What is The Difference Between Hard Wax and Strip Wax?
June 22, 2020When we talk about hair removal methods, waxing is a versatile option that attracts more and more people every day. Waxing can bring a lot of benefits as long as you use the correct wax on the area you want to treat, and this is why it's so important to know all the different setting apart strip waxes hard body waxes. Each of these options comes with a series of advantages and limitations, and you must know them by heart to keep your client's skin safe during the wax treatment, as well as throughout the post-wax period.
Hard Waxes vs. Strip Waxes. Which is Better?Despite the growing amount of wax products in the market, there are always two categories that all waxes fall into: Strip or soft waxes are known for being able to cover large areas before being removed with a muslin or non-woven strip, hence the name. Hard waxes, on the other hand, are known for being slightly more exclusive and for providing extra protection to soothe the sensitive skin around the face and the intimate area. Strips are also used on cold waxes, with the product already applied on the strip with no need for previous preparation before being used on the skin.
Differences Between Hard Wax and Strip WaxMany qualities make each wax type more convenient for certain wax treatments. When assessing all the waxes available, people usually look for particular advantages that might make for a quicker, more pleasant experience for them. For example: soft waxes have a gentle exfoliating effect that removes dead cells from the skin, but hard waxes are less likely to cause pain because they don't adhere to the skin, so people might choose according to their priorities if the area doesn't immediately rule out a particular type of wax.
In turn, the esthetician must know how to convey the traits of each product and be honest about their limitations when it comes to particular skin conditions. Let's break down all these differences one by one to understand more about the proper application of strip waxes and hard waxes.
- Application and Removal: Both hard waxes and strip waxes are applied using a disposable wooden spatula. Taking a while longer in preparation, hard waxes are applied leaving an extra edge that the esthetician will later grab to remove the wax from the skin. The heat from hard waxes helps open up the hair follicles to then grab the hairs but it can be difficult to spread the wax properly. Because of its consistency, it's best to use hard wax only on small areas or it's more likely for the wax to break during application. Meanwhile, strip waxes are pulled in little time by pressing the removal strip to the skin and pulling quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth.
- Consistency: In all cases, the wax must reach a gooey consistency resembling maple syrup, but hard waxes are applied in thicker layers and left to harden so they are stiffer and less malleable. This consistency will also ensure that there are no residues left on the person's skin after the wax is removed. Because they are comparatively more flexible, strip waxes can be applied in thinner layers, but they often require the application of natural oils to fully remove the stickiness left on the skin.
- Temperature: Hard waxes should have a temperature between 140 and 150 ºF before they touch the client's skin. Soft waxes are usually applied at a temperature of 86-104ºF. The right temperature is important to remove the hairs evenly and to keep bacteria from spreading.
- Hair Length: As we've mentioned in other occasions, it's easier to wax hairs that are at least 1/4 of an inch long. Hard waxes, however, are particularly effective grabbing shorter hairs and this makes them ideal to work on facial skin.
- Pain Levels and Comfort: Sticking to the hairs and not the skin to reduce the effort while pulling, hard wax is less painful but can still cause discomfort when used in areas where soft waxes would be most practical. When they have a lower melting point, strip waxes bring a pleasant sensation during application while removing the client's concerns over burned skin, but they are still more likely to irritate the skin. While the leftover stickiness can be uncomfortable, the use of removal strips allows a quick process, no matter the size of the area. Cold waxes in particular are a good alternative for people with low tolerance to heat or circulatory problems.
- Duration of the Session: Hard waxes require a longer preparation time. Not only must the skin be properly prepped to take the wax's temperature, the wax itself also takes from 10 to 20 minutes to heat until reaching the right consistency. Strip waxes involve less prep and the waxing itself usually takes from 20 to 40 minutes, but they might involve a longer clean-up period. The average duration of a session usually increases by a few minutes when dealing with first-timers (whose hair follicles are still not weakened by previous wax treatments) and people with very coarse hair.
- Affordability: With prices ranging between $5 and $15 per pack, strip waxes are usually more accessible to hard waxes. Hard body waxes incorporate many ingredients that allow precision and the proper treatment of sensitive areas, so the prices for a hard wax treatment is comparatively higher despite dealing with small portions of skin.
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