It is important to note at the outset that the difference in quality from one brand of wax to the next can be significant. Cheap waxes typically use inferior raw materials resulting in finished products with inferior performance and safety characteristics.
Both soft and hard depilatory waxes are designed to be melted and applied to the skin. How the products "cure" or dry on the skin and how they are removed are the essential difference. Soft wax cures slowly and remains tacky. Once applied it must be removed using a waxing strip (a specialized fabric designed for the purpose such as Bombshell Wax nonwoven Las Vegas Strips). Hard wax, often called no-strip wax, cures firmly so that it may be lifted without a strip. Hard or no-strip waxes tend to be gentler than soft waxes and are often the esthetician's choice for waxing sensitive areas such as eyebrows, faces, navels, bikinis and underarms.
High quality hard or no-strip waxes are primarily formulated with natural resins and copolymers with secondary ingredients rounding out the profile of the product. The quality of the resin and the precise percentage of copolymers determine how the wax "performs." The trick is to blend enough copolymers or buffering agents so that the wax stays pliable as it dries while still curing hard enough to grab and remove hairs. Two hard waxes that strike this balance perfectly are Bombshell Wax Rose Garden Ultra-Sensitive No-Strip Wax and Bombshell Wax Ipanema Aquamarine Ultra-Sensitive No-Strip Wax. Inferior hard wax products either dry too brittle and break apart during lifting or don't cure firmly enough and leave hairs behind.
To wax with hard wax, begin by choosing a high quality product such as Bombshell Wax or Cirepil.
Melt the wax in a professional wax warmer on low heat until just liquefied.
Clean the skin with an antiseptic, antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86? or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) you intend to wax. Do not use Tonic 86? or Tend Skin on previously exfoliated skin, especially the face, and don't use either product on the eye area.
Pat the skin dry and, if desired, powder lightly.
Test the temperature of the wax on the wrist using an applicator or spatula. If it's too hot, allow the wax to cool.
Dip an orangewood stick, wooden applicator or spatula into the wax. Scrape the underside of the applicator on the edge of the wax container so that wax is on only one side of the spatula. Twirl the spatula over the jar until you have control of the wax. Spread a thin, even layer of wax in the same direction as hair growth (if the follicle is the start and the tip of the hair is the end, spread wax from the follicle towards the end). Finish spreading with a slight upturn to create a "tab" at the end of the wax you've spread.
Allow the wax to cool and set.
Hold the skin firmly with one hand. Using the tip or side of your finger, flip the wax up at the edge. Grabbing the edge of the wax, quickly whisk the wax in the opposite direction of hair growth staying close and parallel to the skin.
Using your hand, immediately apply pressure to the just-waxed skin to soothe tingling nerve endings.
Because hard wax is more gentle than soft wax it may be necessary to go over a waxed area more than once to remove every last hair.
To prevent ingrown hairs and break outs, immediately after waxing apply an antiseptic antibacterial, mild exfoliating liquid such as Tonic 86? or Tend Skin. Apply the liquid to a cotton ball or cotton round and apply a very thin layer to the area(s) that was waxed. Apply regularly between treatments (3-5 times per week) to clear and prevent ingrown hairs. Avoid the eye area with these products
To decrease redness or irritation especially around the bikini or face, apply a soothing cream such as Cream 100? Calming Balm which instantly reduces redness, calms inflammation, soothes the skin, and promotes healing.
Ben Johnson is the president of Amphora Worldwide, parent company of Bombshell Wax, premium depilatory waxes and waxing accessories, Cream 100 Calming Balm, and Tonic 86, the cure for ingrown hairs. More information is available at or