Wax On... and On and On...

IPL and laser treatments have progressed massively over the years – but that certainly doesn't mean the waxing industry is on the wane. Au contraire, as the experts told Irish Beauty…

The growth in popularity of permanent hair reduction has had a massive effect on the hair removal industry, but rather than destroying treatments like waxing, it's resulted in them evolving and progressing – to the extent that waxing has become more sophisticated and popular than ever before. The fact remains that fashions come and go, and not 
everyone wants a permanent solution to hair removal, or other people may like permanent hair reduction on some parts of the body and not on other parts.

Andy Rouillard, who has collaborated with Salon System on their new Wax Expert range, says that it's an exciting time to be in the waxing industry. “As with all areas of the beauty industry, things are moving faster than ever before: new ingredients and innovations in technology have transformed the face of hair removal and made things easier in the treatment room for therapists and clients alike. The driving force now is very much around ease of use and client comfort, without compromising on results: lower temperature formulations, faster setting hot waxes and multi-functional skincare that offers brilliant hair removal at an accessible price point for everyone. It's fun to be a part of and interesting to see what else is on the horizon!”

Angie Sanderson, Lead Educator at Sweet Squared for wax:one, agrees. “The biggest change is the rise in the popularity of hot wax, particularly for waxing more sensitive parts of the body like facial, underarms and intimate. This is largely down to client comfort. The use of a protective barrier oil, working in smaller patches and good quality brands of hot wax contouring to every part of the body, removing cleanly from the root. Clients are having a more comfortable experience during their treatments thanks to hot wax.

“We still have therapists coming to wax:one for training having only ever used strip wax – the transformation they're having within their businesses after taking on hot wax is amazing – more clients coming in for treatments and adding more areas of their body to their appointments. Hot wax really is a game changer for both the client and the therapists.”

Effect of laser
Both experts agree that laser hasn't had the terrible effect on waxing that some people might have predicted. “Not if my appointment book is anything to go by!” says Andy. “Laser and IPL are super options for clients seeking long-term hair reduction, and we've seen some fantastic advances in technology over recent years. Although costs have come 
down significantly, the initial financial outlay and commitment to IPL and laser can be off-putting for some customers, and different hair and skin tones can get mixed results, so for these customers waxing will always offer a quick and affordable alternative.

“I like to think that the various hair removal methods can all sit happily alongside each other, it doesn't have to be a case of picking just one to offer at your salon. Cross-referrals can work really well, too, especially for smaller businesses. I gladly refer clients to other salons and technicians specialising in sugaring or electrolysis, for example, if these methods would better suit the individual needs of the customer, and they send people to me for waxing. There's more than enough hair out there for us all to zap and still make a healthy living!”

Intimate waxing
When it comes to popular treatments, intimate waxing is still leading the way. “In my experience as a salon owner and someone who has been waxing for many years, we have a very even split across waxing treatments,” says Angie. “However, both ladies and gents' intimate waxing is something we do very well with. Why? Because as a confident therapist with a great product behind you, your clients will NEVER go 
anywhere else once you've gained their trust. Clients will often attempt DIY beauty treatments, but waxing is not one of them. Intimate waxing correctly will really boost or build your loyal regular client base.

“Facial waxing is also really popular, particularly with hot wax as it is much less painful than strip waxing or threading for example. A client could come for facial waxing during their lunch hour and due to the protective oil between the skin and the wax and the low temperature of a brand like wax:one, no one would know they had been waxed!”

“For guys, back waxing is by far and away the most popular treatment,” adds Andy. “I doubt fuzzy shoulders will ever be the height of fashion, so if you can wax a back you will never go hungry! This is closely followed by facial waxing for chaps, or as I like to call it: the fastest facelift in town. Seriously,it's amazing how a nostril and ear wax can knock years 
off the appearance!”

Client concerns
For experienced waxers, it can be easy to dismiss or just not understand new clients' concerns – but it's important that you do. “Fear of the unknown is often the biggest hurdle for new customers, especially when it comes to intimate waxing,” says Andy. “A simple trick to gain client confidence is to put a list of frequently asked questions on your salon website, which clients can then refer to beforehand. When customers arrive for their first appointment, I always take a few minutes 
to explain the procedure and answer any questions they might have before slapping on the sticky stuff, and continue to explain what I am doing as I work. As therapists, it's easy for us to forget that we spend all day at the wax pot and know the routine inside out: what clothes need to be taken off, how people need to be positioned on the table, how hot the wax feels and what the aftercare lotions are for… but most firsttime customers don't know any of this, so don't leave them guessing!”

Angie adds that customers may be fearing a number of things. “First, pain. They may have had a bad experience in the past or have heard horror stories that have really put them off or made them very anxious walking in to that treatment room.

“Second, embarrassment, particularly for intimate waxing. It's important to always make new clients feel comfortable, explain the treatment, at what stage underwear needs to be removed and why and provide a modesty towel.

“Finally, clients worry about breaking out in spots or getting ingrown hairs. This can happen with waxing, but it can be easily prevented so it's important to ensure you're using a good quality product and that your skills and technique are up to date so you're providing the best possible treatment and removing hairs from the root and not snapping them due to poor technique.

“Make sure you provide appropriate aftercare advice (loose clothing, avoiding excessive sweating etc) and offer a good after care product containing salicylic acid which will help to gently exfoliate the skin so new hairs can grow straight up out of the skin's surface.” 

Keep training
As with everything, great training – and continual training – is the key. “Technique and confidence are essential – once a client puts their trust in you to perform a waxing treatment (particularly intimate waxing), they'll be long-term customers,” says Angie. “If you're nervous, tentative or embarrassed, you're likely to not give a great treatment. If your skills aren't up to scratch, you're likely to not give a great treatment. 

“If you're new to waxing, it's essential to carry out high-quality, certified training not only so you can ensure you can get appropriate insurance, but so you're learning the skills to be the best waxer you can be. This doesn't come instantly so as well as your training, you must practice, practice, practice! You may also have been waxing for 10 years or only ever do a waxing treatment every now and then so don't feel very confident, so updating your skills and learning new tips and tricks to make you even better is really important as you move through your career.”

“Sadly, waxing is still one of the most neglected areas when it comes to Continuing Professional Development in our industry,” says Andy. “Too many therapists are under the illusion that once they've learned how to wield that spatula at college, that's them done and dusted in terms of training. But we've seen huge changes in waxing over recent years, not just in terms of new products and techniques, but also customer expectations and trends. Intimate hair removal is just one example: you can't ‘muddle through' a Brazilian wax and hope for the best!

“Fortunately, clients are getting wise to this and are putting their money 
where their hair is. Salons and therapists who invest in top quality 
products and education will inevitably succeed over those who are stuck in their ways.

“A well-trained technician uses less product, works faster and can adapt their technique in the most appropriate way for any bit of skin that needs de-fuzzing, without so much as breaking out in a sweat. So, good  training can actually represent a significant saving in the long-term, plus 
the assurance of a better service for customers. And as we all know, 
improved client satisfaction means better retention rates, which in turn 
results in repeat sales and greater profit potential.”

Top Products
Brands have responded to the demand for better, more effective and more comfortable waxing products – here are just a few that have caught our eye

The new wax:one range is perfect for clients looking for a quick and effective hair removal method before summer holidays. Developed for today's modern active client, wax:one is the solution for therapists requiring a fast, comfortable waxing service with the highest quality of ingredients. wax:one provides a simple powerfully effective system that quickly gives super smooth results while minimising the risk of ingrown hairs. 

Sweet Squared: 01 408 9191

Cirepil by Perron Rigot is a brand that has been going for 80 years and is now available in 80 countries. The waxes are used at low temperatures and perfectly encapsulate the hair, ensuring removal 
without pain. The Cirépil waxing protocol, which includes pre- and 
post-waxing products, results in quick and easy treatments, enabling 
the therapist to advise on complementary homecare products. Plus a 
wide range of waxes, including the popular and glam Cocktail waxes, 
gives the therapist a great choice for treating every client.

Chleo Enterprises: 01 408 0820

Aftercare is easy with KaesoWax Care products, which can be used in 
the salon or retailed for home use. Kaeso Relieve & Soothe After Wax 
Lotion helps to nourish and moisturise the skin post wax. Camphor, 
cajaput oil and arnica help to calm and soothe following hair removal and leave the skin feeling soft and looking supple. Kaeso Skin Saviour Bump Smoother helps to eliminate redness and prevent ingrown hairs following hair removal. 

Pinkini Brazilian Care is a range specifically developed for intimate 
waxing by Lycon. This up-to-the-minute range includes Pinkini Brazilian Hybrid Hot Wax, a finely tuned blend between Lycon's legendary traditional hot wax and Lycotec modern film wax formulas. When teamed with the nurturing Pinkini Pre and Post Waxing Lotions, the range provides virtually painless professional waxing. Pinkini Brazilian Hybrid Hot Wax removes hairs as short as 1mm and is perfect for the most sensitive skins.For home use there's also Pinkini Lightening Serum and Pinkini Intimate Wash.

Lycon: 01 293 9002

The RICA waxing range contains a number of great products to suit all types of waxing treatments. The brilliant blue Azulene Liposoluble Wax promises exceptional results even on short or coarse hair, and is gentle on even sensitive skin, containing vegetable oils to moisturise the skin. The brand's Hard Wax is a non-strip formula that is ideal for small and sensitive areas like face and bikini zone. It contains a nourishing mix of vegetable oils to moisturise the skin after depilation, and glyceryl rosinate to avoid any skin reactions. Pre- and post-waxing products in the range ensure perfect comfort for the client.

Hennessy Hair & Beauty: 021 434 3436

Harley Wax's new Azulene and Lavender Film Wax is applied like a 
strip wax but comes off like a hot wax. With the strength and pliability 
of a Harley Hot Wax, it is also able to remove hairs as short as 1mm, 
eliminating the need to tweeze. It is a technologically advanced wax 
and can be heated faster on a lower temperature. 

Harley Wax Ireland: 043 333 0794

Salon System has expanded its Just Wax range with a new capsule range, Just Wax Expert, developed in collaboration with waxing expert Andy Rouillard. The unique formula wax is suitable for all skin types and all hair types, while the ease of use for speedy removal and no sticky residue provides ultimate client comfort. The range includes Cleanse & Prime serum for pre-waxing care, Hot Wax, Strip Wax, and Protect & Calm lotion, which can be used to calm the skin pre- and post-waxing.

Salon System: +44 (0) 20 8573 9907

Aromawax Flexi Polymer Hot Wax is a premium hot wax formulation that can be used on any part of the body but is especially suited to face underarm bikini and Brazilian waxing. The formula contains elastomers that keep the wax flexible without becoming brittle during use and peels off with amazing elasticity. The brand's Moroccan Gold strip wax is formulated with pure argan oil, which softens and hydrates the skin. It also contains arnica to prevent bruising and promote healing. 

Flair: 1890 564 040