The key to a lucrative career in aesthetics is developing excellent waxing skills and that requires educating yourself on how to properly wax skin of color. Each ethnicity has specific considerations when applying wax and removing hair.
Asian skin tends to be sensitive. An Asian client needs to abstain from any harsh skin care products to the area being waxed in order to prevent extra irritation that can result from the wax removing any stratum corneum. Asian hair is also typically straight and thick – recommend that your client dry brush the area being treated to reduce ingrown hairs returning after waxing.
SKIN OF AFRICIAN DESCENT
Skin of African descent has curved hair follicles and the resulting curly hair tends to grow back into the skin. If clients with curly hair of any ethnicity are going to shave between treatments, you should recommend they use a single blade razor. Double or triple blades can pull the hair and cut it off beneath the follicle as it snaps back into the follicle, creating even more ingrown hairs. Exfoliating the area with an enzyme to keep the buildup of dead skin cells to a minimum and then moisturizing can help reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation due to the trauma of hair being pulled from their follicles.
Latinx clients will usually have thicker hair follicles and denser hair, meaning more hairs per square inch. Waxing is a great solution, since the hair will grow back finer over time. Recommend your client use an at-home sugar scrub to keep the area exfoliated between treatments.
EAST INDIAN SKIN
Because East-Indian women can experience paradoxical hair growth with laser hair removal, waxing may be an alternative temporary hair removal measure, in addition to dermaplaning.
Hard wax is the best choice because it can be applied to areas where the hair is growing in multiple directions. You’ll have less risk of skin lifting and causing an injury or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Remember that waxing can open the follicle and create a pathway for infection or inflammation from bacteria. Your waxing technique must include a thorough sanitation protocol, disinfecting the area pre-and post-treatment. Don’t use strong fragrances that can lead to unnecessary irritation. Use post-treatment skin care ingredients that are calming and soothing and remind your client that sunscreen is essential.
If waxing is your specialty, understanding the unique characteristics of skin of color will help boost your skillset and bottom line as your client base grows.
A technician, educator, mentor and business owner, Mary Nielsen has been at the forefront in medical aesthetics since its infancy in the early 1990s. She is currently vice chair and industry expert on the Oregon Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians. She is the author of “Fearless Beauties,” the book, along with other aesthetic texts. She is the executive director of an aesthetic school, the founder of Fearless Beauties, and the creator of Cascade Aesthetic Alliance and Skintelligent Resources.