The Right Way to Prep Skin Before Waxing
Prepping the skin seems simple enough; cleanse, wax, next, right? If it’s been that way since esthetician school, maybe it’s time we revisit how to prepare for a wax by applying more emphasis on getting skin in the best shape for waxing and beyond through our prep step. This means blending our intrinsic understanding of the skin, how it works, and how each skin type is affected by waxing with our wax preparation.
In The Right Way to Prep Skin Before Waxing, we want to pep-up your prep with waxing tips on what to do before waxing to increase your credibility, client trust, and sales. We also give you some prep recipes for each of the major skin types to avoid an uneven wax job, acne after waxing, skin lifting, and to keep hairs on a consistent hair growth cycle. So let’s prep.
WHY YOU WANT TO ENHANCE YOUR WAX PREPARATION
Your prep step goes hand-in-hand with the wax formula and the after-wax care you use on each client. However, your wax preparation stands alone as a way to help you determine which wax and after-wax care you choose to meet specific client needs and be among the first steps to establishing the following.
- Continually position yourself as an all-wise waxing guru and establish trust.
- Consistently check-in with your clients’ skin each appointment, season change, medication, etc.
- Increase your chances of making a sale or future booking.
- Keep clients accountable for using the products they’ve already bought from you.
Your role as an esthie is more than just hair removal but to improve the quality of your client’s skin and lives in some way. Investing more energy and effort into wax preparation can enhance the client experience and your relationship with them. So, it’s time to exchange a monotonous routine and learn how to prep skin before waxing to transform your services into wow moments for both you and your clients.
GUIDING THE CONVERSATION
Some of your clients may be gifts from waxing heaven. They are dedicated to their waxing schedule and diligent about their wax preparation. Other clients may not have a clue or the time to keep up on their waxing self-care needs—that’s where you come in.
Your wax preparation should also be a continuation or mix of the client consultation. You can start by saying something as simple as, “How’s your skin today?” With a repeat client, you can start the conversation by talking about how their skin reacted after their last wax. Try the following questions for any client.
- How are you taking care of your skin in-between waxes?
- What does your after-wax care look like?
- How are the products you bought last time working for you?
- What would you change about them to make them work better for you?
- How would you like your skin to behave after waxing?
- What do you know about how hair growth cycles affect waxing?
- How did you prepare your skin for today’s appointment?
You can also lead the conversation by keeping your prep-step talk all about the client’s skin and waxing and not the latest celebrity gossip. Whether you say something like, “I learned something exciting about hair growth the other day, listen to this...” You can also keep it about the ingredients within the products you’re using. “We just got this brand-new pre-wax care product from Starpil Wax, and I can’t wait to try it on you specifically because it’s made with XYZ, which is perfect for that issue you mentioned last time.”
We know that not every appointment is going to be an ah-ha moment for your clients, but treating your wax preparation step in an elevated way can help keep you on your A-game and from falling into the mundane. You are no regular waxing specialist. You are a cut above the rest, and it’s the sum of all of these small details that make it evident to the loyal clientele that chooses you over anyone else.
ASSESSING AND CREATING NEEDS
While you’re prepping and chatting, you’re also feeling the skin and hair and analyzing their situation to provide solutions to needs they didn’t even know they had. You can liken it to a sommelier teaching someone how to notice the top notes of a spring fruit blend to when you say, “do you see how your brows are wonky?”
But, not kidding. Expanding your clients’ awareness of how your waxing tips, recommendations, and protocols affect them is HUGE to build their trust and use the education you give them at home.
“Do you notice how the space between your brows causes the illusion that the face is wider than it is? I would recommend growing them out and using XYZ to help them grow-in faster.”
“Do you see (or can you feel) how red (or warm) your skin is getting just from me applying the Pre-Wax Care Gel? Is it possible that you have sensitive skin?”
“I can feel a lot of bumps in this area, perhaps it might be XYZ, so I’m going to use XYZ to achieve XYZ results.”
Don’t just assess the needs they know about; use the prep step to reveal needs they had no idea they even had.
BRINGING SKIN BACK TO CENTER
Now that we’ve got the party started, it’s time to bring in the party favors —the products and application techniques. You’ve assessed the client’s needs, and now you want to help them reach their skincare and waxing goals. It starts with setting them up for success from the start with their wax preparation. Using the wrong prep or underestimating this step is like a butterfly effect with annoying consequences.
If their skin is too dry, it needs to be suppled-up to get it wax-ready or else the client risks breakage, ingrown hairs, waxne (wax acne), or putting different patches of hair onto a different growth pattern than their neighbors. Throwing hair off a consistent growth pattern compounds the above issues. Dry skin is also prone to skin sensitivities and skin lifting if not correctly prepped.
If the skin is too oily, the wax might not adhere evenly, making for an uneven wax job and again starting the vicious cycle of uneven growth, breakage, ingrowns, and acne. So, we’ve got to balance the amount of oil on the skin to still be protective without sabotaging a successful waxing appointment.
Sensitive skin can be prone to wax burns, hives, and skin lifting. All of that redness and blood flow is the skin’s way of getting ready for war against whatever stressor it thinks it’s up against. You’ve got to chill skin out before you even begin your plan of attack.
Acne-prone skin needs to have everything it can get before waxing to keep it protected from bacteria and harmful pathogens so that acne can’t even try to rear its dirty little white head.
These skin types and concerns require different methods of keeping it hydrated, nourished, and protected to avoid making their symptoms worse.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE WAXING
There are the standard prep moves we should be instructing clients to do to get their skin ready for their appointments, but some of those things are especially important for specific skin types before waxing. These things, plus the prep recipes used in your treatment rooms, will make all the difference in how to prep skin for waxing.
Dry and Mature Skin Prep
The essential moves dry-skinned clients can do before their appointment are to promote hydration, not deplete it. For them, exfoliating and moisturizing the night before their appointment will give them the edge they need to bring skin back to center for a successful wax.
Many people might think of oily skin as already moisturized enough, but oily skin can be one of the most dehydrated skin types. Oily skin has an over-abundance of oil chemistry, but excess oil can block essential water moisture and be suffocating to skin.
Oily skin clients need to prep their skin similarly to other skin types by exfoliating and hydrating the skin big time. After cleansing and exfoliating, they can mist their skin with rose water before applying their moisturizer or lotion to lock-in water moisture.
This skin type needs to do its due diligence to ensure that they do not have any breakouts on the areas where they’re going to get waxed. They should be gentle on their skin for a few days before waxing by eating clean, drinking a lot of water, gently dry-brushing the skin, and moisturizing it with oil-free products.
WHAT TO PUT ON SKIN BEFORE WAXING
Dry, Sensitive, and Mature Skin
Their prep recipe should come from the Starsoft Collection of pre and post-wax care. Starsoft includes anti-aging, neurosensory, and antioxidant properties that calm and soothe skin to make it waxable.
Start by massaging dry waxing areas with Starsoft Post-Wax Care Oil to plump up brittle hairs and skin. This move will start to increase blood flow and provide protective lipids to support and protect the skin before waxing.
Follow with Starsoft Pre-Wax Care Gel to clean off oil residue and gently remove any pathogens without stripping the skin’s protective barrier while also providing essential supportive skincare.
Oily, Sensitive, and Acne-Prone Skin
To balance oily, sensitive, or acne-prone skin types before waxing, we recommend using products from the Starpil Calendula Collection (arriving next week!). It’s a sanitizing and calming line of waxing products infused with calendula, and tea tree extracts to help keep skin cleansed, soothed and protected against harmful pathogens. These safeguarding ingredients also help to repair the skin after waxing to further defend against bacteria growth, ingrown hair, and acne after waxing even after the client has left the salon.
Start by misting the skin with refreshing and hydrating rose water (you can do this for all skin types, but it’s super beneficial for this group). Then apply Starpil Calendula Pre-Wax Care Gel to soften, balance oil, and protect the skin before waxing. If you find that hairs feel brittle due to dehydration, follow with the Calendula Post-Wax Care Oil and re-do the rosewater, cleanse step followed by another layer of rosewater. Make sure that skin is dry before waxing. We know that this might sound extra, but we promise that this will make a big difference in these client’s wax results.
Talking about prep might seem remedial for our long-time practitioners. Still, this article was written with the advanced waxing specialist in mind to continually be mining new ways to keep things fresh, fine-tune the client experience, and raise the cap on your sales goals. Both new esthies and long-time waxing pros should be in the habit of being oh-so extra for your clients, and to always be striving for ways to set yourself apart from the competition.
If you found this article helpful, or know anyone who could use a little more pep in their prep, please share!
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