It’s for this exact reason why some of us are so keen to book in for a bikini wax. Although never a pleasant experience, a professional bikini wax offers far superior results to a DIY job as well as being a far swifter and streamlined affair.
But with all the added safety measures and protective precautions, will an already uncomfortable experience become an unbearable one? We’re already naked from the waist down, holding our legs apart while a stranger gets up close an personal with our vaginas. Now that stranger will most likely be wearing full PPE, and you might have to do the same.
Taking our beauty maintenance treatments in-house since the beginning of lockdown has been a (steep) learning curve. We’ve just about got to grips with shaping our own eyebrows and are pretty decent at disguising our grey hairs with the help of at-home hair dye. But there’s one treatment that we just haven’t been able to master, and that’s the bikini wax.
At-home waxing strips may be great for use on the upper lip or legs, they are far harder to make work on the bikini area. The same goes for shaving (hello ingrown hairs) and hair removal cream – all of which involve doubling over and working from an almost impossible angle. Throw in all the usual components of hair removal (fiddly, stubborn hairs as well as the potential pain factor) and it’s a recipe for disaster.
We asked Elena Lavagni, owner of Neville Hair Beauty, as well as Gina Conway at Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salons Spas London for their expert insight into what to expect for your next waxing appointment as well as the best way to navigate the experience.
EXPECT YOUR THERAPIST TO BE WEARING FULL PROTECTIVE GEAR
As with all beauty treatments and salon services, therapists will be wearing protective clothing, including gloves and masks. ”
We are adhering to the strictest guidelines as our team and guest welfare is so important to us,” says Gina. “All therapists and staff will be wearing masks and face visors, and all therapists will have disposable aprons. We also have pre-made kits for each guest, which include masks and hand sanitiser.”
AND TO BE TEMPERATURE CHECKED AT THE DOOR
“In order to maintain a safe environment each client entering the salon for waxing will have their temperature taken using an infrared thermometer,” explains Elena. “Any client who has a temperature above 37.8 degrees Celsius will be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the salon until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.”
As well as temperature checks, clients will be asked the following questions: Have you had a cough Have you had a fever? Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days? Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
SERVICES MAY BE LIMITED
You may be accustomed to picking a certain type of wax and from soft wax to sugar wax, every waxing regular will have their own preference. However, some salons may restrict the types of wax they used to minimise risk. “For hygiene reasons, our therapists will only be using hot wax,” states Elena. Hot wax is applied directly to the skin while still hot and cools on the skin, where it binds to the hairs, and then pulled off. Other types of wax can be applied cold, which could pose a greater risk of transmitting bacteria.
DON’T BE LATE OR CANCEL LAST MINUTE
“Social distancing means salons will have to contend with running at lower capacity than we’ve budgeted for and we’re playing catch up on months of rent when we couldn’t see clients. Please show up on time and don’t cancel at the last minute. We need 24-48 hours notice to be able to reallocate an appointment.”
Plus, if you’re early, you may have to wait outside until your allocated appointment slot. “We will be limiting the number of people in the salon and in the salon’s waiting area,” says Elena. “It is recommended that clients wait outside the salon until our beauty therapist is ready to see them. We kindly ask that clients respect appointment times and we apologise in advance if we experience any delays.”
DON’T BRING LOADS OF BAGS
Excess baggage that then has to be stored on the premises or carried by staff presents an unnecessary contact point. “To limit the risk of infection there will be no cloakroom service and we will provide plastic bags for each client to safeguard their belongings (including clothes which will be removed for waxing),” explains Elena.
DON’T EXPECT THE USUAL LUXURIES
At Neville’s Hair and Beauty, Elena has made the decision to close the kitchen as well as restrict some other add ons to client experience in order to best protect everyone. ” Customers will be asked to bring their own food and beverages, and there will be no magazines or newspapers available to read.”
Gina adds: “Things will be different so don’t expect the long luxuries of old for the moment, we will try to get our services done on time so that we can allow guests to flow safely through the salon journey. Bring your smile and some patience.”