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Between the fact that I live in Florida and, well, I’m proud of these muscular legs, I spend a lot of time in shorts. Now, I am 100 percent in favor of doing one’s own thing when it comes to body hair — I mean, you wanna grow it out? Braid it? Watch it flow in the breeze? You do you, boo!
My personal preference, though, is to try to keep my legs pretty hair-free. It’s simply what I’m used to — plus, it’s good for swimming.
But I always used to be wary of waxing. It seemed … involved, and scary, and like it could go wrong in a lot of ways. Plus, going to the salon takes kind of a lot of time and money, and I don’t really have tons of that either. I’ve had friends who swear by waxing their legs, though — they love that their legs stay smoother for longer and the hair tends to come back thinner (because each time you wax, the hair follicle is weakened). And that sounds pretty great, right?
After Jenn checked out the Parissa Precision Waxing Pen (and, I’ll admit, after she reviewed it, I actually ordered my own to try), the folks at Parissa asked if we’d be interested in trying out something else, and after I worked up a bit of courage, I said that I’d actually really love to try waxing my legs — but that I was a total newb and really needed their guidance as to what to use and how to do it.
They suggested I go with Parissa Wax Strips, which are strips that are pre-loaded with the right amount of wax. You only need to warm the strips between your hands — no microwaving necessary — press on and zip off as instructed. And, while I will admit that getting it just right takes a bit of practice, it’s really cool to see that, even after my first try, when I didn’t quite get everything and had to shave a few patches I missed, I totally noticed that my legs seemed smoother for several days longer than they typically would. And that’s only become more true as I’ve gone through more rounds of waxing!
I’m still not a pro, but these strips make it really hard to actually screw up beyond maybe leaving a little hair behind. But, even with a product that’s basically dummy-proof, I’ve found that there are a few things one should probably know before attempting an at-home leg wax.
6 Tips for Waxing Your Legs at Home
1. Grow it out. If your leg hair is too short — like, just kind of stubbly — waxing won’t work. It needs something to hold onto, you know? But you also don’t want it to be, like, long and flowing. Aim for about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of hair, which will probably be around two weeks’ worth of growth if you’re typically a shaver. (Note: If you’re used to shaving every couple of days, it’s going to feel weird. Just plan ahead and wear some cute pants, otherwise you’re going to be petting your shins all day. Or maybe that’s just me …)
2. Find the right product. This can get a little complicated because, boy, there sure are a lot of options out there, huh? That’s why I was so psyched about Parissa. Aside from the fact that it’s a women-owned, sustainable, cruelty-free Canadian company, they’re also fully forthcoming about the natural ingredients you’ll find in their products — for example, the Parissa wax for legs I’ve been using is made of beeswax, rosin, and castor seed oil. That’s it.
Now, it’s not only about finding a waxing product that has ingredients you feel good about — it’s also about selecting a product designed for your hair type and level of experience. Here’s where to start:
- Different types of hair — and different areas of your body — have different needs. Sugar wax can be a great option for fine, never-been shaved hair on sensitive skin, but for your legs, you’re probably going to want a resin-based wax.
- As I mentioned above, the pre-lined Parissa Wax Strips were the best option for me because they’re so simple. But, for those who have a clue as to what they’re doing, Parissa also has a salon style liquid warm wax, which requires heating before using. Once it’s warm (but not too hot), you apply a thin layer of wax, press a fabric strip onto the wax, and remove quickly — more like what you’d experience in a salon. There’s greater room for error here (getting the temperature wrong or using too much or too little wax, for example), so I find that a bit intimidating.
3. Plan ahead. If you’re using a resin-based wax, good news — you don’t have to clean your skin first! Your skin’s natural oils are actually helpful, so just leave it be. Before you go all in, do a little test area somewhere inconspicuous, because even if your wax ingredients are all-natural, you could still potentially have a reaction. When you’re ready to wax, make sure you’ve got everything you need handy. With the Wax Strips, that’s easy, but if you’re using a warm wax, check to ensure your strips are at the ready.
4. Pull fast. There’s a reason the strips are supposed to be ripped off in a quick movement — and it’s not only to avoid prolonged discomfort. It’s because removing the strips off in a single, fast motion by pulling them parallel to the skin (not straight up and away from the skin — which was tricky for me!) leads to more effective results.
5. Apply the right post-wax product. Parissa products all come with Azulene Oil, which is extracted from the chamomile plant. It soothes the skin, for one thing, but it also removed excess wax. And that’s an important thing to note — resin-based waxes will not come off with water. Any mild oil (like baby oil) will do the trick, but the Azulene Oil definitely adds a nice, soothing element.
6. Set expectations. As with most things — applying eyeliner, nailing a double under, driving a stick shift — you’re probably not going to do this flawlessly the first time. I didn’t. But it gets easier over time, both because you’ll get better at it and because your leg hair comes back thinner. So, if you’ve never waxed your legs before, maybe don’t toss your razor just yet … but you probably don’t need to buy a bunch of new blades, either.
The (super smooth) bottom line here is that, if you’ve ever been at-home wax curious, it’s safe to say that Parissa has the product to try!
Have you ever waxed your own legs? How did it go? Helpful and funny stories are all welcome here. —Kristen