FAQ's About Hair Removal Waxes and Techniques
1. Which direction should I apply wax onto the skin?
Observe/determine the direction of growth and apply in the direction of hair growth and remove completely horizontally (as close to the skin as you can get) against the direction of growth (opposite direction of hair growth). Never pull perpendicularly (up) away from the skin which would likely result in bruising, breaking hair and removing too much skin.
2. How much wax should I use to apply on the skin?
Warm, strip wax should be applied in a thin layer using the edge of the spatula. A thin application of wax provides less pull on the client's skin and is therefore less painful. Additionally, a thinner application means a greater return for you (more treatments per can of wax). Never double-dip.
3. Are there some skins that I should not wax?
Yes, there are numerous situations that may contraindicate a client for waxing. This is not a complete list, but a general guideline. Client consultation is a must to determine if a client is eligible for waxing. If uncertain, always perform a patch test first and err on the side of caution. Do not wax clients:
- Taking Accutane, or have stopped taking it less than 6 months ago.
- Taking any topical or oral prescription acne medication (such as: Adapalene, Alustra, Avage, Avita, Differin, Isotretinoin, Renova, Retin A, Tazarac, Tazarotene, Tretinoin)
- That have lupus or AIDS
- Undergoing cancer therapy including chemotherapy or radiation.
- That have irritated, inflamed, cut, or sunburned skin.
- With varicose veins.
- Any area that has a rash, recent scar tissue, a skin graft, pimples, cold sores, moles, warts or fresh bruises.
- Where client has undergone dermabrasion services within the past three months.
- Where client has undergone laser skin resurfacing within the last year.
- Where Botox or collagen injections were performed within the last seven days.
- That have been waxed within the last 24 hours.
- Where clients have been using AHA's, BHA's, Retinols or light peels within the last 7 days.
- With body piercings.
4. When would I use a Hard, Stripless Wax?
Hard waxes are used on more sensitive areas of the body; i.e. face, underarms, nape of neck, bikini/brazilian. Since hard waxes shrink-wrap around the hair and do not attach to the skin, they are preferable to use in wax applications where the client may have very sensitive skin. A 1/4" growth is ideal for most Hard Waxes to grab and remove the hair efficiently.
5. Which wax would I use on skins of color?
6. What can I do if some of the hair stays on the skin after I've waxed?
Never reapply a soft, strip wax over an area that you just waxed with a strip wax. You can use the existing wax on your pellon or cotton strip to press over a hair to remove it (always horizontally). If you're using a Hard, Peel-off Wax, you can reapply up to three times (depending on how your clients skin is responding) in the same freshly waxed area. Additionally, if you are using a Hard, Non-strip wax and leave a few hairs behind, you can clean up with a strip wax (again, depending on how your clients skin is responding). To summarize: you can use Hard Wax over Hard Wax; Strip Wax over Hard Wax; or you may use Hard Wax over Strip Wax. Tweezing should be kept to a minimum as the client has scheduled for a waxing service.
7. What is the technique for using a Hard, Non-Strip Wax?
Apply a thick layer (nickel thickness) in the direction of growth leaving an even edge around the perimeter. Using the flat side of the spatula, apply in smaller applications. Use an adequate amount of pressure in application to trap the hair within the wax. Press with your finger as soon as the wax is no longer moist (approximately 5 seconds, depending on the wax - this helps to further entrap the hair in the wax) and remove immediately against the direction of growth, if possible. Hard waxes can be removed from the side as well. Hard waxes are great for upper lip hair removal because they do not stick to the skin and are more gentle. Hard waxes are desirable to use on the labia in brazilian services.
8. I stripped away too much skin. What went wrong?
Often times, the client may be using a home care product or taking a medication that encourages sloughing; i.e. Retinols or AHAs. Even a mild product containing these types of ingredients can make a difference on some skins. If a topical skin care product is the problem, ask the client to discontinue use of the product 1 week prior to their next service. You may want to opt for using a hard wax on clients who are ultra sensitive as well. Client consultation to confirm they aren't using anything that may contraindicate them prior to the wax treatment can help avoid this - even with your regular clients.
Sometimes, it could be the technique. If you've pulled the wax strip perpendicular (up and away) from the skin, you'll surely remove deeper layers of skin. Also, we suggest removal with a smooth, easy stroke instead of an abrupt jerk. For facial wax services, it is recommended to apply a very light layer of powder to add extra protection as well as dry excess moisture on the skin. If the wax is too hot, then you'll encounter a problem with removal of too much skin or burn the client. Epillyss waxes melt and are applied at near body temperature. You should always inform the client when the wax service has gone awry and consider not charging them or discounting the service. Use icy cold Magic Globes to help calm and reduce inflammation.
9. What is the best product to calm the skin after waxing?
There are many products available. Epillyss has a fabulous Aloe Gel that cools and calms inflammation and the Vitamin E Cream is extremely hydrating and helps to regenerate the skin. Epillyss Azulen Oil or Cirepil Jasmin Oil is soothing and works to diffuse inflammation as well as clean up any residue.
10. Should I apply Oil or Powder before waxing?
Waxes do not like moisture on the skin, so if the client is perspiring or moist then use a powder to absorb the excess moisture. Again, a light application of powder is a great idea to use on delicate skins (such as eyebrows or lip), as it serves as a protective barrier between the skin and wax. On the other hand, if the skin is too dry and dehydrated with lots of dead cells, waxes will likely stick to the skin, so use a tiny amount of Azulen Oil or Jasmin Oil and massage well into the skin prior to wax application. Hard waxes work well with a breath of oil, so you may apply a drop or spritz to your glove, and massage well into the area. This is usually applicable to underarms or the bikini area when performing bikini or brazilian services. If too much oil remains on the skin, simply wipe away excess with a tissue. Be careful not to leave excess oil on the skin, as this will prevent the wax from properly adhering to the hair.
11. Do you have a product for Ingrown Hair?
Epillyss Carrioff is formulated to use between wax services to allow the hair to surface and not become ingrown. Carrioff contains a combination of Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic Acids that effectively exfoliate dead cells to prevent them from growing over the follicle opening and blocking the hair from surfacing. It's excellent for use on Pseudofolliculitis Barbe as well. It is a non-drying formula with added Camphor Oil for soothing and antiseptic benefits. Carrioff is available as a personal roll-on product for retail purposes. Clients should discontinue use of this product 1 week prior to their next wax service.
12. Do you have a numbing product?
Epillyss Magnolia Gel is an antiseptic and refreshingly cool gel that will gently numb the skin about 25% and should be applied approximately 10 minutes prior to the wax service. It can be sold to the client for use before they arrive for their appointment or, if enough time is allotted for their service, you may apply it for them.
13. Is there a product that slows down the growth of hair?
Epillyss Prohibit Serum contains botanicals to slow the formation of new hair in the papilla. It should be applied every 8 hours for 3 consecutive days following the wax service. Application should then be repeated in the same manner after the next wax service in 3-4 weeks. It must be used consistently for best results. This is a great product to suggest to clients whose hair regrowth seems to be particularly ambitious (meaning it grows back faster than average).
Additionally, it contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This is an excellent solution to help those with post-depilatory reactions, such as breakouts (great for bikini line, men's backs and chest). Prohibit is available as a roll-on for retail and is also available in a 4 oz spray to be applied to your client following the wax service. Ideally, cleanse the skin after waxing with non-burning Germicidal Lotion and apply Prohibit Spray to the area - you may wish to use esthetic wipes for this.
14. How do I get the wax off my equipment, floors and countertops?
Zestasol is a natural, non-toxic orange solvent that safely dissolves residue on wax heaters, floors, counter tops, sheets, and clothing. Between changes of your cans of wax, add a few drops into the well of your wax heater (while it's warm, not hot) and wipe clean with a paper towel to avoid wax residue and build-up. This is an easy way to maintain your equipment and keep it sparkly clean!
15. My state does not require that I wear gloves. Should I?
Removing body hair is an intimate service and wearing gloves helps to eliminate the possibility of spreading germs and coming in contact with blood-borne pathogens. It sends a message to your client that you are a professional and protecting yourself and the client is important to you. If you don't prefer to wear gloves, remember it may take a short period of acclimation to get used to something new. Wearing thin, snug fitting, soft vinyl or nitrile gloves may feel different at first, but they definitely protect you against disease and unnecessary spread of germs.
16. What about Double-Dipping?
Not only is double-dipping unsanitary, but technicians may receive a citation for double-dipping the spatula into the wax. There are clients who will report this action. Be careful not to double-dip and please use disposable spatulas. In some states, the reuse of Metal or Plastic Spatulas (non-porous) is permitted providing they are not double-dipped. Purchase a dozen stainless wax spatulas. Dip and apply once, immerse in container filled with Zestasol, wipe clean of wax residue, then sanitize with your EPA Hospital Grade Sanitation product. You'll then be ready for the next client. It only takes minutes to clean and sanitize.
If you have other questions or comments or would like further clarification, please get in touch with us!