Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Spas and salons in New Jersey recently went to bat in defense of Brazilian waxing services after local officials tried to ban the practice when two women were hospitalized with infections post-service. For now, the proposed ban is under investigation, but the incident should serve as a warning to spas and salons that aren't incorporating proper protocols when it comes to waxing services. Nowadays, hair removal has become a great generator of increased income, as clients tend to piggyback waxing services on top of other treatments. Hair removal also creates repeat business due to the upkeep needed. If you're doing it safely and correctly, then you're sure to watch summer waxing sales soar.

Safety 101

Because of its popularity and potential to generate revenue, it is imperative for the health of your business that your therapists use proper hair removal techniques and safety measures when performing all waxing services, from a simple eyebrow cleanup to the more intensive Brazilian bikini wax. The first line of defense is proper education. Schools need to do a better job of training individuals, but until that happens, spa and salon owners must take the initiative themselves. Services such as bikini or Brazilian waxing require a considerable amount of training due to the sensitive nature of the procedure. Safety and the client's health should always be the top priority, and management should insist upon, and help facilitate, ongoing education for its team.

Two major steps can help prevent infection. First, your staff members need to always wear gloves. Second, they must be extremely diligent about not double-dipping into the heated wax pots. Using a stick on someone's skin and then putting it back into the wax contaminates the wax and can cause the spread of bacteria from person to person. It is imperative that professionals take this precaution and only put the stick in the wax once and immediately throw it away after each use. This may result in the disposal of several sticks per client, but the added expense is negligible compared to a pricey legal settlement with an injured client.

Select a Superior Product

There's more to successfully featuring waxing services than simple safety. Using a wax that is effective and performs the service with as little pain as possible is also important. As far as choosing a wax, one of the most important factors is the ability to customize the selection. As beauty professionals, we do not use one type of skincare or haircare product on everyone, so we shouldn't just use one type of wax—skin sensitivity, allergic reactions, and hair density and texture are just a few aspects to consider when choosing a wax for your spa. Also, a quality wax will remove the hair at the bulb and not simply break it off at the surface. Some brands heat to such a high temperature that they can actually shock the skin. Rather than pulling out the bulb, they just break the hair. Be sure to ask your vendors specific questions about the wax, and test it out before purchasing.

Marketing Waxing Services

With summer approaching, waxing services are on the rise, and effective marketing strategies are as important as ever. The hot weather brings out miniskirts and short shorts, as well as more bare skin—midriffs and upper thighs finally see the light of day. This adds more opportunity for hair removal services on unexposed winter skin regions, such as the belly and lower back. Additionally, menu packages can be a very valuable marketing tool. Offering a discount for combining several waxing services in one session can augment the entire service. For example, consider a promotion that pairs a half-price belly wax with the purchase of a leg wax or a buy-three-get-one-free package for bikini waxing that will keep a loyal customer coming in all summer.

Another smart strategy is to combine waxing services with other spa treatments, such as a half-price underarm wax with any massage. There are important factors to keep in mind, however, when combining waxing with other spa treatments. If the client is coming in for a facial as well as any type of facial waxing, be sure to do the wax first, prior to the facial. A pedicure should be done before a leg wax, because waxing opens the pores, and a pedicure may irritate the skin. Also, don't forget to follow up any waxing services with a pitch for homecare items that soothe the skin or perhaps inhibit hair growth.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure your spa's success is through happy customers who turn into loyal customers. So treat them well, protect their health, and offer them good financial opportunities, and your business will grow and thrive. —Susanna DiSotto

After 17 years as a successful business owner, New Jersey native Susanna DiSotto decided to pursue her passion for both cosmetology and marketing. After receiving a degree from the Artistic Academy of Hair Design and Aesthetics for cosmetology and working in the industry for several years, she is now the director of Satin Smooth, a division of Conair. For more details about Satin Smooth's waxing offerings, visit