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When it comes to the wonderful world of hair removal, any and every type of technique inevitably comes with its own set of pros and cons. Shaving is quick and easy but needs to be done often. Laser hair removal is permanent but costly. Depilatories are effective but can be messy and smelly. And then there’s waxing.
There’s no denying that it’s an extremely effective way to remove unwanted hair; by yanking the hair out at the root, results last much longer than shaving. (Oh, and for many people, the more regularly you wax, the finer your hair becomes and the longer it takes to grow back.) Plus, it can be done all over the body, from your brows to your bikini line. The overall cons? Salon waxing can get pricey, while at-home options can be complicated, messy, and often painful. But not these options, which offer all of those pros, without the cons.
A few top tips that can help make your DIY waxing process all the more effective: One, prep the skin, first. “Exfoliate with a scrub or loofah glove to remove all the dead, flaky skin from the surface,” suggests Danielle Hogues, licensed esthetician and MyHare product consultant. “Doing this allows the wax to better reach and grab the hairs you’re trying to remove and creates a dry, oil-free area which ultimately makes waxing more effective,” she explains. Make sure that any hair you’re waxing is at about the length of a grain of rice, and remember to always pull the wax or strips against the direction of the hair growth, Hogues adds.
Ready to take matters into your own hands? Below, our picks for the top at-home waxing kits.
Best Overall: Bliss Poetic Waxing At-Home Hair Removal Kit
Bring the spa home with you with this complete kit that contains everything you need to get super smooth, all over your body. First, there’s the wax, the same formula found at Bliss spas. The low-temp, no strip needed wax coats the entire hair follicle, making it ideal for removing even shorter or coarse hairs.
It also comes with a pre-and post-waxing oil, packed with soothing chamomile flower oil and moisturizing apricot oil. Since there are no strips needed, all you have to do is heat up the wax in the microwave until it’s about the same consistency as thick honey, then apply it.
Best Drugstore: Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit
The number one best-selling wax brand in the US offers plenty of at-home options, but this particular kit earns big points for several reasons. One, the formula works equally well on the face and body, making it a one-stop-shop for targeting all your hair removal needs. Two, it comes with pre-waxed, pre-cut strips for fast and easy waxing. Last but not least, it's a great bargain. Check, check, and check.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Completely Bare Bare More Ouch Less Waxing Kit
The worst part about wax strips is when they end up irritating your skin afterward, so ditch them all together with this innovative strip-less wax technology. The hypoallergenic formula actually helps reduce inflammation and bumps. It comes with five applicators, two towelettes, gloves, and salon-quality strip-less wax. Not only is this easy (and ideal for travel), but there’s also no risk of making the wax accidentally too hot and irritating or burning your skin.
Best for Legs: Veet Ready-to-Use Wax Strips & Wipes
Shea butter is a plant lipid that comes from African shea tree nuts and is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. It's used to help moisturize, nourish, and soothe the skin.
These strips have a unique gel wax technology that acts more like a liquid upon application, making them ideal for coating—and removing—hair of all different lengths, even stubble. It’s so effective that 95% of hair is removed after the first application, so you don’t have to keep waxing the same spot over and over.
The formula has also been dermatologist-tested, and contains hydrating shea butter, along with nourishing almond oil and vitamin E. Plus, the kit comes with finishing wipes to help remove any residue post-waxing.
Best for Bikini Line: Nair Wax Bikini Pro Kit
We should start by saying that attempting a DIY Brazilian is probably not the best idea, but for cleaning up your bikini line, at-home wax is a great option. This kit, in particular, works incredibly well. Just heat the resin wax—meant to stick just to hair, not skin—in the microwave and apply with the included spatula. The bonus of waxing this area: A much lower likelihood of bumps and ingrown hairs.
Best for Face: Nad's Hair Removal Facial Wax Strips
The formula of this wax is ideal for the delicate skin on your face; hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and made with natural beeswax. These are also strips that you simply heat up in between your hands, so there’s no risk of burning your face.
And it’s not just the wax that’s noteworthy here—the stripes themselves are, too. Super flexible with a contour weave technology, they’re made to adhere perfectly to all those curves and hard-to-reach spots around your face—no matter whether you’re waxing your upper lip, chin, or face—so that you get the best and smoothest result possible.
Best for Brows: Parissa Eyebrow Wax Strip
Shaping your own brows can be a difficult and daunting task, to begin with, and even more so when your chosen removal MO is waxing. Enter these 16 perfectly-sized strips infused with a pine resin-based wax, ideal for removing even the tiniest hairs and cleaning up your brows so you score perfect arches every time. Bonus points for the included azulene oil too, which helps soften skin.
Best Professional: Gigi Mini Pro Waxing Kit
You can basically set up a waxing salon at home with this kit full of all the essentials. Complete with crème wax, calming lotions, spatulas, and cloth, you'll have everything you need for a safe and easy process. Reviewers have mentioned that this wax is sticky, so be sure to try a small area of your skin first before.
DIY waxing doesn’t have to be scary, especially if you’re using a good at-home kit. The Bliss Poetic Waxing At-Home Removal Kit is our favorite, a low-temp, strip-free option that’s the same as what is found at the brand’s professional spas. If you have super sensitive skin, you’ll appreciate that the Completely Bare Bare More Ouch Less Waxing Kit boasts a hypoallergenic wax formula that also reduces inflammation. The Veet Ready-to-Use Wax Strips & Wipes are our favorite for legs; the Nair Wax Bikini Pro Kit is our pick for bikini waxing.
What To Look For In An At-Home Waxing Kit
According to Hogues, sugar- or honey-based waxes are much tackier and as such adhere to the skin more strongly, which can translate to more discomfort. Cream-based options are gentler on the skin but equally as effective at grabbing and removing hairs, she says.
Strips for a smaller area
Particularly if you’re a newbie, Hogues advises starting your DIY waxing adventure by waxing smaller smarts first. “Try your upper lip before you shape your brows. Or start with your bikini line before you move onto a full Brazillian,” she says. This gives you time to practice and familiarize yourself with the product, how you react, and creates less room for error, she explains.
Why Trust Us?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While she personally prefers to leave waxing up to the pros, she has written about DIY waxing extensively.
Meet the Expert
Danielle Hogues is an independent Los Angeles-based licensed esthetician with 15 years of experience. Outside of seeing her clients, Danielle also serves as a product consultant for MyHare, an expert-backed waxing and body care brand.