Are you seeing younger and younger clientele seeking out waxing services? Do you wonder what the “correct” age to start waxing a young client is and what areas are appropriate to wax? Are you puzzled over the proper protocol for waxing a younger client? With the explosion of exposure from social media to the earlier onset of puberty and a marked increase in the number of salons and spas, our industry is seeing more interest in waxing from a younger generation.
The Drop in Waxing Age
There are many factors that contribute to the interest from teens and tweens in waxing.
The internet’s impact. Today’s internet-savvy youth are inundated with images of perfect brows and flawless faces with the rise of social media like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Also, beauty bloggers and makeup tutorials on YouTube have avid followers. It is no wonder a younger demographic is interested in waxing to achieve the looks they desire.
Earlier Puberty. We are also seeing the average age of puberty dropping. Over the past century, the average onset of puberty has dropped from 16–17 years old to 13 years old and younger. With the onset of puberty, we notice the appearance of darker, thicker facial and body hair.
More Spas. Additionally, the number of spa and salon establishments have grown between 16–83% in the past decade. Having wax services performed is part of many clients’ normal beauty routine. It is no mystery why the interest in waxing is gaining both popularity and normalization in a younger demographic.
There is no industry standard regarding the correct age to start waxing. The consensus seems to be around the 13–15 years old. The question many providers ask themselves is “why?” Why is the younger client seeking out waxing services?
Most providers are comfortable if the answer is to remove unwanted hair on the face and body that can cause teasing or embarrassment. Kids are a tough crowd, and the desire to fit in is strong.
If the alternatives to the hair removal are bleaching or shaving,
why not wax instead? Waxing
provides a longer-lasting result than either alternative.
Bikini: Do or Don’t
Bikini and Brazilian wax services are the hot button issue for some service providers. This is where the “why” becomes more loaded. Children are maturing physically at a faster rate, but the desire to avoid sexualizing young girls is strong.
The sentiment around waxing the lips, brows and legs differs from that of waxing the pubic area. Providing a clean bikini line for a younger client is reasonable, but the need for complete pubic hair removal is questionable. In Western society, the perceived norm is having certain areas of our body hair-free and is the reason many women state they began removing hair in the first place.
Consultation and Release Form
Creating a protocol for waxing younger, first-time clients is key to providing a pleasant experience. It is important to understand your client and address any concerns they may have about waxing. Reduce stress and anxiety by asking questions and explaining the process to them in clear, easy-to-understand terms. Having a parent present can be a good idea and, in some cases, is required by professional liability insurance companies. Have the parent sign a release form for clients under 18 years old to protect yourself and further educate your client about the process.
It is equally important to have a discussion with the young client and their guardian about what to expect from waxing. Managing expectations and educating your client about what you will be doing and the results they can expect will make them more comfortable with the entire process. This is a good time to build rapport and ease any anxiety or embarrassment about booking body hair removal appointments. Have these discussions in a relaxing environment and make sure everyone is comfortable. You do not want to have these discussions while your client is in a vulnerable position like reclined on your table or in a public space.
Provide Pre-Care Instructions
Pre-care information can be provided by phone at the time the appointment is made, but it is a good idea to also text or e-mail the instructions prior to the appointment and have it listed on your website for easy access. What may seem like common knowledge to the service provider can be new information to first-time clients. This is by no means an exhaustive list of pre-care instructions but here is some of the information you want to make sure your client has before their first appointment:
- Make sure your hair is long enough to wax. Avoid shaving, tweezing or otherwise shortening the hair you want removed at least two weeks before your appointment.
- Avoid any skin exfoliating treatments before facial waxing. These include but are not limited to: peels, microdermabrasion or topical skin thinners.
- Some medications can sensitize and/or thin the skin. If you are taking a medication that requires you to avoid sun exposure, you are not a good candidate for waxing. Some medical conditions, like diabetes, preclude you from waxing. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.
- Skin that is broken or irritated cannot be waxed. Wait until the skin has healed before waxing.
- Getting waxed when you are having your period can be more painful, and the skin can redden more easily.
- If you have any allergies or sensitivities, please let us know.
- There are no stupid questions. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us before your appointment.
Print Out Aftercare Cards
Post care is important to ensuring a successful wax experience. You may want to print out your aftercare instructions and have it listed on your website. Make sure your client knows where to access the information after they have left your business. This is too important to leave to memory alone. Here is some important information to mention:
- Avoid sun bathing, tanning beds and excessive sweating in the first 24 hours after waxing.
- Avoid swimming during this same time. Chlorine and salt water can irritate freshly waxed skin.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing (if appropriate).
- Avoid exfoliating the waxed area.
- Avoid hot tubs, hot showers and hot baths for 24 hours.
The first visit by a young client is a great time to dispel some common waxing myths. Educate your client properly, and she can help spread the information to her peers.
Myth: Waxing makes your hair grow back thicker, darker and denser.
Truth: If that were true, bald men would wax. We are born with a set number of hair follicles; hair follicles cannot be increased without drastic intervention. The perception of thicker, darker, denser hair can be explained by the exposure of the pre-waxed hair to the lightening effects of sun, chemicals and other factors.
Myth: Waxing causes ingrown hairs.
Truth: Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into the skin instead of out of it. Ingrown hairs are caused by a myriad of reasons chiefly, the hair follicle was clogged or impeded in some way. Advise your clients to gently exfoliate any areas that are prone to ingrown hairs, keep the area moisturized and avoid restrictive clothing like yoga pants or leggings.
Myth: Waxing causes breakouts.
Truth: When waxing is performed properly, the hair is removed by the root. This can trigger your body’s immune system as it perceives the hair removal as a trauma. As a result, histamine is released and the skin can get bumpy and red. This response is temporary and should resolve within hours. Waxing also creates an open hair follicle that can be susceptible to bacteria. Keeping the waxed area clean is important to avoiding bacterial irritation.
Waxing younger clients is a wonderful opportunity for our industry to welcome them into the world of self-care. Take the time to get to know your young clients and reap the benefits of a loyal clientele that will sing your praises via social media and their peer group. Providing caring and professional services should be your goal in your interactions with this younger group. This relationship will benefit our industry for years to come.
There is no industry standard as to the correct age to start waxing.