Bare it all |

6 mins

Bare it all

With intimate waxing, it’s important to create a safe environment. Lollie Hancock finds out from leading waxers how to ensure your clients are comfortable, and how to tackle difficult conversations

Intimate waxing can feel like a vulnerable experience for clients, especially those who have never waxed before, and those who are insecure about the appearance of their vulva. As a waxer, you have a responsibility to create a safe and relaxing environment for your clients, and to provide support before, during and after the treatment, whether they’re a waxing veteran or losing their waxing virginity.

For first timers

Chances are that if your client is experiencing an intimate wax for the first time, they’ll be nervous going into the treatment, not just because of the wax itself, but also the vulnerability of lying on a treatment bed exposed to a beauty therapist they may have only met five minutes earlier.

“Intimate waxing is one of the most personal treatments anyone can come into the salon room for. Just like anything in life, the unknown is always really scary so it’s common to find your first-time clients feeling super nervous,” explains Becky Priest, Hive brand ambassador and founder of Becky’s Beauty in Essex.

Nerves need to be settled from the moment they walk into your salon, starting in the waiting area. Consider the music you choose and offer your client a drink to help put them at ease.

“It is important to establish a welcoming and safe environment,” explains beauty therapist Odette Qevani from Gielly Green Boutique Salon in London. “This can be achieved by creating a relaxing atmosphere with soothing music and comfortable lighting and making sure the treatment room and equipment is clean and well-maintained, and that the client knows that any equipment used is hygienic.

“It is also essential to communicate clearly with the client before the treatment begins, explaining the process, answering any questions they have, and ensuring they are fully informed about what to expect.”

Priest echoes the importance of proper communication, adding, “When they arrive, I find it’s important to make sure that they know what they’ve booked in for and you know what they expect. It’s very common for people not to know the difference between a Hollywood and a Brazilian. However, the reality is different therapists use different terms and there is no precise right or wrong… it really doesn’t matter what the treatment is called, but it matters that your client knows what you mean. We feel comfortable talking about our job, but our clients can sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about what they want, so make it clear.”

Back on the (waxing) horse

For clients who have had a bad experience with intimate waxing, the first treatment following that experience can be even more daunting. Whether it was wax that was too hot or a therapist that was too rough, the trauma from the previous treatment will be playing on their mind as they take the plunge again.

“We always ask questions and ensure that the client knows they are in safe hands. We also offer alternative options that will give them a better result than they have had in the past,” explains Terri Rielly, head of training for London-based waxing salon group Strip Hair Removal Experts. For these nervous clients, constant communication is key to ensure they’re comfortable and not worried about something going wrong. “During the treatment, it is important to be gentle and mindful of the client’s comfort levels. You can check in with them regularly to ensure that they are feeling OK and adjust your approach accordingly,” adds Qevani. “Additionally, using techniques such as distraction or breathing exercises may help to alleviate any discomfort.”

Into position

One of the key elements of a comfortable intimate wax is the position you ask your client to adopt for their treatment. “For intimate waxing, we always ask guests to open their legs in a comfortable position with their feet touching,” shares Rielly.

“All clients are provided with a cover-up and are asked, depending on capability, that they put their knees up to their chest when waxing the perianal area, with the bed flat. Alternatively, the client can lie on their side to feel at ease.”

Harmeet Chopra, senior beauty therapist at London salon group Rawr Beauty, also favours this positioning, adding that, “If modifications are needed, one leg will be left in this position while waxing, with the other straight on the table, switching to the next leg in the butterfly position for the opposite side waxing. You can also ask your client to assist with stretching the skin, to avoid any pulling or bruising.”

Sensitive subjects

As a waxer, you’ll have an understanding of what a healthy vulva looks like – and may be the first to notice if something is not quite right. With waxing already such an intimate treatment, it can be hard to know the best way to approach difficult conversations with your clients without making them feel embarrassed or exposed.

“Before broaching any sensitive topics, it’s important to ensure your client feels comfortable and at ease. Create a safe and welcoming environment and be sure to approach any concerns with empathy and understanding,” explains Qevani.

“Not many women will look at their intimate area – many have told me that they avoid looking because they don’t like it – so it becomes an area where the waxer will see any changes before the client,” explains Priest.

“I worked closely with a skin cancer charity that taught me the signs of melanoma to look out for, which I now apply to any wax treatment. If I notice a changing mole on my clients, then I will ask if they have ever have had it checked.

“Because of going that extra mile, I have detected moles that didn’t look right or had changed on three different clients. They went to their GP to receive an emergency appointment to have them removed.

“This just highlights the importance of what we do, and also how going the extra mile for our clients and being vigilant and understanding can make a massive difference in many women’s lives.”

Another health element that you may notice before your client are signs of STIs. “If you notice a strong odour or any visual signs that concern you, it can be a warning sign something may be not quite right,” explains Chopra. “In this case, it may be best to recommend the client to speak to their GP before you proceed with a wax.”

Don’t be scared to say no to clients if it is for their benefit. “If during a consultation or in the treatment room we feel the client shouldn’t have the waxing treatment, we will state that it’s in their best interest not to go ahead – the client’s wellbeing comes first for us here at Strip,” adds Rielly.

Keep it clean

It’s important to keep your workstation clean and sanitised to minimise the risk of infection for your client. “Never double-dip with the same spatula, change the bed linen and couch roll after every wax, fully sanitise the couch, wax trolley, and area between every client, and educate your clients about proper hygiene practices,” recommends Chopra. These basic rules will have a huge impact on how sanitary your waxing station is.

It’s not just your client at risk – don’t forget to put your own safety first. “We are working with an area of the body where we need to protect ourselves from body fluids. That’s one of the reasons why wearing gloves with each client and washing our hands after removing them is very important,” explains Priest.

“Hepatitis A/B and C are the most dangerous. People can carry hepatitis and not even know, so we must have hygiene as our main priority – not only to stop contamination from client to client but to protect ourselves too.”

For more tips on waxing hygiene best practice, turn to page 61 for our Hot Topic feature, which explores the subject in more detail.

This article appears in May 2023

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May 2023
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