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Hyping Up Hair Removal

By Cathy Christensen
Posted: June 20, 2007

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       Dynamic cooling. This type of device delivers short bursts of cryogen to the skin’s surface automatically every 5–80 milliseconds before the laser pulse occurs.6
        “One of the most important things that can be done to make hair removal more pleasant for the client is to use systems equipped with dynamic cooling devices,” says Law. “This method of cooling the skin is safe, consistent and comfortable.”
       Contact cooling. This utilizes a sapphire-cooled handpiece that is in direct contact with the skin. Before the laser pulse occurs, this device is pressed firmly against the skin. After the laser pulse is delivered, the handpiece is removed and placed firmly on an adjacent site until the entire desired area has been addressed. When using this method, it is crucial to clean the cooling tip every five to ten pulses in order to remove debris, as well as to disinfect the device between clients.7
        Cold airflow. Also using a cooling handpiece, this method delivers a constant flow of chilled air to the treated area of the skin’s surface.7
       
      Time-savers. “The truth is, people look forward to the results of their hair removal treatment, but even the most comfortable service is not pleasurable, like a facial or a massage,” Law realistically explains. Because of this, a technician needs to make decisions in order to make the process as pleasant—and usually, as quick—as possible. When it comes to laser hair removal, Blue Water Spa does this by utilizing a larger spot size for the laser pulses. “This results in a more comfortable treatment because it is over more quickly,” says Law.

Technique and time-savers
       One detail that sets a spa apart time and time again in all hair removal techniques is the quality of the skin care professional administering the treatment. “The biggest advantage is technique,” confirms D’Alliard, and from consultation to treatment to post-care, the professional can make or break a service.
        “The technician must be skilled in the art of waxing,” emphasizes Nestore. This specialist needs to be aware of a client’s needs in order to take the treatment above and beyond the normal hair removal session.
 Along with great technique, an overriding knowledge of the procedure, as well as the ability to establish a certain comfort level, is crucial. “To make it more comfortable, estheticians must talk with their clients,” explains Debbie Merhar, owner of Deborah’s Esthetics in Reno, Nevada. “I usually have a story of the week—it takes their mind off the waxing. If you are truly interested in your client and their life, they will know it and want to come back to see you.”
        Stacy Vinz, CME, of LaserClinic1.com and board member of The Society for Clinical Hair Removal agrees. “Friendliness, a listening ear, and time are what people need,” she confirms.

Post-care
       Whether experiencing waxing or permanent hair removal, one way to ensure a better overall experience for the client is to be diligent about caring for the skin after the service. One of the most common complaints from clients is how their skin suffers following hair removal treatments.
        “The technician must educate the client on normal and expected reactions, and how to minimize them with home care,” says Nestore. D’Alliard agrees, “Home care prolongs the effects and makes the results better.” She recommends encouraging before and after exfoliant use, as well as the use of face and body creams, smoothing lotions, AHA products to prevent ingrown hairs and creams that prevent red bumps. Make all of these products available in your spa’s retail area, and be sure to refer clients to them after a service in order to keep these valuable dollars in your business.

Hook, treat and pamper
       Like all professional spa services, a major point of difference from one spa to the next is the level of training and quality of technique that is being performed by the team members who provide these treatments. “What makes you better than the spa down the street? Because of you. Don’t be afraid to let them know you work for them and are doing the best you can on their behalf,” says Merhar. Along with this, make the hair removal experience as pleasant as possible by incorporating a variety of enhancements, whether through the use of devices and creams to remove the sting or by incorporating soothing environmental touches to help the client escape.
        It is crucial to be better than the competition in order to continue making your customers—and your accountant—happy. “Our hair removal clients are even more dedicated than our facial clients,” exclaims D’Alliard. “Hook them, treat them and pamper their skin, too.” Remember, it is the little extras that go a long way.

References
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waxing (Accessed April 30, 2007)
2 Get a Perfect Bikini Line, Cosmopolitan, http://magazines.ivillage.com/cosmopolitan/style/features/articles (Accessed April 20, 2007)
3 Beauty Black Book: High-Tech Hair Removal, InStyle, http://www.instyle.com/instyle/shops/beautyblackbook/print/0,24155,1166727,00.html (Accessed April 16, 2007)
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrology (Accessed April 30, 2007)
5 11.5 Million Cosmetic Procedures in 2006, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, http://www.surgery.org/press/news-release.php?iid=465 (Accessed April 30, 2007)
6 Laser Hair Removal, American Academy of Dermatology, http://www.aad.org/public/Publications/pamphlets/laserhair.htm (Accessed April 16, 2007)
7 Laser Assisted Hair Removal, http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic562.htm (Accessed May 4, 2007)