400 salons sign up to Government-backed cervical screening campaign

A new initiative to help salons encourage their clients to go for their cervical screening tests was launched today by booking platform Treatwell in partnership with Government agency Public Health England (PHE). 

400 of the salons that work with Treatwell have already committed to the Life Saving Wax campaign, which will involve posters and information cards for salons to show to clients, as well as basic training on how to start conversations about the importance of cervical screening and where to refer clients who have any concerns. 

The campaign was launched on the back of research by Treatwell, which showed that while the number of women attending smear tests is at a 20-year low, the number who go to salons for intimate waxing is continuing to rise. 

The research found that 90% of women aged 25-34 are maintaining their pubic hair in some way, and 1.2 million of those go to beauty salons to do so. In fact, between 2017 and 2018, there was an 84% increase in the number of bikini waxes booked via the Treatwell platform, a 52% rise in Hollywood waxes and 32% increase for Brazilian wax treatments.

The initiative also focuses on the fact that women often feel relaxed talking to their beauty therapist, so the salon can be a good environment to start conversations about health. The research found that 47% of young women would feel comfortable speaking to their salon therapist about personal topics, 59% see therapists as a trusted person to talk to and 74% listen to their advice. 

Treatwell beauty director Liz Hambleton said, “We see thousands of women booking intimate waxes every day through Treatwell, so when we heard that women aren't attending a potentially life-saving test due to embarrassment, we wanted to see how we could change this. 

She added, “Beauticians are not health experts but they are human, and they speak to women all day every day about many personal topics…Just one conversation is all it could take to remind or encourage someone to go for their cervical screening when invited. That one conversation could help stop cancer before it starts – it could save a life.” 

Life Saving Wax is part of Public Health England’s Cervical Screening Saves Lives campaign. 

The launch follows several independent initiatives last year pioneered by Liverpool salon Every Body Matters, which offered clients free facials if they booked their cervical screening