that it is less painful that many of the other long lasting hair removal techniques. Some may even find it waxing less painful than epilating or that epilators work better on their arms and waxing is less painful on their legs.
As you start waxing at home, you will also notice that the pain improves with your technique. You should apply the wax in the direction that hair grows and remove the wax strip against the direction of hair growth. You’ll find that there is a sweet spot angle at which the strip should be removed for little to no pain. If you have never had a professional waxing, we do recommend you experience at least session and watch closely. But if you can’t, there are countless video tutorials available on technique that can help you perfects yours for a painless wax experience.
Reviews for 5 of the best home waxing kits on the market in 2017
We used countless home waxing options to select the top 5 home waxing kits available today. To help you select one to try, we evaluated each of them on features, ease of use, preparation, and clean up. Lets see what they are.
1.Gigi Student Starter Kit: Our Top Pick Home Waxing Kit
The Gigi Student Starter Kit is best kit available today. It includes everything you will need to have a salon like waxing experience right at home. The kit comes with a wax warmer, muslin wax strips in 2 sizes, applicators in 2 sizes, Pre Epilation Oil, Pre Hon, a wax off, Slow Grow, and Gigi’s All Purpose Honee wax. Gigi makes more 20 different types of waxes for different parts of your skin, from Tea tree wax as a softer antibacterial option for your face to All Purpose Honee for a 1 for all body areas solution, and the Brazilian wax for very coarse pubic hair.
This kit includes 1 can of Gigi’s All Purpose Honee and any of the waxes can be purchased alongside if you want a wax tailored to other areas of your body. All of Gigi’s waxes can be used with this system.
The Gigi Student Starter Kit comes with a wax warmer that you can plug in. The warmer has 3 settings at low/medium/high heat and you heat the wax to high to melt and then lower the temperature to keep it warm. The warmer also has a cover that you can use to cover up the wax container, if need be.
There is a paper collar included in the Gigi Student Starter Kit that goes around the can of wax before you put it in the warmer. The collar helps prevent drips as you scoop up wax from getting on the warmer. You can toss the collar after every or every few uses. The collars can be repurchased in packs.
However, you may quickly realize the collar is just a donut cut out of hard paper. An economical way to replace these collars can be to keep 1 collar and use it as a template to cut a new out of cardboard, cardstock, or hard paper.
The Pre Hon is a skin cleanser that is meant to be the first step of the waxing preparation. It cleans the skin of any make-up, body oils, and deodorants, and helps protect the skin from any irritations.
A bottle of Pre Epilation Oil and of Post Wax Cooling Gel are also included in this kit. The pre-epilation oil helps prepare your skin for hair removal by helping the wax removing strips grip hair rather than skin. This makes the process less painful. The post wax cooling gel helps calm your skin after hair removal.
The Slow Grow lotion is the last step of the waxing process and helps slow down future regrowth of hair through an anti-keratinization process. It also has argan oil which moisturizes and protects the skin.
And finally, the Gigi Student Starter Kit comes with popsicle stick like applicators that are wide and cut at an angle, in 2 different sizes. The can be used to scoop up and apply the wax. Once you’re done, you can throw the stick away and start with a new one during your next wax session. Popsicle sticks can be purchased for pennies at any craft store.
If you do not have an outlet that is close to where you want to use this, thena microwavable wax might be a better option. You can certainly microwave Gigi’s wax and use it as well
This is an all service wax kit meant for long term use. You may have even seen it in professional wax salons. If waxing is your go to choice for hair removal, you want a full body wax solution, and you are looking for the best at home wax kit that will last years – the Gigi Student Starter Kit is your choice!
2. Body Honee Extra Strength – Best microwavable wax
The Body Honee Extra Strength at home wax kit is the best microwavable wax option available today. The wax included in this kit is ready to use after microwaving for 1 minute. It can used on coarse hair on arms, legs, underarms, or anywhere else on the body.
However, it is extra strength, and should not be used on on your face, head, nose, or ears. Body Honee also has a separate Hard Wax that can be used for facial waxing.
The Body Honee Extra Strength at home waxing kit also comes with soothing oil based towelettes that should be used after waxing to remove any wax residue that might make your skin stick to clothing. The towelettes are 1 use only and are available for re purchase. But you can also use coconut oil, jojoba oil, or any other oil that suits your skin.
For the actual waxing, this kit offers 2 wood spatulas for applying the wax (in the same direction as the hair grows) and 8 wax strips to remove the wax and the hair (against the direction of hair growth).
There is the obvious downside of heat. Microwavable wax will cool down faster than a wax sitting on a plugged in warmer. To wax larger areas like full legs, you may need to reheat the wax in the microwave.
This is not a con as much as it is a comparison. This is a more basic kit than the Gigi at home wax kit as it is missing many of the pre and post treatment oils and lotions. However, you may find that they are not as essential for you. You can also try these products in addition if you decide that waxing is your preferred way of removing hair.
If you do not have an outlet for heating up your wax, a microwavable wax like Body Honee Extra Strength is the best and most convenient way to wax at home.
If you’re looking for all of the extras of the Gigi Student Starter kit but with a microwavable wax, then the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit is worth a look.
The Bliss Poetic Waxing kit was first created for use in Bliss Spas, and then opened to the public in this waxing kit. It was one of the first at home waxing kits available on the market, and Bliss wax can be used anywhere on your body and face.
The cup of Bliss Poetic wax in this kit can be warmed up by heating it in the microwave in 30 second spurts. The cup makes it easy to use and reuse by reheating later.
The wax can be used both like soft and hard wax. It does not include any wax strips or muslin. But it has 6 spatulas in 2 different sizes to apply the wax. Then it can be removed with muslin or you can remove the wax like you normally would hard wax. Using the hard wax method of removing allows you to wax without any muslim strips.
There is a few extras in the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit. First, there is a Super Skin Cleanser to remove body oils, makeup or other product from your skin to prepare the wax to stick to your skin and hair. The kit also comes with a Bliss Poetic Waxing pre and post waxing oil to help the wax stick to the hair and not the skin and help reduce pain. And finally there is an Ingrown Eliminating pad included to help prevent ingrown hairs.
The microwavable container in this kit is made of plastic, which makes it easier to handle while hot but also cools down the wax faster. So to wax larger areas you’ll need to microwave a few times to keep the wax at a workable consistency.
If you want a “spa like” at-home waxing experience but prefer microwavable wax instead of using an outlet, try the Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit.
4. Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll On Wax – Best Roll On Wax
Let’s start with the best thing about the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax: you can wash it off. Yes, that is right. This wax can be washed off! So no sticky residue ever. With the other waxes we have reviewed, you must use a post wax oil or treatment will helps remove wax residue.
In addition, the strips part of the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax kit are ALSO washable. Just like you can wash off any wax residue, you can also throw the wax strips into the laundry or hand wash them to remove the wax. Then when the strips are dry, you can reuse them!
Both of these conveniences make this a great at home waxing kit, but an even better waxing kit that can be used if you need to travel! Need to wax your legs because you didn’t have time at home and are now on the go? This kit allows you wax at home or elsewhere. Just wash your strips and pack them away.
This wax can be warmed up in the microwave or hot water and then applied onto your skin. The tube of wax looks like a toothpaste tube with a ball that rolls at the end, which applies wax to your skin. Once you are done, just wash off the ball applicator, put the cap back on, and put it away for next time.
As mentioned, this kit also comes with wax strips that can be washed. If you run out of strips or use them enough to wear them out, you can also cut up strips of muslin cloth instead or buy a pack of new Nair wax strips.
On some of these tubes of Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax, the applicator balls can get a little messy. While you can certainly wash off the wax, you may end up wasting more wax than if you used a kit with a warmer or a microwavable cup.
The Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax is our favorite on the go AND at home wax kit. It is minimal fuss and it works.
The Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strip Kit is the most minimal of the at home waxing kits available. It features 40 wax strips and 4 finishing wipes to remove wax residue.
Unlike the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Roll-On Wax’s tube applicator, the Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strips offers the wax right on the strip. To use, rub a strip between your hands to warm up the wax, then grip each side of the wax strip and pull it apart.
In this way, each strip becomes 2 wax strips. Each wax strip can be applied to your skin in the same direction as your hair growth and then removed in the opposite direction. Then the wax strip can be throw away.
These at home wax strips can be used anywhere on your body or face. They only get as warm as you are able to warm them up between your hands, so there is no risk of burning your skin. Veet also makes a Facial wax kit with smaller strips that can work better for eyebrows or other facial waxing, but you can also cut the wax strips in this kit down to a smaller size.
The 4 finishing wipes help get rid of any wax residue. You only need 1 for each time you wax, and these can be repurchased if you decide you like them. If not, you can also use any kind of non comedogenic oil to get rid of the post waxing stickiness.
One big negatives is that if you need to wax a large area like legs more than once, you’ll need several of these at home wax strip kits. However, they certainly make do if you need a solution that works and is convenient.
This kit also does not come with many of the pre or post waxing treatments that several of our other options include.
You can’t wax endless with this kit, but it takes up even less space in your luggage than the Nair wax kit. Veet Ready-to-use Wax Strip Kit is a great utilitarian solution for a woman on the go.