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A Sticky Subject: Choosing the Right Wax


Wax is wax right? Not so, according to Crickett Enos, advanced waxing educator and product creator for The Wax Chick. (Her blog is excellent, btw, as are her products). With summer skin ready to be revealed, waxing's game is stepping up. Here Crickett explains what to look for when choosing just the right wax. Wax is wax, or so it has been said by many beauty professionals over the years. In theory, that statement does make a lot of sense. After all, most waxes have pretty much the same ingredients, so they should all provide the same results. However, this is not always the case.


CHOOSING A WAX BRAND

It is important to remember that just because the in­gredients have the same name, it does not mean that they are of the same quality and produce the same results. In general, wax should be consistent in performance, hair re­moval, and client comfort. How does one go about find­ing the perfect product? Most skin care professionals find their "forever" wax or "forever for now" wax in one of three ways: continuing to use the wax they were introduced to in school, using the wax recommended by a trusted peer, or buying and trying every wax brand they can get their hands on.


When a professional finally picks the brand they like, most do not give it a second thought, but the reason it works as well as it does is because of the quality of the ingredients and how the products were formulated.


Since all waxes have pretty much the same ingredients and there are dozens of wax brands to choose from, it helps to have a picking process to narrow down the choices. Price is a good place to start. It is a well-known fact that higher quality lines have higher price points If a product can be bought at the local box store or a public beauty supply, odds are it does not have the highest qual­ity ingredients. Technically, that does not mean it will not work. It just means that the overall performance, experi­ence, and results will not be as good, and the likelihood for adverse side effects is increased.


COMMON INGREDIENTS

The four most common ingredients in wax are rosin, beeswax, oil, and titanium dioxide. Rosin is the sticky stuff that comes from trees. It sticks to the hair and skin to one degree or another and is what makes hair removal possible. Though rosin needs to be sticky, it should not be sticky like duct tape. If the wax is so sticky that the removal process takes forever, leaves the client's skin severely irritated, or causes clients to go home with sticky residue all over, it is too sticky. A higher quality rosin means there will be less irritation, inflammation, and stickiness to deal with.


Beeswax is the magic ingredient in hard wax that gives it the ability to shrink wraparound the hair to remove it in a gentler manner from the follicle. Because of this, the wax is much less likely to stick to skin and cause redness, inflammation, and irritation. The higher the quality of beeswax, the better removal and comfort level for the client. Oil is added to wax for hydration and flexibility pur­poses. It is an integral ingredient in wax; however, it is

im­portant to note that if there is too much oil, the wax will be very sticky. When wax is too sticky, it is not only hard to work with, but it can create all kinds of adverse reactions and side effects, like redness, rash, hives, itching, skin lifting, and bruising. High-quality waxes will have the appropriate balance of oil, so that it is not too sticky or too dry. When the wax cleanly removes from skin with­out leaving irritation and a sticky mess behind, it has the right balance.


Titanium dioxide is most often added to wax to in­ crease the comfort level for the client. Its naturally soft, chalky consistency helps counteract discomfort that may be caused from the stickiness of the wax. Titanium dioxide in waxes is meant for more sensitive skin or body parts, like Brazilians, the face, eyebrows, and underarms.


Choosing a wax is still going to require some buy and try. Skin care professionals can narrow the search by starting with higher quality wax brands. These brands formulate their waxes using higher-quality ingredients to achieve the best in performance, comfort, effectiveness, and over­ all hair removal results. They basically do most of the work. After that, it all comes down to personal preference.


Check out The Wax Chick's advanced online wax training and certification.