Imagine this- a huge metal strainer inside a huge urn like pot with a tap.
Fill it up with used hairy wax, dead skin and blood spots and let the urn heat it to a high temperature and then turn on the tap, strain the wax through gauze and an inbuilt strainer to siphon out the hair, throw out the gauze filled with hair and refill the salon wax pots.
I worked in an exclusive high end city salon, we charged a huge amount for our waxing and during each wax treatment, the hairy hot wax from our clients legs, arms, backs and chests was thrown into a bucket under the bed. At that time, being only a junior therapist, it was my job to recycle the wax.
(And you thought being a beauty therapist was glamorous!) NOT!
We had a great boss, so she let us throw bikini, underarm and face wax away into the real rubbish bin, but the bucket of body wax was always recycled.
The wax was fantastic high quality beeswax, really gentle but far too expensive and unprofitable to throw away after each client.
We were told that the boiling heat of the urn would kill any harmful germs of infected skin or hair follicles and that the wax was safe and clean to reuse.
The only other option for us and our clients was warm waxing (strip wax) made from glucose,fructose,citric acid,modified colophonium,aqua,Solomon tuberosum,fragrance and maltose.
This was always thought to be a little more painful,but a much faster, cleaner method of waxing.
We used a metal spatula that was double dipped and only cleaned with methylated spirits between clients.
Oh boy, when I think back to those days, I just cringe. We never even wore gloves. In fact we were never even trained to wax with gloves. Gloves are now worn to protect both the operator and the client.
Fast forward 2013, this method of waxing is unacceptable, unhygienic and against health regulations in most cities.
Brazilian waxing is also more popular now, so even stricter standards of hygiene must be followed. Don’t be afraid to ask your operator for a pair of gloves too if they require your assistance during this service.
Heating the wax to these high temperatures and straining the hair through gauze and strainers may not kill blood borne diseases.
Spots of blood are very common during and after waxing, so it is very likely that if the wax is recycled there will be traces of blood in the wax, as well as on the spatula or tweezers used.
This goes for sugaring (an ancient yet very popular way of removing hair using a sugar, water and lemon juice paste or gel) as well. Double dipping of any kind is not acceptable.
Wax rollers are generally cleaner. It is quicker to apply the wax this way without using a spatula but the roller head needs to be replaced with a new disposable one for each client. Make sure there isn’t any hair stuck in the head before they start!
A sure sign that things are not hygienic.
Before any wax is performed important questions should be asked by the operator.
A professional salon will always check first for any infectious diseases, to minimize the risk of cross infection in the salon.
You may also get asked if you have varicose veins, moles, sunspots, pimples, warts, rashes, sunburn, irritated skin or infected ingrown hairs as these areas should be avoided when waxing.
You may also be questioned as to whether or not you are on any medication eg.
roaccutane, renova or differin also known as adapalene (Vitamin A- which causes skin thinning, so waxing should be avoided).
The bed should also be covered with disposable paper and the bed should be wiped over with a disinfectant after each client.
If the wax pots, benches, tweezers and spatulas look sticky or dirty before you get started, this is not a good sign.
Remember, your health is not worth putting at risk.