Back and shoulder waxing remains one of the most popular hair removal services chosen by men. Unfortunately, backs are particularly prone to acnelike breakouts in the days following treatment, especially with first-time waxers. Ensure that your client is aware of his home-care responsibilities, and sell an antibacterial cleanser or lotion in your retail area to help prevent and treat any pimples. It is common for clients to request that their shoulders be included as part of a full back wax, so bear this in mind when structuring your price list and ensure that you allow enough time to get the job done.
Generally speaking, soft (strip) wax is great for fast and efficient removal of hair from larger surface areas, such as the legs, arms, chest and back. Hard (nonstrip) wax is ideal for short, shaved and stubborn hair, and when removing hair from sensitive parts of the body, such as the face, neck, underarms and groin area. Have a pot of both types of wax ready in your facility all day every day; using a combination of products allows you to wax anybody who walks through your door, regardless of what surprises lurk underneath their clothes.
When waxing back and shoulders, soft wax is used for the majority of the treatment. Hard wax is useful for removing stubborn stray hairs across the back of the shoulders or for creating a clean line at the nape of the neck, where the skin is more sensitive and the hair is often tougher.
Duration: 15–20 minutes
Contraindications: There are many; for example, clients who are receiving this treatment should not have heart conditions, diabetes, recent scar tissue, or high or low blood pressure. (Editor’s note: For a complete list of contraindications, log on to www.SkinInc.com/current and download the Waxing Consultation form provided by author Andy Rouillard.)
Supplies and equipment needed: Treatment bed Wax trolley Paper couch roll Clean towels Trash can (lined) Disposable examination gloves Disinfected scissors or hair clippers Sterilized tweezers Jar containing disinfectant solution Wax heaters
Products needed: Soft (strip) wax and hard (nonstrip) wax Wooden spatulas Paper or cloth wax strips Tissues Cotton wool Antiseptic skin cleanser Pre-depilatory oil Post-wax soothing lotion
Step 1: Before starting, complete a health consultation to check for any contraindications and agree on a treatment plan with the client. (Editor’s note: This form, provided by author Andy Rouillard, can be downloaded from www.SkinInc.com/current.) Wash your hands and don disposable examination gloves.
Step 2: Ask your client to lie face down on the treatment table with his head resting on his arms, or with his arms hanging over the edge of the table. This gives you easier access to the sides of the body, but be careful that you don’t accidentally catch stray armpit hairs.
Step 3: Tuck a towel or paper tissue into your client’s underwear to avoid getting wax on his clothing.
Step 4: Clean the skin and follow with a light sheen of pre-depilatory oil, which creates a barrier between the wax and the skin that makes the entire process easier for you and more comfortable for your client.
Step 5: There tends to be a vertical line of hair down the middle of the back, with the rest of the hair growing in toward the spine from the sides of the body. Wax the central line first so that you have a clean edge to work from, then clear either side of the back. Using a soft wax, start at the neck and apply a thin layer of product down the spine to just above the waist—leave yourself some wax-free skin from which to stretch. Place a paper or cloth strip over the wax, rub firmly a couple of times, stretch the skin taut and pull the strip quickly and in one smooth motion against the direction of hair growth, keeping the strip parallel to the body during removal. Move up the spine until you have cleared all of the central line, then work either side of this: Apply your wax from the sides of the body in toward the center and remove in the opposite direction.
Step 6: A back wax doesn’t stop at the first sign of underwear. Ask your client to shuffle his trousers down slightly, enabling you to blend below the waistband for a more natural finish.
Step 7: For ease of access, ask your client to sit on the edge of the bed while you work from either side.
Step 8: Hair on the cap of the shoulders grows up toward the head, with the middle section of the upper arm tending to grow around the limb toward the chest. Starting a few inches above the elbow, the rest of the hair on the upper arm then grows down toward the hands. Remove all the hair from the cap of the shoulders (front and back), then blend to a couple of inches above the elbow where a t-shirt sleeve would sit.
Step 9: Feather the hair to create a natural-looking fade between hair and hairlessness. This is a useful technique for creating a transition between hair and hairlessness, particularly on the shoulders, lower torso and legs.
To do this, apply soft wax directly to a paper or cloth strip, then fold in half, and fold and press the strip together so that the wax becomes slightly less sticky. Unfold and press the strip gently into the area you want to blend. Then, remove the strip in the opposite direction to hair growth as normal. This will remove some but not all of the hair, resulting in a gradual thinning that looks more natural than a solid line. Repeat as necessary. You can also trim the remaining hair with electric clippers to fade between hair and skin. Start with a grade 3 ,and reduce the length as you get closer to the area you’ve just waxed.
Step 10: Massage a generous amount of oil into the skin to remove any sticky residue; you can use pre-depilatory oil or a specially blended vegetable base containing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial essential oils. Don’t rush this step. This is your opportunity to discuss home-care, special offers and product sales, and to relax the client with a mini massage that will end the treatment on a high.
Step 11: Finish by wiping the entire area with an antiseptic cleanser and apply a soothing lotion to cool and calm the skin. Re-book the client for 4–6 weeks, and send him home with written after-care instructions and an antibacterial shower gel or lotion to help protect the freshly waxed skin during the following days.