Clients love to have smooth, hair-free skin and perfectly shaped brows, and thanks to waxing, both are achievable and affordable. Waxing services can range from simple lip or brow waxing to treatment of larger areas, such as the legs or bikini area. Male clients may request simple ear or nose waxing or more extensive chest or back waxing. Waxing is a great addition to service menus because of its popularity and relatively low start-up cost for techs. Read on to learn some waxing basics and help your clients say goodbye to stubble and hello to soft, smooth skin.

Waxing 101
According to, the ancient Egyptians removed hair from the body with a sticky emulsion made of oil and honey, and later the Greeks “waxed” hair away with resin or pitch. Today, hair is waxed off with hard wax or strip wax at home or in a salon. The process is fairly simple: First, the skin is prepped with a numbing cream, after which a layer of heated wax is applied to the area where hair is being removed. After the wax cools and hardens, it is quickly pulled away, either using a strip of paper or muslin (strip wax) or the fingers (hard wax). Afterward, the wax residue is cleansed from the skin and an oil or lotion is applied to the area to soothe redness. Because the hair is removed from the roots, results last longer than most other hair removal methods, and hair regrowth often becomes softer. Though results vary from client to client because of hair type and waxing frequency, waxing results generally last three to five weeks.

Rebekah Menn of Salon Indulgence Day Spa and Boutique in Little Chute, Wis., began offering waxing services in addition to nail services two years ago. “Adding eyebrow or lip waxing onto existing services is very popular,” says Menn. “All of the cosmetologists at Salon Indulgence are properly trained to perform all the waxing services, and it’s a big money maker for us.”

An array of waxing products and accessories are available to choose from. Aside from the wax itself, you will also need a heating/warming container, muslin or paper strips, disposable wooden waxing applicators, disposable Brazilian thongs (if you will be offering bikini waxing), and waxing table papers and drapes. You will also need pre-waxing and post-waxing treatments such as sprays, numbing creams, soothing gels, and wax-residue remover oils and cleaners. You should also arrange to have a curtained off area in your salon or even a separate room — particularly if you’ll be offering bikini and body waxing. The waxing area in Salon Indulgence is separate from the nail bar and other areas of the salon. “The massage and waxing spa in the back of the salon is a soothing, beautiful space,” says Menn. “We took a lot of care to make it how we knew our clients would like it.”

Waxing has some potential drawbacks, so it’s important to consult with your client prior to waxing. Some people who are prone to acne, irritated skin, or ingrown hairs may not be the best candidates for waxing. Those who are pregnant or taking certain medications may have more sensitive skin and should have a patch test performed with the wax 24 hours beforehand. Those using strong skin exfoliants and those taking any prescription acne medication or undergoing cancer treatments should not wax. 

In general, remind your clients to schedule waxing two or three days prior to an event, never on the same day. Skin may be red for a few hours after waxing. Remind them too, that the hairs being removed need to be long enough for the wax to cling.

Many states require a general cosmetology or esthetics license to perform waxing, but each state has different rules. In Wisconsin, for example, nail techs are allowed to wax, but only certain parts of the body. “We’re only allowed to wax from the elbows down and from the knees down,” says Menn. “A nail tech isn’t legally allowed to wax any other body parts in Wisconsin unless she is also a cosmetologist or esthetician.”

While waxing is easy to learn, it takes some practice to learn to do it well. There are a number of tutorials online and even places that offer in-person, hands-on training.  Janine “Jae” Allen, owner of The Wax Den in Bloomfield, N.J., offers waxing education classes in her salon. “It generally takes one to three days to learn everything,” explains Allen. “It can be challenging depending on the body part. Legs are really challenging for most beginners. Of course, both male and female Brazilian waxing are very challenging.” Allen says that, as in the nail business, adequate training and marketing know-how are key to success. “The main reason some professionals shy away from waxing is simply fear,” Allen says. “Proper training in technique can make all the difference when adding waxing services to the salon menu.” 

Product Roundup

Épillyss Professional Wax Kit
Professional wax kits from Épillyss include technical charts for every product, and pre- and post-depilatory products, including an anti-growth hair serum and an anti-ingrown hair miracle. The ecological wax leaves no residue, no color, and no aroma, and can be used straight from the microwave to the wax warmer for time-saving profits.

Satin Smooth Professional Double Wax Warmer Kit
This deluxe kit from Satin Smooth includes a double warmer, two waxes (cream and honey), and soothing skin prep and aftercare products — everything you need to offer your clients unprecedented comfort and more waxing options. It also comes with an instructional DVD.

GiGi Pro 1 Kit
GiGi Pro 1 Kit is a complete professional hair removal system that contains everything the professional esthetician needs to satisfy even the most demanding clients. Includes an array of pre- and post- treatments, waxes, a professional warmer, and instructional materials.

Click here for a how-to video on waxing from GiGi.

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