Add-On Services

Blame It on Rio

Ever since the take-it-all-off Brazilian wax was introduced stateside, waxing has become one of the most requested - and talk about - services in the salon. If you’re thinking about expanding your menu, waxing is one of the cheapest - and most profitable - services you can get into this summer.

Thanks to many celebrities boasting its benefits, the Brazilian bikini wax has become a popular service for young starlets and housewives alike. But it’s not only the bikini are that’s getting all of the attention. Areas like fingers and toes are baring it all the request of smooth-skin buffs. And it seems the trend just keeps becoming more popular.

“I have 20% more waxing clients than I did a year ago,” says Anna Lohan, owner of Anna’s Facial & Facial & Nail Salon in Spring House, Pa. “Once someone catches on the convenience of having waxing service, she’s hooked.”

And clients needn’t go to a high-end spa to get this waxing service. Nail salons that offer waxing are seizing the opportunity to make a little money each month and provide better service to clients.

“We have a full-service salon and we incorporate waxing into other services,” says Anna Maria Paty, owner of The Perfect 10 Spa in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. “Occasionally, we have people call for waxing only. Fifteen percent of our clients use the service. In a month, we can make a 90% profit on waxing.”

If you’re a veteran nail technician, you should already be well-schooled in the world of waxing. If you’re a novice, there’s no time like the present to tap into hot service. Besides, what better way for the client to show off beautifully manicured fingernails and toenails than against smooth, silky skin? And what better way for a nail technician to increase her service and her income than with waxing? “Salons planning on adding waxing to their service menu should know it’s a great revenue producer,” says Patricia Cepeda, president of Wax ‘n Waxing in Glendale, Calif. “The nail technician can make thousands of dollars per year from waxing. She can expect an additional 20% in revenue per year without adding more customers.”

You can bring that profit into your salon with a minimum investment of time and money. Material to set up waxing services cost around $300 sometimes less, depending on which kinds of wax service you want to offer.

“A salon can purchase a complete waxing kit for face and body waxing that includes pre- and post-waxing treatments, wax warmer, muslin strips, wax applicator, and an instruction video for between $200 and $300,” says Jill Sherman, director of corporate communications for American International Industries in Commerce, Calif. “For Salons that only want to offer smaller waxing treatments, there are complete roll-on kits with special roller head designed to fit brows and lips for $80 to $100.”

Sherman also points out that if you’re going to offer full body waxing services, you’ll need a treatment table, which can cost anywhere from $200 to $600. “And don’t forget to add in the cost of accessories like disposable papers sheets and underwear, latex gloves, and tweezers.” she adds.

Peeling Minutes Off Your Waxing Time

  • Use a trolley or portable table of move the wax and supplies close to the table Having to walk back and forth between clients waste time.
  • When waxing have the client wear as little as possible. The less fussing with clothing crapes, or gowns, the more time you save.
  • If you’re going to do a leg, bikini, and underarm wax, do the entire front of the body first before having the client turn over. Then complete the back of the legs.
  • Once you’ve mastered the basic technique of waxing, try this time-saver on large areas of skin instead of placing and removing small strips, apply the wax once, cover with a longer strip and remove it in several pulls.

If you’re worried don’t have enough space, keep in mind that each set-up usually only takes up about two feet by two feet.

As for training most wax manufacturers offer professional training classes, which can be completed in one to two days and cost anywhere from $25 to $75.

Waxing 101

As with nail services, the most important consideration when adding waxing is that the individuals performing the treatment be properly trained. An esthetician or cosmetology license is generally required, but is varies from state. Be sure to check with your state board for requirements.

The most important consideration when waxing service is being thoroughly knowledgeable, says Joy Houlihan, an esthetician at Murad Spa in El Segundo, Calif.

“That means knowing everything from technique to what types of skin problems you should be aware of,” says Houlihan.

For you beginners out there, waxing is defined as a wax combination that is spread thinly over the skin. A cloth strip is pressed on the top and then ripped off with a quick movement, removing the wax along with the hair and dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth. Good hot waxes melt just above body temperature so they can be easily spread thinly over the skin. As the wax hardens, it traps the hair in the wax so it can be removed by the roots when the wax is ripped off. “If the wax is too hot or too thick, or if the technician doesn’t use the proper technique, skin lifting may occur,” explains Houlihan.

There are two basic waxes, regardless of room temperature: hard and soft. Hard wax is used without cloth strips and is applied and peeled off. “I use only hard wax on the face, underarms, and bikini - including Brazilians. It’s gentler and stronger,” says Lori Nestore, president of Eva’s Esthetic in Oakland, Calif. “Soft wax is used with strips applied very thin and used on arms, legs, back, and chest.”

The technician can also choose a cream wax containing tea tree oil, which is very effective for soothing and repairing irritated skin and if the hair to be waxed is short, coarse, and stubborn. This type of wax is extremely effective in picking up short hairs that aren’t quite ready to be waxed.

Besides classes, the next best source of education can be through manufacturers.

“Nail technicians should not be afraid to offer waxing,” says Houlihan. “They might be afraid they’ll get the wax where it should be and take off too much eyebrow or hurt the client. But it’s an easy, profitable service. After taking classes in technique, she can pick it up quickly and add revenue every week.”

Be aware that there are precautions to take before putting wax on anyone. “Make sure you know what medications your clients are on the condition of their skin,” says Nestore. “Also you don’t want the client to have anything important coming up in the next two weeks of an initial wax service. Many reactions are consideration normal, but are not desirable for a wedding or a vacation in Hawaii.”

Selling the Service

“Waxing service practically sell themselves,” says Paty. “Waxing is an impulse buy. When you’re holding a client’s hand during a manicure or her feet during a pedicure, that’s the time to mention a toe or finger wax. Clients can also get their toes, arms, or legs waxed while they are waiting for their nails to dry. You simply have to ask. I learned a long time ago that you don’t get then business unless you ask for it.” 

First, decide which service you want to offer.

“If your salon doesn’t have a private room with space for a waxing table, offer service that can be done simultaneously with other services like pedicures and paraffin treatments. Instead of sitting around 20 minutes waiting for the paraffin treatment to end, you could be waxing her upper lip. It takes the same amount of time, but you get twice the profit.”

Prices must be set according to the pricing structure of the salon. “But I highly recommend mapping out your prices with the lowest price to the highest price, so you would want your bikini line to read ‘From $25 to $60.’ this allows correct charging for your very hairy ones,” says Nestore.

For smaller areas, prices usually run from $5 to $20.

“I charge $8 for toes and fingers, $12 for eyebrows, $20 for underarms, and $25 for a half-arm wax,” says Paty.

You can promote your services by offering toe and finger waxing services as options to manicures and pedicures. As with paraffin treatments, nail technician can mention that waxing services are available during hand and leg massages. At the front of the salon, where clients pay and make appointments, place a menu of waxing services. After a client pays, slip a discount certificate for first-time waxing clients in the receipt, bill, or credit card before handing it back to them.

“People like to be pampered, so packages are often appealing,” says Sherman. “For example, during summer months, offer a package like the ‘Summer Smoothie’ that includes a pedicure, foot paraffin treatment, leg massage, and leg or bikini wax.”

“Once you’ve got your speed up, work at a dollar a minute,” says Houlihan. “That’s an average. It’s really profitable, more so than nails. The key things is to learn your technique and practice it.”

You may want to compare your client’s current method of hair removal with waxing to show the benefits of waxing. Many of our clients shave their legs and tweeze their eyebrows regularly, for example. Shaving removes hair at the skin’s surface. Its advantages are that it doesn’t have to be professionally done, it’s quick, and it’s simple. Its effect last only 24 hours, however, and stubble usually shows through the skin soon after.

And while tweezing is effective for temporary hair removal, it is also time consuming and painstaking. Compared with other methods of hair removal, a warm or cold waxing service done in the salon is a long lasting and effective method of hair removal.

With education and promotion, you can paunch waxing services in your salon. Better still, you won’t have to drum up a new clientele - the same ones who trust you with the care of their hands will trust you to take care of their skin as well.

Banking on the Brazilian

So what exactly is a “Brazilian” anyway? It’s the removal of as much hair as the client wishes, including everything from the navel on down to the small of the back, if the thought leaves you queasy, think about this as a professional the area should be unimportant. And this service knows no gender. Both women and men have been requesting it. A technician's success with the Brazilian has to do with the speed and angle when she can flip her wrists, and the ability comes with practice and shy-free personality. “You can have a client completely hairless in 10 minutes,” says Anna Marie Paty, owner of the Perfect 10 Spa in Indiana Harbour Beach, Fl., “and you should charge at least $55 for the service.”

Lon Nestore, president of Eva’s Esthetics in Oakland, Calif., is considered one of the foremost experts in the waxing arena and has been deemed “The Wax Queen.” without practice and education, she says, it’s useless trying to give a Brazilian. She encourages waxers to be as knowledgeable as possible and offers training classes for speed waxing techniques and creating a comfortable environment of clients.

Joy Houlihan an esthetician at Murad Spa in El Segundo, Calif., sums it up, “A technician’s style should be painless, her bedside manner charming, and her squeamish factor veering toward zero. Just like with other waxing services the key to perfecting your technique is education and practice. And you can’t be afraid to ask someone to get on all fours.”

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