Now I am not saying that all therapists are missing that all-important element of providing adequate aftercare advice to their clients following a wax treatment. Indeed most responsible therapists do. However, it does amaze me sometimes when I have new but supposedly ‘wax-savvy’ client book in with me and they look at me blankly when I ask if they, for example, exfoliate between treatments (is this not important in the prevention of ingrown hairs?).
I remember one (new) client saying to me (as I was doing a final check for any residual wax following a half leg & bikini) “oh don’t worry about that, a nice hot bath later does the trick!” It turns out that this was part of the aftercare that she had been previously given. Wax treatments + Hot baths or any other heat treatment = Ouch! Trying to remain professional (and not scream of the wrongness of such advice), I diplomatically explained more appropriate methods of removing wax residue (namely afterwax lotion).
Adequate aftercare advice is crucial, particularly in the first 24-48 hours but equally important is a brief explanation of the hair growth cycle and general structure of the skin. Why? Well, if a client is more informed about what is happening to their skin and hair between treatments they will more encouraged to apply the appropriate homecare to prevent ingrown hairs & better prepare the area for their next wax (and it will also help to explain why a few hairs seem to start growing back shortly after treatment).
Aftercare is essential and (most) insurance companies will insist that the client signs their record card to confirm they have received & understood the (written) advice given on every visit. Advice should include…
- Keep area clean and avoid touching the area (increased risk of infection)
- No hot baths, showers or heat treatments (such as sauna or steam) for 24 hours (min)
- Do not expose area to chlorinated water (no swimming) for 24 hours (min)
- Do not use perfumes, lotions, sprays, talc, self-tan lotion etc…except those recommended by the therapist 24 hours (min)
- Wear loose clothing (avoid tights, leggings & other tight-fitting clothes)
- Treat area sensitively avoiding heat and friction
- Do not massage area for 24 hours (min)
- Avoid exercise (such as aerobics)
- Avoid make-up for 24 hours (min)
- Avoid sunlight & do not use a sun bed for 48 hours (min) – use a sun block regularly
- Apply antiseptic lotion 3 times in the first 24 hours
- If red & irritated, bathe area with a salt-water solution frequently using cool boiled water (1 cup) + salt (1/2 teaspoon)
48 hours after treatment, commence homecare…
Exfoliate 2 times a week and it is advisable to exfoliate the day before next wax treatment
Keep area well moisturised
So conclude, adequate advice is of the utmost importance for both the client & the treating therapist. It helps equip clients with the knowledge and understanding to ensure satisfaction, confidence in their therapist’s professionalism and optimises the success of future treatment. But ultimately, correct & appropriate advice ensures the client’s welfare & safety.