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Stranding Style: Hair Wax


What is Hair Wax?

If you are a fan of the slick and shiny hairstyles that seem to be in vogue, then hair wax is a product that you should definitely consider using. While people might imagine that you are the cynosure because of your regular visits to the hairstylist, the solution could simply have been a coat of hair wax. Hair wax was introduced by the ancient Gauls as a styling agent but in the recent past it has seen an upsurge in popularity under different avatars such as pomade, whip, glue and styling paste among other things. The composition and consistency of these products, largely categorized as hair wax, differs greatly and so does the intended use depending on the manufacturer.

The greasy water-based pomade is one of the more popular versions, and simply put, is built to last. After you apply it, you would require a couple of washes to remove it completely as it attaches itself to the hair quite strongly. While the original version used in the 18th and 19th centuries was made essentially of lard, the recent types are composed of products such as beeswax and petroleum jelly. Then there is the herbal hair wax which is entirely organic and contributes immensely to healthy hair. If you manage to get a natural hair wax that agrees with your hair, then you can rest assured that your hair styling issues are taken care of.

Benefits of Hair Wax

The use of different types of hair wax facilitate the different styles that one wants to adopt, as it keeps the hair in place with minimum effort. Hair wax keeps the oil very close to your skin and allows you to brush back or use a side partition as easily as possible. Compared to a hair gel, hair wax gives you a stronger fix and you also have the option of using specific waxes for different hairstyles. Better still is an organic hair wax which ensures great hair styling advantages for you. Let’s find out more about the benefits of hair wax:

  • Hair wax allows you to develop your style by keeping every strand in place. You can do that without too much effort and without visiting your hairstylist.
  • It is also natural and alcohol-free and that is great news for the health of your hair.
  • Hair wax is soft and malleable and this gives even the more complicated hairstyles a more natural look.
  • It is more convenient to apply and remove than gel. You don’t need to shampoo and strain harder to remove the oiliness.
  • While the effect of gel is more glossy, wax gives you a sober shine and that is preferable to a lot of people.
  • If you are one of those who like to try out different hair styles in the course of a single day then look no further. Hair wax lends that flexibility to your hair and allows you to change your hairstyle conveniently.
  • It works well in combination with other hair products like conditioners and shine sprays also; this without compromising on the specific advantages that hair wax offers individually.
  • While hair wax can work well in tandem with other hair products, you will find that on most occasions you will not require it. It is an extremely handy product to carry with you as you travel, and does not need water or other electrical equipment to enhance its effect.
  • It has a very stable effect and generally tends to stay in the place where it is applied, giving that precision to your hair style.
  • For the ones with finer hair, hair wax is very useful in adding volume to their hair.
  • Most types of hair wax are pleasant smelling and do not carry any strong scent. That has added to the growing number of people who have adopted it as their chosen styling agent.
  • There are certain brands of hair wax which have colour options too. If you want to add a little streak of colour to your strands and are unwilling to go through the hassles in removing it, this wax is the way to go.  It can also be conveniently removed.

Ingredients of Hair Wax

Hair wax contains a number of different types of waxes like candelilla wax, beeswax and castor wax. Though quite a few waxes are made of natural ingredients, including the immensely popular organic hair clay, there are others that use chemicals like mineral oils, sorbitol and tin oxide among other things. So one has to exercise caution while selecting the right hair wax. Following are some of the ingredients used for making hair wax:

  • Beeswax: This is one of the healthier ingredients, and is considered the best natural hair wax made by bees of a particular variety. The origins of beeswax are quite ancient, and it is in fact regarded as the earliest version of plastic. Apart from being used as a polishing agent, beeswax is also used for making candles and is edible too.  
  • Castor Wax: This is a vegetable oil and is made from pure castor oil. It imparts a smooth texture to your hair. But it does need to be added to water or other oils to produce the desired binding effect to your hair.
  • Lanolin: Lanolin is a secretion from the glands of animals with wool. Its function is to protect the wool and skin of animals. This same quality facilitates its use in the treatment of a dry scalp and hair, apart from helping you create that perfect style.
  • Emulsifying wax : Emulsifying wax is used extensively as it is used to keep all the ingredients used in the hair wax from separating. It blends all the oils and water in the correct way to enhance the consistency and also helps keep them together for the longest time.
  • Candelilla wax: This wax is extracted from the leaves of a shrub called candelilla found commonly in Southwestern USA and Mexico. This yellowish-brown liquid is obtained by boiling the leaves of the shrub with diluted sulphuric acid. The resulting layer of ‘cerote’ is taken out from the surface and processed further. It has excellent thickening and stabilising properties and is an odourless skin conditioner.
  • Carnauba wax: Also known as Brazil wax, this is obtained from the tropical palm tree found in Brazil  by drying the leaves in the sun for a couple of days. It is then melted, strained and finally cooled through successive stages. This wax contributes to the glossy feel of your hair and also plays an important role in keeping the hair in place because of its stable nature.
  • Japan wax: This vegetable wax is extracted from the berry kernels of the Japanese Sumac tree. This wax can keep your hair in place and does not allow it to become too stiff.
  • Ozokerite: This is a mineral wax that can be found in 30 countries around the world. Its binding and stabilising properties make it a very useful ingredient for hair styling waxes.

How to Apply Hair Wax on Hair

Experts are unanimous in their opinion that applying hair wax is an excellent way to style your hair. The effects of hair wax last for a considerable period of time, without the attendant hardness produced by gel.  Deciding on the right amount is crucial, and one should always ensure that the hair is dry to produce the right effect.  If your hair is wet, try and create the required form and then wait for it to dry before putting the hair wax. There are certain suggested techniques of applying hair wax. Let’s take a look:

  1. Start with a small scoop, too much would make your hair greasy. How much depends on the thickness of your tresses.
  2. Melt the wax, spread the wax across the palms of your hands and rub them against each other.  
  3. Start applying from the back of your head and gently brush towards the front; make sure to cover the length of your hair as far as possible.
  4. You can now begin styling your hair in your chosen style, Use more hair wax if you believe that your hair needs more.
  5. The wax works well for both natural and created curls and you will be amazed at how long the style can be retained. All you need to do is twirl the tips with your fingers and make those curls with a practiced hand
  6. There are also specific procedures on removing the wax from the hair. Do not comb to remove, also do not let it stay in your hair for long/indefinite periods. Shampoo your hair and wash it away.

Side Effects of Hair Wax on Hair

The benefits of hair wax as a styling product are there for everyone to see, but there are also several downsides to it. You have to know how to use it in the right way to take advantage of its excellent properties. Following are some pointers for the proper usage of hair wax:

  • Less is more, do not use every day, use sparingly. Every time you use it you have to wash it out. This also takes the natural oils present in the scalp along with it, affecting your hair health.
  • Although there are a number of hair waxes that use natural ingredients, quite a few also use chemicals that tend to dry out your hair. So prolonged use might adversely affect the state of your hair.
  • Hair wax needs to be washed out carefully with a deep cleaning shampoo after use. If it is not cleaned well, the wax might combine with the scalp oils to block the pores and cause an itchy scalp and dandruff issues.

A hair wax made out of natural ingredients could be the perfect hair styling product for all. The trick is opt for a chemical free hair wax and figure out the correct amount to add to your hair.  Once you manage to crack that, you can extract the maximum advantage from it. If you are still unsure, visit us at Traya and our experts will guide you with this and other comprehensive hair care solutions.

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