Smooth Operator

Summer is in full swing, and clients are likely flocking to your spa for your waxing services. While these smooth skin treatments can be a lucrative part of your business, they can also be fraught with hygiene snafus that can cause serious problems for both your clients and your spa. The most important part of any spa or salon service is ensuring the safety of the people involved, which includes providing a safe working environment for the technician and a safe, yet effective, service for the client. You can achieve a safe working environment by making sure technicians observe all treatment protocols, including following appropriate guidelines for hygiene and sanitation, pre- and post-treatment care, and the necessary clean-up and disposal of soiled items. Providing a safe and effective treatment builds client confidence and satisfaction. It also reduces client and technician complaints while eliminating costly liability claims due to unnecessary injuries.

Make Equipment Safety A Priority
Having an organized, well-planned working environment reduces accidents by keeping your workspace stable and predictable. Accidents happen when abrupt, unanticipated movements are made or when you or a client bump into something that was recently moved. The added benefit of a consistent, organized, and uncluttered treatment area assists in providing a timely and efficient service for the client. Clients who are apprehensive will feel more relaxed when their service takes place in an attractive, clean, and organized area.

Some spas have separate rooms for waxing. Others offer waxing services in facial rooms. Waxing, especially on larger body areas such as the legs, is labor intensive. Furniture should be ergonomically designed so that both the technician and the client are comfortable. Ideally, the waxing table should be adjustable to different heights. This allows technicians to adjust the table to a comfortable height.

The wax heaters should be on an easy-to-move rolling cart that can be positioned to minimize reaching and wax spillage. The electrical cords of the wax heater must be undamaged, kept away from water, and covered or tucked away from any area where they could cause someone to trip or to spill the hot wax.

Control The Temperature
The safest wax heaters are thermostatically controlled by an automatic resetting thermal limiter that shuts off when the pre-set temperature is reached and then comes back on when the temperature drops, thus maintaining a consistent temperature. On a regular basis, use a thermometer to check the accuracy of the thermostat.
The wax heater knobs that control the temperature levels must be clear and easy to read. Using harsh wax-removing solvents around the knobs or dials can render the important notations illegible, so care must be taken to preserve those notations. Using disposable collars and papers to protect the wax heater will minimize the amount of solvent needed to clean the heater. Here are some important points to remember:

Not all waxes are alike.
Different waxes have different properties and melting points for their safe and effective use.

The desired temperature for a brand of wax is generally labeled on the can or package.

When switching wax brands, make sure that you note any temperature changes and make the necessary adjustments to the wax heater.

It is important to test the wax on the inside of your wrist immediately before applying the wax to your client.

The consequences of using wax that is too hot are dire. By observing wax temperature guidelines, you can avoid burning or injuring a client.

Keep It Clean
Technicians are required to thoroughly wash their hands before and after they treat each client. Hand washing is also required after using a tissue to wipe mucus or bodily fluids from the eyes, nose, and mouth. If you need to leave the room for any reason, you must wash your hands again before putting on gloves for the service. Hand washing is your first line of defense against disease transmission. Hand washing in front of the client also instills client confidence, so having a washbasin with running hot and cold water is important. Clients want to be assured that they are receiving the most hygienic and sanitary service possible.

After washing your hands, you must put on a new pair of gloves for each client. This step may be required by your state’s regulatory agency. Gloves are primarily for the protection of technicians, because the skin on their hands may not be entirely intact, and waxing may introduce blood-borne pathogens. If the service is disrupted for some reason, discard the used gloves, rewash your hands, and put on new gloves. You should assume that all of your clients are potentially infectious because you may not be able to observe a pathological condition.

Another important element of safe waxing involves having enough applicators readily available to complete the service without double dipping. After using an applicator to apply wax, dispose of it immediately in a trash receptacle. Many state agencies that regulate waxing services prohibit double-dipping. Here are some additional safety precautions:

Before beginning a wax treatment, be sure the client completes and signs a consultation form to determine possible contraindications.


Beeswax has a relatively high incidence of allergic reaction. Before every service, always do a small patch test of the product to be used.

Do not apply wax over lesions, warts, moles, abrasions, varicose veins, broken skin, or irritated or inflamed skin. Do not remove hair protruding from a mole, because the wax could cause trauma to the mole.

Pay special attention to sensitive areas that require hard wax, including underarms, eyebrows, upper lip, chin, and sides of the face.

When redness and swelling occur, it is helpful to apply aloe gel or cortisone cream to calm and soothe the skin after waxing.

Give clients post-wax precautions: Avoid sun exposure, exfoliation, creams with fragrance, or other ingredients that may be irritating and excessive heat (hot tubs, saunas) for at least 24 to 48 hours after waxing.

To reduce inflammation or irritation, suggest an over-the-counter antibacterial ointment.
The safety and well-being of your technicians and your clients depends on the working environment and the observation of sound principles of hygiene and sanitation. By observing the guidelines established by your state’s regulatory agency for waxing services, you are providing a service that is professional and safe. Following all these protocols along with the pre-care, treatment, and post-care protocols will ensure a safe and effective waxing service and a happy client who will reschedule when he or she checks out at the reception desk.

Wax On, Wax Off
Looking to bring a safe and effective wax into your spa? Check out the offerings from the following companies.
Amber Products
(800) 821-9188

(888) 243-8825

(800) 621-9585

Deluxe Salon Supply
(800) 311-3501

Duri Cosmetics
(800) 724-2216


Eva’s Esthetics
(800) 765-7597

(800) 621-9585

Massage Warehouse &
Spa Essentials
(800) 917-9955

Nufree Beauty/Equibal
(800) 247-2405

Satin Smooth
(800) 726-4202

Select Spa Source
(800) 783-8328

(877) 778-1685

Terry Binns Distribution
(800) 909-7546

Universal Companies
(800) 558-5571

Wax n Waxing by Natural Way
(800) 643-1626