Waxing WAYS | Pocketmags.com
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

6 mins

Waxing WAYS

As the demand for waxing services grows in summer, we look at some common waxing issues that arise and ask the professionals how best to address them

1 Ingrown hairs

“To prevent ingrown hairs, make sure your wax is applied with firm pressure, so that it reaches the point where the hair meets the skin,” advises Gillian Redmond, owner of The Zen Room in Wexford. “If it doesn’t, it will snap the hairs rather than removing them from the root, making them more prone to becoming ingrown. The same applies to the removal of your patch – it must be removed parallel to the skin or the hairs will break close the skin surface, which will again increase the risk of them becoming ingrown. Strip wax must always be applied in the direction of the hair growth, and removed against it. Hot wax can be applied either with or against the growth, and removed in the opposite direction to which it was applied.”

“Homecare is very important too,” says Michelle Croghan, owner of Studio Wax in Drogheda, Co Louth. “Hydration is crucial, and I always tell clients that the key to hydration is exfoliation. Exfoliating the area regularly, especially coming into the second week after their treatment, will help the hairs grow through with ease. And moisturising the area will, of course, keep the skin soft and hydrated. For the intimate bikini area, be sure to recommend a suitable product that is not heavily fragranced.”

2 Skin lifting

“On sensitive areas such as the face, underarm and bikini area, you should use a hot wax with a pre-wax oil to avoid any skin lifting,” says Claire Corcoran, owner of Wax Works in Limerick. “This oil acts as a barrier, helping to protect the skin, so when the wax is removed, it is only the hair that is being pulled, not the skin. When using warm wax/strip wax, we would recommend using some talcum powder as a barrier, and applying a thin layer, just enough to cover the area. Removal here should be be done quickly – don't leave the wax too long to dry before removing it.”

“Poor waxing techniques can also cause the skin to lift – for example, it may happen if the therapist has not stretched the skin enough, or has pulled the wax off at an awkward angle, ” says Danielle Roche, owner of Elite Waxing in Ballincollig, Cork. “The skin can lift as well if your client is using products such as Retin-A or Roaccutane, which cause the skin to thin. Always check with clients regularly about such products and do a proper consultation.”

3 Wax where you don't want it

“Try not to panic if wax ends up somewhere you don’t want it,” advises Croghan. “It’s easy to get stressed in this scenario, so take a breath, and have some tricks up your sleeve to solve it. For example, if you get wax on part of the eyebrow, you can add some pre-wax or post-wax oil to a cotton pad or bud and gently place it on the brow. Slowly wipe the oil through the brow and it should dissolve the wax for you. Then use a spoolie brush and softly comb through. Wipe the area clean with a damp cotton pad and continue with your treatment.”

“No matter how neat you are, wax can often spill onto an unwanted area,” says Redmond. “If you drizzle it across the hair on the client’s head, get a dry cotton pad with some post-wax oil on it, wrap it around the wax piece and gently pull it along the hair strand until it comes off. You may need to repeat the process, but the trick here is to act quickly while the wax is still warm. If you spill some during a bikini wax, the best solution is to trim off the wax in the hair using a sterile scissors. Always inform the client when this happens – stay calm and tell them what you are about to do to remove it.”

4 Wax left on the skin when the paper is removed

“This usually happens due to a combination of the client's skin being dry and wax going cold before you get a chance to remove it,” says Corcoran. “If a client has a lot of dead skin, the first application of wax will be absorbed by this, making removal quite difficult. Apply a barrier before the wax and, with lots of pressure in the hands, press the wax strip into the skin in a rubbing motion to warm up the wax and help to get a cleaner removal. Advise this client to exfoliate more frequently, and to moisturise daily.”

'On sensitive areas such as the face, underarm and bikini area, you should use a hot wax with a pre-wax oil to avoid any skin lifting'

“This can also happen if the client's skin itself is cold, which is common on the feet, ankles and hands,” says Roche. “Putting a thin layer of wax over the dried wax just to remelt it should resolve the issue. You can also try and remelt the wax by placing the paper strip over the dried area, then using your hands to heat up the wax.”

5 Wax won't set

“When you are struggling with getting patches to set, it's usually because you client's body temperature is a bit high or your room is too warm,” says Redmond. “This generally only causes issues for the upper legs, bikini and underarm areas of the body, where clients can get clammy easily, and where the apocrine sweat glands are located. If a client is too warm, cool the skin down with some damp cotton pads and skin cleanser, then dry thoroughly before beginning your wax treatment. Pregnant clients' body temperature will always increase in the latter months, so make sure you have plenty of cool cotton pads to make the treatment more comfortable for them.”

“Wax not setting is common during the summer, when bodies tend to be warmer,” says Croghan. “You can apply a light sprinkle of powder to the area pre-wax to ensure the skin is dry, and also over the wax to set it quickly. Having air conditioning in your treatment room is a huge help with this issue too.”

6 Hair length issues

“The ideal length for hair to be waxed is the length of a grain of rice, or a quarter of an inch,” says Roche. “Hair that is any shorter can be harder to remove. For short, stubborn hair, I always use hot wax, which I actually apply against the hairs to make sure they are locked into the wax. Then I bring them back in the direction of growth, and remove against it as normal. If they are still not coming out, I explain to the client that they are too short this time, but they will come out the next time.”

“When it comes to the right hair length for waxing, we tell clients to come in two to three weeks after shaving or using hair removal creams, and four to five weeks after their last wax,” says Corcoran. “We like to trim ourselves in the salon as we find when clients do it themselves preappointment, they usually trim the hair too short and it’s more difficult to get a clean finish, or they use a trimmer, which leaves the hair all different lengths. We always encourage our clients to rebook every four to five weeks. Regular waxing leads to a reduction in hair growth and ingrown hairs, and there is less discomfort for the client over time.”

This article appears in the June 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the June 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland