It’s no secret that waxing is one of the most popular methods of hair removal. Along with minimal pain, waxing offers ultra-smooth, long-lasting results. But as with most grooming treatments, you can choose to wax to remove unwanted hair. There are hard waxes and soft waxes—both serve the same purpose, to remove hair from the follicle—but they do so in slightly different ways.

Unlike soft wax, which requires strip removal, hard wax hardens on its own and doesn’t require strips. We know that professionals and at-home epilators alike praise the effectiveness of hard waxes versus soft waxes, but we’re eager to rack our brains to figure out why.

1. What is Hard Wax?

Hard wax also called hard wax beans, is a wax that adheres to the hair shaft (relative to the skin) and hardens and removes itself, with no strips required. Since the wax sticks to the hair, certain areas can be waxed multiple times to ensure all the hair is removed without damaging or irritating the skin. “[Old-fashioned honey wax] removes the first layer of skin and hair, which means you can’t go over the area more than once and risk leaving loose hair.

Due to the removal of the first layer of skin, you may experience more redness after waxing with a strip. It’s often said that hard waxes are much less painful on various parts of the body than soft waxes.” That said, some soft wax contains glyceryl abietate, which acts as a buffer to adhere only to the hair.

What is Hard Wax and How it Works?

2. Benefits of Hard Wax

People would like to choose hard wax to remove their hair because it has many benefits.

  • It’s gentler on the skin:
  • Hard wax is good for people with sensitive skin because it’s applied as a thick layer that can be easily removed”
  • It tends to be less painful, and it’s less painful on the body.
  • Smaller, more delicate areas work better.
  • It also removes hair cleanly from the root without leaving a sticky mess.

When it comes to soft waxes, you run the risk of wax residue on the skin, but since hard waxes dry on their own, they’re easier to remove, and therefore cleaner. Then, there is the result. “Waxing removes hair from the root, so results last about 3-4 weeks,

3. Shortcoming

Other than the potential for skin irritation, hard wax doesn’t have many downsides. However, you should always patch-test new products to make sure you don’t have an allergy because adding at-home treatments can lead to injuries like burns or extensive peeling and tearing of the skin if not done properly. Also, for larger areas like (legs and back), soft wax is recommended as hard wax comes off easily.

4. How to Use Hard Wax for Hair Removal

Here’s how to use hard wax beans to get rid of unwanted body or facial hair.

  1. Clean the area to remove any dirt, makeup, oil, and lotion.
  2. Apply pre-wax oil to protect the skin and create a barrier between the skin and the wax.
  3. Heat hard wax in a wax warmer or microwave, stirring gently to cool.
  4. Using a stick and pressure, apply the wax in the same direction as the hair grows, trying to avoid breakage. Make sure to create a lip on the end (use light pressure) so you have something to grab onto when removing.
  5. It usually takes about five minutes for the wax to harden.
  6. The wax should be pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. Repeat in all desired areas.
  7. Apply endogenous serum after epilation.

For hard wax to work, it must be warm and pliable (but not hot). If using a wax warmer, the ideal temperature is 130 degrees Fahrenheit and it should be similar in consistency to honey.

What is Hard Wax and How it Works?

5. Hard Wax vs Soft Wax: How to Choose

Hard wax is often used in bikinis and Brazilian waxes because it works well on coarse hair and smaller sections. Plus, because it shrinks and wraps the hair, it’s generally gentler on the delicate facial skin (including the nose) and removes any noticeable short hairs.

Hard wax doesn’t solve every problem, though. While it can be used on smaller areas, many people find it more effective to use the strips on larger areas like the legs or chest. Soft wax is also preferred for total do-it-yourself pubic hair removal, as it’s great for cleaning up your own bikini line (the hair outside your normal panty line). For more, just like the Brazilians, let the pros do the job with hard wax.