Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty



1 How should I wax clients with sensitive skin?

My first piece of advice is to make sure you are using the right type of wax for the right area. Hot wax is designed to be used in delicate, sensitive areas, including the face, underarms and intimate area. Not only will it feel more comfortable for your client, but it will help to protect their skin too. Many therapists still use warm wax on the face, and while there isn’t anything wrong with this, you will be at more risk of lifting the skin and causing it to feel more sensitive.

The normal reaction to any area of the body that we wax is warmth, with little red dots and pinkness sometimes appearing. With fair-haired clients, you may see more of a bright red reaction, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s hurting more. Typically, these reactions should go down within a few moments or a few hours. Anything that seems to be getting worse or inflamed after 24 hours isn’t a normal reaction and should be checked by a pharmacist or GP as it could be an allergic reaction to something.Here are some tips to help reduce sensitivity or trauma to the skin:

1. Layer the wax as thinly as you can when using strip wax. Thickness will cause the skin to bounce and pull underneath.

2. Use a good-quality hot wax that is designed with sensitivity in mind, especially in delicate areas.

3. Don’t wax over damp skin. By checking for any dry areas you’ll see which spots may need a drop of pre-wax oil to protect them, and as you cleanse you will also see if redness appears. This could help indicate that the skin is more likely to be sensitive.

4. Always educate your clients in what can make them more sensitive and to make sure they know to keep you updated about any changes.

If you see a reaction on the skin, speak with your client about what may be causing it and find an alternative method to help this for next time.

2 How do I choose the right speed and grit for my e-file?

E-files typically have multiple speed settings, known as RPM (rotations per minute):

• Slow speed (1,000-10,000 RPM) – ideal for delicate nail procedures

• Medium speed (10,000-15,000 RPM) – commonly used for general filing and shaping of both natural nails and thinner enhancements such as gel polish or builder gel

• High speed (15,000-35,000 RPM) – mainly applied for quick product removal, such as gel or acrylic extensions

The e-file grit refers to its coarseness, and determines its level of abrasiveness, with different ranges available:

Diamond cuticle bits

• Coarse grit – equal to a 140-170 grit nail file

• Medium grit – equal to a 200-230 grit buffer

• Fine grit – equal to a 400-grit file or buffer

• Extra fine grit – equal to a 600-grit file or buffer

Unlike carbide bits, diamond bits and sanding bands have an exact grit, meaning you can calculate the level of abrasion.

Carbide and silicone bits

The grit standard is divided according to the number of teeth at the bottom of the drill bits. 

Sanding bands

• Coarse grit (150) – primarily used for quick and efficient product removal

• Medium grit (180) – ideal for refining the nail surface, these grits work effectively on both natural and enhancements. They can be used in the natural nail for prep, but a 240 is preferred

• Fine grit (240) – designed for prepping the nail surface

This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland