The melting pot : top tips for summer waxing
By Wax Daddy, Jun 15 2016 06:37AM
It's a scorcher! With the British summer just around the corner and ice-cream finally back on the menu, waxing season is most definitely upon us. Whether customers are jetting off to Bali or hitting the beaches of Blackpool, hot weather and warm skin brings its own set of challenges for waxing. Here are a few poolside tips to ensure you and your clients stay cool this summer.
As the weather warms up, you may find clients arrive hotter and perspiring more than normal. If possible, recommend that clients arrive a little earlier so that they have time to relax and cool down before their treatment. Keep a jug of iced water in your waiting area for clients to help themselves to – try adding a few slices of lemon and lime, frozen berries, cucumber spirals or a spring of mint to liven things up. It’s a small touch that will be greatly appreciated in the heat.
Bear in mind the knock-on effect that hot weather can have on some skin conditions, health issues and medication that impact on hair removal. For example, customers with low blood pressure (or those taking tablets to regulate high blood pressure) may feel dizzy when adopting certain positions or getting off the treatment table during the warmer months, and clients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or fibromyalgia may find their symptoms worsen in the heat.* Keep your record cards up-to-date and don’t be embarrassed to check whether customers are experiencing any side effects as temperatures rise.
Skin that is clammy or perspiring can be a nightmare to wax, so don’t skimp on the pre-wax cleanser (a quick once over with a tea-tree wipe is also a refreshing option). Now, I have a confession to make. We’ve spent so many years espousing the benefits of using oil under wax that the mere mention of powder will send some therapists into shock, but I will happily admit: I do keep a tub of talc-free baby powder in the treatment room and I’m not afraid to use it when necessary. A light dusting over a mega-sweaty back or chest makes my life easier when temperatures soar, and as I’ve always said: if it’s easier for me, it’s easier for the client. So sue me.
At the other end of the scale… clients who have been basking in the sun may have drier skin than normal, which can cause your wax to stick and skin to lift. You may need to work in smaller sections and this is where you can use a little extra pre-wax oil to compensate (especially if you need to reapply wax to any areas). Never wax over sunburnt skin, even at the peeling stage – wait for it to completely heal before slapping on the sticky stuff.
Dedicated sun worshippers can help avoid the Donatella Versace look by drinking plenty of fluids (and by fluids I mean water, not sangria), moisturising regularly after UV exposure and exfoliating lightly 2-3 times a week to shift those scorched skin cells, all of which will assist greatly when back at the wax pot.
The warm weather doesn't just affect clients, it can play havoc with your wax as well. High temperatures, humidity and air conditioning can all have an impact on the product in your pot and its performance on the skin. Keep an eye on the texture of your wax and be prepared to adjust the working temperature of your heater if needed – a slight nudge up or down can make all the difference if you find your wax is either too thick or too runny.
Those of you with air conditioning may find your peelable wax develops a ‘film’ on the surface. If this happens, simply use a spatula to lift and tip this unmelted section over, giving you access to more fluid wax underneath. You may also find polymer-based waxes get stringier when the air con is at full pelt. Avoid the candyfloss effect by channeling your inner Tinkerbell… wipe or twirl your spatula over the heater to break any strings pot-side, and then wave your stick back and forth a couple of times at the end of your strip to avoid trailing wax threads all over the customer (keep your spatula close to the body as you do this, or you’ll end up with strings everywhere).
If you find that your peelable wax gets gummy or is taking too long to set during the humid weather, simply dampen a cotton pad with a few drops of water and wipe over the top. You may end up with random tufts of cotton stuck to the surface but this doesn't matter: the coolness of the water will help the wax to set quicker, meaning you might just get home in time for Game of Thrones after all.
Customers heading off on a sunny holiday? Lucky blighters. Even regular clients occasionally forget that hair needs to be a certain length before it can be waxed successfully. If a vacation is already in the diary, plan backwards from that date so you can time their appointments effectively and ensure they are smooth for their upcoming trip – a bit of prior planning can avoid any unnecessary disappointment and a last minute date with a razor.
Also, it's a good idea to advise newbies in particular to book their final pre-holiday wax a few days before their trip, rather than leaving it to the night before they jet off to the Seychelles. Nobody wants to be sat on a plane for several hours with a freshly waxed back, plus it gives plenty of time for any potential redness or sensitivity to calm down before they get their kit off and frighten the locals.
The mantra of keeping things ‘clean, cool and calm’ after waxing is more important than ever during the summer months. Advise clients to wear loose clothing to their appointment and for a few days afterwards. Male clients in particular will benefit from bringing a clean cotton t-shirt with them to change into after their back or chest wax. This can go a long way towards reducing any post-wax irritation during the hot and sticky summer months, especially if he is coming to you straight from work in a collar and tie.
Finally: now that the sun is showing its face here in Blighty, a good SPF is especially important after waxing any exposed area of the body. Freshly waxed skin is more sun-sensitive, bringing with it an increased risk of sunburn and hyper-pigmentation, so apply a sun cream at the end of your treatment and ensure you recommend the continued use of a quality SPF product in your aftercare advice. Remember: no sunbathing or fake tans for at least 24-48 hours after waxing, but incorporate these simple tips and your customers will soon be flaunting their smooth bits on the beach with pride!
* Big thanks to Michele at Adam & Eve waxes for the heads-up on MS. Every day is a school day!
Thanks Philip! Hope you are having a super summer :) Andy