Soothing Solutions: Help minimize problems during hair removal services with these pre- and post-care tips, techniques and products.
One of the biggest deterrents for clients when considering professional hair removal services is pain and discomfort—before, during and after the appointment. But there are plenty of ways to keep inflammatory issues at bay. Follow these expert tips to help give your guests a more comfortable experience and stellar results.
Lindsay Miller, president, Lycon USA: It’s important to clean the skin before waxing to effectively remove surface oils, perspiration, pollution, makeup and moisturizers. During waxing, hair follicles are opened and exposed to bacteria that can cause inflammation and folliculitis; cleansing beforehand will wash away surface bacteria and minimize the chances of this happening, and a cleanser containing soothing ingredients like chamomile can help further reduce redness and pain. Additionally, I recommend after-care formulated with tea tree, which acts as an antibacterial agent and is known for its healing properties.
Trisha Williams, Nufree educator and owner/master esthetician, Bare Bliss in Yakima, Washington: For best results, I suggest that clients have at least 7 to 10 days of hair growth before coming in; it should be one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch long so the hair removal process isn’t painful.
Deborah Merhar, founder, Relax & Wax: With clients who are new to waxing, breakouts are typically due to a histamine reaction, which will lessen with continued hair removal. Start with a non-sudsing antibacterial cleanse. For sensitive skin and areas prone to breakouts such as the face, underarms and bikini area, use hard wax with an oil barrier. (Vegetable and grape seed oils won’t clog pores.)
Williams: I tell clients to keep Benadryl on hand in case they break out, so they can calm that histamine response. In addition, I send first-timers home with a Nufree Finipil sample and suggest they use a small amount for the first week to seal the pores and protect from infection, as well as to calm the skin. I encourage them to purchase the brand’s Lait 50 antiseptic cream, as well, so they can continue protecting their skin between appointments.
Chrissie Paraschos, head trainer, RefectoCil North America: Hyperpigmentation can occur after skin lifting, burning, irritation or bruising, all of which are completely unacceptable during the waxing process. With expert technique and calming after-care products, waxing won’t cause pigmentation at all. I recommend Caronlab After Wax Soothing Lotion with mango and witch hazel to actively nourish and cool skin post-treatment. Clients should also wear protective clothing and SPF 50+ after waxing and beyond—regardless of skin type.
Miller: Dark spots tend to be most common in sensitive areas like the bikini line, usually caused by inflammation that can affect pigment-producing cells in the skin. Applying a soothing post-wax product helps reduce redness, and a targeted lightening serum can be used where pigmentation has already occurred. Look for products with ascorbyl glucoside, which is a stable form of time-released vitamin C; vitamin C significantly brightens and improves skin tone, plus it promotes collagen synthesis. Other skin-lightening actives include sodium lactate; beta glucan, which is antiaging and helps boost cell renewal; deeply moisturizing hyaluronic acid; and pro-vitamin B5 for its calming and hydrating benefits.
Averting Ingrown Hair
Paraschos: Ingrown hairs occur when the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin, which causes inflammation of the follicle. Ingrown hair can also occur after waxing, when dead skin cells accumulate and form a papule as the skin heals; hair growing in the area gets trapped under the papule and is prevented from exiting the skin. To prevent this, give your client advice about ingrown hairs prior to the treatment—especially if they’re new to waxing. Make sure to apply an ingrown-minimizing product post-treatment as well.
Miller: Clients prone to this issue will benefit from topicals containing salicylic and lactic acids to treat keratolytic buildup, exfoliate the skin and dislodge any ingrowns. Treatments for ingrown hair are perfect for retail, too, as guests can apply them between waxing services.
Merhar: The No. 1 reason people stop waxing is ingrown hair. Mild, constant exfoliation is key—ideally every other day. Dry brushing, applying a professional ingrown product and moisturizing daily will make a world of difference.
This story first appeared in the January 2020 issue of DAYSPA Magazine. To receive the magazine, subscribe here.