Hard wax hints and tips


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Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2004
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Basingstoke, Hampshire

The following hints and techniques refer specifically to new generation hard waxes. Techniques should be fairly universal but each brand will have it’s own unique quirks and application methods; don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what works best with your particular product.


You may have heard it referred to as non-strip wax, peelable wax, film wax or hot wax. Traditional hot wax is applied in a thick layer or built up over several layers, usually in a figure-of-eight pattern to ensure a thorough coating of all hairs. It is left to cool and harden on the skin, firmly encapsulating each hair as it dries; the cooled wax is then removed by hand, taking the hair with it.

New generation non-strip waxes share these unique ‘shrinkwrapping’ abilities of older hot waxes but are lower in temperature, easier to apply and stay flexible as they cool, making them much more comfortable for the client and an ideal choice for removing short, coarse and stubborn hairs anywhere on the body.


The base ingredients of hard wax include beeswax, rosin (treated pine resin) and microcrystalline waxes (derived from petroleum), to which various other ingredients may be added to alter the consistency, flexibility and melting point of the final product.

Typical additions include emollients (such as lanolin and vegetable or mineral oils), thickeners (e.g. paraffin), plant extracts with various soothing and antimicrobial properties (e.g. tea tree, lavender, rose and chamomile), fragrance and colouring agents. New generation hard waxes may also contain synthetic rosins and elastomers, for increased pliability of the cooled wax.

Hard wax is available in pellets, bricks and diskettes for ease of melting, allowing the wax pot to be topped up as needed throughout the day.

  • Modern hard waxes are applied warm, not hot (37-45°C), and should have the consistency of golden syrup or thick paint when at the correct temperature.
  • Use oil under your hard wax rather than powder – this creates a lipid barrier that prevents wax from adhering to the skin.
  • Use a medium-firm pressure with your spatula to ensure wax is pressed all the way down to the skin.
  • The edges of your strip need to be slightly thicker to prevent it from breaking during removal.
  • The stronger and denser the hair, the thicker your layer of wax needs to be.
  • Use smaller, narrow strips (no wider than an inch) when working over sensitive areas, dense hair growth or loose skin.
  • Apply wax with the direction of hair growth and remove against.
  • Stretch the skin at every stage of application and removal.


This is one of the best-kept secrets in the waxing world!

Always use oil under your hard wax, regardless of the brand. Unlike powder, this creates a lipid barrier between the wax and skin that makes removal a lot easier for you and the whole experience more comfortable for your client.
  • Some waxing lines include a specific pre-depilatory oil, but any light massage oil will do the trick.
  • You want just a light sheen on the skin – remember, you’re not dressing a salad! After your normal pre-wax cleanse, rub a few drops of oil between the palms of your hands and apply to the client’s skin.
  • If you use too much oil the wax will slide about and won‘t stick to anything. If this happens, don’t panic – simply blot the excess with a tissue and try again.
  • You can add more oil as needed throughout the waxing service if the skin becomes dry.
  • You can also use oil under any type and brand of soft wax - try it!

  • After cleansing and oiling the skin, get a ball of wax on the end of your spatula and apply to the skin in the direction of hair growth, swirling back on yourself at the end to create a ‘lip’ that you can then lift for removal.
  • For large areas (e.g. legs) or areas with sparse hair growth: strips are long and wide, and the wax is applied relatively thinly. The dried wax can be removed gently.
  • For sensitive areas, loose skin or when working over short, coarse or dense hair growth: strips are narrower and wax is applied thicker. Apply in smaller sections, and remove wax quickly and firmly.
  • In all cases: the edges of your wax need to be slightly thicker so that it doesn’t break when you come to remove it.
  • Use a medium-firm pressure with your spatula to ensure wax is pressed all the way down to the skin and coats every hair thoroughly.
  • You need only apply one layer of wax.
  • At the right temperature, most modern non-strip waxes take less than a minute to set. The surface of the hardened wax will go slightly dull and lose its stickiness, yet still remain pliable when it is ready to come off.
  • If the wax is gummy or stretches when you try to remove it, it needs longer to set – press the strip back down and wait another few seconds before trying again.
  • Be firm and fast when flicking up a corner to start your pull.
  • Wherever possible, the edge where you start your lift should overlap onto a hair-free area of skin. This makes it easier for you and more comfortable for your client when it comes to flicking up that first corner.
  • If working with a long strip, don’t pull it all off at once; this makes it difficult to keep the skin taut along the entire length of the pull. Instead, remove in several sections and re-brace the skin at every step of the way.

If you are unable to lift an edge to start your pull, use a clean spatula to help with the initial ‘flick’.

You can also press the shiny, hair-free side of a recently removed piece of wax into a corner of wax still on the body to give yourself a ‘handle’ to pull from. This is a great technique when hair grows in multiple directions and you are unable to overlap the lifting edge onto a patch of bare skin (e.g. the bikini line area, underarms, chest, etc).

If wax breaks or tears when you try to remove it, simply press the remainder back onto the skin and add more wax to thicken up any areas that need it.

To make for more efficient waxing, a second strip can be placed while the first is still setting. Good quality hard waxes will stay flexible as they cool, allowing multiple strips to be laid without fear of wax sticking to the skin or becoming too cold or brittle.

Don’t pick!! To remove any wax residue on the skin, either use the shiny side of a recently removed strip to lift the remaining bits from the body, or massage an oil-based product into the skin to dissolve any leftover wax at the end of your service.

To get those last few short, stubborn hairs, use the Perron Rigot ‘stepping’ technique (this will work with any brand, not just Perron Rigot):
  • Apply your wax against the direction of hair growth and allow to dry.
  • Stretch the skin taut, as close to the lifting edge of the wax as possible.
  • Grip your wax firmly and remove with the direction of growth.
  • Instead of removing the wax in one swift motion, remove slowly in several tiny steps, re-bracing the skin at every step of the way.
Above all: have fun! Play with your wax, get to know its quirks and qualities, and don’t be afraid to experiment. New generation hard waxes are a pleasure to use and, with a little time invested in learning the correct techniques, can positively transform your hair removal services.

Wax on!!

Andy :D

© Andy Rouillard 2007, all rights reserved.
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Thanks Andy ... very informative and some excellent waxing tips there.

Would just a basic carrier oil be ok for pre oil waxing or would it be better to have en essential oil?

Thanks Andy ... very informative and some excellent waxing tips there.

Would just a basic carrier oil be ok for pre oil waxing or would it be better to have en essential oil?


A basic carrier oil is fine Jen - sweet almond, grapeseed, any of the light oils work well. Anita (Huberella) uses tea tree with great results, but in the UK check with your insurance provider as some policies stipulate that only qualified aromatherapists can 'blend' essential oils.

EDIT: just realised you are studying aromatherapy as we speak, lol, so a mild blend containing any of the soothing, anti-inflammatory or antiseptic oils would be great :D Thinking aloud, you could even bottle a unique 'Nail FX' blend and retail it as a post-wax soothing oil for your clients to use at home...
As always brilliantly explained.

Never heard another peep from Trudy so I wonder if she is still there?
Fab tutorial Andy, very helpful as usual! :green:
CLEVER CLOGS:hug::hug::hug::hug:

Thanks 'WISE ONE'

amb xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Fantastic tutorial Andy - thanks for posting it. You have fantastic knowledge of your subject, but also a superb writing style that really makes your work very enjoyable to read.

Fantastic tutorial Andy - thanks for posting it. You have fantastic knowledge of your subject, but also a superb writing style that really makes your work very enjoyable to read.


Totally agree! Not only does Andy have the knowledge but also the exceptional ability to deliver it. Well done Andy xx
Excellent Tutorial:)
Brilliant Andy
I read your article through and felt confident enough to have a go. What a difference the new hard wax is, compared to the stuff I used a college. So much easier to use.

Thank you, you're a star. :lol:
Would a waxing professional please help me as I am in desperate need of some sound advice. I have just found the hot waxing tutorial by Axiom and I am very greatful to the professional who took the time to put this together. I am currently at collage taking my ITEC beauty specialist and on return to collage this Spetember we have just started hot waxing. Unfortunately our tutor, as lovely as she is, does not have a lot of knowledge of hot waxing and said she never used it in her own professional career and was adamant that you should never use oil under any wax ever - ouch!! and said the only way to make a lip was to painfully pick at the end that lies against the direction of the hair growth even if that is in the middle of an unwaxed hairy section and that hot wax must always be applied AGAINST the direction of the hair growth?

I am really struggling and begining to panic and lose my confidence as we are suppose to be practicing on as many willing victims as we can find at home now but I am feeling less than confident in what I am doing with hot wax and so are the rest of my small class. I am making some progress with bikini although I am not sure exactly where the correct place is that you should put the very first wax application but I am guessing as low down between the legs where the least hair is and work up and in? A few fantastic and very patient friends have let me practice on them - well the ones I have left now, but the real problem I have is under arms. I know I can't possibly be doing the under arms correct.

The problem I need help with is the under arms and I wonder if any one would be kind enough or have the time to post a reply to help me. We have been told for the exam that we need to wax in a checka-board style. Well I am really struggling to work out in the first place the direction of growth as it goes everywhere under arm. I have worked out and now had it confirmed from Axiom's tutorial that you must make a lip on bald hair free skin preferrably, which must means working from the outside inwards in small patches? Problem is that is not possible if I have to make up a set of five small sections of hot wax on an under arm in a checked style to start the waxing off as the one in the middle is always going to be in the middle of a clump of hair and I find it impossible to put someone through this and it causes trauma to the skin and makes you come up with small blood spots. Which it did when we practiced this on each other at collage. Is this really how ITEC expect it to be done, does anyone know and surly this is not how a professional would do it, is it?:| Thanks
I was taught to apply hot wax in the direction of hair growth NOT against.

Regarding your lecturer do what you need to do to get your grade in her class.

Regarding who is 100% correct in what they are teaching in my opinion there is only ONE answer to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Axiom EVERY time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is my undisputed Waxing Guru if he tells me to do it then I do cos put simply IT WORKS!!!!!!
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It depends which type of 'hot' wax you're using. If you're using the old-style hot wax, that's what I used at college, and we were taught to apply in a figure-of-eight motion - against, then with, then against the hair growth to built up a thick layer. With the new style non-strip waxes, these are applied in the direction of hair growth with a small amount of oil underneath to provide a barrier between the wax and the skin. This protects the skin, stops the wax from sticking to the skin, and greatly reduces the discomfort of waxing. If you need more advice in greater detail, then you could pm either Axiom (Andy) or Kim Lawless. They are both trainers for Perron Rigot and will be only too glad to help you and answer your questions. Believe me, I've asked them enough questions in the past and I know!
Thank you for your help
Thanks for your help
thank you so much for this waxing tutorial. i've been waxing for 8/9 years using warm wax and have had great success except when it comes to brazilian and hollywood waxing where there have been isolated cases of skin tearing - ouch! it really started to get me down and so i logged on here to get some advice. i've started using oil with the warm wax and am keen to get some perron rigot training for hot wax. can you tell me where i can get the training. thanks again. dawn:Grope:
Why cant i read this tutorial????
You need to click where it says 'click here to read the entire tutorial'!
All sorted now.

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