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How to Remove Hair Wax from Skin and Other Places


Question: How To Remove Hair Wax

The wax sticks to my skin and doesn’t want to come off when I remove the strip. What am I doing wrong?

Wax is sticky and thick. Having some residue or very small spots being left behind usually comes with the territory. But if most of the product is sticking on like glue, there’s a problem. Here are some reasons why you might be having a challenge and what you can do about it:


Overly dry complexion: Skin that is lacking moisture will try to take it from the wax and hold on to it for dear life. It can happen anywhere, but this usually happens in zones prone to dryness- like the knees and elbows. You’ll need to moisturize skin right before cleansing and waxing.

Not pulled fast enough: The wax has to be removed fast. Hesitating or moving slow doesn’t provide enough force to remove the wax (or the hair). Not to mention, you’ll feel like you’re slowly removing a band-aid. (Read: How To Wax)

Applied too thick: Soft (a.k.a. strip) wax needs to cover the hair, but shouldn’t be applied very thick. If so, it might just stay on the skin when the strip is removed. Heated wax that isn’t warm enough doesn’t spread as easily, paving the way for a much too thick application. (See Video: How To Wax at Home.)

Although cold wax is made to be used in its room temperature state, it also can be more difficult to spread to only the thickness needed.

For Clean Up

There are products to clean wax and its residue from like Wax Off made for the skin (compare prices on Amazon). Gigi Sure Clean (compare prices on Amazon) is made for cleaning up the pot and drips on clothes, countertops, carpet, and floors.

If you don’t have a product on hand, olive or jojoba oil, or any body oil will do the job on the skin.

Preferably use something un-fragranced so it doesn’t cause unnecessary irritation. These oils will also work on surfaces, but you have to be careful about staining.

If there’s a major disaster (like you spill or tip the pot) and it has cooled and hardened, then first warm up the wax to make the cleaning much easier. Use the low setting on a blow-dryer and then tidy up with your oil of choice.

For Less Mess

Taking a few minutes to set the stage can shave off loads of time scraping, scrubbing and wiping.

Wax collars (compare prices on Amazon). They slide on wax pots and catch our drips. Since they’re made of cardboard, you just rip them off and place on a new one when they’re coated.

  • Wipe your back. The back of your application stick, that is. When removing the stick from the wax, you only need product on the front. And any excess product is going to drip where you don’t want- either on your face, body or things.

Cover. Whether you’re waxing over the bathroom sink or in the kitchen, place some newspaper or a disposable tablecloth down. Any drips can be crumbled up and thrown away.

Wear gloves. Gloving up prevents bacteria at bay and keeps the overall process more hygienic. And because your hands are major tools doing the job, they’re very prone to getting sticky.

  • Try sugaring. Unlike waxing, real sugaring products are water soluble. That means they can be cleaned up with simple soap and water. If you know how to wax, then you know how to use sugaring gel. It’s applied and removed the same way as soft wax.

If the wax being removed isn’t a problem but the hair is, see: When I Wax the Hair Doesn’t Come Off.



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