Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


ask the EXPERTS

How can I help my new therapists overcome the most common waxing problems?

Here are my solutions to four of the most common waxing problems that I see students and new waxers struggling with:

1. Wax where you don’t want it: Accidental drips and dribbles on the body can be banished easily with a splash of oil. Apply generously, then either wipe with a clean paper strip or twist the hair between your fingers to loosen the wax. Repeat until all stickiness has disappeared.

2. Wax left on the skin when the paper strip is removed: This usually happens because the wax has gone cold – either the client’s skin is too cool or the wax has been applied too thickly. To solve the problem, apply strip wax in thin, single layers to avoid build-up and work in smaller sections if this keeps happening. If the problem is due to dry skin, massage a few drops of oil into the area before applying your wax to act as a lipid barrier. Always ensure the skin is held taut during application and removal, especially on areas with folds such as the upper thighs, bikini line and underarms. Don’t be afraid to ask your client to help with stretching where necessary. Don’t “dab” to remove waxy residue as this is uncomfortable for clients. Lay a fresh paper strip over the top at a slightly different angle, rub briskly and remove in a single swift motion. As a last resort, use oil to dissolve any sticky bits, re-cleanse and start again.

3. Peelable wax won’t set: If your hot wax is taking too long to set on warmer parts of the body or in humid weather, simply dampen a cotton pad with cold water and wipe over any gummy patches to cool and harden it instantly.

4. Short, stubborn hairs: Clients should wait at least three weeks after shaving or using hair removal creams, and four weeks after their last wax, to get best results.

To remove multiple stubborn hairs, use firm pressure, apply a layer of peelable wax against the direction of hair growth and allow to dry. Stretching the skin taut, lift and remove wax with the direction of growth in several slow, tiny wiggles, re-bracing the skin at every step of the way to stop shorter hairs popping out of the wax.

“Wax Daddy” Andy Rouillard is owner of Axiom Bodyworks men’s salon in Basingstoke. He will speak on a panel discussing waxing FAQs on the How To stage at PB North.

This month’s experts will all speak at Professional Beauty North at EventCity Manchester on October 13–14. To book any live stage or seminar session for just £3 (£1 for students) visit

How can I help my clients manage the symptoms of menopause?

The best place to start is by educating your team. Many of us know nothing about the menopause. There are around 34 symptoms, and menopausal clients could be experiencing any of them at different stages. There are a few things you may notice just by looking at your client, especially if she is a regular. Her hair may become more brittle, or her skin could start to break out. This happened to me, I was using the same products I had been using for years, keeping the same routine, then one day my skin began to break out and I had no idea why. With all the hormonal changes happening within the body, menopausal women might need totally different treatments or products than they’ve required in the past, and, in my opinion, the more natural the products, the better.

It’s really important to talk to your client and find out what she needs on the day of her appointment. If a woman is experiencing hot flushes, for example, the last thing she may want is a facial, or a face mask that’s going to make her feel even hotter. I may not be an expert on the beauty industry, but I do strongly believe that more can be done in a salon setting to support menopausal women.

The menopause can make women feel terrible at times, so having somewhere to go that they can relax, take their mind off things, and just feel a little more looked after for a few hours can make the world of difference.

What are the benefits of adding mesotherapy to my treatment menu?

Mesotherapy or bio-revitalisation is an incredible, results-orientated treatment.

Mesotherapy involves the delivery of various elements such as plant extracts, homeopathic agents, amino acids, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and other bioactive substances into the skin. Singularly, or in combination, these products are placed superficially in minute doses and can stimulate cell metabolism, increase the production of collagen, and promote the body’s circulatory lymphatic and immune systems to create a biological response.

This results in firmer and more nourished skin and can also work on improving hydration, hair loss and cellulite. Though usually associated with an injection, mesotherapy can be delivered in many different ways such as needling, peels, dermabrasion and electrical devices like electroporation.

Delivered in sterile vials, the product’s molecular weight is small enough to penetrate deep into the skin, though one must make sure that the product is CE registered for injection and not for topical use only.

Mesotherapy used in combination can really boost the results of existing treatments. This is one of the most popular protocols I teach, due to the incredible results achieved, and also the amount of clinical data surrounding it.

Meg Matthews is an events planner and designer. She’s now become an advocate for the menopause and is the founder of MegsMenopause. Hear her speak on the Natural & Holistic Stage at PB North.

Andrew Hansford is director of Fusion Aesthetic Academy and Global Education Ambassador for Fillmed. See his seminar on mesotheraphy and bio revitalization as part of the Aesthetic Therapist Agenda at PB North.

This month’s experts will all speak at Professional Beauty North at EventCity Manchester on October 13–14. To book any live stage or seminar session for just £3 (£1 for students) visit

How can I use social media to turn my customers into brand ambassadors?

This is one of the questions I get asked most often by salon and spa owners.

In my experience, there are five key ways to improve your chances:

1. Be different: Give people a reason to want to tell others about you. Why should they risk their reputation by helping you grow your business?

2. Be known: Make sure your target market knows you. Work out where they congregate online and make sure you have a presence there.

3. Be present: Get involved in the conversation your target market is having. Serve them and help them achieve their relevant objectives.

4. Be worth it: As a business, try to be awesome in at least one major way. Which one thing can you be known for above everyone else in your space?

5. Be grateful: Give thanks and recognition where you can. Take your fans on your journey, recognise them, reward them and they may well love you back.

Getting your customers to care about growing your business is hard work. After all, why should they help you for free? What’s in it for them? You need to make it as easy as possible for them by giving them reasons, opportunities, reminders, recognition and rewards, then more of them will support you. It’s not an overnight thing, though. We’re all cynical about this kind of stuff, so be heartfelt, stay patient and true. Slowly, but surely, more customers will come onboard and become brand ambassadors for your business.

Al Tepper runs marketing agency TepFu. Hear his talk, Turning customers into brand ambassadors using social media, on the Digital Stage at PB North.

How can I work towards eliminating single-use plastics in my spa?

As with everything in business, you must start with the why. What are your brand values and how does reducing your plastic usage fall in line with these?

Most spas have wellness and care at the heart of their ethos, which in my view needs to extend well beyond the treatment room. Change is difficult, so getting your team and core mission aligned with the wider zero-waste conversation will help set you up for success.

Strive for progress over perfection. Many businesses get disheartened by being unable to commit to total elimination in one fell swoop. Run an inventory of your current single-use plastics and set incremental targets that allow for a steady progress towards eliminating them all together.

By far the biggest culprit in our industry is packaging so this is the best place to start. There are many suppliers who will now give you recyclable packaging and help educate you on the packaging world. When I opened Uniquely Organic EcoSpa over nine years ago, awareness around the environmental impact of the beauty industry was scarce. Thankfully there’s now an abundance of information at our fingertips. Don’t go this alone, instead use this as an opportunity to join forces with local campaigners and other local ethical businesses who share your commitment for sustainability and change.

Kirsty Kianifard is founder of Uniquely Organic Ecospa in Hove and a wellnesss business coach. See her talk on How to become a sustainable salon on the Trend Watch Stage at PB North.

This month’s experts will all speak at Professional Beauty North at EventCity Manchester on October 13–14. To book any live stage or seminar session for just £3 (£1 for students) visit

I’m interested in offering dermaplaning. What’s the science behind it?

Dermaplaning is a highly effective, physical exfoliation procedure that uses a sterile, surgical scalpel to remove the non-living skin cells that comprise the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis.

It differs from popular superficial exfoliation techniques such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion in that it uses no chemicals, crystals or suction. Dermaplaning also removes vellus hair; the fine, downy peach fuzz which harbours oil and dirt, causing the skin to look dull. Dermaplaning brightens the complexion, reduces congestion and allows for deeper penetration of skincare products. Vellus-free skin also facilitates smoother make-up application.

It can be performed monthly, in line with the cellular renewal process of a healthy skin. As we age, this process slows down and regular dermaplaning treatment can help to speed it up. However, Dermaplaning is not recommended for acneic or oily skins as the vellus hair serves to allow excess sebum to exit the follicle.

An important factor to consider in dermaplaning is that although the stratum corneum is essentially non-living, it does perform a vital protective function. It acts as the first line of defence against the external environment, protecting the body from bacteria, UV and free radicals. It also binds in natural moisture, preventing it from escaping and keeping skin hydrated.

It is therefore crucial to keep skin well balanced, nurturing it post-treatment to prevent transepidermal water loss, sensitivity or other barrier function issues. Clients should avoid exfoliants, harsh products and potential irritants such as soaps or wipes, and use products designed for strengthening the skin barrier. SPF application is essential.

Jacqueline Naeini is clinical director of Cliniva Medispa and Cliniva Cosmetic Training, which offers dermaplaning courses. She will speak on dermaplaning as part of the Advanced Treatments Stage at PB North.

How can I increase my prices without losing any clients?

When it comes to increasing prices, the most common thing I notice among salon owners is the fear factor. They often think, “If I put my prices up, clients are going to run for the hills”. However, your customers are coming to you because they see value in what you offer. A small price hike shouldn’t really have that great of an impact.

In general, suppliers are putting prices up, quite significantly in some cases, and staff wages are going up too, so to not put your prices up is detrimental to your business. You’ve got to generate enough money to upskill your team and you’ve got to have the cash to be able to invest in your business. In most cases, clients understand that a price increase is inevitable. Generally, your prices should increase at least once a year.

The biggest mistake I see is salon owners following the pricing structure of competitors. Every business has different overheads, so this method just doesn’t work. You need to look at your own bottom line instead.

It’s important to explain the price hike with confidence when communicating with clients, rather than in an apologetic manner, which makes clients react negatively. If they can see all the great things you are doing, and that your focus is investing in the business, they are much more likely to react positively.

Susan Routledge is a business consultant and owner of Finishing Touches salon in County Durham. Hear her talk on how to increase prices without losing clients on the Business Skills stage at PB North.

This month’s experts will all speak at Professional Beauty North at EventCity Manchester on October 13–14. To book any live stage or seminar session for just £3 (£1 for students) visit 7

This article appears in the October 2019 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the October 2019 Issue of Professional Beauty