Treatment Trends: Hair Removal
July 1, 2002
Brazilian BikiniThe J Sisters salon and day spa (New York City) uses soft pot wax for the Brazilian bikini waxing that they-the seven Brazilian sisters who own the business -are known to have made popular in the United States. To begin, the client lies on the table face-up with nothing on below the waist. She puts the soles of her feet together so legs open at the knees. Powder is applied to the bikini area to absorb any moisture. If long, the hair is cut. Starting with the inner thighs, the skin is pulled taut, wax is applied in the direction of hair growth, and a cotton strip is applied and pulled firmly against the direction of hair growth to avoid ingrown hairs. This is repeated on the rest of the thighs, inward along the bikini line, and (after the client brings both knees into the chest), over the bikini line in the back. The client can choose a particular shape or opt to go completely bare. The waxing takes between 5 and 30 minutes and costs $55. A full-leg waxing would be an additional $75.
SugaringPat Zacour, owner of Image Exchange (Washington, PA) reports that her Alexandria Sugaring business is booming. "The clients love it; they leave perfectly clean and smooth and can go right back to work." Zacour charges between $75 to $100 (depending on the tech-nician's experience ) for a 60-minute, full-leg sugaring. Under arms are $15 to $25 and take about 15 minutes. "The sugar comes in a tub with its own special warmer," says Zacour. "The highest setting is not as hot as the lowest setting for wax." Before sugaring, a cleanser and powder are applied. Using the palm of the hand the sugar paste is then molded against the growth of the hair several times, allowing the sugar to seep into the follicle wall. The hair is immediately extracted with a flick of the hand. "This process extracts the hair with the bulb and collapses the follicle wall, preventing the hair from returning," Zacour says. Afterward, a lotion is applied.
ThreadingHead to Toe Skin Care (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) offers threading on the arms, bikini, face, eyebrows, and lips. Threading is an ancient technique that has been used by the Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians. "Very tiny hairs can be pulled out with threading, and threading takes out ten to twenty hairs at a time," says co-owner Fariyal Alarakhia. To begin, a piece of thread is wrapped around a tooth in the esthetician's mouth and also around a finger. The thread is crossed to form a lasso-like loop, which pulls out the hair. Before hair removal, the esthetician applies Sharonelle lotion to gently cleanse and numb the area. Baby powder is then applied to decrease friction between the thread and the skin, and hair removal begins. Eyebrows take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes and cost $10. Full legs are waxed and then followed-up with threading (instead of tweezing) to clean out any missed hair. Under arms are also first waxed and followed up with threading. They take about 10 minutes and cost $12. The upper lip (shown below), takes about 5 minutes and costs $10. "With threading, you have the advantage of removing a lot of hair very fast," Alarakhia says. "Ingrown hairs are taken care of because the skin is removed first. The difference between waxing and threading is that wax adheres to the skin and hair. The thread is less-aggressive to the skin, and there are no chemicals."
Eyebrow LoungeThe eyebrow lounge was introduced to simplify scheduling conflicts and increase productivity at Asha SalonSpa (Schaumburg, IL). Finding it difficult to book full one-hour facials because most of the spa's estheticians were busy doing 15-minute waxing sessions, owner Kathleen Bucci Bergeron transformed a corner of the spa with a chocolate brown Italian chaise, a decorative rug, and an Asian bamboo screen. Staffed by a single employee, the lounge serves as a convenient place for clients to pop in for a quick eyebrow wax ($15) or tweeze (based on consultation). The eyebrow lounge not only benefits clients but also the bottom line by freeing up estheticians and treatment rooms. "We were at our customers' beck and call, and it was at the expense of our facials," says Bergeron. The lounge is also now being used for eyelash extensions.