Waxing has gone through a number of changes and advancements over the years in an effort to make a once very uncomfortable service into a much more comfortable one. It continues to grow in its popularity as a reliable, quick, and efficient means of hair removal. Waxing also yields high margins, making it a profitable spa service and one that builds a loyal clientele by requiring clients to return every four to six weeks. Ensuring that clients are being offered the best possible experience, time and time again means maintaining a consistent waxing protocol from the moment the client walks through the door to the time that they leave. There are a number of key factors that contribute, such as friendly and welcoming front desk staff, explaining the products used during the service, and offering suggestions on take-home products that help clients maintain skin between visits.
Written by Lindsay Miller
There are numerous pre- and post-waxing products offered today which help professionals offer a fast, effective, and minimally painful wax. The most basic waxing system includes a pre-cleanse, a pre-waxing oil, and an after-care product to further soothe the skin, as well as treat any conditions such as ingrown hairs. When it comes to the waxing service, using a quality wax that can pull short stubborn hairs and leave no sticky residue will improve the results. Understanding which pre- and post-products to use, and when, will help to ease any discomfort and leave the client feeling completely satisfied.
Prior to the wax, it is important to prepare the skin by completely cleansing the area to be waxed. Use a gentle cleanser that contains an antiseptic agent to effectively remove surface oils, perspiration, residue from pollutants, makeup, and any other residue on the skin. It is beneficial to use a cleanser that has active ingredients in it, that not only cleanses the skin but also soothes. Products that contain chamomile – which is known for its soothing and healing effect on the skin – are a good choice. In the middle ages, chamomile became popular due to its effectiveness when treating medical complaints such as skin inflammation. It quickly grew in popularity and, today is one of the most widely used calming agents found in many products – from tea to cosmetics. Chamomile’s antiseptic and antibacterial properties are added benefits and, as a result, are often found in pre-wax cleansers. Additionally, cleansers that have a calming scent will further relax the client prior to the wax, making the service easier to complete. As an example, jasmine is a popular scent that is commonly found in cleansers and is known for its calming properties.
Another reason why cleansing is so important is it helps minimize reactions and redness. When waxing is performed, the hair follicles are opened, exposing them to bacterial invasion. If bacteria does get into the follicle, it can become inflamed and lead to folliculitis, which is a form of skin irritation characterized by tender red spots on the skin that originate from the hair follicle. A red spot, or postule, on the skin will form as a result. Cleansing the skin will clean away surface bacteria and help to reduce the chances of this happening.
Note that, in addition to cleansing the area thoroughly prior to the wax, if using hard wax, applying a pre-waxing oil prior to the wax will help to further soothe the skin and add a layer of protection. If the client does have extra dry skin, a small amount of pre-xax oil can also be helpful when using strip wax. It is important to only apply a small amount of the oil in order to allow the wax to firmly adhere to the hair and pull it from the root.
After completing pre-wax care, it is time to apply the wax. It is always important to apply and remove the wax, whether it is strip or hard wax, in the correct direction of hair growth. Consider using hard wax on the more sensitive areas, such as bikini or Brazilian, and strip wax on the larger areas, such as the arms, back, and legs.
Once the wax has been completed, it is time to cleanse again. Using the same cleanser used prior to the wax, cleanse the area entirely. A great cleanser should not sting, or burn, the skin. Cleansing after the wax will remove any particles that may have fallen onto the skin during the wax and could potentially enter the open follicle. It will also help to close the hair follicle and prevent a potential reaction. Next, apply an after-care product, such as a non-clogging lotion that contains active soothing ingredients such as tea tree. Tea tree is popular in the use of cosmetics to soothe and as act as an antibacterial agent. It is known for its powerful ability to heal the skin. It comes from the Australian native plant melaleuca and has been widely used in the treatment of skin irritations. If a client is susceptible to ingrown hairs, it would be advisable to apply an ingrown hair remedy to the area. An ingrown hair can occur when the hair becomes impacted in the hair follicle and curves back under the skin. It is often because the skin grows over the open hair follicle very quickly, preventing the new hair growth from coming out through the skin. This is more common with strong hair growth. Products that contain salicylic acid and lactic acid treat keratolytic buildup, help to exfoliate the skin, and dislodge ingrown hairs. Ingrown hair treatments are great retail products, as the client can take it home and apply the product between waxing services. Some ingrown hair treatments come as both a spray and a cream. The spray may be easier to apply to larger areas. However, if applying to smaller areas, such as the face, it is best to first spray it on a makeup cotton pad and then apply to the area. Creams are also great retail products for clients to take home to apply themselves.
Retail products are an easy way for spas to upsell services and increase margins. Retail products recommended should complement the services being offered and provide an in-between waxing maintenance solution. To provide recommendations, it is important to gain a full understanding of the client’s current routine and the products they are using. For waxing, clients should be routinely exfoliating and applying ingrown hair remedies, if needed. Exfoliation helps to buff away dead skin cells and boost circulation. Oil-free sugar scrubs are effective and many have added ingredients to deeper hydrate the skin. Education is key, as, often, clients do not have the knowledge or understanding of what they should be doing at home. Offering suggestions and explaining the benefits of take-home products will not only provide an opportunity to upsell but will also allow professionals to provide the best possible experience for clients each time they return. During the service, encourage conversation with clients about what they are currently doing by asking general questions such as “Are you currently using an ingrown hair treatment at home?” and “Do you have a good exfoliator you are currently using?” Offering suggestions and recommendations will help the client feel more comfortable and provide them with important in-between-treatment care knowledge. It is important to focus on how proper homecare will positively affect their waxing service and enable them to achieve the best possible results each time they return.
Waxing is a service that a large majority of spas offer. Providing the best client care and satisfaction will allow a spa to differentiate itself from others and build client loyalty. Implementing a waxing protocol by using quality pre- and post-products will not only have clients returning every four to six weeks; it will also have them telling their friends and network about the spa’s services, allowing business to grow exponentially.
Article in Dermascope Magazine
Written by Lindsay Miller