As part of the continuing education for what to do and how to wax clients effectively, don’t miss an important piece of the puzzle — what not to do regarding professional waxing.
1. Don't use slang terms with your client
First things first, know your anatomy, and always refer to the part of the body with the correct anatomical name in a professional setting. As professionals, we need to refer to body parts in a respectable manner. It’s nails on a chalkboard when I hear an esthetician refer to the labia as "kitty," "down-there," or "vajayjay."
Imagine a doctor referring to your anatomy with these slang terms. A girl’s night out? Carry on. But in a professional setting, keep it professional. While we are speaking about the labia, we are not waxing the vagina. The vagina is internal. We also are not waxing the vulva. The vulva is the entire female external genitalia, the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, clitoris and the vaginal opening. We do not wax the clitoris or the vagina. Other examples are saying "underarm" instead of "arm pit," "upper lip" instead of "mustache" and "bikini or intimate area" instead of "vagina." And we tweeze our client’s hair, we don’t pluck, unless it’s a chicken.
2. Don’t forego education with a YouTube video
Do not get your professional education from social media videos. If you like to learn from online videos, investigate the source to be sure you are learning from a brand or individual with a solid reputation. Invest in hands-on education. We must invest in ourselves and our future by learning safe and effective techniques. Maybe there are videos that offer valuable take-aways, but hands-on training is superior. Focus on learning basic waxing techniques before diving into Brazilian waxing. Focus on your technique, and the speed will come. Remember, videos are highly edited and may not show the reality of the service being provided.
3. Don’t skip the consultation
Don’t skip the waxing consultation and the client release form. It is crucial to protect yourself and your business. No matter how educated and cautious you are, things happen. Clients might not disclose products they are using on their skin, or they may not understand what ingredients are in the products they are using. The client should sign a client release form at every visit either online or in person. Also, don't forget liability insurance. Clients may inadvertently make a movement that negatively impacts the waxing service. They might close their legs while wax is applied to the outer bikini line. Maybe a client falls off the massage bed. Although rare and unlikely for these incidents to occur, it is possible. Other issues can arise as well. Did wax get on the client’s Louis Vuitton bag or on their Dolce & Gabbana sweater? Also, limit client involvement in the waxing process to zero. If they help you, things can go wrong, and you need to protect yourself by being proactive.
4. Client comfort comes first
The temperature of the room and the level of the music are what may come to mind first. But, client comfort comes in many forms. Offering a sense of reassurance that the waxing service will be swift and perfectly executed to remove every hair while making it a(n) (almost) pain free experience goes a step further. The cherry on top? A judgement free zone. These are the reasons clients return again and again. Making people look and feel good is the rewarding part of our job. Understanding that clients are human and offering a bit of empathy along with their waxing is the bonus, and they will feel it.
We do not know what people deal with in life. Why they tried to fit in a desperately needed workout, but didn’t have time to shower before their wax appointment. Why they weren’t able to totally grow out their hair, or why it helps their anxiety to be distracted on their phone. Why they gained a few pounds, or why they lost a lot of weight. Regardless of the situation, try to remember that life happens and empathy goes a long way.
5. Don’t double dip
Do not double dip the waxing spatula or applicator! While some theorize that the wax is too hot to maintain bacteria, others say the warm environment is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Unless you are going to put wax samples under a microscope to ensure no dangerous bacteria is present, it’s just not worth the risk.
6. Don’t pull up or away
Do not remove wax by pulling up or away from the skin. This can cause broken hair, bruising and redness. When removing both strip and non-strip hard wax, stay close and parallel to the body and following the natural contour of the body. Stay close to the body and remove the wax swiftly by holding the skin taut and removing the wax in the opposite direction that it was applied.
7. Don’t underestimate revenue opportunities
We love ingredients, chemical peels, facials and making our clients look and feel their best. Skin care and facials may be your passion, but don’t shy away from waxing. It can buffer your bank account in the easiest way with the lowest overhead. Imagine you offer a waxing service to four existing clients priced at $60, that equates to $240 additional income for one day. Do that every day for a week, and that translates to $1,200 and $4,800 for one month. Totaling a whopping $57,000 for the year! That is huge and easy to do with a simple add-on service.
Learn to be a great waxer, invest in education and follow these tips for continued success in your business!
Cali VanAelst, L.E. has been a licensed and practicing cosmetologist and esthetician since graduating from Pivot Point in 1989. She is currently the training director for Cirépil by Perron Rigot. She was selected by New City as the "Best Waxer in Chicago" and has been featured in both Allure and Chicago magazines as one of Chicago’s best.