In this brave new world, social distancing means we may not have access to our beloved hair removal specialists (gasp!). Many of us are turning to waxing or sugaring hair removal DIY kits (like the Shobha® Sugaring Kit ) to try our hand for the first time at maintaining hairless happiness on our own. Whether you’re a rookie or you simply have room for improvement on your DIY skills, we’ve got you covered with the all too common mistakes to avoid when practicing at-home hair removal.
Before we get down to it, here’s a pro tip: sugar is easier to work with than wax because it’s water soluble and a breeze to clean up with warm water if you accidentally get it on yourself or any furniture. Wax is going to be a lot tougher to manage if you’re not an expert. Your specialist may make it look easy, but don’t underestimate! It only looks effortless because they’ve practiced A LOT! Plus, sugar is gentler because it adheres more to the hair than to the top layer of skin, which for many means less pain and irritation in the aftermath.
Now, what to steer clear of! Here are the top 10 mistakes to avoid in DIY hair removal:
- DO NOT start with the bikini area. Do other areas and get used to how the wax works before doing an area like your bikini. Limbs are a good place for a beginner to start. The bikini area in certain sections has curves and it can be a bit tricky! Wait until you’re confident in your technique and have some experience before taking the bikini challenge. You’ll be glad you did!
- DO NOT sugar hair that is less than a quarter of an inch in length. For those of us who have a hard time eyeballing measurements, your hair needs to be laying down to get the smoothest result. If it’s poking straight out, give it a little more time. When hair is too short, your wax or sugar won’t be able to remove the hair.
- DO NOT sugar hair that is longer than a half inch. If it’s too long, it can cause undue pain and can break off and end up difficult to remove. Ouch! Use a bikini buzzer or a pair of clean hair cutting shears to trim before you begin. But remember, leave at least a quarter of an inch in length (about the size of a grain of rice).
- DO NOT forget to clean the area first. Start fresh! You can use a pre-wax wipe like one of our Shobha® Rosewater Freshening Cloths or just wash the area with your fav soap and water. Avoid lotions the day of waxing! You’ll get better results if your skin is less oily and totally dry.
- DO NOT neglect to dust on a talc-free powder to absorb any excess moisture before applying any sugar or wax. It not only helps to protect your skin, it will actually help the sugar or wax to grip your hairs. We recommend talc-free as opposed to talcum powder which is a known eye and lung irritant and has even been known to cause cancer.
- DO NOT apply wax or sugar against the direction of hair growth. Wax or sugar should be painted on in strokes going in the direction your hair is growing. It will stick better to the length of your hair for cleaner removal.
- DO NOT coat wax or sugar too thick! Apply a thin lair evenly and smoothly so that there is just enough to cover the hair. If it’s too thick, you could break the hair instead of pulling from the root and worse, could cause bruising and pain.
- DO NOT forget to press the fabric down evenly. Consistent pressing makes sure the fabric grabs the hair properly so when you pull, the hair is removed at the root instead of breaking off, which can result in ingrown hairs and quicker regrowth.
- DO NOT forget to stretch your skin. Stretch your skin so it’s taut before pulling the fabric strip against the direction your hair is growing. Proper stretching causes less tugging on the skin which is the main cause of painful waxing/sugaring.
- DO NOT go over the same area more than twice. Re-waxing can cause pain and irritation! If you have a couple stubborn hairs, it’s better to thread or tweeze the strays at the end than damage your skin.
You’ve got this! Take your time and remember, practice makes perfect.