After wax gels, lotions and creams

Most wax manufacturers and beauty suppliers offer a choice of products for clients to use in the days following their appointment, specifically formulated to soothe and protect the skin. They will usually contain a combination of ingredients with various cooling, anti-irritant, antiseptic and protective properties (e.g. aloe vera, witch hazel, zinc oxide, etc.).

Once opened, these products will commonly have a shelf-life of six to twelve months, so ensure your customers stock up on a regular basis.

Tea tree products

Nature’s antiseptic, tea tree essential oil, is distilled from the leaves of the ‘Melaleuca alternifolia’ tree.

Studies have shown tea tree to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties that are effective against spot-causing bacteria. Lotions and cleansers containing the essential oil are a consumer friendly option in battling post-wax pimples, and will also assist the healing process should any infection occur.

Bath salts

Bath salts are high in minerals and other naturally occurring elements such as sulphur, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iodine and bromine, which have various antiseptic and soothing properties for the skin.

A handful of Dead Sea salts added to the bath water is a pleasant way to both prevent and treat bacterial infection in the follicles. Qualified aromatherapists can also add essential oils such as lavender and chamomile for a synergistic effect.

Exfoliating mitts and scrubs

Natural loofah, body gloves, brushes and scrubs are ideal retail opportunities in the fight against ingrown hairs.

Starting a few days after their appointment, instruct your client to exfoliate gently in the bath or shower three times a week. It also helps if they exfoliate lightly every morning for a few days before their next appointment, to lift the hairs and slough away any dead skin cells that might otherwise cause poor waxing results.

Although not as effective as mitts, cosmetic scrubs containing small abrasive particles are a popular alternative due to their convenience, and have the added benefit of introducing clients to your salon skincare line.

Moisturising body lotion

Dry skin can lead to ingrown hairs if the new hair is unable to break through the upper layers of the epidermis. Applied daily, a light moisturiser such as Thalgo’s Biodepyl fluid will keep the skin supple, and when coupled with regular exfoliation can enable hairs to grow through normally.

AHA and BHA products

Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic and lactic acid, and the beta hydroxy acid known as salicylic acid, are keratolytic agents. They work by causing dead skin cells to slough off more readily, thus helping to prevent new hairs from getting trapped.

Salicylic acid is a chemical cousin of aspirin and so also functions as an anti-inflammatory. It also has antimicrobial properties. These combined aspects make it an excellent choice for both preventing and treating ingrown hairs and folliculitis.

Suitable retail products containing AHA and BHA ingredients include shower gels, body lotions, creams, sprays and chemical ingrown hair treatments (e.g. PFB Vanish and Tend Skin).

Caution: items containing salicylic acid are not suitable for people who are allergic to aspirin. It is advisable to undertake specialist training before recommending products with high levels of AHA or BHA ingredients to clients. Some customers may experience dryness and irritation when using these products, particularly with long-term use.

Tips for successful retailing

  • Explain the benefits of using the correct homecare products during your consultation, not at the till. This way you have your client’s undivided attention and the recommendation of homecare items becomes part of the treatment itself.

      • Be proactive. Experience has shown us that areas such as the upper lip, chest and back often breakout after first-time waxing, and that people with dry skin frequently suffer with ingrown hairs… So don’t wait for your client to phone or show up at their next appointment and tell you that they got pimples or ingrowns; suggest something to help prevent and treat the problem before it occurs.

          • Tell, don’t sell. Don’t think of retailing as pressurising customers into buying stuff they don’t really want; use your knowledge as a professional to make recommendations on how clients can achieve the best possible long-term results from their treatment. This approach allows your customers to make an informed decision about potential purchases without it feeling like a ‘hard sell’.

              • Package items together for a ready-to-go homecare kit (e.g. after wax lotion, antibacterial cleanser and an exfoliating mitt). Don’t forget to include written instructions on usage.

Final thought

'Selling’ is not a dirty word! The correct homecare routine will enable your clients to enjoy the results of their wax for longer, and the use of appropriate products is part of that process.

As with all skincare services, assisting your clients in getting the most out of their treatment will go a long way towards ensuring repeat visits and the long-term satisfaction of customers.

© Andy Rouillard, 2009. All rights reserved.

Pick up more tried and tested techniques to maximise your salon profts and learn the art of successful selling with our Advanced Waxing Masterclass, available in-house at your beauty premises and at regional venues across the UK throughout the year.