For a Better Salon This Summer Waxing Season
By Lilliane Caron
1 - The set up
When it comes to your trolley, less is more! Waxing should be a quick and precise process. Wax dries atmospherically, this means you need to work quickly. Make sure your waxes are placed towards the front of your trolley; with all your pre and post products placed behind, or when possible hanging from the side. This allows fast and easy access to your waxes and if you happen to drip wax in the process you are not dripping it all over your other products and tools! This will save you plenty of time when it comes to clean up. Hanging all your ancillary bottles off the side of the trolley will not only making room for your wax pots, but it is also a great way to have quick and easy access to each product. Trigger sprays are a lot easier to work with. There is no need for cotton pads/tissues, you simply spray the intended area and rub in prior to or post the waxing treatment.
2 - Let there be light
Good lighting is extremely important, not just good lighting in the room but extra lighting to make sure you get all those sneaky little hairs! Trolleys with a magi lamp attached are great or even Magnifying glasses that have a light attached (like the eyelash technicians use) are also a perfect tool that won't get in the way while you are doing the treatment. Simply shine the light over the area after you have finished waxing to check if any hairs have been missed. Make sure your trolley has wheels especially if you have one with a light, this way it can be moved easily around the room and accessible at all times. You would be amazed at the difference a good trolley with all the right features will make!
3 - Make your bed
If the room you are working in is purely for waxing – which is advisable, as this can be a sticky service, it is important waxing table is set up correctly! This is usually the first thing a customer will look at and it is important they feel like they are in a professional and clean environment. The best set up (which requires the least laundry and clean up!) is; the waxing table, covered by a large towel to provide comfort, then covered in industrial plastic, like a transparent table cloth. This way, the bed still looks comfortable and luxurious with the soft white towel; however the plastic cover saves the towels from getting stained by wax, and saves you from changing the towel after each client. If you do happen to drop wax, you simply pick up your citrus solvent and wipe the wax off using a wax strip. If you are looking for an alternative set up, bed roll is okay too, but can also be a bit difficult if the client rolls over and the bed roll goes with them! Perhaps, when performing facial treatments, put a fresh perforated piece of bedroll under the client's head to protect the pillow. When performing a Brazilian or bikini treatment, place the perforated paper under the body, but not so it is covering the entire bed.
4 – Express Waxing
During the Christmas period, we need to get our clients in and out the door as quickly as possible, while still providing exceptional service and giving them an experience they want to repeat. Our clients are likely be strapped for time around this time of year and we can't have them thinking they can't fit in a wax because it will take too long! Express waxing is the best way to achieve the quickest results, keeping our customers happy and our business busy. This process requires two therapists working on the one client. For example; one therapist providing the facial waxing while the second therapist starts the legs or Brazilian. Other combinations include; facial waxing and pedicure/manicure, brow/lash tint and manicure, underarm waxing and leg waxing - The list is endless! Once the first therapist is finished, she simply leaves the room to leave the other therapist to finish up the treatment. Appointing just one therapist to the job of "express waxer" means they can float around the salon, potentially take walk in clients, and pop in and out of the treatment rooms assisting the other therapists if and when needed. As you can imagine, this routine is a life saver when it comes to getting customers in and out the door as quick as possible.
4 - Waxing efficiently
Using an inferior product or the wrong products will make the Christmas period a nightmare! I can't stress this point enough. It is human nature to want to save a few dollars here and there; we are all guilty of looking for low prices. However, when it comes to waxing the saying "you get what you pay for" has never been more true! If your wooden spatulas are splitting, or your wax is going brittle and you're leaving half of it behind on your customer's bikini line – have you really saved anything? If anything you have probably lost a customer as well as a handful of people they know. Having high quality products is important; you also need to make sure you are not cutting corners when it comes to buying everything you need. I have experienced waxers who in the warmer weather stand beside their clients and wave their hands over the hard wax until it sets. I have three words for you, Quick Dry Mist. This product will be your new best friend especially during summer. You simply spray the mist over the wax and it sets instantly. Having the best products will ensure you and your clients walk out happy and you get the results desired without irritations, redness or an embarrassing waxing story!
5 - Toot your own horn
Tell your clients why you are the best. It's often hard to talk about your own business, and what makes you so great. Generally we don't want to be seen as "tooting our own horn" but talking about your products that make you the best is a completely different thing! Tell your customers what products you use and why you use them. Tell them why you picked that brand and what benefits they are getting buy choosing your service over another salon. This lets your customers know that you are open about what you are using, and that you have 100% faith in the quality of your products. Doing this, will go a long way in making sure your clients keep coming back. You don't want them thinking they can get the exact same treatment anywhere else – because they can't.
6 - Keep it Clean
Cut your cleaning time by working smarter not harder. Cleaning doesn't have to be hard unless you make it hard. As I touched on earlier, it is the little things that make life easier for you in the long run; like the way you set up your trolley or the precautions you take with setting up your bed (see points 1 & 2). In addition to these, chose a cleaning product that works. I use a concentrated citrus cleaning product, which requires no elbow grease. You simply spray it on the wax which breaks down instantly making it easy to just wipe off! I always try to do a quick clean up in-between customers rather than staying behind after a long shift to clean when you have Christmas shopping to do! I always ensure my waxing rooms look magnificent and more importantly hygienic. The bin is to be placed out of client sight and the wax pot is to be shining and clean after each client, before the next client arrives. Cheap pots can be impossible to clean. Make sure you have a pot that is efficient, with interchangeable skirts for both hard and strip wax. I recommended having a pot where the wax jars are placed directly into the metal insert, this way there is no pouring of wax, and you'll never have to clean another heater insert again. You simply heat it up in the microwave and place it into the pot. There's no mess, no fuss!
7 - Cross selling
Having your legs waxed? What about we make those feet look beautiful to go with it? Just because someone has come in specifically for a wax doesn't mean they would be against having their nails done – I definitely wouldn't! If the client has booked in for over half an hour of waxing and you have a spare therapist, upsell a mani or a pedi that can be done from the waxing bed. This way the client is not sparing any extra time and you have just made another sale. Add an extra discount to multiple services i.e. if they have only booked for one area to be waxed, offer a further 15% off if they need another area done, this way the client feels like they are getting a great deal rather than just a regular special. Don't forget to also upsell your treatment products. Retail an ingrown hair treatment range and try adding a product to the sale at the end of every treatment.
8 - Making time
The summer season and leading up to Christmas is a hectic time for everyone! People are preparing for holidays and events and there's always extra skin on show! Make sure your salon trading hours are tailored to meet everyone's needs. This way you accommodate your customers' as well as having the opportunity for your business to make more money. Extend your hours between Christmas and New Year. It is very common for retail to have a slump in the first two weeks of January. For this reason, encourage customers to come back during the quiet period by offering them a rebooking discount for January.
9 - Silent Selling
Promotional material is an important seeling tool. You would be surprised at what manufactures' and distributors can provide for you if you just ask! Promo material is made for the soul purpose of communicating information about a product or service in a quick and effective way. In a busy salon environment you don't always have the time to tell each and every customer about a great new product, or what deals you have on each week. Utilise your manufactures; ask them for posters, brochures, online banners, t-shirts, product samples, window decals. Anything that is going to potentially do the selling for you is important – especially during the busy times of year.
10 - Christmas – we meet again
Christmas comes around in what seems like a blink of an eye. As much as this season is chaos in the salon industry it is also the best time of year to pick up some extra sales! Don't forget to stock up on extra products to have around the salon. Having a gift packs available is quick and easy money. Make sure you keep these close to the counter and prompt your customers "Have you finished all your Christmas shopping, would you like to purchase a Christmas gift pack?" You would be surprised how effective this is. People often don't think to do their Christmas shopping at their beauty salon so don't forget to remind them that they can!
Lilliane Caron is Owner & Director of Caronlab Australia. If you'd like to ask Lilliane Caron for some advice on your own salon, email firstname.lastname@example.org