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Hair Removal Debate: Hot Wax vs Cold Wax


Most people are familiar with waxing, a popular form of hair removal that can be used all over the face and body. Waxing leaves the skin hair-free for up to six weeks, and the regrowth is fine and soft-- not stubbly like from shaving. But when it comes to waxing, did you know that you have the option to choose between hot wax and cold wax? Both waxes have differences regarding pain, effectiveness, and ease of use. Read on to learn more about what type of hair removal wax is right for you.

Hot Wax and Cold Wax Ingredients

Hot and cold wax are made out of either paraffin or beeswax. Both of these ingredients are malleable and melt easily, which makes them good for hot and cold wax. Resin is then added to the wax to make the product stickier and more effective at pulling the hair strands out from the root. Some waxes also include lubricant, which has the opposite effect. It gives the wax a more slippery quality, which means a less effective wax but a decidedly more comfortable one.

Hot Wax vs. Cold Wax: What's The Difference?

The ingredients in hot and cold wax are nearly identical, so we arrive at the main difference: the temperature. Hot wax should be heated to just above the body's natural temperature, so that the consistency is runny enough to spread across the skin easily. Since wax is such a good insulator of heat, it can easily be heated to a point that's far too hot and dangerous to apply to the skin, resulting in scalding and very painful removal of the wax. Cold wax, on the other hand, is not heated at all. Cold wax is room temperature, so it will shock your body with neither a hot or cold sensation.

Cold Wax

But since cold wax isn't as spreadable as hot wax, it's generally pre-applied to cloth strips. These strips come in different sizes and can be used anywhere that hot wax is used. Cold wax is definitely the less messy sister to hot wax, and also safer because there's no risk of scalding. Many experts recommend cold wax rather than hot wax for at-home use. It's less popular for salon use, but some wax specialists prefer it for sensitive areas like the underarms or face. On the downside, cold wax tends to be a less effective hair remover than hot wax. That's because cold wax can't adhere to hair the way hot wax can. It's less spreadable and requires manual physical pressure to get it to stick to hair, and the wax itself molds around the hair less tightly. If you use cold wax strips, you may have to apply the strips to the same areas multiple times. A single pull from a cold wax strip is definitely less painful than one with hot wax, but remember to account for the multiple strips that cold wax may require.

Hot Wax

Hot wax is incredibly effective at removing even the thickest, coarsest hair. That's why it's ideal for the bikini area, legs, and the back. Most areas will only need one strip to remove all of the hair. Despite its efficiency, some people find hot wax too painful to willingly endure. Others find it equal to a piece of tape being pulled off the skin, and will gladly take a second of discomfort for a few weeks of smooth skin. As previously discussed, hot wax can easily get too hot and that's when it's dangerous. This means that hot wax is a little trickier to use at home. After heating the wax, be sure to test it a small amount of it on your finger. Hot wax is also messier-- it has the tendency to drip in places you don't want it to, and it's very difficult to remove wax without using the cloth strips.

Beyond Hot Wax and Cold Wax

Waxing is definitely a more permanent alternative to shaving, but it is painful. Plus, the hair will come back in a few weeks. If you're willing to endure a bit of pain in the name of hair removal, why not try laser hair removal? Patients of laser hair removal describe it as less painful than waxing, and you won't have to worry about regrowth ever again. If you'd like to learn more about laser hair removal, we can set up a private consultation with a laser hair removal specialist in your area.

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