There are plenty of ways to remove unwanted body hair, but few are as effective as waxing. With hair pulled straight from the root, this brief moment of pain can actually lead to hair growing back thinner and less frequently in the future if repeated enough – making it a worthy sacrifice in our books.
However, there’s no denying how daunting it feels to sit down and wax your own body. Not only is it self-inflicted pain, but the potential repercussions feel notably more serious than anything involved in cutting your own hair or doing your own manicure.
Thankfully the world of DIY beauty treatments has grown a lot in the past year. Cut off from salons, there are more high quality options for going hair-free than ever before. But no matter what product you use, the most important thing is technique.
The standard method is to remove hair in the opposite direction while holding the skin taut. This is often the key to a long-lasting finish – without this, hair will be removed from the surface, rather than pulling from the root.
Just as important is the aftercare. Remember that newly-waxed skin is sensitive – ingrown hairs are also common, often first emerging in the form of inflamed bumps known as folliculitis. To minimise the risk, you should exfoliate beforehand and avoid using perfumed moisturisers on the area.
To find our salon-solution to waxing, we used various products on hair all over the body and face to test how easy they were to use, the pain factor and whether they offered long lasting results. This is our comprehensive guide to the best solutions to at-home waxing.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
The best at-home waxing kits for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Grace & Stella hair removal waxing kit: £25.52, Feelunique.com
- Best for a soft finish – Nair coconut body wax strips: £3.48, Superdrug.com
- Best for removing facial hair – Smooth Appeal facial hair remover wax: £5.89, Amazon.co.uk
- Best sustainable option – Nad’s natural hair removal sugar wax: £10.99, Superdrug.com
- Best for a quick wax – Veet pure inspiration wax strips: £12.99, Superdrug.com
- Best for preventing ingrown hairs – Mylee charcoal and green tea stripless wax: £10, Mylee.co.uk
- Best for upper lip and chin – No Mo-Stache lip wax wax kit: £9.90, Cultbeauty.co.uk
- Best for bikini line – Gigi Brazilian body hard wax: £9.98, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for dry skin – Nair sugar oriental wax: £13.99, Superdrug
Grace and Stella hair removal waxing kit
Waxing is rarely a soothing activity, but this kit gets you pretty close. With a wax warmer, four sets of wax beads and applicator sticks, it contains everything you need to replicate the salon experience at home.
The warmer takes all the hassle out of DIY waxing. You just pop any of the beads into the warmer at any temperature setting until melted. Check it’s not too hot before applying, and once it’s skin-ready, simply spread a thin layer wherever needed. No need for any fiddly strips – you just pull the wax off directly once hardened, taking care to go in the opposite direction to hair growth.
It got the job done in every area we tried, even on the most stubborn, stubbly hairs. Waxing is never going to be pain-free, but our tester’s sensitive, dry skin experienced minimal soreness and stayed silky smooth for weeks. Each of the four scents of wax (original, chocolate, chamomile and lavender) smell incredible and will last you for months, even with regular use. Also, like everything from the American brand, it’s 100 per cent vegan.
Nair coconut body wax strips
Best: For a soft finish
Nair is synonymous with hair removal, offering plenty of different options, but its coconut body wax strips are our winner. Infused with coconut milk to leave skin soft and moisturised, they’re easy to use and don’t require any warming up or preparation. Instead, simply pat down each strip over the area you wish to wax and quickly pull opposite to the direction of hair growth. Our tester found that it removed even the coarsest of hairs, and proved successful on tricky spots like your underarms while leaving minimal wax residue. Pre-prepared strips like this are always great in a time crunch. And, as an added bonus, they smell amazing.
Smooth Appeal microwave formula facial hair remover wax
Best: For removing facial hair
If waxing is your method of choice for removing facial hair, this kit is designed for you. Applying like a cream to your chosen areas, the wax removes hair when pulled at the hardened edges. Aloe vera and tea tree oil soothe any post-waxing reactions, which we found to be minimal on even very sensitive skin. While each box promises up to 10 treatments, those tackling several spots on the face will find that it realistically offers about five to seven uses. We were really impressed by how long the effects lasted. Our tester found that her usually coarse hairs grew back much slower than usual, with no noticeable regrowth until four weeks later.
Nad's natural hair removal sugar wax
Best: Sustainable option
Equipped with washable and reusable strips, and a pre-wax argan cleansing soap to prep the area, you more than get your money’s worth with this offering from Nad’s. The natural sugar wax feels thick and stiff at first, and despite being advertised as a no-heat formula, it did require warming before use. Once at the right consistency, it applied easily and was just as simple to wash off if you made a mistake. When it came to actually removing hair, it did the job — mostly. It left our legs silky smooth for several weeks, but didn’t last for anywhere near the eight-week mark in the product description. It also struggled in tricky spots like the bikini line and underarms.
Veet pure inspiration wax strips
Best: For a quick wax
Sometimes the easiest option is the best option. As these strips are preloaded with wax, you just rub them into place wherever you want to remove hair (as long as it’s not your face) and remove quickly in the opposite direction to hair growth. While they don’t get every last tiny strand, we’d say they removed about 80 per cent of that on our legs and bikini line. However we were more than content, considering the entire process took seconds to complete from the moment we opened the box.
Mylee charcoal and green tea stripless wax
Best: For preventing ingrown hairs
Providing wax for salons, beauty therapists and waxing amateurs alike, we had high expectations from this brand. The wax’s unique selling point is the fact that it requires no strips. Instead you heat up the beads with your preferred method, spread a thin layer with a spatula and, once it’s hardened, pull the wax against the direction of growth. Recently waxed skin often feels raw and dry, but the use of calming green tea in the Mylee formula soothes while the charcoal is anti-bacterial to prevent blemishes and ingrown hairs. The absence of strips reduces pain and also gives you more freedom when tackling underarms and the bikini line, as well as the face. However, the effects on our top lip and chin area were not as impressive as the body, where we were left smooth and stubble-free for just over two weeks.
No Mo-Stache lip wax wax kit
Best: For upper-lip and chin
Fashion executive Gita Vasseghi founded No Mo-Stache back in 2015 with the goal of creating a convenient solution to hair removal on-the-go. While it’s tough to inconspicuously whip out a waxing kit mid-commute, this kit supplies everything you need to tackle the upper-lip or chin anywhere you want with all the thoroughness of a salon.
Each tin contains 20 double-sided strips that pat down onto your face and can grip fine and thick strands alike. Our tester gets a lot of coarse hairs in that area, but these strips managed to pull even these from the root and provided a three week reprieve from tweezing. We also loved the inclusion of post-wax aloe cream, which kept redness to a minimum.
Gigi Brazilian body hard wax
Best: For bikini line
Specifically designed for Brazilian waxing, this hard wax targets coarse, stubborn hairs. While it’s powerful enough to leave your bikini line smooth for several weeks, it also manages to treat sensitive, delicate areas with care as it sticks to the hair rather than your skin. Like all strip-free waxes, you pull from the edge of the cooled formula once it is applied with a wooden spatula. This is our top choice for the bikini line, but also does an impressive job on the whole body. However, we recommend pressing down on the hardened wax to catch all of the hairs before removing, as it otherwise has a tendency to sit just above the surface of the skin.
Nair sugar oriental wax
Best: For dry skin
Nair’s second entry on this list is a godsend for dry and sensitive skin, thanks to the absence of any fragrance and colourants. After melting the wax in the tub under a stream of hot water, a thin layer removed even very short hairs. We’re not sure why exactly, but it was considerably less painful both during and after than most other waxing kits. Our tester suffered no irritation, dryness or ingrown hairs whatsoever, and results lasted around three weeks.
We love the fact the strips are reusable (just rinse them after use). Our only issue is that we wish you got a bit more product – we worked our way through nearly half a jar just waxing our legs and bikini line.
The verdict: Best at-home waxing kits
Of all the kits we tried, none was as thorough as the Grace and Stella hair removal waxing kit. While it’s slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, it’s well worth the investment for its ease of use and long-lasting results.
For a quick and easy waxing solution, the Veet pure inspiration wax strips will take you from stubbly to smooth in a matter of seconds. If you’re looking to tackle the facial area, we also love the No Mo-Bush lip wax wax kit.
For the latest offers on beauty and skincare, try the links below:
Looking for more at-home hair removal inspiration? Read our review of the best IPL machines
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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