Leg Waxing at Home vs European Wax Center

For years I did my own leg waxing at home. That’s because I was clearly ahead of the trend on waxing my legs.

You see I started in my 20s–which was back in the 1990s. At that time the only way to have someone wax your legs for you was to go to a fancy and expensive spa.

Having just started my freelance writing business and with my husband in graduate school, there was no way I could afford that. So, rather than go back to shaving my legs (which I always hated), I learned to wax my own legs.

So, in this article I’ll share with you my own tips for leg waxing, how to do it at home, which products I used and more. And finally when I decided to try out one of the European Wax Centers near me.

Leg waxing at home featured pin

Benefits of leg waxing

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to start waxing my legs was because of the biggest benefit. And that benefit is this: you can go weeks without having any hair on your legs.

So, how long does leg waxing last? Easily three to four weeks.

Recently, I had my legs waxed and then three weeks later I went back for a waxing–it was prescheduled. And you know what?

There was barely any hair available to be waxed. So I realized that I should really space my leg waxings out by at least four weeks, not three.

If you didn’t already know, when you use wax on your legs, you’re pulling the hair out by the root. This is versus when you shave your legs and you’re just cutting it off.

When your hair grows back

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When you fully remove the hair from the follicle, it takes longer to grow back. Like I said weeks.

Also, when it does start to grow back, you’ll notice two things. One, it’s not as itchy as when shaved leg hair grows back. 

And, two, over time, less of it will grow back.

I don’t know if this is because you’ve traumatized your leg hair by pulling it out. All I can tell you is that after 30 years of waxing my legs, there are sections of my lower legs that continue to remain hairless.

Also, I have fewer ingrown hairs, which are a lot like saddles sores and hurt like you know what.

Considering laser hair removal instead?

Leg waxing vs shaving

Finally, perhaps the biggest benefit of leg waxing is you never cut yourself. I don’t know about how you are with a razor, but I was always a bloody mess–especially around my ankles and my knees. 

The biggest risk I face with leg waxing, mostly when I do it myself, is bruising my skin. That’s because I haven’t pulled the skin taut enough when removing the wax. So I end up with a bruise.

However, it never hurts nor does it last long. And I never ever end up bleeding.

Prepping for a leg waxing

You know what one of the most difficult things to do in prepping for a leg waxing is? No, it’s not preparing for the pain (which gets better over time). It is letting your leg hair grow. 

In order for wax to grab onto your leg hair, it has to be at least 1/4 of an inch long. That may not sound like much. However, when you’re used to shaving away hair as soon as it sprouts beyond the surface, it will be hard not to give up and shave.

Also, it may take longer than you expect to get your hair to that length. For example, for most people the hair on their head grows about a half inch every month. Some people grow hair faster; others much slower.

However, on average you’re looking at letting your leg hair grow for at least two weeks to get to the right length for waxing. So, clearly you shouldn’t make the transition from shaving to waxing during shorts season. Winter is the best time.

Leg waxing before and after

Want to get a sense of how well waxing works? Below is a before and after of a man’s leg that’s been waxed.

Well, one of them was waxed. The other had yet to be waxed. Pretty impressive results, right?

leg waxing before and after

How long is one quarter inch

Not sure how you’ll know when your leg hair is long enough to start waxing? Well, I searched the Internet to come up with things that are about one quarter inch long.

This might help you to ballpark or eyeball if your leg hair has reached optimal length for waxing. I’m telling you–using a ruler to measure leg hair isn’t as easy as it sounds.

So, what things are one quarter inch long?

  • A grain of rice (more or less)
  • Thickness of piece of cardboard
  • Rolled out cookie dough

Leg waxing tips

So now that you know how long your leg hair needs to be to wax it, let me share some other tips. This would apply whether you’re waxing your legs at home or going someplace like a European Wax Center to have someone wax your legs for you.

One, don’t use any body oil or lotion on your legs the day of your waxing. In fact, showering before a wax is always a good idea. Just don’t moisturize afterwards.

FYI, wax cannot adhere to oil. That’s why you don’t want any lotion or such on your skin.

Two, are you new to waxing? Do you have a low tolerance for pain? If so, take two ibuprofen tablets an hour before your waxing. This will help “dull” the pain.

Three, if your leg waxing will include a bikini line wax, you may want to trim your hair down there ahead of time. This way it won’t get caught in any wax. And trust me–that hurts.

Four, if you’re trying DIY waxing at home, use baby powder on your legs before applying the wax. The powder will absorb any residual and naturally occurring oil on your skin.

Five, if you’re waxing your legs at home, put down an old towel or bed sheet underneath you before you start. Wax is bound to spill, and it’s easier to just pull up the towel or sheet afterwards than it is to scrap wax off your rug or floor. 

Finally, if you’re waxing at home, always apply the wax with the direction of hair growth. Then, pull the wax off against the grain of hair growth. This will help the hair come out more easily.

Woman Waxing Legs Against White Background

Leg waxing strips versus warm wax

Having waxed my legs for decades, I’ve tried every product on the market. This includes waxing strips and wax that you heat up. 

Waxing strips are just like they sound–strips of cloth with wax already on them. You place them on the area you want to wax, rub the side facing up and then pull the strip off. 

Hopefully, all the hair underneath the strip has come off in that first tug. If not, you can reuse the strip in the same spot, and try it all again.

However, I’ve found that you can’t get as much reuse out of a single strip as you can with warm wax. So, let me explain how that works.

My older daughter uses the Veet waxing strip kits. They come with 40 pre-wax strips and four wipes. The wipes are oil based to remove excess wax.

According to my daughter, 40 strips are almost enough to wax both of her legs fully. However, sometimes she says she needs to dip into a second box, depending on how long it’s been since she last waxed. 

Warm waxing kits

With a warm waxing kit, you’re getting wax in a jar that you must warm up. Then, there are tongue depressor sticks or wooden spatulas for applying the wax.

And you get 20 “empty” waxing strips–just fabric, if you will–that you’ll use after you apply the wax to your legs. They are about 10 inches by 4 inches, so generous in size.

Finally, every warm waxing kit comes with a mini bottle of oil. This is to help get rid of excess wax.

While my daughter uses the waxing strips, I prefer the warm waxing kits. Let’s be honest, though. I often make them hot waxing kits.

That’s because by the time they’ve warmed up enough in the microwave to have the wax go from a solid to a liquid, the wax is hot enough to burn you. So please be careful.

However, the reason I like the heated wax is I find it opens the hair follicle and makes removing the hair easier.

Sally Hansen waxing kits

My preferred brand of warm waxing kits is from Sally Hansen. That brand makes a bunch of different kinds of waxing products. 

The one that works the best for me is the Extra Strength All-Over Body Wax Hair Removal Kit from Sally Hansen. The wax comes in a blue jar shown on the box. 

I truly believe it is the best at home waxing kit for legs. You can also use it for other parts of your body but I wouldn’t. 

Body parts I’ll wax myself

Waxing your legs is easiest to do. It’s hard to screw it up. 

However, I’ve tried waxing underarms at home. That did not go well.

Same with the bikini line. I always end up bruising myself pretty badly.

And wax my face? No way. I’m not applying hot wax to my eyebrows or lip line. No way. I’ll leave that to the professional, and I suggest you do, too.

Why I started going to European Wax Center

My younger daughter introduced me to leg waxing services at a European Wax Center. She was going there for bikini waxes and suggested I try it out for my legs. 

I’d always prided myself on waxing my legs at home. I’m flexible so it wasn’t so hard to contort my lower body to wax the backs of my upper legs, for example. 

But the whole process usually took an hour, and I ended up soaked in sweat. Waxing is hard work.

On the other hand, when I went for a waxing appointment at a European Wax Center near me, the technician was able to wax my full leg, feet and my bikini line in about 30 minutes. Sure, I had to drive to get there and then drive home. But overall it was a timesaver.

What kind of wax do they use?

There are a couple of differences when you get waxed at a European Wax Center. One, they’re using a hard wax. Well, it’s not hard when the specialist applies it.

Instead, that hard wax is put in a warming bowl, if you will, which the wax specialist constantly stirs. So, it is a warm, soft wax that is somewhere between a liquid and a solid when it goes on.

Two, unlike waxing at home, where you apply the wax and then a cloth strip to take it off, here it’s just one step. They put the wax on you and give it a few minutes to harden. Then, they find an edge of the now-hard wax and pull it off by hand. No cloth strips needed.

European Wax Center calls it comfort wax. I’m not sure waxing is ever comfortable, especially if you’re getting a bikini area wax. Or, if you’re premenstrual. I find that if I get waxed before my period, I’m extra sensitive. So, I’ll usually take ibuprofen about 30 minutes before my appointment. If you’re like me, you may find that you’ll experience less discomfort by taking Tylenol or Advil or whatever OTC pain reliever works for you in advance of your appointment.

On the other hand, I’m prone to skin sensitivity. For example, I have to be super careful about what skin care and beauty products I use. However, after they’re done waxing you, the wax specialist applies ingrown hair serum to the parts they’ve just waxed. It must be made for all kinds of skin types. I’ve never had a breakout, rash or irritation after waxing that is out of the ordinary or painful.


Leg waxing prices

Now, I won’t lie–it’s not cheap to have someone wax your legs. For example, I can buy a Sally Hansen waxing kit for about $13 at Ulta. With that one kit I can wax my legs and my feet. However, it won’t do my bikini line.

Compare that with prices at a European Wax Center. There, the price is $71 for a full leg wax, which includes my feet. Also, I’ll add on the bikini line, which is another $39.

However, I never actually pay that out of pocket. That’s because they encourage you to buy what’s called a Wax Pass. They’re always having a special where you can get waxings at a discount.

For example, earlier this year I bought a wax pass for 12 full leg wax visits. It cost me $675. So, I’ll pay $56.25 per leg waxing session, a savings of nearly $15 per visit.

I’ve also purchased wax passes for my bikini line waxes. Wax passes save you anywhere from 14 percent to 18 percent off retail prices.

Men’s waxing vs women’s waxing

In case you didn’t know, European Wax Centers offer waxing services for both men and women. Here’s the way they connote the differences. 

Women services have a V next to them, for customers with a vagina.

Men’s services have a P next to them, for customers with a penis.

Whereas most European Wax Centers offer all services for women, not all offer all services for men. For example, the European Wax Center near me has Brazilian waxes for women but not for men.

Sometimes you can find Groupon deals for European Wax Center.

What kinds of waxing at European Wax Center

I’ve already mentioned that I get a full leg wax at my local EWC. Plus, a bikini line, since it is not included with a full leg waxing session.

However, that is hardly the only kind of waxing service you can get there. One, there are body waxings. And, two, there are face waxings. So, let me outline them all.

Body waxing services at EWC

What parts of your body–neck down–can you get waxed at European Wax Center? Here’s a list:

  • Arms (full)–does not include underarms or shoulders
  • Arms (half)–upper arm only, not including underarms or shoulders
  • Back (full)–excludes shoulders and neck
  • Lower back–lower third of back to the butt
  • Mid back–middle third of the back
  • Upper back–upper third of back but not the shoulders or neck
  • Brazilian (V or P)–services for men or women
  • Knees
  • Full bikini (V or P)–waxing for men or women
  • Biking line (V or P)–four finger widths from natural bikini line and two finger widths from top
  • Butt full (V or P)–includings butt strip and cheeks
  • Butt strip (V or P)
  • Full chest
  • Chest strip–from start of collar bone to center of chest; does not include stomach
  • Hands
  • Inner thighs
  • Full leg
  • Lower leg
  • Upper leg
  • Neck
  • Nipples
  • Shoulders–does not include upper arm
  • Stomach full–excludes chest
  • Stomach strip–top of underwear to belly button
  • Toes
  • Underarms

Face waxing services at European Wax Centers

You can get way more than your eyebrows waxed professionally. Here are the face waxing services EWC offers:

  • Brows
  • Cheeks
  • Chin
  • Ears
  • Full face
  • Hairline
  • Lower lip
  • Nose
  • Sideburns
  • Upper lip

European Wax Centers near you

You’ll find European Wax Center locations in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

There are about 800 European Wax Center locations across the country.

European Wax Center birthday discount

I didn’t realize that European Wax Center was one of the stores that offer a birthday discount. However, earlier this month, I received a Happy Birthday email from European Wax Center.

And within that birthday greeting was a discount. What was it for? $10 off my next product or service. It expires at the end of my birthday month.

european wax center birthday discount

How much to tip waxer

At the European Wax Center front desk, there is a helpful chart of suggested tip amounts for your waxer. Also, when you check out after your appointment, you’re given the option to add a tip to your credit card on file.

Here’s why I don’t do that–add the tip of the credit card. It’s not that I don’t tip–I do.

But the EWC waxer I saw for many years explained something important to me. When you add a tip to the credit card, it is taxed as income. Therefore, they’re not getting 100% of your tip.

Also, because the tip is added to the person’s paycheck, they won’t get the tip (minus withholdings) until payday. So always tip in cash.

You can use those cute little envelopes at the front desk. Or, you can do what I do–hand my waxer (her name is Jane) $20 at the end of each session. At the holidays I’ll tip her double that.

Here are more tips for tipping at the holidays.

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