It's worth growing out your leg hair.
Scorching temps means an onslaught of hair-removal dilemmas are right around the corner (waxing is messy, laser is painful, and shaving doesn't last long enough). That being said, if you're not ready to give up on smooth, hair-free skin just yet, TikTok has proven there's another solution to your at-home hair removal woes that puts the other methods to shame: wax beads. Wax beads—which are gaining traction in the world of TikTok for being a far superior method of getting rid of unwanted hair—have officially reinvented the world of waxing. Gone are the days of messy, painful, hard-to-work-with formulas that leave your skin irritated, burned, and laden with random stray hairs. Now wax beads have sent beauty buffs into a tizzy, with users raving that they're easier to use than traditional methods of hair removal (no more waxing strips), they offer a significantly more comfortable process, and offer results so long-lasting you'll want to live in your swimsuit.
It all started when wax bead brand Wakse proved its viral appeal with over 10 million views combined on TikTok. Invigorating scents and pleasing colors aside, Wakse has proven that waxing beads are the secret to effortless hair removal—and getting that coveted sun-kissed skin all year long. And with more people wanting safe, effective at-home beauty solutions, it's no wonder they're having a major beauty moment. Below, we tapped Wakse's lead aesthetician and hair-removal expert, Shay Sadrolashrafi, as well as celebrity master aesthetician Sarah Akram, to see if the trend lives up to the hype (and to find out if it's truly worthy of being part of our beauty repertoire).
What Are Wax Beads?
Wax beads are exactly what they sound like: little beads of hard wax that, when heated, are used to remove unwanted hairs. Unlike soft wax, which requires using a cloth or muslin strip to remove the hair, wax beads harden on the skin as they dry, eliminating the need for strips. And many hard waxes of today are infused with calming ingredients—such as chamomile and aloe vera—for additional skin-care benefits. For wax beads to work, Akram says that the hair needs to be at least 1/4 inch or longer and that you should be off any acne or retinol prescriptions for a few weeks before using wax beads. This is because skin tends to be more sensitive while on such medications, which could result in lifting, tearing, and redness of the skin post-waxing.
Benefits of Waxing Beads
If you're a die-hard fan of traditional wax, wax beads will likely make you a convert. For one, they're stripless and less messy than traditional soft wax, which, on a hot summer day, can make for a more comfortable hair-removal process. Says Sadrolashrafi, "Once it's applied and hardened, wax beads adhere to the hairs and act as a traditional strip themselves, therefore there's no need to apply anything additional in order to remove the wax." Plus, with wax beads, once it's applied correctly and removed, there's no sticky residue left behind, which makes the process much more efficient. It's also safer, as traditional soft wax is kept at a higher temperature in a waxing pot than waxing beads, which means there's more of a chance of burning than with wax beads.
If you have sensitive skin, you'll find wax beads far gentler than traditional soft wax. Because wax beads only stick to the hairs (and not the skin), they tend to be much less painful than traditional strip wax, which adheres to the hairs and the skin. This is especially helpful for areas of high sensitivity such as the face and bikini line.
Hair removal can be a daunting task for many, especially when it has to be done so often. Wax beads not only provide four to six weeks of smooth skin (depending on the area you're waxing), but you also won't have to partake in hair removal as often, as it changes the thickness of your hairs. "Wax beads thin out the hairs since it pulls the hairs from its follicle, which means you can go longer without having to wax," explains Sadrolashrafi.
How to Use Waxing Beads
As with most hair-removal methods, there's some skin prep involved with wax beads. "It's important to gently exfoliate your skin prior to waxing for the best results," says Sadrolashrafi. "By removing any dead skin cells, you'll not only be removing your hairs more efficiently, but it'll avoid any in-growns."
After your skin is prepped, pour the desired amount of wax beads into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 10-second intervals, mixing in between intervals, until you reach a honey-like consistency. Next, Sadrolashrafi says to use firm pressure and apply a thick layer of the melted wax beads in the direction of hair growth, creating a half-circle at the end of your application for easy removal (this is what you'll use to pull once the wax is hardened).
Then, wait a couple of seconds for the wax to dry on the hairs. "Once the wax feels tacky—but not sticky—grip from the end of your strip and remove it quickly," notes Sadrolashrafi. "If there's still hairs left behind, you can apply the wax the opposite direction of hair growth to remove the remaining hairs." (If you don't use all the wax beads in one session, you can reheat and reuse it for later usage.)
Wakse makes a slew of TikTok-worthy wax beads (including matcha, orange cream pop, and bubble gum), but we're partial to the cosmic candy, which smells as good as it sounds and offers the calming benefits of essential oils.
Coarse hair requires a high-strength formula that'll remove even the most stubborn pieces. Cue these wax beads from KoluaWax—it has nearly 7,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, promises up to 40 waxes, and can be used on the underarms, bikini area, chest, or back.
Exfoliating is a must for radiant skin—and a perfect wax. Try this body polish from Soap & Glory, which effectively sloughs away dead skin cells using walnut shell powder. The result? Your smoothest wax ever.
Though wax beads are generally painless and gentler than traditional soft wax, Akram says some redness can occur. If this is the case, opt for an aloe-vera-rich body lotion like this one from Bali Body, which also has skin reparative properties thanks to antioxidants.
When using waxing beads on areas like the underarm and bikini line, Sadrolashrafi says to apply talc-free powder, like this one from Burt's Bees Baby, to keep the area dry. This will allow the wax to adhere better to the hairs (and make it less likely you'll end up with stray hairs).