Add-On Services

Homing in on Hair Removal

Summer’s almost here. Are you ready for the influx of clients who will want to be waxed, tweezed, and threaded of unsightly hair in time for their beach vacations? NAILS provides the information you need to consider supplementing your menu with this easy add-on service — for this summer’s clients and beyond.

When it comes to professional hair removal services, there are almost as many options as there are client types. Though there are established advantages and disadvantages to each method, it’s overwhelmingly a personal choice on your and your client’s behalf regarding which hair removal services are the best fit at your salon. At Lux Spa in Toronto, owner Cathy Mancini offers both waxing and threading on her otherwise nail-focused menu. “Some clients become irritated with waxing while others experience irritation with threading,” Mancini says. “We suggest they make one appointment for waxing and another for threading, then decide for themselves. We have many clients who thread their brows, wax their lips, and thread their arms. To each their own, but either way, we have them covered.”

The most common options for hair removal at salons are as follows. The first four offer temporary removal, lasting for a few weeks. Laser and electrolysis offer permanent or semi-permanent hair removal.

Waxing: The type of hair removal you and your clients are likely the most familiar with, hot wax is applied in the direction of hair growth and removed opposite of hair growth.

Sugaring: Generally an all-natural option, sugaring removes the hair from the follicle in the natural direction of hair growth using a sugar-based paste. Unlike with wax, the sugar stays at room temperature.

Threading: A traditional method of hair removal in the Middle East and South Asia, threading is so named because it uses thread to remove hair from the root. Its advocates say you get better shaping and arch control than with other methods. Plus many states don’t require any professional license to offer threading.

Tweezing: Many salons offer tweezing to complete hair removal done with other methods, but tweezing is also a solo option to remove hair from smaller areas such as the eyebrows or upper lip and can result in less irritation than other methods for some clients.

Laser hair removal: Most effective on dark hair (due to the method the laser uses to target hair while leaving surrounding tissue intact), it requires several sessions on the same body part to offer long-term results.

Electrolysis: Effective on all skin and hair types, during electrolysis an electric current is applied with a fine needle inserted in the hair follicle and destroys the hair’s growth center.

Many hair removal services have low product costs, but the catch is finding the right talent to perform the services. “For some of the hair removal services we offer, the equipment is not necessarily expensive, but the challenge is finding the right person to provide that service for you. I find those who spend most of their day working with clients specifically on hair removal develop a greater skill set for this specific area,” says Dalia Wagley, owner of Spa W in Irving, Texas. Depending on how busy you anticipate hair removal services to keep your salon, that person may be either an employee (a great idea if you anticipate a lot of interest and/or walk-ins and want someone available during all of the salon’s open hours and to be fully integrated into the team) or an independent contractor (if you are not sure of the interest and may be better with someone who has her own established clientele).

Regardless of who you choose to perform the services, hair removal can be a great asset to your salon. “In today’s fast-paced world, our clients want a one-stop-shop. If they can have their brows shaped while their nails dry, it puts money in our pockets as service providers and keeps clients coming back,” says Chynna Stephens, a full specialist at Todd Patrick & Co. Salon in Ormond Beach, Fla. “The more time they spend with us, clients tend to trust us more. Adding that extra 15 minutes makes them feel important, and makes them want to come back again and again to feel that way.”

On the next page are some nail-focused salons that have found success in offering hair removal and their advice for making this easy add-on work for you.

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