Lilliane Caron shares her thoughts on hair removal fads and why waxing has made its permanent mark in the beauty industry.
With so many trends fighting for our attention these days, it’s hard to know what’s staying for good and what will be gone tomorrow. One thing I know for sure and have never questioned is waxing. It’s not a fad and it’s here to stay.
Waxing has been used as a form of hair removal for thousands of years. The reason it has secured its permanent place in the beauty industry is simple – It’s safe, effective and attainable. Different hair removal techniques such as sugaring, IPL, laser hair removal etc. have become very popular in recent years as advertising and celebrity endorsements have caused consumers to have conflicting thoughts on what is best. Playing on consumers desire to have permanent lifelong results, a ‘natural’ alternative or simply to be a part of a new ‘trend.’
Sugaring is an ancient middle-eastern practice that uses an all-natural paste or gel made from food-derived ingredients like sugar, water and lemon juice to remove the hair. The toffee like substance is kneaded into the skin repeatedly, removing the hair as it goes. With a number of inferior waxes on the market causing reactions including redness, itchiness and bumps, it’s no wonder people started looking for an alternative remedy. But here’s the scoop; 1) Superior waxes don’t cause these kinds of irritations; 2) Natural, Vegan friendly, water soluble waxes are now available in the marketplace so there really is no need to switch to sugaring, simply to offer a natural alternative.
With both waxing and sugaring, hairs are pulled from the follicles and no matter what technique you use, that’s not going to tickle! I don’t know about you, but as a client I would prefer my lady parts weren’t pushed and pummelled by a large ball of sugar wax. The technique is harsh on the client’s body as well as strenuous on the therapists’ wrists, back and body.
Another hair-removal method I see being potentially harmful to the client’s body is IPL, also known as Intense Pulsed Light. This is a hair removal technique that uses a lightflash to penetrate the skin and kill the hair follicles. There are no current studies to prove that having this intense light penetrate your skin is damaging to our health. However, for a long time there was no proof that solariums were damaging either. Fast forward a few years and it’s an entirely different story! We are now educated on how dangerous solariums are, which has caused them to become illegal in many states. The unknown health risks are enough to raise a red flag, not to mention the burning and permanent scarring the treatment can cause if performed incorrectly or by a malfunctioning machine.
I have noticed a few celebrities endorsing IPL as their chosen method of hair removal, which of course causes consumers jump right on board! Celebrities are not trained or educated in the area and can be just as oblivious to the potential side effect as the rest of us. Not to mention, celebrities are the definition of ‘Fad’ in one minute, out the next.
One celebrity that has recognised the impact a fad is Cameron Diaz. I recently read an article where Cameron talks about the permanent removal of pubic hair in particular. She states ‘Forever? I know you may think you’ll be wearing the same style of shoes forever and the same style of jeans forever, but you won’t. The idea that vaginas are preferable in a hairless state is a pretty recent phenomenon, and all fads change, people.’ Yes Cameron, I couldn’t have said it any better myself!
Fads can be costly. IPL in particular can cost an arm and a leg, and possibly even another leg if you are investing in equipment from leading manufacturers. Waxing is a more economical choice, especially when times are tight. It is, and always has been affordable, easy to maintain, and effective, especially when a professional is using the correct technique, with the right wax. Not only is it affordable for our clients, but it is also a cost effective solution for therapists.
Waxing is the bread and butter of any salon. Whether it’s a quick brow tidy, a leg wax, or a Brazilian there is something for everyone. Your clients know it, and that’s why you’re in business! After recently coming back from overseas I have seen firsthand that the waxing industry is booming and Salons offering IPL, Laser, etc. are finding it harder to stay afloat because of the restrictions now involved in performing these treatments, not to mention the huge expense of the equipment and the insurance involved. Why spend thousands of dollars on equipment that in years to come may become completely useless? Who knows what has happened to all of those solarium beds!?
Waxing is constantly evolving. The thing I love most about my company, and the waxing industry in general, is that we are master chameleons, forever innovating and changing our ‘colours’ to suit the new age world around us. Today we have new and improved formulas that reduce irritation and allergies. Buying Australian made with high quality ingredients is certainly the right decision for you, your business and most importantly, your clients. If your clientele favour natural products be sure to use a natural and water soluble wax. This way you won’t need any chemicals for the clean-up. These are also biodegradable so there are additional environmental benefits from this too.
Remember to educate your clients about the risks of permanent hair removal fads. Remind them to think long term; making life-long decisions based on what is ‘on trend’ now is never sensible. I’m with Cameron; who’s to say in years to come everyone is going to want a smooth Brazilian – a little hair down there might just make a comeback. The Ned Kelly style beards certainly have and I dare say it, pale skin will too! It’s amazing what a strong marketing campaign can make you do!
Lilliane Caron is Owner & Director of Waxxxpress. If you’d like to ask Lilliane Caron for some advice on your own salon, email [email protected]