Your Guide To Wax Strip Hair Removal

Since the days of ancient Egypt, women have been removing the hair from their bodies in the name of beauty, fashion, and femininity. Cleopatra herself is said to have removed her body hair using a sticky sugar paste with a technique similar to waxing (via Pure Sugar). Today, hair removal products are available at every drug and department store. Using wax strips is one of the most convenient ways to go, if you've chosen to routinely remove your body hair.


Removing hair with wax strips is quicker and more convenient than using hot wax and lasts longer than shaving, as detailed by Healthline. However, making the switch can feel a little intimidating. Before you head out to the salon or buy supplies for a DIY wax party, take a moment to make sure you're fully prepared to go the distance. Here's everything you need to know about strip wax hair removal. 

Strip wax preparation

In order for wax for to grip the hairs on your body thoroughly enough to remove them, they must be at least ¼ inch long. If waxing is attempted before this point, the hairs may break off rather than being removed from the root, and you'll be more likely to experience skin irritation. For most people, it will take about two weeks of uninterrupted hair growth to reach the required length (via Healthline).


A day or two before your hair is to be waxed, be sure to exfoliate the area. This will soften the hair and remove the layer of dead skin and sebum that can interfere with wax properly adhering, according to Starpil. When this occurs, hair breakage, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation can result. Exact exfoliating methods will depend on your skin type, but generally, you can use a gentle exfoliating mitt, glove, loofah, or fine scrub. Your goal is to wax skin that is clean and clear but not irritated. Right before it's time to wax, make sure the skin is clean, completely dry, and free of any lotions or oils. 

Strip wax application and aftercare

If you're waxing at home, you've likely purchased pre-coated wax strips. These can be warmed up by simply placing them between your palms, thighs, or underarm for a few seconds. Then, pull the two sheets apart to reveal two wax strips, ready to be placed. If you're being waxed in a salon, the technician will apply a thin coat of soft wax and cover it with a disposable strip. In both cases, the skin at the bottom of the strip should be held firmly and then the strip should be swiftly removed against the direction of the hair growth. This process is to be repeated until the desired area has been waxed. Typically, one strip can be used multiple times and only needs to be discarded once adhesion is no longer effective (via Beauty Image).


After all the desired hair has been removed and the excess wax has been wiped away, you may notice some mild redness and swelling of the skin. This is normal, especially if your skin isn't used to the waxing process. Wait a few hours to shower and avoid any other water exposure, along with sun exposure, for a day. After your shower, apply a generous amount of gentle moisturizer. Do not exfoliate for two or three days to avoid irritation.