Experienced waxing artists know how important it is for clients to prepare their skin before a waxing appointment. New clients who’ve never waxed before may not understand why this preparation is necessary. If you’re fielding questions from clients, share these five reasons skin prep is so important prior to waxing sessions so they can better understand how to prepare.
Our skin is the first layer of protection around our bodies. Its job is to protect us and keep harmful bacteria out of our bodies. That means you run a higher risk of causing an infection when you’re manipulating hair and skin.
Most of the time, waxing shouldn’t lead to an infection. You’ll keep the wax on top of their skin and away from problem areas, such as cuts or tender moles. However, waxing does exfoliate the skin, and soft wax can even remove the entire topmost layer of skin during the waxing process. When this happens, the skin is especially susceptible to infection. Proper skin prep, including washing the area a few hours before and using an anti-bacterial pre-depilatory oil, will eliminate harmful bacteria and lower the risk. Explain this important part of the waxing process so that your client understands just how essential skin prep is.
Most new waxing clients know that waxing can be painful and are worried about that pain. Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance, so what hurts some people won’t hurt others, and knowing that may help them relax. Since waxing does involve various temperatures and skin exfoliation, most new clients will experience some degree of pain during their first appointment.
They can reduce that risk of pain with proper skin preparation. If they exfoliate their skin a week before the appointment and moisturize the skin a day before, clients will reduce the risk of pain. Exfoliation removes dead skin to create a smooth working surface and brings out any ingrown hairs that the wax might catch and pull otherwise. Moisturizing helps the skin maintain a healthy barrier between the hair and the skin. As a waxing artist, you can apply pre-depilatory oil at the beginning of the waxing appointment to ensure that barrier stays intact through the stress of waxing. However, moisturizing ahead of time will make the oil even more effective.
While your clients will appreciate knowing how exfoliating and moisturizing before their appointment can help reduce pain, make sure they know not to do so too close to the appointment time. Exfoliating in the week leading up to the appointment can leave skin raw and susceptible to more pain during the waxing process. Moisturizing less than 24 hours before the appointment can make the hair slippery, requiring wax reapplication, and can trap bacteria close to the skin, causing infection afterward.
For many people, the cause of pain during waxing is the skin pulling along with the wax. Proper skin preparation can help reduce pain and reduce this pull. Even if your clients don’t find the pull painful, too much skin pulling can make your job difficult, so it’s necessary to tell them how to prevent it beforehand.
Moisturizing the day before their appointment should help reduce skin pull since it helps establish and protect the barrier between hair and skin. This barrier allows the wax to pull the hair without pulling the skin. When you apply a pre-depilatory oil at the beginning of the waxing appointment, the oil also maintains that barrier and reduces skin pull. You can explain this before and while you apply the pre-depilatory oil. You can also share how oil is better for the skin than lotion since oil retains moisture better, protects the skin’s surface, and often has fewer chemicals. Consider selling skin and body oils in your salon so that your clients can use these oils for a better moisturizing experience between waxing appointments.
Hair removal is the entire point of waxing, which means your client wants the experience to be as effective as possible. Paying for hair removal and leaving with unwanted hair feels like a rip-off (pun intended). Many clients don’t understand that the waxing effectiveness partially depends on them and how they prepare their skin. If they haven’t exfoliated, moisturized, let their hair grow, or trimmed hair to the proper length, you may struggle to remove all their unwanted hair.
Therefore, it’s important to consult with clients several weeks before their appointment. You can explain that they need to allow their hair to grow between 1/4-1/2 inches long so that the wax can grip it without breaking it. You can also give them the schedule described above for exfoliating, moisturizing, and cleaning to ensure their skin is the canvas you need to work. When the client takes these steps, you can wax easier and remove all the hair they want to get rid of without an irritating reapplication.
Feel Great After
No one wants to hobble out of their waxing appointment feeling disappointed or hurt. While much of the waxing experience and immediate aftercare depends on you, it also depends on the client. If they prepare their skin and you do everything in your power to make the process painless and effective, clients should leave feeling good about their bodies and your work. If their skin isn’t ready, there’s only so much you can do to make sure they leave feeling great after.
Fortunately, there’s no such thing as “too late” for skin care. While taking care of their skin after their appointment won’t retroactively make the appointment better, it can help soothe any discomfort they experienced. Give them clear instructions for how they can use cold compresses, what products they can use, and what activities to avoid so that their skin can heal. Once they heal and can start preparing their skin for their next appointment, they’ll feel more confident in their role in the waxing process.
Skin prep is so important prior to waxing sessions because it helps your clients stay comfortable throughout the waxing experience. After all, a client’s comfort will ultimately decide whether they want to continue waxing. If you inform them how they can properly prepare their skin and they comply, they’ve done everything they can to have an effective and enjoyable experience.
Using products like a pre-wax oil can also help your client feel more comfortable during the waxing process. While this isn’t something they’ll need to apply beforehand, you can explain the benefits to them as you apply it. Sharing products that can help prepare the skin before waxing and heal it after will allow your clients to benefit from a better understanding of how important skincare is.