I’m a little iffy on the DIY waxing, but I’ll give you a wax recipe and some info on it because I’ve already had a request. Before I let you in on that however, I’m going to let you know some precautions and preparation. But first I’m going to let you know why it is better to wax than to shave, because some people still aren’t really sure why. Waxing will break down the hair papilla (the bulb that holds the hair to your body) and over time the hair will become thinner and easier to remove. Over a series of many years you will see the hair growing sparse and eventually have little to no hair left. Your first few times that you wax you’ll notice your legs will still have a lot of short, prickly hairs which is very normal. Hair grows in multiple stages and it takes a while to sync up those stages to pull them all out together. So if you don’t get perfectly smooth legs the first few times, don’t get upset. Waxing will last around 2 to 3 weeks where as shaving will only last about 14 hours. And lastly, when the hair is growing back in it will feel soft rather than prickly and uncomfortable.
First of all, you need to let your hair grow to be a quarter of an inch long. Yes that is pretty long but if it is any shorter the wax won’t be able to grasp the hair and you’re just going to get aggravated. Secondly, there will be no moisturizing and no exfoliating 12 hours previous to your waxing and 12 hours thereafter your waxing. Why? Because the exfoliating will remove the dead skin layer on your legs which in turn sort of protects them during the waxing in case you have to go over one spot a few times. As you are pulling the strips off, you are already removing that layer. As for afterwords, you don’t want to exfoliate because your skin will already have been exfoliated from the wax and over exfoliating creates irritation. No moisturizing before hand because it will lubricate the skin and will be more difficult for the wax to grasp the hair. Avoid moisturizing afterwords because the pores have been opened and putting anything into these open pores will make it penetrate deeply, and most of the moisturizers that you would use will cause bumps and pimples on the legs. However, 12 hours after waxing makes sure to exfoliate every second day and moisturize as much as you can to prevent ingrown hairs.
Before you wax make sure to clean your area well. If you don’t want to go buy a proper leg cleanser then use soap (this is the only time I will say this). After cleaning the area apply a good layer of baby powder; thick enough so you can see a white hue on the leg but not so thick that you can move powder around. This will help the wax adhere to the leg rather than the skin. Once you are finished waxing your legs if you feel you need to apply something put on a layer of aloe vera. You can also get soothing or cooling gels at spas or beauty distributors.
Next thing I’m going to let you know is that if you rip wrong, you can cause bruising and ruptured blood vessels so you want to be really careful. Make sure to apply the wax in the direction the hair is growing and remove the wax in the opposite direction. IF you remove the strip and there is still a ton of hair there you’re going to want to do the opposite; apply opposite the direction of hair growth and remove with hair growth.
When applying the strip use pressure to smush the strip into your leg. In school they teach you to only rub the direction of hair growth, however I just smush that beezy like no other; rubbing this way and that. Before you pull make sure to pull the skin from the bottom of the strip taut so the skin holds resistance and is less likely to pull. Before tearing the strip give it a snug tug downwards (sounds weird I know) this will help the hairs to be picked up by the wax and actually will help in hair removal. Now you’re going to want to pull the strip…
When pulling make sure to pull ACROSS the leg or arm (please don’t try to do your bikini or underarms first try, get used to doing larger areas such as legs first). This one I can’t stress enough. When I was in school a girl didn’t listen to this rule while waxing my underarms and I was left with the bloodiest, most painful mess of an underarm you’ve ever seen. So pull ACROSS the skin rather than straight up. Act as if you are trying to punch something on the other side of your leg, or as if you’re pulling your pants up. Pulling the strip directly up will leave you with bruises, ruptured vessels, skin tears, bleeding, and obviously discomfort. I cannot stress this rule enough.
Alright, I suppose we could get to the waxing.
So if you have a place where you can buy REAL wax and a wax pot, I would suggest that. I do have a DIY sugaring recipe though. Sugaring is a waxing technique that was used by ancient Egyptians using only water, sugar, and lemon juice to remove hair. It is more gentle than wax, however it can be pretty messy.
In a saucepan combine 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and heat on LOW. Continuously stir until all the sugar crystals are dissolved and you have a thick brown liquid. This wax is very finicky so make sure that all the sugar is completely dissolved or else it won’t adhere to the hair. Also make sure that if you grab the wax and it is really sticky to your fingers you have added too much water and you’re going to want to add more sugar in. Now you’re going to want to let it cool.
While your wax is cooling you’re going to want to prepare your strips. Because this wax is pretty thick you’re not going to be able to use cotton strips without it soaking right through. The best strips for this type of wax is denim, so if you have an old pair of jeans you hate, or a pair that your husband/boyfriend just will not get rid of but they’re just so ugly… accidentally cut those ones into strips.
Just in case you were wondering, pros use basic Popsicle sticks to apply wax to the area.
So there you have it, easy recipe, application rules, precautions… Have fun waxing and always be careful!