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Wednesday, 25 April 2007 11:04

Hair Monopoly

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We are so lucky to live in a time where options are in abundance. And we certainly have more options than ever when it comes to hair removal methods: shaving, electrolysis, laser, threading, waxing, and … here's where the confusion comes in… we have sugaring.
That's correct, sugaring is a validated option of its own just like all the other options. So, why is it that the mass of people (other than trained professional sugaring practitioners) categorize sugaring as waxing? They believe that sugaring is just another form of waxing, which would be understandable if the technique and theory were the same, but they are not; in fact, they are quite opposite.
So then, why call it waxing or even sugar-waxing? Well, I believe I can shed light on the issue to explain how this came about by using the following analogy.

Monopoly led by default:
Waxing became to the hair removal industry what Kleenex became to the tissue business. For decades now, Kleenex tissue has been heavily marketing and promoting their brand by using the same message: Need a tissue; think Kleenex. But you don't really hear or read the word "tissue" in their advertisements. Kleenex is the message name and therefore the word "Kleenex" became synonymous to tissue. Today you will quite often hear someone asking for a Kleenex instead of a tissue. That's what you call excellent branding - making Kleenex the household word for tissue.
For many decades, waxing was the widely preferred alternative (and only available alternative other than electrolysis) to shaving. Even if it wasn't an issue of clever branding by any particular wax manufacturer, it remained the only true form of acceptable and affordable hair removal for a long period of time. This led "waxing" to eventually becoming the household word for, and even synonymous to, hair removal. It was sort of like a default from a monopolized description that goes something like this:
In the beginning: Applying and removing wax to and off the skin for the purpose of removing unwanted hair is called waxing.
Fast forward to today: Even in our State Cosmetology bi-law descriptions, you will notice that hair removal is described as "waxing" instead of waxing being described and considered as "one form of hair removal". I believe this occurrence in word play occurred because it really was the only method available to teach to cosmetology students for so many years.

Let's get to the root of things!
Waxing (including sugar wax) is the act of hair removal using - you got it – wax.
Is sugaring the same as waxing? NO!
Sugaring is the act of hair removal using… you guessed it… sugar with no wax added.
I believe that with correct information, we can all decipher what is true and what is not. In our industry, hair removal is a multi-billion dollar industry; an industry in which all of its players should be recognized for their truth and realities.
There are three hair removal methods on the market today that can guarantee the continual removal of hair in its critical extraction stage – the early anagen stage. They are:

1.Sugaring

2.Electrolysis

3.Laser

We consider the anagen stage as a critical or optimum stage to extract hair because it is the only stage that will provide permanent results of any sort. Whether we call it permanent or permanent reduction, it all starts with the anagen stage of a hair. "Sugaring is like owning Park Place with hotels!"

Professional sugaring still remains the only hair removal technique that can perform all of the following:

  1. Will help to eliminate ingrown hair
  2. Will help to prevent new ingrown hair
  3. Will extract all hair textures and colors
  4. Will successfully treat all skin types and colors
  5. Will improve the skin tone and texture

Professional sugaring has many benefits that give it a monopoly on what it will not do… Professional sugaring still remains the only hair removal technique that can claim it will not produce any of the following:

  1. Will not burn the skin
  2. Will not damage the dermal cells
  3. Will not "pit" the delicate facial skin cells
  4. Will not scar the mouth of the follicle or surrounding area
  5. Will not promote cross-contamination

Board of opportunity… Affordable opportunity!

Working with a product that can pretty much provide your salon or spa with every avenue known to hair removal treatment requests, I urge you to take advantage this spring and get your clients into a program that will make them so happy by the summer, they will never want to leave you!

Is your menu portfolio in line with your client requests?
Take a real close look at what you have on your menu, check out what you can still add to increase your menu profile (your investment), and start investing in anything you feel will help you to satisfy your clients.
This can easily include expanding your hair removal services. With sugaring, you are unlimited! You can literally provide treatments from head-to-toe (with the exception of inner ears and eye lashes of course) to women, children, and men. Regardless of how you choose to offer sugaring treatments – whether it's by body part, by the minute, in packages, etc., you have the power and options to make it affordable to everyone seeking your services.

Create a menu for pre-teens and teens to get them before they start to shave…
I have to tell you that my daughters feel blessed getting sugared. They are currently 11 and 12 years old, and we sugar their eyebrows, legs, and underarms.

They tell me they can see and feel the difference between their legs and their friends' shaved legs. They are especially grateful for the underarm sugaring because they are not getting the shadow look or black dot appearance on their underarms. That's enough to convince them never to shave!

TIPS FOR TREATING YOUNG GIRLS:
If all parties concerned are willing, ask the parent(s) to wait outside.
In my practice, I have found my pre-teen clientsto be much braver when parents were not there.

  • Treat them like the intelligent and curious minds they are and share your knowledge.

By sharing exactly what they are about to experience you will help reduce the fear, thus eliminating the anticipated pain. I explain each step of the procedure for pre-sugaring so that I leave no mystery for their bright and curious minds to wonder about. Even my six-year-old female client appreciated being treated like a big girl – no goofy voice involved except my natural one!

  • Step it.

When treating legs with the sugaring, you can take your time molding the sugar onto and into the skin. When you are ready to flick it off, tell the client. Then, as you flick, move your supporting hand to the area that was just treated and press firmly down onto their skin. Count to three silently and then continue up the leg with the same motions. This applies to any area you are treating – especially for first-timers.
Second and consecutive treatments will not cause the same feeling when the hair is extracted because the hair will begin to refine.

  • Give incentives for them to buy your packages.

Create the right package that will encourage your young clients to come to you of every two to three weeks, in order to treat the hair in the early anagen stage at each session. Both the parents and the child will be happy they did within the first year. You will see substantial refinement and diminishment that will make them the envy of all their friends.

Create your own monopoly of services.This spring, make it a must on your to-do list. Mix it up and shout it out! You might even consider letting your clients "create" their wish list of services from your menu. Perhaps a card where they can check off the treatments they would love to try but never got around to it.

Any three items for only ___$ (This can include all sugaring items, a combo of sugaring and mud wrap or sugaring exfoliation, Salt glow with mud wraps, etc.)

or make a wish list √ card (This can be for clients who always have the same one or two areas sugared but have not yet ventured to other body parts. You might work out a special price for them or do a giveaway for the first try, etc.).

And let's not forget our men!

Not every guy needs his back sugared. So take a moment to notice if he has hair that could be removed from his hands, eyes, ears, and back of the neck. Then you might make a quick suggestion to let them try one of those areas for free. Once they do, and we know they will love it, you can go from one of those areas to the other at each treatment until they have it all done at each appointment with you. Once they really trust you and the results, it should be fairly simple to get them to venture to an L.A. Bikini! Now that's getting them to mix it up. "Settling for sugaring is not settling for second best – and, you don't have to worry about things going wrong!"

Don't turn business away…

Pass Go & Collect More REVENUE!

If your establishment provides laser hair removal treatments, you might want to consider a marriage between sugaring and laser. Factors to consider when analyzing what treatment(s) will best suit individual clients' hair removal needs:

  • Body parts: Which area of the body is the client wanting hair removal treatment?
  • Type of hair and skin: Which method will give best results?
  • Safety: Which method is safest?
  • Cost: Which program best suits client's budget?
  • Availability: Which program will allow the skin to be free of hair for longer periods of time until permanency is reached?
  • End results: What type of end results is the client expecting – refinement, diminishment or permanency?

Although you don't hear too much about electrolysis these days, everything I am suggesting between lasers and sugaring applies to electrolysis as well.
Even with today's advancements in laser equipment, sometimes you are required to disappoint a potential client because of their hair type or skin type. Wouldn't it be great if you could provide incredible results leading to refinement, diminishment, and eventual permanency with every single client that walks into your clinic?
I read an article by Dr. Lehrer on a site called Dermatology Times. I will say that I am blown away by this article because it talks about: "Epilation treatments before laser use reduces hair growth."
Now I should state here that the results were found to be more beneficial in quicker diminishment when epilation by "wax" was performed two weeks prior to the laser treatment. If you go to this article you will see that there remains much to be tried and tested before we truly understand what the best timing would be when epilation treatments and laser treatments are combined.
What I can share through this article I am writing for you is that the concept of extracting hair or "damaging" hair follicles when in anagen stage is consistent with all theories regarding permanent hair loss or reduction. This includes my sugaring theory which is tried and proven through thousands of clients (myself included) over the last 16 years.
It is so important to extract the hair in the natural direction of growth if you want to prevent the problems associated with ingrown hair. This is what professional sugaring is all about; every single treatment you extract the hair in the natural direction of growth while it is in the anagen, stage while riding any existing ingrown hair and preventing them from ever forming again.
It makes good sense to combine and marry the two to maximize your results and your revenue!

Lina Kennedy, president of Alexandria Professional Body Sugaring headquartered in Welland, Ontario Canada. For more information, contact her at 800-957-8427, or via their website at www.alexandriasugaring.com.

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