Discovering the right hair removal option for you can be quite the journey in itself—finding what fits your needs, your schedule, and your wallet is no easy feat. It’s understandable, then, that so many of us experiment with new hair removal methods until we find our perfect match. For those committed to waxing but less interested in the appointments and cost, considering at-home waxes is the natural next step. But are these DIY waxes really worth it?
To figure out if entrusting yourself with this often painful and particular task is a good option, weigh the following considerations.
At-home waxing kits are stocked on the shelves of beauty retailers, drugstores, and big-box chains, with touch-up kits even available in some salons. The way the wax is warmed and applied may be different for each kit, with a variety of options that include microwave-ready wax pots, wax warmer kits, roll-on waxes, sugar-based waxes, hard waxes, and pre-waxed strips among other options. Whatever your preference, there’s sure to be something on the market that fits the bill, but finding what works best for your hair, skin, and treatment area may take some trial and error. Generally speaking, hard waxes with wax warmers are a popular option for bikini lines because they offer the most consistent heating option with the least fuss for better results. Alternatively, pre-waxed strips are a useful, no-fuss solution for smaller areas like the upper lip or fingers and toes.
If scheduling salon appointments feels like a hassle, an at-home solution is a plus. DIY waxes certainly allow for flexibility and convenience, especially if you keep a waxing kit on hand. As well, with the top-rated DIY wax kits averaging in at $35, some being as affordable as $8 for facial wax strips, at-home waxing is clearly easier on the bank account. If you’re willing to get creative, you may even be able to assemble your own kits for even less by purchasing items separately in larger quantities, such as applicator sticks or cloth waxing strips.
Time should also be a consideration. The amount of time spent getting to and from the salon may be scratched with these at-home options, but you’ll also be doing the work on your own in some areas that aren’t always easy to reach. This may mean that your first few DIY waxing sessions could take longer than most in-salon appointments, at least until you get used to the process.
If your pain tolerance is low or you seem to have more sensitive skin when you know pain is looming, it might not be the best idea to become the inflictor. At-home waxing requires driving through the pain and you’ll certainly know exactly when it’s coming—you’re the one pulling off the wax after all.
Depending on the area you’re waxing, you’ll need to be comfortable with using mirrors and getting creative with positioning to be able to properly apply wax and strips according to the direction of hair growth in that area. If you’re not flexible or tend to lack balance, this might make the solo task all the more difficult. This is particularly true for those looking to go bare down there. In any case, practice alongside trial and error will eventually make for improved results from your DIY waxes over time.
There’s a technique to tearing out hair with wax that most—though not all—professional estheticians have mastered. Pulling the wax strip off too slowly, in the wrong direction, or in more than one fluid motion can lead to a whole host of painful issues, from broken blood vessels to skin injuries and broken hairs, leading to results that won’t last nearly as long if done correctly. With patience, focus, and practice, it’s possible to learn the right technique for minimal pain and optimal results, but it’s necessary to be prepared to tough out a potential learning period in the meantime.
For those who just can’t see themselves sticking out at-home waxing over the long haul, but are still craving a more budget-friendly option with long-term results, consider a custom laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal treatment plan. While laser and IPL hair removal treatments will certainly cost more than your in-salon wax per treatment, these energy-based treatments target and destroy hair follicles to prevent future hair growth for permanent hair reduction. So, while the upfront cost for an IPL or laser hair removal treatment plan will be higher, the money saved from cancelling your ongoing waxing appointments still makes this a friendlier option for the wallet.