Hard Wax vs Soft Wax: What is the Difference?

Hard Wax & Soft Wax How to Use and Differences

For many women, waxing is the last resort to get rid of unwanted body hair because it is an easy and convenient process, giving long-lasting results. In the process, hair is removed straight out from the roots, thus giving smooth skin for longer days compared to shaving or tweezing.

Another good thing about waxing is that once you know how to do it, there is no need to visit the salon. All you need is to choose the right type of wax, get some waxing strips, and do it at home.

If you are in a dilemma about what wax to choose- hard or soft, we have got you covered!

In this article, we will discuss hard wax vs soft wax and find out what type is better for which body part.

What is Hard Wax?

Hard Wax

Hard wax is the best when it comes to sensitive areas of the body, such as bikini lines, underarms, and faces. Also popular as Brazilian wax, hard wax adheres to the hairs rather than to the skin. As a result, they come out swiftly in one stroke, giving a chance to retreat the area without damaging the sensitive skin.  

As the name indicates, hard wax is thicker than soft wax. It gets hard when applied to the skin, allowing you to remove it from your hands. It doesn’t require waxing strips, thus making the process less painful.  

Benefits of Hard Wax

  • Stays gentle on the skin
  • Doesn’t require waxing strips 
  • Less painful 
  • Do not leave residue behind 

Disadvantages of Hard Wax

  • Needs perfection 
  • Time-consuming when used on large areas of the body
  • Often breaks off before ready to come off
  • Required to be heated before application 

How to Use Hard Wax?

Using hard wax is a simple process but requires perfection to ensure you get rid of hair easily with less pain. 

  1. Start by cleaning the targeted area
  2. Apply any pre-wax oil to create a protective barrier between the wax and your skin 
  3. Use a wax warmer to make the wax warm. Do not make it hot. 
  4. Check the temperature of the wax and start applying it to the direction of hair growth with the help of a waxing spatula.
  5. Let the wax get hard on the skin and then pull it off in the opposite direction of hair growth.
  6. Reapply if you think some hairs are still left on the skin. 

What is Soft Wax?

soft wax

Soft wax sticks to the skin and removes the hair straight from its root (hair follicle). It is used to remove unwanted hair from large parts of the body, such as the back, legs, and arms.  

As you apply soft wax on the skin, it adheres to the outermost layer as well as the hair. Pulling removes the hair follicles in one swift motion. Since it adheres to the skin as well, the process becomes painful compared to hard wax.

At the same time, soft wax doesn’t get hard on the skin; therefore, it requires waxing strips for removal. People with sensitive skin may get rashes, redness, and irritated skin after using soft wax. 

Moreover, due to soft wax’s adherence to the skin, it is advised not to retreat the area. 

Benefits of Soft Wax

  • Suitable for larger areas of the body
  • Doesn’t break off like hard wax
  • Affordable 

Disadvantages of Soft Wax

  • Requires waxing strips 
  • Painful 
  • Risks of skin irritation, redness and rashes 
  • It may harm the skin when done incorrectly 

How to Use Soft Wax?

Below are the steps involved in using soft wax-

  1. Clean the targeted area 
  2. Use a wax warmer to warm the wax. 
  3. Apply a thin coat of warm, soft wax evenly using a wax spatula in the direction of hair growth 
  4. Place a waxing strip and rub it to stick properly 
  5. Now hold the skin tight and remove the strip in one quick motion in the opposite direction of hair growth

Hard Wax vs Soft Wax: What are the Differences?

FeatureHot WaxSoft Wax
Hair RemovalAdheres to the hair, suitable for coarse hair at sensitive areasAdheres to the skin, suitable for fine to medium hair on larger areas
Pain LevelLess painful as wax gets hard on the skinMore painful as it requires waxing strips
Removal TechniqueApplied directly onto the skin and then removed without the use of stripsRequires a waxing strip to be applied over the wax and then pulled off against the direction of hair growth.
CleanupResidue can be easily cleaned with oil-based products or pre-wax wipes.Residue can be difficult to remove; may require additional products or solvents.
CostTypically, it is more expensive due to heating equipment and specialized formulations.Generally, less expensive as it does not require heating equipment.
Professional UseOften used in professional spa and salon settings.Commonly used by both professionals and individuals at home.


Now that we know the major differences between hard wax and soft wax, it is easy to choose between the two. Since hard wax stays gentle on the skin, people with sensitive skin types should go for it, especially for the face, underarms, and bikini lines. It will ensure there won’t be skin irritation.

Likewise, for those who want to remove hair from larger areas of the body, like arms and legs, soft wax is the right choice. 

If you are doing it for the first time, it is better to visit a salon than try it at home. Make sure to visit a licensed esthetician or dermatologist. 

Luckily, you can use both hard and soft wax at home after getting proper knowledge and understanding of their usage. You can also get help from professionals on how to wax safely at home. 

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