Smooth operator – waxing without the side-effects

Waxing has been a highly effective means of hair removal for thousands of year but that doesn’t mean it’s always a perfectly smooth process for the clients or therapists. Lilianne Caron, the owner of Caronlab Australia, explains how to deal with the three most common side effects to ensure your clients keep coming back.

  1. Redness & Inflammation 

Redness and inflammation is a common and natural side effect of waxing. To a degree there will always be some redness (particularly with people with pale and sensitive skin) as we are literally ripping the hairs out from the follicles but using a superior wax, with high quality ingredients will decrease the reactions and cause much less irritation to the skin. I can’t stress this enough; wax is not just wax. Cheap, inferior wax, made with poor quality products is the main cause of irritation.

Usually we are told ‘natural’ is better but when it comes to pine (tree) resin in waxes, unrefined resins can cause allergic reactions and product instability. Top of the range synthetic resins (which are usually described as hydrocarbon resin or polycyclopentadiene) are much safer, more consistent in production and easier to work with.

Apart from choosing the right wax, you also need to choose the right pre- and post products to go with your treatment. If you’re using a wax that requires pre-waxing oil, make sure you use one as this removes any traces of dirt, makeup, cream and/or body oil. Peppermint oil provides a refreshing cool feeling and acts as a soothing agent. It also improves the adherence of the wax to the skin meaning you won’t have to go over any areas more than once (another sure way of reducing irritation to the skin).

When you have finished your waxing treatment use an after waxing soothing lotion – I suggest one with either Tea Tree or Mango and Witch Hazel as these ingredients have soothing properties which calm and replenish the skin with vital nutrients.

  1. Ingrowns, Bumps & Pimples 

Ingrown hairs and pimples are extremely common after waxing so ingrown hair treatments are the perfect addition to any treatment as well as a great retail product for your salon.

An ingrown hair concentrated serum is best used after waxing as natural fruit acids soothe irritated skin and help prevent ingrown hairs from occurring. If your client already has existing ingrown hairs, I suggest recommending a targeted ingrown hair spot treatment as these heal ingrown hairs quickly and can even be used on pimples as they rapidly draw out infections.

I also recommend using an After Waxing Oil containing Tea Tree Oil (an antibacterial) to remove any wax residue. Unlike paraffin and vegetable based oils, it is easily absorbed and doesn’t leave the skin greasy.

In addition, don’t forget to encourage your clients to exfoliate daily – every client you treat should walk out the door with an exfoliating mitt as prevention is always better than a cure!

  1. Pain & Bruising

We all know that waxing doesn’t tickle however there are ways to make it a less painful experience. Using an incorrect waxing technique can cause serious damage to a client’s skin including unnecessary pain and bruising. Get to know your wax. Invest in a good heater and get to know the perfect consistency of your chosen wax.

If you are treating an older client, be especially gentle as their skin can tear and bruise easily. Always remember to always ask if they have started taking any new medication before each wax. A lot can change in four weeks and medication can also play a factor in how a client’s skin will react to your treatment.

Conclusion

As therapists, it is our job to do all we can to make a client’s waxing experience, including the treatment itself and the results afterwards as pleasant as possible. After all, if they suffer from severe side effects because we aren’t using the right products or technique – they definitely won’t be back! With a combination of having the correct technique, using the right products and offering the appropriate aftercare advice, we can minimise our clients’ side-effects and ensure our waxing treatments are a ‘waxperience’ they will want to repeat!

Caronlab Australia has been supplying beauty salons in Australia and around the world with superior salon waxes and accessories since 1979.  For more information visit www.caronlab.com.au