Updated: May 9
Soft wax and hard wax are two of the most common types of epilation products used in esthetics today; but what's the difference? All waxing services provide the same end result — smooth, hairless skin achieved by pulling unwanted hair follicles out of the skin by the root. The difference between hard and soft wax lies mainly in application and adhesion.
Hard wax is typically sold in beads and must be melted completely before use. It is applied to the skin in a smooth, even strip that allows the esthetician to easily pull it off after it sets. With hard wax, no muslin strips are necessary — the strip that is laid removes the hair itself. This method is best suited for use on the more sensitive areas of the body, as it adheres only to hair. The wax essentially seals itself around each individual hair, giving it a solid enough grip to pull it out from the root. This aspect of the formulation is the reason any given area can be safely waxed over multiple times if there are pesky hairs that won't budge — it doesn't overly-sensitize the skin.
Soft wax comes melted already, and requires the use of muslin strips. This is the form of waxing that comes to mind for many when they hear the word. Unlike hard wax, soft wax adheres to the hair and the skin, making it more of a "one-and-done." Waxing over an area more than once when using soft wax is not in the client's best interest, as it severely sensitizes the skin and can cause increased irritation. This type of wax is most ideal for larger parts of the body that aren't especially subject to sensitivity; the legs, arms, and midsection for example.
Every esthetics practice has different preferences. Muse's preferred hair removal method involves using hard wax — it is gentler than its counterpart, yet still does its job extremely well.