Job Description (What the job involves)
A waxing therapist is responsible for the hair removal of their clients; making them look smooth and feel confident to bare their legs to the world! Nowadays there is no area of the body that people don’t get waxed. From your eyebrows, to your bikini, right down to unwanted hairy toes! Both men and women are now in the practice of regularly visiting their trusted waxing therapist for a little “man scaping” or female grooming.
Waxing is performed by either strip wax or hot wax. The wax used can depend on the area being waxed or the preference of the client.
Hot wax has become increasingly popular in recent years and is commonly chosen to wax the underarms, bikini and eyebrows. It is called hot wax because it is heated to a higher temperature than strip wax and is a lot thicker, usually a toffee like consistency. The wax is applied thickly and works really well to ‘trap’ hairs that might be growing in various directions; which is why it is the perfect choice for underarm hairs as well as the bikini as these areas are notorious for having hair growing, sometimes, in all four directions. Some clients have commented that for these areas the waxing is a lot less painful than using strip wax.
Strip wax is so called due to the use of fabric strips when removing this wax. Strip wax is usually used for larger areas like legs, chests and backs. The wax is the consistency of runny syrup and applied thinly to the area in the direction the hair is growing. A fabric strip is then applied to the area and the wax and the hair are then removed by the strip in the opposite direction.
Hours and Working Environment
The working hours of a waxing therapist can vary between salons and salon locations. However this is generally a very quick treatment and many people may want to make the time to have their waxes done during lunch breaks and after work. Therefore working hours will very likely include evenings and some waxing salons have been known to be open from 8 in the morning until 9 at night. Waxing therapists are therefore required to work shifts which will include weekends.
Waxing is not seen as a relaxing treatment and you are therefore not likely to be working in a tranquil spa environment. Exclusive waxing salons are fast paced and fun environments to work in. Clients do not want to be there for hours at a time but preferably want to be in and out and on their way to a sunny holiday destination, or if they’ve come during a lunch break then back to work as soon as possible. You are therefore likely to see many different clients in one day. Treatments can vary from a 10 minute eyebrow shape to an hour and a half full body wax.
Upsides and Downsides
As a waxing therapist you will first and foremost need to absolutely LOVE waxing. If you find waxing a boring treatment or hate having to look at ladies bits all day long then this is not the job for you. There can be something very satisfying about waxing as you can see immediate results, unlike facial or massage treatments. Clients leave satisfied as they have exactly what they came for, silky smooth legs, which in turn gives a waxing therapist great job satisfaction.
As this is not a treatment where people want to unwind, a waxing therapist is free to chat to their clients and it is a far more social treatment to perform. You get to meet some very interesting people every day and hear some great stories.
You will need to get used to spending all day on your feet and a waxing therapist’s job can be very tiring and physically taxing. General beauty therapists will often have respite from standing all day with treatments like manicures or facials, but a waxing therapist won’t have this option, so invest in some very comfortable shoes! You may find that some days could become monotonous if you have been booked 5 half leg waxes consecutively.
Skills and Personal Qualities
Skills, Experience and Knowledge
- Proficient in both Hot and Strip Wax on all areas of the body
- Knowledge of the best aftercare for clients e.g. ingrown hairs treatment
- Speed to be able to complete each treatment in the allotted time
- Precision, especially when performing Brazilian waxes
- The ability to adapt waxing techniques to different clients hair growth to achieve the best results.
- Friendly people person
- Calm, and the ability to calm potentially nervous clients especially those who have never had a wax before.
- Passion for waxing
Most companies require NVQ level 3 qualifications in order to hire an individual; however when you complete an NVQ level 2 qualification you are taught waxing therapy and should be competent in performing waxing treatments within a salon. A confident waxer should easily be able to adapt the same techniques they have learnt for hot and strip wax and apply it to any area of the body e.g. intimate areas.
Therapists can also complete individual waxing courses. If you want to be a waxing therapist it is essential that you are able to carry out certain types of waxes i.e. Hollywood, Brazilian, hot and strip. Practice does make perfect when carrying out these treatments and will eventually build your confidence and skills.
Opportunities and Progression
Besides working in a general beauty salon, waxing therapists can work in specialist waxing salons. Due to the surge in popularity of waxing as a form of hair removal, specialist waxing companies have emerged and those therapists who have a passion for waxing can work in one of these fast paced and busy salons.
Therapists that show leadership skills and drive can progress to Assistant Manager or Managerial positions within a specialist waxing salon.
As separate waxing courses are now on offer, especially those teaching intimate waxing skills, a waxing therapist could choose to pass on her knowledge to other therapists by becoming a trainer at a college. This may mean you will need certain teaching qualifications. Sometimes waxing salons have a specific way they wish all their therapists to wax which would require training of all new therapists. You could therefore become a trainer within a salon where you work as a therapist and this would not need you to have a teaching qualification.
Specialist salons are so popular that companies have many branches or have franchised their waxing establishments. There is usually a head office in these cases to ensure the smooth running of all locations. A waxing therapist could progress to a role within the head office and would need excellent organisation and administration skills.
Waxing has become increasingly popular with more and more people choosing this form of hair removal over shaving or depilatory creams. Hot wax has especially become the preferred method of waxing for those oh so delicate and intimate areas.
Because of the increase of Hollywood and Brazilian waxes there are now individual ‘Intimate Waxing’ courses you can take to improve your waxing skills even more and meet the growing demand for this specialised waxing.
As I mentioned before, another result of the popularity of waxing is specialist waxing companies that solely provide waxing treatments. This trend appears to be growing with more salons jumping on the waxing ‘band-wagon’. Therapists can therefore specialise in waxing and find a fulfilling career within one of these companies.
The birth of the Metrosexual man has encouraged an increase in male grooming. Waxing salons are still sometimes too female focussed and this may make male clients uncomfortable when getting their waxes done, which has resulted in male only waxing salons. Therefore therapists are now required to be competent in male waxing, including intimate male waxing. Therapists therefore need to be ‘unfazed’ by carrying out male waxing and need to be confident and composed.
It doesn’t look like waxing is going anywhere and is definitely not a passing trend, so there are many potential opportunities for therapists who choose this career route.
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Potential Salary and Benefits
The salary of a waxing therapist will depend on your previous experience and the location of the salon you are working in and can range from £14,000 for more junior therapists to between £18,000 - £21,000. Most salons will add a commission structure on top of the basic salary as well as bonuses.
Sometimes when a therapist works in a waxing only salon the owner will allow therapists to have a waxing treatment once a month as a perk, so you can look as smooth as your clients!