Hot Waxing or Strip Waxing ?

by Lisa Young

CEO at Studio 8 Beauty


What is the difference between hot wax and strip waxing ?

Waxing is a popular method of hair removal that has been used for centuries and dates back to the Egyptians. Treatment involves applying hot or cold wax to the skin, allowing it to adhere to the hairs, and then quickly removing the wax and unwanted hair.

Waxing can be done on all parts of the body, including the legs, underarms, bikini area, and face.

When it comes to waxing, there are two main types:

    • hot wax
    • strip wax


In this post, we will explain the differences between these two types of waxing and help you to understand the benefits of both.




Waxing Application




Hair Type and Area

The wax type chosen often depends on the therapist’s training, personal preference and hair type growth. In some cases, it may a best to use a combination of both. The highest priority when waxing should always be skin health and efficiency.


Terminus Hair

Terminus hair, also known as terminal hair, is the long, thick, and pigmented hair that grows on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other parts of the body, such as the pubic area and armpits. This type of hair is coarser and darker than vellus hair and grows longer.

Hot wax is better suited to terminus hair. Terminus hair is usually coarser and darker than vellus hair.


Vellus Hair

In comparison, Vellus hair is fine, short, and unpigmented hair that covers most of the body. It grows on the face, arms, legs, and trunk. Vellus hair is often described as “peach fuzz” and is typically less visible than terminal hair. It helps regulate body temperature and provides sensory information about the skin’s surface. In some cases, vellus hair may develop into terminal hair during puberty or due to hormonal changes or medical conditions.



Hot Waxing

Hot wax, or hard wax, is a wax that is heated until it melts into a thick, honey-like consistency.

Unlike its name, it is often not very hot and is usually applied with a wooden spatula and allowed to cool and harden on the skin. It is applied against the growth of the hair to encourage the root of the hair to be lifted. Once the wax has hardened, it is quickly removed, taking the hair with it. Some therapists may use a pre-oil before the hot wax is applied. This enables the wax to shrink around the hair and not adhere to the skin.

Hot wax is typically used on areas with terminus hair, which is mainly found on the underarms and in the bikini or intimate area.

One of the biggest benefits of hot wax, is that it is less painful than strip waxing. This is because hot wax adheres only to the hair and not the skin. It therefore pulls the hair out at the root without pulling on the skin. This makes it an excellent option for those with sensitive skin or prone to ingrown hairs. Hot wax combined with pre-oil is often used together.

Another benefit of hot waxing, is that it can be used on shorter hair as opposed to strip wax. Because the wax is applied directly to the hair and not the skin, it can remove even the shortest hairs. Hot wax is also less likely to cause irritation or redness than strip wax, making it a good choice for delicate skin areas.


Which areas is hot wax used for?

Hot wax is typically used for smaller areas of the body, such as the face, underarms and bikini area. It can be more time-consuming than strip waxing, as the wax needs to be heated and cooled before it can be applied to the skin. However, most people find the extra time and effort are worth it for the reduced pain and increased effectiveness. However, an experienced and proficient waxing therapist will keep treatment time minimal, as they are able to work quite quickly.

Studio 8 uses Perron Rigot hot wax for facial areas, underarms, bikini waxing and intimate waxing.




Underarm Waxing Treatment




Strip Waxing

Strip wax, also known as warm wax, is applied to the skin as a thin layer in the direction of the hair growth, using a wooden, plastic or metal spatula. A strip of cloth or paper is then applied to the wax and pressed firmly onto the skin. The strip is then quickly removed, taking the wax and hair with it. Whether a wooden, plastic or metal spatula is used, the spatula should not touch the skin but angled to allow the wax to trickle onto the skin. The spatula glides over the surface of the wax and not the skin.

Strip wax is more common and often used for larger areas of the body, such as the legs, arms, and back. Strip wax is quick and easy to apply, which makes it a popular choice for busy salons and wax bars.

One of the benefits of strip waxing is that it can cover a larger area of skin at once. This provides a faster option than when using hot waxing. Most of the time, the wax is contained within the strip and doesn’t need to be heated or cooled.

Strip waxing, however, can be more painful than hot waxing as it pulls on both the hair and the skin. It can also irritate sensitive skin, as the wax can stick to the skin and cause redness or sensitivity.


What area is strip wax used for?

Strip wax is usually used for legs, chests, backs and arms. Some therapists prefer to use strip wax for eyebrow waxing, but this should always be done cautiously to avoid over-sensitising the delicate facial skin under the brow. If you tend to go red, ask for threading or hot wax with pre-oil instead.




Leg Waxing




Waxing Aftercare

Waxing pre and post-care is as important as the waxing treatment itself. If you do not follow the correct aftercare, you may find yourself with a rash or even ingrown hair. Regardless of which wax is used during your treatment, preparation & aftercare are the same.


Before a wax treatment

  • If this is your first treatment – Stop shaving the treatment area 4 to 5 days before having treatment to allow a decent growth.
  • Gently exfoliate your skin the day before treatment.
  • Cease using retinol or any skincare products containing lactic acid or salicylic acid 48 hours before treatment.


At the time of your waxing appointment

  • Inform the therapist of any medication and skincare that you are using.
  • Answer questions truthfully. Omitting to tell the therapist that you are on Roaccutane, steroids or retinoids may lead to unnecessary skin trauma and unwanted inflammation & redness.


After the treatment

  • It is usual for some clients to experience redness or plucked pimples. For hardened pros, the redness reduces quickly, but for sensitive skins and waxing newbies, it may linger a little longer.
  • Apply aloe vera cooling gel or similarly recommended aftercare to soothe and calm.
  • Wear loose garments to avoid friction in the treatment area post waxing.
  • For chest, abdomen, and back waxing, wear a cotton t-shirt immediately after treatment.
  • Avoid saunas, steam rooms or exercise immediately after treatment for 24 hours. For intimate areas, you do not want to get hot and steamy and friction in those delicate areas.
  • Avoid heat, such as hot showers for 12 hours.


Between treatments

  • Gently exfoliate the treatment area a few days after waxing. This removes dead skin cells and prevents ingrown hairs. This is especially important around areas where clothing can rub, such as knicker lines. Repeat a couple of times a week between treatments to ensure an even wax for each treatment.
  • Keep your skin hydrated by regularly applying body lotion to keep your skin nourished.
  • Whatever happens, do not shave between treatments as it puts you back to square 1 of the growth cycle.
  • Book your treatments every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure that you are waxing at the optimal time of your hair cycle. Leave it too long, and the hair follicles are dead or dying, which means you risk hair snapping and an uneven wax result.



And there you have it, a complete guide to waxing and how to get the most out of your treatment.

If you want to move to the next level of hair removal, why not look at our IPL guide to permanent hair reduction.



How can I book a Waxing Treatment ?

To book a treatment, please have a look at our Waxing Services page, select your treatment and then book online at:

or give us a call on 023 9238 0692 


Studio 8 Beauty 1000 Lakeside Cosham Portsmouth PO6 3EN.

Book Online / Gift Vouchers