5 hair removal warning signs to watch out for

GRAMPlucking underarm hair or shaping eyebrows can be soothing (out, pesky hairs!), but when does one of those services cause irritation or infection? Not that much. According to professionals, if a salon doesn’t follow proper health and safety protocols, you risk walking out of your next appointment with one of these less-than-ideal side effects.

“Infection control prevents both the client and the practitioner from spreading infections that can have some serious complications, such as rashes, breathing problems, and scarring,” says Ashley White, a licensed esthetician based in Atlanta, Georgia. To stay protected, she wants you to be aware of these waxing “red flags” before your next appointment.

5 Waxing Red Flags to Watch Out For

1. Double dip in wax

When it comes to criminals, double dipping is probably the worst, says White. “There is absolutely no way to prevent cross-contamination when you come into contact with one person’s hair or skin and use that same instrument to dip the wax that other people will also be exposed to,” she says. This can lead to bacterial growth and an increased risk of infection, so you’ll want to make sure your doctor is using a fresh tool (wooden stick or otherwise) each time you dip for more wax.

2. Reuse of single-use items

Another big drawback when it comes to waxing is when the esthetician reuses single-use items, think: wax strips or application sticks. Since these tools cannot be sanitized or disinfected once they are used, they must be thrown away to prevent the spread of bacteria, explains White.

3. Dirty and unprotected hands

According to White, washing hands prevents any potential contamination between surfaces and clients, so be on the lookout to make sure your epilator is doing exactly that before they come in for treatment. Every time they touch your tools, products, or PPE, they must do so with clean hands.

For an added layer of necessary protection, you should also make sure your doctor wears gloves. Since there is always the possibility of light to moderate bleeding during waxing, this helps to further prevent the spread of viruses and diseases.

4. Lack of intake forms

“I’ve found that a lot of hair removal specialists can be pretty laid back when it comes to intake forms,” ​​says White. “Even though sessions are relatively brief, it’s important to always ask each client about any medications or scrubs they’re using.”

The reason these pre-session forms are so important? Certain medications (such as tretinoin) and exfoliating skin care products (such as retinoids and acids) can predispose people to skin sensitivities that cause the skin to lift during the hair removal process. “This can lead to scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” says White. Intake forms help clue your epilator to any risk factors and can help you avoid footfall and irritation.

5. Unlicensed practitioners

People who perform beauty treatments, including hair removal services, need a license to operate their business. Depending on the state, estheticians are required to complete hours of training and pass an exam. This ensures that they have received proper training on disinfection and sterilization protocols. Look for a license on the wall in your classroom; if you don’t see one right away, ask for more information before letting someone touch your skin.

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