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Why Isn't My Wax Working

Sep 16, 2019

Is your waxing not giving you the results you expect? Something you are doing unknowingly must be to blame. From the technique to the type of wax (hint: hard body waxes are best), we'll show you the possible culprits for your less-than-perfect waxing results and help you right the wrongs. So, if you have asked yourself "Why isn't my wax working?", you have landed in the right place. Read on and in no time, you'll be getting flawless waxes!

The Most Common Waxing Mistakes

Waxing is supposed to be a highly effective hair removal method. In one rip, a considerable number of hairs should come off at once, but sometimes you pull the wax strip of hard wax with nothing but a few hairs, or broken ones, while most remain untouched. We know that something is wrong when hair is not coming off, coming off patchy or hurting more than it should. Here is why this could be happening:

The hair doesn't have the correct length

It might seem an unimportant detail, but hair length prior to waxing can make a big difference. Hair that is too short won't be grasped properly by the wax, whether you're using soft or hard wax. On the other hand, if you leave hair too long, waxing will be unnecessarily more painful, and hair can break or be missed.

Always make sure any client coming in has the ideal length, which is around a quarter of an inch, but a little longer is also advisable in case the hair is weak and breaks off at the tip. Advise them not to remove any hair for around two weeks, so they'll come in with the ideal length. Some clients might need more or less time than this, and others might have longer hair, in which case it's best for the professional to trim it right before starting to wax, that way there is no risk that the client will over-trim.

You are waxing in the wrong direction
This goes for the application of the wax and the direction of the pull. You know the golden rule: apply the wax in the direction of hair growth, and pull against it. However, there are body parts where hair grows in different directions, so if you just spread the wax in any way, you might be getting shabby results.

Observe the area before you spread the wax, rub the hair downwards to flatten it, and apply the wax in the direction of hair growth with nice and firm pressure downwards. To remove the hair, pull against the direction of hair growth.

We think that a pro cannot make such a simple mistake, but the truth is that it might actually happen if you are not carefully observing the different directions of hair growth in a single area.

You are not pulling correctly
The pull is essential for an effective wax. The best technique is ONE swift motion, parallel to the skin. do not pull slowly, or the hair won't come off, you'll only cause pain. Also, do not pull at a steep angle or you'll exert an extra pull of the hair that will be more painful for the client.

The skin is not clean or dry enough
Nowadays waxes have optimal adherence, but regardless of the quality of the wax, residue on the skin or sweat can hamper the ability of wax to stick to the hair properly.

The solution for this problem is using a pre-depilatory lotion to cleanse the skin from deodorant, moisturizers, sweat, and anything that may make the skin repel the wax. If the only problem is sweat (some clients are naturally very sweaty), dust a fine coat of powder on the area you're about to wax. Apply the wax on top as usual; you'll notice that hair adheres much better, facilitating the process.

The skin is extremely dry, or the client is dehydrated
Dry skin has tighter pores, which might make hair removal more difficult. Alcohol also provokes dehydration. While some people recommend drinking some wine before waxing as a means to ease pain, it's also true that it might be counterproductive if taken too far. As for the rest, always advise clients to drink plenty of water the days leading up to the appointments.

You're using the wrong kind of wax (or applying it wrong)
First of all, it's absolutely necessary that you choose high-quality professional wax to guarantee excellent results to your clients. Low-quality waxes will produce shabby waxing and drive your clients away!

As a rule of thumb, soft wax is best for large areas whereas hard wax works great on smaller areas. However, many estheticians swear by hard body waxes because they are easier to use and are allegedly milder on the skin (less pull means less pain).

Frankly speaking, both types of wax are great if the technique is correct, but follow a few tips:

Soft wax works great on finer hair, but don't spread it too thick or the wax strip won't adhere to the hairs but the wax, causing you to miss hairs, which might get you shabby results and even bruising. It's not that important to spread wax too thick because it's the wax strip and not the wax which is actually going to pull hair out.

Hard wax is thought to work a lot better on coarse hair. For this wax to work optimally, it has to be spread thicker than soft wax since it is used as a strip. The general recommendation is the thickness of a nickel. If your hard wax layer is too thin, the strip of wax won't come off but break. It will also be hard to grab and pull. For a clean and easy pull, make sure you leave a thicker tab of wax at the end of the area where you spread it to grab the wax from there in a single motion.

Another trick with hard wax is allowing the right time for it to cool off and harden. If the skin is not hard enough when you pull it, it won't shrink-wrap the hair, so nothing – or very little – will come off.

As for cold wax strips, they are good for home waxing but not highly recommended for professional waxing at a salon. The best advice to take the most advantage of pre-waxed strips is warming them up well before separating them and applying enough pressure when putting them on the skin so that they will adhere correctly to the hair; otherwise, they might not really rip hair off.

Your hair growth cycles are out of sync
This doesn't mean that there's something wrong with the person. It can happen that someone waxes and gets growth much faster than expected, and this happens because the growth cycles are not synchronized. Only a percentage of hairs are on the surface and these are the only ones that get waxed. The rest of them are waiting to poke out, so you may see them sooner than you expected and wonder if the waxing treatment wasn't successful. There is little you can do to control this, but the more waxing treatments, the more uniform the results will be, so encourage clients to keep coming regularly and not get discouraged and break their schedule.

Now you finally have an answer as to why your wax treatments aren't always perfect. Study these possible problems and correct them, so you can provide flawless treatments every time. However, don't forget that professional waxes and waxing accessories can make a world of difference. Beauty Image has got you covered. Call TOLL FREE 888-513-8815 or fill out the contact form below to get information about us and our products. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get our latest news right in your inbox.

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About Author

Adriana Mendez is the CEO of Beauty Image USA, a leading brand in the beauty industry dedicated to providing estheticians, cosmetologists, salons, spas, and licensed beauty professionals with high-quality and sustainable hair removal products. From wax to pre- and post-care products, Adriana's commitment to excellence ensures that Beauty Image USA consistently delivers products of the highest standard.