How To Wax Your Own Legs

Woman with smooth legs
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Waxing your own legs can be tricky—and sticky. But do it right and you can save yourself a lot of money. 

I have several friends who wax their own legs and have done so for years. They report that it's quite easy and the more you do it, the more you get the hang of it. Also, they SWEAR the hair grows in less over time. Here's how to do it yourself, without much mess.

Your Hair Length Matters

You want to ensure the hair on your legs is long enough to wax. Hair needs to grow out 1/4 inch (the wax needs hair to adhere to). If the hair on your legs is too long—like you haven't shaved or waxed in 6 months long—you can make like a barber and use an electric hair trimmer to give your legs a buzz cut.

Electric trimmer
Philips Norelco OneBlade Hybrid Rechargeable Men's Electric Shaver and Trimmer $35
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The Prep

Two days before you wax, it's a good idea to exfoliate your legs to remove dead skin. Don't do this immediately prior to the leg wax, because you run the risk of inflammation. If you are sensitive to pain, take two ibuprofen pills an hour before you wax to cut down on the pain.

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish
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If you're using Retin-A, Renova, or Accutane, take caution. Those products make you much more susceptible to rashes and irritation.

The Wax

You'll need a waxing kit that comes with a wooden applicator, strips and wax. You can find good waxing kits online, like the Gigi At Home Beginner Waxing Starter Kit. Sugar washes off easier, so you might consider a sugaring kit like the Cocojojo Egyptian Sugaring Kit ($66).

Waxing starter kit
Gigi At Home Beginner Waxing Starter Kit $50
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Flamingo The Face Wax Kit
Flamingo Body Wax Kit $10
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The How-To

Follow the package instructions on how to heat the wax or sugar. Methods vary a bit, but typically you'll do this in a microwave or by immersing the wax container in very hot water.

Here's how to actually wax your legs:

  1. Apply a light amount of baby powder to skin. Baby powder removes oils helping the wax stick better to hair. Make sure it's cornstarch-based (no talc).
  2. Ideally, you want to work in small sections. Apply wax in the direction of hair growth. Hold the stick at a 90-degree angle and apply a smooth, thin layer.
  3. Before wax cools, firmly press down a strip to the wax and smooth it with your hand in the direction of hair growth. 
  4. To remove strip, quickly peel it in the opposite direction of hair growth. Don't pull straight up, it's less painful to keep the strip as close to skin as possible. If the area stings, it can help to apply pressure on immediately after the strip removal.
  5. Apply a lotion containing salicylic acid to prevent ingrown hairs. Try Bliss Bump Attendant ingrown hair eliminating pads.
Bliss Bump Attendant Ingrown Eliminating Pads
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To remove excess wax on skin, use a body oil. Do not try to remove wax with hot water. If you are really not into cleaning up wax stuck to skin, try a sugaring kit instead. It washes off much easier than wax.

Best body oil: Nuxe Dry Oil Huile Prodigieuse
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil Hair and Body Oil $37
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