9 tips from the pros on waxing facial hair
Unwanted facial hair can be tricky to get rid of, which is why clients come to us for help. However, removing hair from the face requires a completely different approach to waxing other areas of the body and a certain level of knowledge and expertise.
We ask the experts how to tackle everything from hairy lips and ears to the dreaded monobrow, as well as how to make the treatment a first-class service.
1. Don’t skimp on your solution
Using a high-quality wax is extremely important when conducting a facial waxing treatment. “Invest in a wax that’s made with a synthetic resin rather than pine because it’s more reliable batch to batch and causes less irritation,” says Holly Hayes, head trainer for Waxxxpresss.
“Also look for a solution that contains titanium dioxide because the ingredient actively reduces redness and irritation. While some clients will always experience slight redness after waxing, you want to make sure the reactions are as minimal as possible.”
2. Get the right details in consultation
“You must carry out a thorough consultation and skin analysis with your client prior to treatment, finding out what skincare regime they follow, what products they use and what medication they’re taking,” says Lisa Stone, educator and waxing expert for Salon System.
Stone explains this is crucial because there are certain skincare products that can cause sensitivity, skin grazing and tearing, such as those containing “retin-A, glycolic acid, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, accutane, high level steroids, HRT, hydrocortisone and localised creams and gels,” adds Stone.
3. Know your techniques inside-out
Every facial waxing treatment needs to be approached differently to achieve the best result, explains Hayes. “When waxing eyebrows, it’s imperative you create neat curves with the wax so you can give clients that perfect arch, which is why you need to use a thin and flexible spatula during application.
“However, for the upper lip, I suggest using a cotton bud instead because you can roll the tip upwards from the corner of the lip to the bottom of the nose. By rolling the wax on, the layers stay even and in a clean line.”
4. Adapt your offering for male clients
When it comes to performing a lip wax on guys, therapists often struggle to remove all the hairs using non-strip waxes, says Jack Dunn, owner of Jack Dunn Male Grooming Salon in London. “Because it’s such a small amount of wax being used it starts to set up before it’s even applied to the skin, so you need to work fast. Also, if you’re applying a pre-wax oil as a barrier it’ll be too much. The lipid barrier just won't get your wax close enough to grip all the hairs.”
Dunn advises cleansing the skin with a pre-wax sanitiser and blotting dry, before applying the wax quickly and firmly, pushing it down into the hairs. “Gentle application means the wax will just 'float' over the hairs and won't grip it,” says Dunn. “You have to press the wax down firmly as it’s setting up and remove carefully, taking care to brace and support the skin to get a good removal without breaking or snapping hairs.”
5. Know the do’s and don’ts of a nose wax
Waxing is a quick and long-lasting way to effectively remove nostril hairs but it’s all about the wax, as Andy Rouillard, owner of Axiom Bodyworks male grooming salon in Basingstoke, explains: “I advise using peelable wax because it’s easier to control than strip wax and less likely to go too far up the nose. When performing the treatment remember, you’re only removing the stray hairs that poke out of the lower nostril, the hairs higher up are meant to be there as they act as a filter that forms part of the body’s natural defences.
“If the wax breaks during removal or gets stuck in the nostril, don’t go fishing about with your fingers or tweezers. Simply apply a little more wax and then hold the spatula in place on the outside of the nostril while the wax sets. You can then use this as a handle to remove the dried wax in one simple swoop.”
6. Don’t go overboard with beards
Although beards are on-trend (the bigger the better, eh?), most clients opt to tame the mane in order to keep it looking good. “While I don't recommend waxing the beard area, I do find waxing just above it on the cheekbones – i.e. above the shave line – is great for keeping it neat and making sure the skin remains soft,” explains Dunn. “Asian men often have soft downy facial hair on their hairline and I find non-strip waxes offer the best removal option with minimum reaction.”
7. Brush up on your waxing wisdom
“When performing an ear wax, you only want to remove hair from the tragus, earlobe and rim of the ear – never from the canal itself – and a hard, peelable wax should be your wax of choice,” explains Rouillard. “A clean wax strip can also be used when waxing the ear to protect the client’s scalp hair. Cut out a crescent shape with scissors and place it behind the client’s ear to keep his hair out of the line of fire. You can even hold the strip in place with a couple of pieces of masking tape to make your life easier.”
8. Keep your standards high
There’s a few things as a therapist you should do pre- and post-treatment, says Rosemarie Cecillia, CEO at WaxXXX: “You should always wash your hands before the service and thoroughly clean the area that’s to be waxed with a good pre-wax. I also use a high frequency machine on the area to kill any bacteria and dehydrate the talc in the hair follicle, so the client doesn’t end up with spots or breakouts from the treatment.
“It’s also imperative to soothe the skin after treatment, so I apply a BB cream to stop the skin becoming inflamed when they leave the salon.”
9. Good practice
“If a therapist isn’t fully qualified, mistakes can be made,” says Stone. “Most problems tend to occur after the service due to a lack of knowledge and hygiene, but this is just as important as the service itself. A professional course covers everything you’ll need and being fully qualified will ensure your clients come back time and time again.”