Professional Beauty's live chat with Andy Rouillard 'Wax Daddy' from Learn Male Waxing
PB: Hi Andy - great to have you with us today! Here's your first question: What would you say is the most popular waxing treatment for males?
LMW: Thanks for inviting me - I loved our last chat, although I have upped the Jaffa Cake quota for this one! Furry backs and shoulders are still by far the most popular areas chosen for deforestation – I don’t think a fuzzy back will ever be fashionable! But as more and more guys discover the benefits of smooth skin for themselves, I’m noticing other areas are catching up. Male Brazilian waxing is incredibly popular at the moment and has been for a few years now, although these days most chaps tend to leave some hair behind on the pubic triangle rather than whipping it all off, so ‘fashions’ and trends do change with hair removal as with every other sector of the beauty industry. Nostril and ear waxing is also really popular, which I actually consider less of a job and more of a public service… there’s no excuse for nose tendrils!
PB: Would you say it is a risk to 'do it yourself'? (waxing that is!)
LMW: Haha! Well, anyone who’s ever watched a home waxing video on YouTube will know the answer to that one! I know we’re biased but the fact remains that it’s quicker, easier, less painful and less messy to visit your friendly neighbourhood beauty therapist for waxing. There are now a couple of home waxing kits on the market that are specifically geared towards men (stick it in a black bottle and it’s for men, right?), but I’m sure we’ve all seen the consequences of a bad home wax job: bruises, broken hairs and patches of raw skin… Some things are best left to the pros.
PB: A very popular question this one... How can you avoid getting in grown hairs after waxing?
LMW: Oooo, the bane of waxers worldwide! Prevention is better than cure when it comes to ingrowns. Exfoliate gently 2-3 times a week and use a moisturising body lotion every day. The key word here is ‘gently’ – some people are under the illusion that “if it’s hurting, it’s working” and scrub themselves raw. This only makes things worse. Choose a cosmetic scrub with spherical particles that won’t scratch the skin. For guys, I find the nylon mitts or Japanese-style washcloths sell well – they’re less fuss than a scrub, and the Japanese cloths unravel like a scarf so that the customer can reach his back. Really stubborn spots can be treated with a chemical exfoliant – look for something containing salicylic acid which will work inside the pore where the hair is trapped. And no picking!!
PB: How many treatments does it take to permanently remove hair for good?
LMW: Waxing isn’t a method of permanent hair removal - that honour belongs to electrolysis! Anecdotally, I know we all have customers whose hair has substantially thinned out and reduced after years of regular waxing, but we’re on dodgy ground if we start telling people that waxing will make their hair completely disappear. Regular treatments every 4-6 weeks will certainly give longer-lasting results, but that won’t happen overnight.
PB: Would you say it’s a wise move to shave between treatments?
LMW: No!! Step away from the razor!! Shaving between appointments interrupts the hair’s natural growth, meaning it’ll never be long enough for you to wax properly. I tell clients to wait 3 weeks after shaving before coming to see me for the first time - some of the hair will be long enough to wax before that, but there will be so much stubble left behind that it’s simply not worth my time or the client’s money.
PB: That's a warning to everyone!!
LMW: Haha, listen to Wax Daddy. If a client has recently shaved and absolutely MUST be hair-free in preparation for a holiday or a big event, for example, then peelable/non-strip wax will do a better job than strip wax, but it’ll take longer and cost more, so you need to charge appropriately for it.
PB: Do you have any advice on how to treat skin pre/post-wax in these colder winter months?
LMW: As the weather turns colder, customers turn up the radiators at home and also opt for hotter showers and long soaks in the bath, all of which can strip the skin of its natural oils and make your job more difficult. Make sure clients are using a body lotion between appointments to keep their skin hydrated and supple. Back at the salon, skip the talc: a few drops of pre-epilation oil under your wax can make a world of difference if the skin is dry.
PB: Do you find waxing treatments quieten down over Christmas? If so, is there anything you do to ensure clients return over the festive period?
LMW: Not so much for the chaps, they’re pretty good at sticking with their monthly appointments all year round. There will always be some customers who cover up over winter or only want to be hair-free during the warmer months, but now is a great time to encourage those clients to keep up with their waxing over the festive period so that they get better, longer-lasting results when the sun comes back out. If necessary, I find bribery works, haha: offer incentives to keep them coming in over Christmas, like a free underarm or nostril wax with their Brazilian, or money off a more pampering service like a massage or facial when booked at the same time as a wax, for instance.
PB: Have you noticed any specific waxing trends of 2014?
LMW: On the professional side, we’re seeing a definite rise in the number of manufacturers and salons promoting the ‘new generation’ of peelable waxes – they’re much nicer and easier to use than the older, more traditional hot waxes, which can only be a good thing for therapists and customers alike. There’s also a much bigger focus on professional homecare products now, led by companies like Outback Organics, which can make a huge difference to the long term results that clients get from their waxing treatments. From a client perspective, the number of salons now throwing open their doors to male customers is really encouraging. The male grooming market is still relatively new and growing steadily, so it’s a great time to get involved.
PB: You are exhibiting with Outback Organics at Professional Beauty London 2015 - are there any new exciting products which you are bringing to the show?
LMW: Yes! One of the things I love about working with Outback Organics is that they really listen to feedback from therapists and salon clients and develop products around those needs. So, for example, one of the things that electrologists and laser/IPL practitioners in particular were telling us was that they wanted a gel-based product to use after hair removal which wouldn’t occlude the skin like some heavier creams can do. Also, a lot of male clients prefer a lighter gel texture. So we’ve been working on a fantastic new aloe vera product that has been ‘spiked’ with a couple of really amazing natural extracts. The trials have been outstanding, you can probably tell I’m quite excited! We’ve also got a HUGE double heater in the pipeline, which is great news for those of us who wax all day (seriously, it's a beast), plus a new roller wax and some great little travel packs, ‘Little Wonders For Down Under’, which make brilliant post-wax kits. It’s going to be a great show! And I've been doing a bit of filming recently too, but shhhh, that's top secret…
PB: Oooo how exciting! Well we very much look forward to seeing you and Outback Organics at Professional Beauty London next February, thank you for chatting with us! For all of you who are interested in meeting Andy - he'll be on stand G20! Andy will also be speaking about Intimate Male Waxing at our 'How To' Seminar on Sunday 22nd @ 1pm - make sure you register for your free ticket to attend the show, here: https://registration.n200.com/survey/1aj3ehrhagxjd
LMW: Yay! Thanks guys, I've enjoyed our chat I am really looking forward to seeing everyone at the show too, and to the Brazilian waxing seminar. We'll be doing loads of demos on the stand throughout both days, come and say hi - and bring me your hair!!