You Asked, Andy Answered

A few weeks ago you headed over to Facebook and let us know your biggest waxing worries… We’ve teamed up with Andy Rouillard to get your questions answered.

“What’s the best warm wax for leg hair removal?” – Natalie

There are a few things I always look for in a warm wax when de-fuzzing larger areas like legs, backs, chests and arms. The first is a low melting point, which means the wax will stay softer for longer on the skin. This enables me to cover larger areas at a time, without worrying that my wax will go cold and become difficult to remove (especially on notoriously tricky bits like the feet and knees). The second thing I look for is a nice fluid texture, which allows me to get more coverage from each dip into the pot.

My current favorite from Salon System is of course the new Advanced Strip Wax in the Just Wax Expert line, which combines an exceptionally low working temperature with a fabulous gel-like consistency that glides over the body. It applies really thinly over all the nobbly bumps and contours that legs present us with, plus the super-soft texture means it’s great on any pesky dry patches. Importantly, it also has the strength needed to get shorter leg hairs out… even when a client has been shaving a little too close to their appointment!

“Is there really a ‘pain-free’ way to wax? I hear so many people saying and quoting it on their marketing material.” – Katherine

Sadly, pulling hair out by the root is never going to be completely painless, despite what some unscrupulous adverts would have us believe. But there ARE some simple steps we can take as therapists to make the whole experience more comfortable for our clients.

First up: short/shaved hair is difficult to wax and this can result in a more uncomfortable treatment, so I always recommend that clients leave at least 3 weeks after shaving or using hair removal creams before getting waxed. They should then come back to see us every 4-6 weeks after that. Not only does this catch the hair on the best cycle for longer lasting smoothness, but less regrowth means less pain.

Every customer will have their own methods for coping with discomfort, but squeezy stress balls, deep breathing (ask the client to breathe out as you pull the strip off) and general chit-chat are all simple ways of distracting attention. And don’t forget to press or tap the skin after removing your wax strip. It’s an old trick but it works: pressure stimulates the nerve endings and takes away the sting.

Finally: finish your treatment with Protect & Calm lotion, which contains anti-inflammatory marshmallow root extract, shea butter and mongongo oil to soothe and nourish the skin, and send customers home on a high.

“I’ve recently ruined a couple of my tops with strip wax, so my question is: how do I remove strip wax from my clothes? Cheers!” – Marie

I’ve done this SO many times, I absolutely feel your pain! It’s certainly a hazard of the job, but if an apron isn’t practical then the good news is there are ways to shift the sticky stuff.

If you catch the wax quickly enough you may find that a quick rub with a drop of oil will remove the worst of the stickiness and the rest will come out in the wash. Failing that, my secret weapon is a product called Goo Gone or Sticky Stuff Remover, both of which you can pick up online. They are safe to use on most fabrics and make short work of stubborn gummy dribbles, but test on an inconspicuous area first.

“Help with troubleshooting when the temperature sky-rockets is one that comes up a lot, please.” – Sam

Hot weather plays havoc with hair removal, that’s for sure. Warm, clammy skin is a nightmare to wax, so the first step is to be generous with your cleanser. I’ve been using Just Wax Expert Cleanse & Prime – its serum texture liquefies when massaged into the skin, so it does a grand job of removing any body lotions, deodorant or perspiration that could interfere with the wax, and it also cools the area prior to treatment.

For best results, I find it helps to then wipe over with a tissue before applying my wax, to ensure the skin is completely dry – a light dusting of powder can work wonders on sweaty skin in this heat, too. Don’t be afraid to work in smaller sections and reapply powder as you go if necessary.

When it comes to non-strip wax, Salon System’s new Advanced Hot Wax sets in around 20-30 seconds, which is fantastic news for warm weather and hot bodies! But if you’re finding the current heatwave is slowing things down, a handy trick is to dampen a cotton pad with water and wipe over the top of your wax to hurry the drying process along.

“Hard wax… it just snaps, what’s the best advice for wax that doesn’t snap and peels off?” – Pam

Give the Just Wax MultiFlex, FlexiWax or new Advanced Hot Wax a try – they all contain polymers to ensure the product stays pliable when set, which makes things a lot easier in the treatment room.

To help avoid snapping, ensure the wax is applied in even layers with clean edges. The Salon System hot waxes do a great job even when relatively thin, but tougher/denser hair often requires a slightly thicker application to prevent breakage.

Hard wax is also more likely to become brittle if it’s left to sit for too long on the body, especially in colder weather (or at this time of year if the air-con is on full blast!), so it’s worth bearing that in mind. Again, a slightly thicker application can help things stay snap-free for longer. To assist with timings, the Advanced Hot Wax in the new Just Wax Expert line contains a built-in visual indicator: the wax starts out a translucent, crystal blue and will go an opaque, sky blue when fully set and ready to remove. No more guesswork required: you can remove as soon as the colour changes and minimise the risk of breakage!