Allergies, skin sensitivities, rashes… Like most things, there is room for things to go wrong in waxing. We ask Michele Hetherington, head trainer for Jax Wax, what we should be looking out for to avoid wax-related skin issues.
What factors should therapists look out for before a wax treatment?
“There are many contra-indications that may prevent or postpone the waxing treatment,” says Michele Hetherington, head trainer at Jax Wax. “Analysing the skin before commencing a waxing treatment is important to determine the condition of the skin and whether it is safe to proceed. Some factors a therapist should also consider prior to the waxing treatment include: previous methods of hair removal, client expectations, work environment, leisure activities and any sport a client might take part in.”
Are allergies an issue to watch for?
“Allergies have emerged as a major public health problem in developed countries during the twentieth century – and Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world,” says Michele Hetherington. “People suffering with allergies have higher levels of histamine, a neurotransmitter that dilates blood vessels and leads to inflammation, this causes the skin to be much more reactive.”
What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?
“The body’s reaction to the removal of hair from the root is seen as an invasion, which produces more histamine; this combination may result in welts or wheals after waxing,” says Michele. “The most readily affected areas for this to occur on are on the face, particularly around the eye area. This is a contra-indication that can crop up – and more often than not, it’s an inferior wax that is held responsible.”
How can some of these issues be avoided?
“As with any service performed in a salon, the client must be evaluated and prepared for the treatment,” says Michele Hetherington. “Client consultation prior to treatment is the best way to avoid issues when conducting a waxing service because it allows you to gather information for effective treatment. A consultation will help build rapport with your client, and help put them at ease. Use the consultation to answer any questions and explain aspects of the treatment your client might be unsure about.”
Are there any home care tips you can give therapists to pass onto their clients?
“The client should be instructed to treat the area very gently and to be aware of infection complications,” says Michele. “These are rare but possible if the client does not take the correct precautions. If they are prone to ingrown hairs, we recommend the use of our Jax Wax Australia Alpine Bluebell After Wax Body Lotion as a take home treatment. For general skin maintenance, Jax Wax Australia Vanilla & Cocoa Butter lotion will keep skin soft and supple making it easier to remove hair.”
After a wax, a bit of redness can be expected… What is normal, and what isn’t?
“Some degree of redness or inflammation will usually occur right after waxing, especially for the sensitive-prone, however it usually subsides throughout the day.” says Michele Hetherington. “Skin redness after a waxing should not continue to worsen. If skin starts to burn, itch or develop a rash, it is important to determine whether there is a possible underlying skin conditions or illness.”
What should always be discussed with new clients?
“When a client is booking for the first time, first find out why they want a treatment and what their expectations are,” says Michele. “It’s also important to ask if they have previously had any reactions to waxing or if they have any skin conditions which might react to a wax treatment. Also find out about any medications, surgery or illness which might affect the quality of their skin, as well as the products they are using at home, and whether they wear sunscreen.”