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How to Get Wax Out of Hair With Our Easy Step-by-Step Guide

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Are you dealing with a wax fiasco? You’re not alone. Many people accidentally get candle wax in their hair, and countless hair products contain beeswax, emulsifying wax, and other waxy ingredients. The problem is that wax is notoriously difficult to get out of your hair.

How to Get Wax Out of Hair: Step-by-Step DIY Guide

If you’ve tried everything you can think of and your hair is still a gunky mess, this article is for you. We’ll introduce you to several methods you can use to get wax-free hair fast! 

Heat it Up: Works Great for Candle Wax Residue

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Solid wax melts when heat is applied, so perhaps the best way to get candle wax out of your hair is to turn up the heat. For this wax-removal method, you’ll need a hair dryer, paper towels, shampoo, conditioner, and a comb. 

Follow the below instructions to use heat to remove solid wax from your hair:

  1. Grab a paper towel and wrap it around the wax. 
  2. Turn on your blow dryer and put it on medium to high heat. For curly hair, it’s important to use as little heat as possible, so start with medium heat and only use high heat if necessary. 
  3. Holding the blow dryer a few inches away from the paper towel, begin blow-drying. As the wax heats up, you’ll see the paper towel absorbing the wax. 
  4. If there’s a lot of wax on your hair, you may need to switch out the soiled paper towel for a new one and repeat the above steps. 
  5. Use a comb to help you remove all the wax. 
  6. Shampoo your hair to get rid of any remaining wax.

If the wax is near the roots of your hair, another method may be a better fit for you. You don’t want to burn your scalp with hot wax. 

Note: We periodically get questions about heating up the wax, since the average hair removal process uses hot wax to remove hair. However, with this process, we’re only heating up the wax enough to soften it (or melt it), so the melted wax can be easily removed from your hair.

Use Shampoo and Conditioner to Remove Wax

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If you have styling wax, hair wax, or another waxy product on your hair, shampoo and slippery conditioner may be your best bet. You won’t approach this wash session like you usually would because you’re tackling wax.

Instead, you’ll follow the below instructions: 

  1. Get the hair that’s covered in wax totally wet. If the wax is all over your hair, you may want to hop in the shower to ensure that your hair is drenched. We like to use very warm water, but if you can tolerate hot water (or even very hot water), you’ll improve your chances of loosening the wax. You can also use a hot water compress, but it doesn’t tend to work as well.
  2. Saturate the waxy parts of your hair with your slippery conditioner. Take some time to work it into your strands. The idea is that the slipperiness from the conditioner will make the wax slip out. 
  3. Rinse the conditioner out after you’ve done your best to remove the wax. 
  4. Apply your shampoo to your hair and massage it with the pads of your fingers – never your nails. 
  5. Rinse it out and repeat the previous steps if not all of the wax is removed. 

This process works incredibly well to remove excess wax or a leftover waxy residue from product buildup. Note that this process only works with traditional liquid-based shampoos and shampoo bars, this process doesn’t work with dry shampoo.

Use Oil for Removing Wax

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Heat is almost always damaging to the hair, especially if your hair is naturally curly. So, instead of using heated wax removal methods, consider using oil.

Follow the below steps to get the wax out of your hair with oil: 

  1. Choose your oil. You can use just about any oil you’d like, including olive oil, grapeseed oil, baby oil, or coconut oil. However, we don’t recommend that you use mineral oil, as it is known to cause buildup and is a real challenge to remove. You don’t want to remove the wax only to have mineral oil buildup afterward. 
  2. Use warm water to get your hair damp. Your hair should not be too wet, or the oil won’t be able to do its job. 
  3. Dispense some of the oil into your hand and then apply it to your hair wherever wax is. If the wax is at the roots of your hair, feel free to part your hair in sections and apply the oil one section at a time. 
  4. Allow the oil to do its magic for about 5 minutes. During that time, the oil will break down the wax. 
  5. Grab a face towel to wipe away any wax and oil that you can see. Then wash your hair with your usual shampoo and follow it up with a conditioner. Use warm water to remove any wax that may have been left behind. 

Don’t worry if some wax remains in your hair after completing the above steps. Feel free to repeat the method every day or two to see if more wax comes out.

If you haven’t been able to remove all of the wax within a few sessions, consider another method. 

Shampoo Your Hair While It’s Dry

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An unorthodox method you can try to get rid of wax on your hair is to shampoo your hair while it’s dry. The shampoo, in the absence of water, will break down the wax.

This may sound odd to you, but it has worked for many people when other methods didn’t. If you want to give this method a try, follow the below instructions: 

  1. Dispense your regular shampoo (or, better yet, a clarifying shampoo) into your hands and apply it directly to your dry hair. 
  2. Take some time and work the shampoo into the wax with your fingers. It could take several minutes to complete this step. The goal is to get the shampoo to coat all of your strands. We recommend that you work on just a little bit of wax at a time to ensure thorough application of the shampoo. 
  3. Begin to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. The water should be as hot as possible (since it’s easier to remove soft wax), but don’t turn the temperature up so hot that it could burn you. If you rinse your hair with cold water, it will cause the wax to reharden. 
  4. Take a look at your hair. If there’s still some wax on it, you can reapply the shampoo. 
  5. Follow the shampoo up with a slippery conditioner to further loosen up the wax. The conditioner will also help to replenish the moisture lost during the shampoo session. Leave the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing it out. 

We urge you not to shampoo your hair many times in one day, as it can lead to super dry strands and ultimately hair damage. So, if you still have wax in your hair after completing the above steps, wait a day or two before doing it all again. 

Note: You can also use dishwashing liquid as an alternative to using shampoo. Read this article to learn more about using dishwashing liquid to clean your hair.

Baby Your Hair Afterwards

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Some of the methods mentioned in this article can be very damaging to your curls. Certain shampoos and hot water both run the risk of leaving your hair dry and brittle.

So, to maintain the health of your hair, it’s essential to give your hair some love. Here are a few ways that you can do it: 

  • Always follow up with a conditioner. Sometimes, all you need is a quick conditioning session to keep your hair in good condition. 
  • If you’ve been trying various methods and your hair shows signs of damage, a deep conditioning treatment may be in order. Use a moisturizing deep conditioning mask for the best results. To maximize the effects of the deep conditioner, put on a plastic processing cap to trap the heat from your head.
  • Take it easy when it comes to heat styling. If you tried a wax removal method that requires heat, it’d be a great idea to stay away from heat for a week or so. This gives your hair some time to recuperate. 

Now you know several wax removal methods you can try at home. We hope that this article is helpful to you, providing you with all the information you need to get wax out of your hair. Good luck!