Waxing 101: Your Ultimate Guide to Waxing Services
Looking to expand your service menu to include waxing (and bring in some extra money this season)? You’ve come to the right place. Marlo Beauty recently sat down with GiGi Global Educator Elham Jazab and Satin Smooth Global Educator Jeane Richmond for their advice on everything from pre- and post-care tips to challenging waxing situations to what they keep in their tool kits.
So whether you’re just getting started with your professional waxing service or you need a quick refresher, here’s everything you should know to make summer 2021 waxing season your best one yet!
Before the Service
There are a few things your clients should be aware of before their service for their best wax possible. Send a reminder email or text, pick up the phone or refer them to a page on your website a few days before their service, reminding them to:
- Lightly exfoliate the day before their appointment. This helps slough off dry skin cells for optimal waxing results. Remind them not to use acid exfoliants or strong scrubs on the area to be waxed at least 48-72 hours before.
- Refrain from tanning 24 hours before (or after) waxing.
- Not drink caffeine the day of the wax, as it can make some people sensitive.
- Take a mild anti-inflammatory before their appointment if they’re extra sensitive.
- Discontinue using retinoids, topical acne medication and other chemical exfoliating agents at least 72 hours prior to their service to avoid possible lifting of the skin.
- Not work out right before their appointment, as excessive sweating and friction increases their risk of post-wax breakouts.
- Make sure they have enough new hair growth. You need the hair to be at least 1⁄4-inch.
Elham and Jeane also recommend sending consultation forms and pre-waxing contraindications to all new clients. “We always begin our appointment with a consultation reviewing the forms to ensure the treatment planned will deliver the best possible results,” says Jeane.
Professional Wax Supply ListA successful service starts with the right professional waxing supplies. Which tools should you always keep on the ready in your treatment room? Here are Jeane and Elham’s picks:
1. Various tweezers
2. Satin Smooth Contour Applicators
3. GiGi Accu Edge Applicators Small and Large
4. GiGi Spatula Applicators Petite
5. A numbing solution like GiGi Anesthetic Numbing Spray or Clean + Easy Numb Anesthetic Numbing Solution
7. Curved brow scissors
8. Waxing strips of two varieties
9. A minimum of two (soft and hard) warmed waxes
10. Post-wax treatments (cooling gels, cleansers, lotions, calming oils)
Pro tip: Elham keeps her post-wax treatments in a small bucket of ice. The cold application comforts the skin and reduces redness!
Prepping the Skin
Skin prep is just as important as the waxing service itself! Be sure to prep skin with cleanser to remove makeup, oil, and debris. Use oil to prep and protect the skin when using hard and some flex waxes. Use powder to prep the skin when using soft wax.
Pro tip: as an added value to your service, you can also apply a numbing spray, like Gigi’s Anesthetic Numbing Spray first and then follow with a cleanser.
Soft Wax Application
Soft wax should be a honey-like consistency, says Elham. Too thick and the wax won’t come off cleanly and you may break some hairs. Apply a thin layer going in the direction of the hair growth, press the strip on firmly and remove against the hair growth, keeping your hand and wrist close to the skin. “NEVER pull it up!” warns Elham. “You can break off hairs and bruise and damage the skin.”
Hard Wax Application
Hard wax should be a somewhat thick consistency, like pudding or greek yogurt. Elham preps the skin with a few drops of a pre epilation oil that cushions the skin and allows the wax to grab the hairs very efficiently. Here’s her technique: pick up a ball of wax with the applicator and apply against the hair growth, then smooth it back over (it should be about as thick as a nickel). This sandwiches the hair in a layer of wax. Lift the edge to give yourself a little “handle” for removal. Let it set a bit (the wax should still be soft enough to dent with your nail) then pull, holding your hand close to the skin.
Technique is important! For the most painless experience (for both you and your client) Jeane likes to use Satin Smooth’s “Pull-Punch Technique,” in which you “pull” all the hairs in the same direction (toward you), then “punch” in the opposite direction with a flat wrist and straight elbow. Why the Pull-Punch Technique as opposed to flipping the wax or strip to remove? Not only do you risk injuring your wrist over time, but flipping also snaps up the skin, which causes redness and irritation.
Watch Jeane explain the Pull-Punch Technique for professional waxing, plus the difference between soft and hard wax:
Wax Application Pro Tips for Estheticians
Never double dip! The temperature of the wax is not high enough to kill bacteria and pathogens.
Jeane likes to hold the applicator at a 180 degree angle - “like a snow plow” - this allows for a thin and even application, contrasting a flat application.
Make a "tab/handle" for removal of non-strip wax on the back of your glove. “I peel this off and place the shiny side down against the shiny side up of the wax I'm removing while it's still soft,” says Jeane. “As it hardens, it makes a great ‘handle’ to remove the wax. My clients prefer this any day of the week as opposed to flicking or picking the edge up.”
You want your clients to get the most out of their new wax, so send them home with these post-care waxing tips:
- Don’t touch your freshly-waxed skin, as germs on hands can irritate the skin.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes on more sensitive areas post-waxing.
- Stay out of the direct sun (artificial or natural) for at least 24 hours. Wear sunblock on newly-waxed areas that are exposed to keep exfoliated skin protected.
- Avoid fragranced lotions, perfumes and soaps for at least 12 hours.
- Use an aloe-based gel such as Clean + Easy Soothe Aloe Vera Gel to keep skin calm and hydrated.
- Avoid hot tubs, steam and saunas for a few days. Bathe or shower with lukewarm water.
- For underarms post-waxing, use an alcohol-free antiperspirant.
- To reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, bumps, razor burn or redness, start using GiGi No Bump Solution 3 to 4 days after waxing.
Here are GiGi’s top post-care tips:
Waxing Challenges Estheticians Face
No two clients are alike, and you’re bound to run into some challenges during peak waxing season. Here’s how Elham and Jeane handle these difficult situations.
For sensitive skin types (think clients with red hair or very thin skin), Elham recommends GiGi All Purpose CBD Wax, which is soothing, calming and hydrates the skin or GiGi Zinc Oxide Ultra Sensitive Wax which contains minerals that soothe and cushion the skin.
For ultra-sensitive skin, Jeane applies a light veil of Satin Smooth Satin Azulene that acts as an additional buffer to the skin. “Make sure you wipe the surface with a clean cotton wipe prior to applying the wax,” says Jeane.
If your client is allergic to certain ingredients, GiGi Azulene Wax, is fragrance-free, anti-inflammatory and doesn’t contain pine extract found in some strip waxes.
If your client has conditionally-sensitive skin (meaning they’ve used too much retinol, over-scrubbed or she’s had a peel), go with a hard wax like GiGi Relaxing Lavender Hard Wax Beads.
Dehydrated skin can be plumped up easily with a light application of Satin Smooth Satin Cool. “It’s like giving the skin a huge drink of water,” shares Jeane. “Make sure it's absorbed into the skin prior to applying the wax.”
“A lesson on what causes the ingrown hair and how to keep them at bay is always helpful,” shares Jeane. “Exfoliation between visits is key. To resolve in the treatment room, I have various tweezers that can help to release the trapped hair and I like to give a little ‘high frequency’ treatment to help calm the inflammation and kill bacteria.”
“I recommend my clients use GiGi No Bump Scrub and No Bump Solution a few days before they come in for a wax,” adds Elham. “And GiGi No Bump Roll-On post-treatment to minimize breakouts.”
“A kind reminder to not shave between visits never hurts,” says Jeane. “Satin Smooth Calendula Hard Wax is my go-to in these situations as it is proven to remove tough-to-remove hair and be gentle on the skin.”
“I only use hard (stripless) wax on [these clients] as it will pull up the most hairs effectively,” adds Elham. “I also tell the client they may need a touch up in a week or so.”
Elham answers some of her most frequently asked questions:
Want to increase your bottom line? Try these add-on ideas from Jeane and Elham.
“I love incorporating a mask on the eyes and/or lips, and hand masks are especially nice on over-sanitized hands these days,” shares Jeane. “Lash and brow tinting are also great upgrades to any facial waxing service.”
“My favorite add-on is a lip and chin wax (and now more cheek waxing),” says Elham. “And for men, cleaning up the beard line and nose waxing (not inside the nostrils!).”
Waxing Supplies That Are Retail Home Runs
Waxing services provide the perfect opportunity to retail, so make sure to suggest post-care products like exfoliating scrubs, sun protection and slow growth lotions to help prevent ingrown hairs and to maintain skin smoothness as the hair regrows. Here are a few of Jeane and Elham’s favorite post-waxing retail products:
Elham Jazab - Elham has worked for more than two decades as a medical esthetician, makeup artist and lash technician. She did her advanced skin training in Switzerland and Italy, has been a global educator for American International for more than 15 years and enjoys traveling the world making people look and feel their best.
Jeane Richmond - Jeane is a certified esthetician for more than 20 years, skincare business owner and nationally-recognized educator. Her experience in the beauty industry extends well beyond the treatment room to include development of creative skincare and beauty protocols, educational curriculum and development of other professionals in the industry. Jeane’s industry passion is to elevate the quality and accessibility of education to support the positive growth and development of the salon and spa professional.