I still remember the first time I dropped wax in a client’s hair. “Don’t be silly. Of course, I won’t have to cut it out,” I tried to convince myself – but my stomach churned with anxiety. This was not something we covered in aesthetics school. I would have remembered a class on removing wax from a client’s scalp. As I looked down, I had no idea how I was going to get a glob of hard wax out of this woman’s hairline without also removing hair she probably wanted to keep. “Maybe I could talk her into letting me wax it out,” I thought. “Widow’s peaks are going out of style anyway, right?”
After a deep breath, and with a calmness I didn’t feel, I began assembling the tools I thought would help get the job done. Halfway through the client’s facial wax, I chatted the entire time, as if what I was about to do was standard operating procedure. After about 45 minutes of scrubbing, oiling, rubbing, dabbing, and picking, her hairline was wax-free – and very oily. But, I managed to finish the appointment. Miraculously, I even rebooked her for another wax and facial. After all, we had a lot of time to bond during her impromptu scalp treatment. The moment she cleared the door, I let myself have the mental breakdown I’d been fighting for over an hour.
That was not the last or the worst mishap that has happened behind the closed door of my treatment room. Any mishap that can happen, has happened to me. Not every outcome is as great as my first disaster turned out to be, nor is every client as understanding.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, learn from the misstep and adjust your treatment as needed. For example, as a new aesthetician, from the dropped wax incident, I learned cotton rounds, tweezers, and nippers are not the best things to use for wax removal.
Now, if this situation occurs, I know I need to grab a disposable mascara wand, a small comb, oil, and four by fours and gently work the wax free from the hair. When disaster strikes, remember to stay calm and the client will be calm. Do not panic. The only thing panic is good for is a bad Yelp review. Instead, always maintain control of your appointments – even when they may seem to have spiraled out of control. Step back, take a deep breath, evaluate the situation, and work through the problem. And, remember that as a professional, these things happen. Keep calm and carry on.
Shelly Steadman is a licensed aesthetician and educator with over 11 years’ experience in the skin care industry. After spending the last six years of her career behind a teacher’s podium training new aestheticians, she transitioned back into a treatment room. Steadman is currently working as an aesthetician at artistrySPASALON in the beautiful city of Franklin, Tennessee.