Interview with Waxperts co-founders Ellen Kavanagh and Trish O’Brien
The Waxperts co-founders talk about the latest innovations in waxing, as well as the biggest challenges facing the industry and offer salons and therapists some advice to stay competitive
What new ingredients and formulations are hot in waxing at the moment?
Waxing has moved on significantly from the 'old school' just beeswax formulations and more innovative formulas have been created using resins and polymers to allow waxes to perform better for both the therapist and client.
What are clients looking for from salons now?
Clients want to come in for a treatment – not just an in-and-out service. Even for regular clients, going to the salon is a pampering experience so they want to be made to feel special. Think about tailoring your waxing service to each client. In the Waxperts Salon, we blend our two hot waxes Original and Rosie Pearl, to make the perfect blend for that customer’s hair and skin type.
Making your salon as accessible as possible for those who might work or have other commitments during the normal 9-5, Monday to Friday is also a huge draw. Offering a couple of nights a week with late appointment times will capture those clients who would struggle to make it you otherwise.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the pro market?
Professional products being sold to professionals but without clear training or instruction on how to use and get the best from that brand / range. Not very wax performs or is used in the same way so we’d always strongly recommend that your invest in your chosen brands training.
What should salon owners be doing to stay competitive?
When it comes to waxing, high standards are what will set you apart – that’s both in your waxing skills and your salon standards. If you’re struggling with confidence, or dread someone booking in for a bikini wax, invest in some refresher training to make sure your technique is up to date and you’re performing to a high standard. Not only will you enjoy offering the treatment more, your clients will have a more comfortable experience. If you’re offering a high quality treatment, customers will continue to return and do your marketing for you by recommending you to friends and family.
What is the most common mistake you see therapists making?
There are two things – firstly not selecting the right wax for the job and secondly, cutting corners when it’s comes to safe and hygienic waxing.
Time and again we hear of therapists using strip wax on delicate areas. Strip wax should never be used on the face, underarm or bikini. These areas are too delicate for this type of waxing. Hot wax, used with a pre-wax oil protects the skin and is a must for these more sensitive areas. Not only that, it’s much more comfortable for your client!
When it comes to safe and hygienic waxing, there are three golden rules Waxperts abide by. This not only presents your salon in a professional manner with the highest standards, but importantly keeps both you and your client safe and somewhere they’ll want to recommend to their friends.
1. Always wear a fresh pair of disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves to reduce cross contamination
2. Cleanse each area to be waxed to remove make up, oils and dirt and to reduce cross-infection
3. No Double-Dipping! A new wooden disposable spatula should be used for EVERY dip in to the wax – bodily fluids, secretions and blood spotting are common throughout waxing treatments, so it is essential to make sure the wax isn’t contaminated. Don’t be fooled in to thinking the heat of the wax will kill any bacteria – it is simply not hot enough. If anything, it’s the perfect temperature for it to multiply.
Wooden spatulas are very cheap – it’s not worth cutting corners to save a few pennies.
What would be your one key piece of advice to therapists for improving their waxing technique?
Be open to change and be willing to up-skill regularly – and that’s both for you and your team.
What’s your top tip for improving retail in salons?
Don’t mistake being confident with being pushy. We know many salons are reluctant to recommend retail products to their clients for fear of sounding like a pushy salesperson! Your clients come and pay good money for a quality service from you – they will value your recommendation of products that will help maintain and prolong that treatment at home so don’t be afraid! Our customers LOVE our Waxperts Wonder Pads, which are perfect for preventing and treating ingrown hairs which can occur with waxing.
What is your most popular product and what do you think makes it popular?
Our best selling wax is our Waxperts Original Hot Wax. The unique formulation of the wax makes it ultra-flexible ensuring it won’t snap or break on removal and has a lower melting temperature than most other hot waxes of 62°C. These factors offer a much more comfortable experience for your client. Additionally, Waxperts Hot Wax can be applied in any direction regardless of hair growth making it much easier for the therapist and the client.
Are you having anything new on your stand at the show?
We launched our Rosie Pearl range of Hot and Strip Waxes earlier in the year so this will be the first time we’ve showcased them at the Manchester show! Rosie Pearl is our super-thin range of waxes which are perfect for experienced therapists and for use on regular clients with finer, lighter hair growth. The waxes set almost instantly so speed up treatment times too.
Will you be having any special offers exclusive to the show?
Our UK distributors Sweet Squared always bring fantastic deals to the show and this year is no exception! Both of us will be on the stand too so come over for a chat, watch us demo and stock up on your Waxperts goodies!
Visit Waxperts at Professional Beauty North, on 18-19 September, they are on stand E45, and don't miss on their live demonstration on the Pro Beauty Stage 1 on Sunday at 12pm! Free tickets available here.
Visit them at Professional Beauty Ireland on 25-26 September on stand B80, and don't miss their live demonstration on the PB Live Stage Monday at 1pm! Free tickets available here.