Waxing Poetic

Waxing treatments

Waxing treatmentsMention waxing to any spa-goer, and he or she may not be able to dissociate the experience from the redness, itchiness, and pain that often comes with the service. Hair removal is far from a sexy experience—so much so that it often takes place in a hidden-away back room of a spa or salon or is added as an afterthought to more enjoyable treatments like facials and massages. Bringing waxing to the forefront and marketing it effectively can be a challenge. But with emphasis placed on perfect grooming, these services are more in demand than ever. According to Elham Jazab, a global educator for GiGi wax and Clean + Easy roll-on wax system, they also make sense to help to increase profits. “With one treatment, you pay for the investment,” says Jazab. If you’re looking for some out-of-the-box ways to sell waxing, here are a few tips from some industry experts.

Take Away the Taboo

Lip fuzz, back hair, underarm growth—body hair is a bristly subject that not everybody wants to confront head on. But the first step in promoting wax treatments is to take the shame out of them. “It’s the elephant in the room,” says Barry Eichner, consultant for spa brands such as PFB Vanish, who suggests bringing “all of the questions and dirty secrets to the forefront.” For example, in his posts for PFB Vanish’s blog, he uses headlines such as “After the Wax, So You’ve Been to Brazil?” and provides useful information that spa and salon owners can pass onto their clients. The idea is to discuss the topic openly, take out the taboo, and call it as is—often with a dose of humor. “It’s easy to dispel scary myths if you take that approach,” says Eichner, especially when marketing to men who may consider hair removal a “secret shame.” By posting professional advice on blogs, Facebook, and other channels, a spa can position itself as a thought leader. Articles on, say, pre- and post-wax care, product roundups, and other expert opinions can pique the curiosity of potential clients, who can be invited to ask questions or sign up for a free consultation. “If they don’t make an appointment right away, then at least they’ve created an initial contact with the spa,” says Eichner.

Waxing treatments

Lilliane Caron, founder and director of the Australia-based Waxxxpress, advises adding a bit of whimsy to promotional materials. “In a busy spa environment, you don’t always have the time to tell each and every customer about a great new product or the deals you have on each week, so you need something that prompts customers to ask you,” she says. “Things that we find funny or clever will usually stand out in our memory. Posters, pamphlets, quirky emails, and uniforms, in particular, are great. For example, with Waxxxpress, we have t-shirts with the slogan: ‘For a smooth, confident XXX down under.’ These are fun, cheeky, and almost always lead to a good conversation with a client, particularly one who may not have had a Brazilian wax before.”

Consider dreaming up imaginative names for waxing services—particularly for those unmentionable areas. Boom Boom Brow Bar (New York City) offers Downtown treatments with varying degrees and styles of hair removal, accompanied by sassy descriptions. A Trip to Brazil (All the Way to Rio Baby!) ($50) provides customers with a Brazilian wax while estheticians wax in the shape of a rectangle when guests order the Landing Strip (Fly the Friendly Thighs!) ($50) and a triangle when asked to perform a Bermuda Triangle (He/She Was Lost for Hours!) ($50). In a similar vein, clients at Bare Wax Bar (Hamilton, Ontario), instead of requesting a buttocks waxing (embarrassing!), can ask for Bare Your Briefs ($45 for men, 15 minutes), which removes hair from the top and sides), Bottoms Up! ($15 for women, $30 for men, 20 minutes), which waxes between the cheeks, or a Moon Shine ($25 for women, $40 for men, 20 minutes), which covers the bum cheeks in their entirety. Stript Wax Bar (multiple locations in CA) features intriguing trademarks such as a Brozilian ($85, 40 minutes), a Brazilian wax for men, and a Vajacial ($75, 45 minutes), a facial for the bikini area that helps combat ingrown hairs, bumps, and redness. According to Stript Wax Bar founder Katherine Goldman, these services capture the attention of clients who end up booking them out of curiosity.

Because many spas don’t have much of a marketing budget or can’t spend the majority of it just on waxing, it’s important to think of other ways to make it top of mind for clients. A display case of the products you use is another way to promote waxing in your spa or salon. “People like to know what is being used on their body, and it shows them that you have 100 percent faith in the quality of your products,” says Caron. Many product lines also incorporate creative names that lend a lightness to the topic of waxing. “The Waxxxpress range has been designed with catchy names; for example, ‘Heat Me, Spread Me, Strip Me’ is the name of our bestselling strip wax,” says Caron. “It’s sexy, seductive, and perfect for a silky wax finish.”

Fun and Free for All

According to Malynda Vigliotti, founder of Boom Boom Brow Bar, waxing doesn’t cost much except for time. To maximize a client’s time, she recommends creating a standout experience. Her two locations in Manhattan aren’t just places to get brows shaped, they’re also fun environments with music playing in the background and disco balls hanging from the ceiling. Boom Boom Brow Bar also organizes brow parties and special events such as cupcake and cocktail soirées that make grooming more pleasurable.

Happy hours are also a good way to generate a more festive atmosphere, as well as increasing bookings for less popular treatments at off-peak times of the week. “Buy one, get one free is a great offer to run during a happy hour,” says Caron. “Customers can bring a friend along and get two treatments for the price of one. Not only are you giving something to your existing clients but it’s also a great way to get new customers in your door.” The Wax Bar (Seattle) even serves drinks (the spa has a liquor license) for $3 and waxes for $15 during its special Wax Hour. Meanwhile, Boom Boom Brow Bar has a free lip with brow combo from 4 pm to 5 pm, Mondays through Fridays.

Caron recommends offering regular clients upgrades on the house—a half leg to a full leg, a basic bikini wax to a full Brazilian, or a free wax to customers who have never tried waxing. “This way we are not cutting our pay, we are only giving a little of our time away,” says Caron. “Once clients have felt the difference, they just might make the upgrade part of their regular treatment.” And because hair is always growing, you can count on ongoing demand and return customers when your spa turns a hairy situation into a smooth solution.

Make waxing a breeze with these innovative removal and treatment products designed to take the sting out of the service.—Darby Radcliff

1. Amber Calming After Wax Waxing Serum: Calm irritated skin after waxing with this formula made with kaolin, lavender, sea kelp extract, St. John’s Wort, and wild chamomile. www.amberproducts.com

2. Caronlab Australia Masqua Powdered Hard Wax: Enriched with omega 3 and hydrating minerals, this dripless formula glides effortlessly across contours of the face and body to remove stubborn hairs. www.caronlab.com.au

3. Clean + Easy Calm Azulene Oil: Designed to reduce redness after waxing, this formula is made with azulene oil, which reduces irritation and inflammation. www.cleanandeasyspa.com

4. Cirépil by Perron Rigot Paris Euroblonde: Formulated for all hair types, the honey-like texture of this translucent wax is ideal for large areas. www.perron-rigot.com

5. Guinot Paris After Hair Removal Deodorant Cream: Formulated for sensitive skin, this cream deodorant made with aloe vera, arnica, and chamomile extracts slows regrowth at the root. www.guinotusa.com

6. Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream: Help calm sensitivity and provide hydration with this high performance soothing cream featuring calendula and essential fatty acids. www.jurlique.com

7. Lycon Precision Waxing Manifico Hot Wax XXX For Men: Suited for men’s thick hair and sensitive skin, this formula features Australian sandalwood, chamomile, micro mica, and titanium dioxide technology. www.lyconusa.com

8. Parissa Organic Wax: Suitable for medium and fine hair types, this hair remover made with organic cane sugar is gentle on both the skin and the environment. www.parissa.com

9. PFB Vanish Liquid Luffa Exfoliating Face & Body Scrub: Perfect for lifting ingrown hairs caused by waxing, this formula is made with glycolic acid, papaya fruit extracts, and crushed walnuts. www.pfbvanish.com

10. Repêchage Olea Europea Hard Wax: These sanitary uni-dose wax pods easily remove hair from the nose and ears. www.repechage.com

11. Satin Smooth Hard Wax Pull Tabs: Ideal for small areas and facial waxing, these easy-to-use waxing tabs quickly remove hard wax. www.satinsmooth.com

12. Waxxxpress Super Strip: Suitable for use on the face and body, these soft strips guarantee strength and reliability during wax treatments. www.waxxxpress.com/usa