The Complete Leg Waxing Guide
Suppose you’re tired of constantly battling the stubble and razor burn, or you’ve had an unfortunate reaction to hair removal cream that has put you off the stuff forever. If this sounds like you, waxing might be your perfect solution to get the silky smooth legs you’ve always dreamed of having.
Going to the salon to get your legs waxed is always an option, but if you’re on a budget, it might be a no-go. We looked at the pricing lists from 10 salons in Australia and found that the average price for a full leg wax is around $50 – with the lowest price being $41 and the highest being $65. Considering your legs are due for re-waxing every month or so (or every 3-5 weeks), that adds up to a princely sum of $600 a year: so whilst your regular leg waxing session might be great for your confidence, it’s not great for your bank balance.
The prices of salon leg waxes have driven the masses to wax at home instead, which is a lot more cost-effective in the long term but only a good idea if you know what you’re doing!
Ready to save some cash and lose some leg hair? Read on to learn everything you need to know about waxing your legs.
Waxing is, in our opinion, so much better than shaving. Why, you ask? It’s simple[i]:
- Waxing is less likely to leave ingrown hairs than shaving.
- It lasts longer – most people can go for around 2 weeks before they notice hair growth.
- Hair grows back thinner, making it easier to manage in the future.
- It leaves skin silky smooth with no annoying stubble.
- The waxing process exfoliates your legs, removing dead skin in the process.
- It’s so much less time consuming than shaving every day!
Aside from the hair removal related benefits, it’s super satisfying to watch the wax get pasted on and peeled off – or at least the amount of videos we’ve seen on TikTok would lead us to believe that.
How to wax legs
Now we’ve convinced you that waxing is the way forward, we should probably tell you how to do it.
Before you get started…
Start at the salon – We highly recommend starting by having your legs waxed at a salon for a while before you tackle them yourself. Trained salon workers know what they’re doing, so you’ll get to see how the professionals do it and the techniques they use. It’s easier to let someone else do it whilst your leg hair is still thick, and the process is a little more painful.
Exfoliate – gently exfoliate your legs the day before you tackle your legs. Be kind to your skin, and don’t be rough when exfoliating; irritated skin + wax = ow.
Length check – the wax needs something to grab onto so it can pull the hair out, but if your hair is too long it’ll hurt an insane amount. Your hair should be about a quarter of an inch long.
Take your time – ‘slow & steady wins the race’ is as relevant here as it has ever been. Remember you’re working with a really annoying, sticky substance that is difficult to clean up, so take your time with applying it.
Want to wax your legs like a pro? Look at our waxing courses
Get the right kit
Do some research to decide which kind of wax you want to use, and what is best for your skin. Your basic options are to buy a one-off waxing kit, or to buy more ‘professional’ equipment separately. Either way, you’ll need the following:
- Wooden applicator
- Wax warmer (depending on the wax or kit you’re using
- Baby powder
You can also get strips with wax already on them which make the process simpler and less messy, but aren’t necessarily as effective. These are great for people who are new to waxing or if you’re short on time.
Please note that this is only a general guide; you should always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a wax kit or waxing products.
- Warm your wax. Follow the instructions of your wax to warm it. If you don’t have a wax warmer, you can usually do this in the microwave.
- Powder up. Lightly apply baby powder to your legs. This will absorb any oils and help the wax to stick more effectively.
- Carefully apply a thin layer of wax to a small section of skin using your wooden applicator. Make sure you do this in the direction that the hair is growing.
- Wax strip. Firmly press a strip onto the wax before it cools down. Moving in the direction of hair growth, smooth the strip down.
- If you aren’t well acquainted with waxing, take a minute to mentally prepare yourself for the potential pain that you’re about to experience. Remember, it will get easier with each wax!
- And remove. Once the wax is cooled, take the strip and peel it off in the opposite direction that the hair is growing. Pull it at an angle, not straight off.
- Repeat this process for the rest of your legs.
What not to do
- DON’T overheat your wax. This can lead to burning and peeling, which is very painful.
- DON’T wax damaged skin. This includes skin that is sunburned, inflamed, cut or injured in any way.
- DON’T wax areas with moles, new scar tissue, warts or pimples.
- DON’T wax an area you’ve had waxed in the last 24 hours.
After waxing, your legs might feel tender and the skin will be pretty sensitive. Following the tips below will help your skin to recover.
Use a body oil to soothe redness and remove any excess wax. Don’t try to scrape off leftover wax or remove it with hot water; this could irritate your skin.
You could also use aloe vera gel to soothe your legs. Don’t panic if excess wax isn’t coming off. Extra wax will gradually come off over the next few days as your skin starts to produce oils naturally.
Avoid for 24-48hr:
- Exfoliating, scratching, rubbing or in any other way irritating the skin.
- Washing or submerging the legs in water
- Swimming and saunas
- Exercising and gyms
- Sunlight, sunbeds and UV light
- Applying products like self-tan, perfume or moisturiser
- Wearing tight fitting clothes like jeans and leggings
Is something not quite right after you’ve waxed? We’ve all been there, and we’ve got you.
Looks like small, red bumps that appear any time after waxing.
Why? This is commonly either ingrown hairs, folliculitis (caused by infected hair follicles damaged during waxing) or contact dermatitis (an allergic or irritant reaction)[ii].
- Relieve the symptoms by keeping the skin clean, wearing loose clothing and using cold or hot compresses.
- See a doctor if the skin looks infected.
- Prevent it happening again by exfoliating 24-48 hours before waxing, wearing loose clothes afterwards and avoiding itching or touching the skin.
Inflammation & redness
Why? This is a common effect of waxing, caused by blood vessels dilating.
- Use an aloe based gel or product to soothe the skin
- Wear loose clothing
Why? Bruising isn’t common, but it can happen when you have sensitive skin. It’s caused by bleeding under the skin.
- Use cold compresses on the bruising
- Take pain-relief if they are painful
- To avoid this in the future, be gentler when waxing
Other hair removal techniques
Alternative forms of hair removal are available if you don’t think waxing is right for you, and they include:
- Sugaring, which is like waxing but uses sugar instead which can be washed off easily.
- Laser hair removal
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal
- Hair removal cream
Enjoy your smooth legs!
Once you’ve mastered the art of leg waxing, you can enjoy smooth legs for longer and not worry about stubble appearing after a couple of days. If you love having smooth legs, it’ll make your life a lot easier and shave time precious time off your morning or evening beauty regime, leaving you more time to chill out.
Medical News Today, n.d. How to treat and prevent bumps after waxing. [Online]
Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326150
[Accessed May 2021].
Vickers, J., 2018. 5 reasons why waxing is better than shaving. [Online]
Available at: https://bristolbeautyschool.co.uk/5-reasons-why-waxing-is-better-than-shaving/
[Accessed April 2021].