Industry News

Hard Vs. Soft Wax

September 28, 2012 | 6:44 AM

Our waxing expert Shala Dveirin is back this month to give you the skinny on which wax to use.

1. Soft wax requires the use of a pellon or muslin strip to remove wax and hair. Hard wax does not. After it hardens slightly, you just remove it by pulling off the wax itself.

2. Because you use the wax to pull up the hair without a strip, you apply hard wax more thickly to the skin than soft wax. For soft wax you want a nice thin application, for hard wax apply a much thicker layer, says Dveirin.

3. Use hard wax for smaller parts of the body, like the face, nose, ears, under the arms, or for the bikini area. You should use soft wax on larger areas of the body like the back, legs and arms. “It’s much harder to use hard wax on these areas, since you have to sit and wait for it to harden before you remove it,” says Dveirin. “You can be very efficient with hard wax, but you can’t apply it in huge sections.”

4. Hard wax is kept at a lower temperature for melting, while soft wax has to be completely heated to get the best consistency. “If you heat hard wax too much, it’s really runny,” says Dveirin. “And if you heat soft wax too much, it gets too thick.”

5. Hard wax is forgiving directionally, while soft wax has to be applied in the direction of hair growth, and removed in the opposite direction. “Using hard wax is like frosting a cake,” says Dveirin. “Use a thick application, and go back and forth, not just in one direction, so you ensure that hairs get stuck in the wax.”

6. Hard wax can be reapplied over an area that has already been waxed to get the remaining hairs, while soft wax should not be reapplied over a just-waxed area. “Hard wax doesn’t adhere to the skin at all. It shrink wraps around the hairs, the wax gets hard and you can take it off with no problem. With soft wax, you could tear the skin or cause much more irritation because it remains,” says Dveirin.

What brand of wax you use is up to you, and Dveirin recommends using trial and error to find what you like. “I’m always open to trying new waxes.” she says. “At all times in my room, I have two soft and two hard waxes. I use different waxes for different types of hair. Also, people have allergies. Suppose you love a wax with tea tree oil and someone has an allergy to that, what are you going to do?”


In each issue, waxing expert Shala Dveirin will be offering up tips, advice and techniques on everything related to waxing and hair removal. She’ll also be answering your questions in each edition of the monthly Renew Reports: Skin Care newsletter. To sign-up for the newsletter, go to You can send your questions to  


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