Strip waxing (soft wax) is accomplished by spreading a wax thinly over the skin. A cloth or paper strip is applied and pressed firmly, adhering the strip to the wax and the wax to the skin. The strip is then quickly ripped against the direction of hair growth, as parallel as possible to the skin to avoid trauma to the skin. This removes the wax along with the hair. There are different forms of strip waxing or soft waxing: heated, cold or pre-made strips. Unlike cold waxing, heated wax is spread easily over the skin. Cold waxing is thicker, which makes it more difficult to spread smoothly over the skin. Pre-made strips come with the wax on them, and they come in different sizes for different area uses.
Stripless wax (as opposed to strip wax), also referred to as hard wax, is applied somewhat thickly and with no cloth or paper strips. The wax then hardens when it cools, thus allowing the easy removal by a therapist without the aid of cloths or strips. This waxing method is very beneficial to people who have sensitive skin. Stripless wax does not adhere to the skin as much as strip wax does, thus making it a good option for sensitive skin as finer hairs are more easily removed because the hard wax encapsulates the hair as it hardens. The stripless waxing method can also be less painful.