What is waxing?
Waxing is a semi-permanent way to remove hair from the root, taking anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks for hair to grown back. It has been proven very effective in removing large amounts of hair at once, with softer re-growth as compared to shaving which results in hard stubbles.
The downside to waxing is pain, which can be intense in sensitive areas, or for people with sensitive skin. It is also common to experience redness, puffiness, bumps or irritation and ingrown hair from waxing. Redness and irritation however subside in a few hours, if not within the same day.
Waxing, as the name suggests, uses wax to pull out hair. The wax used for hair removal is made from a paraffin or beeswax base, with resin for adhesion, and lubricators such essential oils for hydration and/or scent.
Cold wax vs Hot wax
Whether you go for cold wax or hot wax, know that both are effective methods of using wax in removing hair from the roots. But this is where the similarity ends.
An obvious difference is the temperature at which the wax is applied on the skin. The application, the way it traps hair, the techinique for removing hair and the mess each one makes account for the rest.
Cold waxes are usually pre-applied to pulling strips. Once pressed onto the area in the direction of hair growth, the hair sticks to the wax. The strips are then quickly pulled out against the direction of the hair growth.
Cold wax strips are less messy to use than hot wax, but are reportedly not as effective as hot wax, as it often leave some hair still attached to the skin. Cold wax strips may need be applied repeatedly at the same area to remove all hair.
Meanwhile, hot wax uses melted wax, and may or may not require strips. The wax is applied while still warm and spread evenly and thinly. As the wax cools, it moulds onto the skin and grips at each individual hair strand. It is then pulled out briskly, at the opposite direction of the hair growth.
Because hot wax traps hair tightly than cold wax strips, it is not only more effective, it is better at removing shorter hair. Some hot waxes are formulated so well that they can remove hair as short as 1mm. And you need not reapply repeatedly.
A disadvantage of hot wax is that it can be fairly messy, and may require a bit of skill and training if you decide to do it yourself at home.
Which Method is For You?
Given the advantages and disadvantages to each method, it seems apparent that cold waxing is best suited for home use. It is less messy, requires less skill, and cold wax strips are readily available at most drug stores. Many are already pre-cut for face or leg use, making it easier to do it your self.
Meanwhile, because of the mess and skill required in using hot wax, it is best left to the experts.
Hot waxing is also recommended for areas with short hair growth like the upper lip or chin. Because it is more effective in pulling out hair and rules out the need for reapplication, it is suitable for those with sensitive skin.