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Tuesday, 24 May 2011 19:04

Waxing Poetic in the Summer

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For many salons and professionals, the arrival of summer brings a marked increase in our waxing services. Certainly the traditional bikini wax becomes something that we see more in the summer, but how about the now-famous Brazilian Bikini Wax? What I have found interesting about this service is when it hit our industry about 10 years ago, it hit with a vengeance and is still one of the most attended classes and asked for service. It took about three years to move from exclusively female to now include the men.

Call it what you will, my definition of a Brazilian wax is any waxing on a female that includes soft tissue and waxing on a man that includes scrotum and/or penis.
The Brazilian wax can be all or part of the hair. Some clients leave different shapes of patches, and if you are waxing a fairly hairy man, you will probably not wax his pubic area or stomach. One important thing you can do is simply book the appointment and when the client is in your room and undressed, ask them if they want you to take all the hair off or leave some kind of patch at the top. It is easier with their clothes off, so you both can simply point and discuss.

Seasonal Waxing
Here is a question for you: What can you do to have a really strong wax business all year long? How do you take the new business that walks through your doors and turn them into monthly wax clients all year, as well as introducing them to your other services? Right up there with brows, you will find the Brazilian waxing client will come in all year very faithfully.

Consultation
There is nothing like a thorough consultation to really set the stage for a partnership with your customer. Even if they are just coming in for a brow wax, it is more informative to sit down with the client and go through everything you need to know about them, as well as covering all normal and possible reactions to the service.
This may seem like a lot of work if you are used to turning the intake form over to your client and having them fill out the entire form alone. But if you instruct them to fill in only their name, address, and phone number, take the form back from them, and sit down to ask the questions while you fill in the data, you will find you have a better connection and learn more about your client. You can also go through all reactions so they have a good understanding of the service, with a lot less chance of unhappy surprises.
Last but not least, the consultation is the time you sell them the home care. Never lose sight of the fact that this is an aggressive service. They will have reactions and if you don't discuss them and make sure they take home everything they need, they will simply think you did something wrong.

Home Care
Home care is a must, and often overlooked. For body waxing, which is identified as anything below the neck, the client needs a liquid soap and pumice gloves, with the instruction to start using the day after waxing and to use every day as their regular method of cleansing. Bar soap leaves a residue and has a tendency to dehydrate the skin. The liquid soap rinses off clean, and the pumice gloves help exfoliate the skin which, in turn, does two things: helps prevent ingrown hair and also helps the hair come out better during the wax process. You will notice that it is harder to get the hair out on a client with really dehydrated skin or a tan.
For face, back, and chest, these are the breakout areas, so something that helps prevent breakouts should be applied immediately after waxing and then sold to the client to be used morning and night until the reactions are gone.

Methods
All waxing is really the same: prep the skin, make sure your wax is the correct temperature, and hold the skin for both the application and removal. Put the wax on in the direction of the hair and remove against. The exception to this rule is the Brazilian wax, as the hair generally grows in toward the center of the body, which makes it nearly impossible to follow this guideline. Therefore, we must ignore the direction, to a degree, and just wax. As you gain experience, you will know what to do to get that hair out. If you have a client that does have a tendency to react, break out, or get ingrown hair, nothing helps as much as home care, combined with regular monthly appointments.

Types of Wax
I have always identified wax into two categories: soft and hard. There are many different descriptions used: traditional, hot, cold, film, strip, and others.
Regardless of brand or temperature, soft wax is applied thin and removed with some kind of additional strip pressed over the wax. Strips may be muslin, cellophane, or nonwoven, which is sometime referred to as pellon. This type of wax is predominantly used on arms, backs, and chests, which are the least sensitive but also the larger body parts. I did not say the least reactive; backs and chests very commonly have reactions. In fact, it is uncommon not to break out when the client first starts getting waxed.
Hard wax is applied thicker, in sections, and removed without the use of a strip over it. Generally used for the face, underarm, and bikini/Brazilian wax, this is a much more gentle style of wax, as it does not stick to the skin in the same way as a soft wax, while also stronger.

Marketing
Waxing is probably the easiest service to market and get clients in the door. One very simple thing to do, if you have your services listed on your window, is put "Waxing" at eye level, around five and a half to six feet from the ground. It may seem silly, but that is what people will see first.
How to attract clients, both male and female, for Brazilian waxes? List it very plainly: "Full body waxing for women and men" pretty much says it all! My theory has always been that summer is too late to get hairless, and clients also don't want to grow their hair out, so I would do my most aggressive marketing in the winter.

Reactions

• Face, back, and chest – breakouts
• Legs – not smooth until the 3rd or 4th wax appointment
• Bruises/Scars – caused from not holding the skin correctly
• Scabs – wax is too hot, or skin wasn't prepped or held properly so too much epidermis was removed
• Tearing – usually in the Brazilian waxes; can be caused from stretching the skin too tight, not holding it tight enough, not pressing the wax all the way through the hair to the skin

Summary
As I write this article, there is still a sad lack of technicians that have taken on the male client, many out of fear (how do I do this, how does one hold the scrotum, and what happens if they get an erection?) and others simply because they think they will only attract an "iffy" type of client.
May I just say what fabulous clients men make? Yes, they do. For the most part, they will come in when you want them to, they will buy what you tell them to buy, and they become really faithful clients. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone through my database looking to do a referral and when I call around and ask my clients, they still don't do male Brazilian waxes. Why not? Isn't that sexist? Do you really not want the income?
Regardless of the body part or the gender, take the plunge and get trained. This can be had in the form of hands-on classes or through classes presented at trade shows or with a DVD that can be watched repeatedly. There isn't a better way to take training; take as much as you can, go to as many classes as you can, and don't be afraid to call your supplier of wax and ask for their help. There are also quite a few message boards that can be of tremendous help for the new or experienced wax technician. Good luck and wax on!

Lori Nestore is the CEO of Eva's Esthetics, a company committed to creating the highest quality of skin and body care products that service a broad spectrum of multicultural clientele: Extraordinary products for the not-so-ordinary professional is their standard for business. She was first recognized for her superiority in waxing treatments and training 30 years ago and continues to lead the American waxing world today. An extremely popular and highly sought after instructor, Nestori is now sharing her "secrets of the trade" with waxing professionals around the world

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