By Tara Rasmus, Refinery29
Tipping for good service, being on time for appointments, even avoiding yakking on the phone during a mani-pedi sesh are all standard practices that ensure that customers are happy and that beauty businesses run smoothly. But what about those issues that are a little bit more, er, gray-area? For instance, do you need to pre-groom before a bikini wax?
Wanting to get these and other questions answered (hey, for our own benefit as well as yours!), we reached out to some of our favorite beauty pros for their takes on the stickiest beauty situations. Read, learn, and rest assured: You definitely do not need to trim before getting a Brazilian. So...at least there's that.
Let's get right down to the nitty-gritty of it: Is it okay to head to the spa if you're surfing the crimson wave? "Massage during your menstrual period can actually be very beneficial, as it will relax you and can reduce pain and discomfort associated with cramps,"says Josie Feria, Director of Spa Operations at Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. "But be aware - massage can increase menstrual flow, so extra protection is suggested."
Along those same lines, we just had to know if it was PC to receive a wax while on our periods. A little shameless, but come on - if you're a regular waxer with a packed schedule, you've probably wondered if it's really that big of a deal. Says Kate Marshall, lead aesthetician at Savor Spa: "Women in this line of business usually are not squeamish, so simply wear a fresh tampon and pop a couple of Advil to help fight the extra sting during this time." But, take note of your own comfort level, urges Marshall: "You are actually more sensitive for three days before your period, and three days after your period." Bottom line? It's polite to let your aesthetician know if it's that time of the month, and unless she balks, do what makes you comfortable.
Speaking of the nether regions, you do not need to trim before your waxing session. In fact, it's better if you don't! Says Marshall: "Even if you think you have your own personal Chia Pet growing down there, don't trim or use clippers. The longer the hair, the better the wax will grab it. So don't worry, be hairy!" Go ahead and be lazy before your appointment - hey, isn't that the point of getting professional beauty treatments, anyway?
The salon can pose similarly sticky situations when it comes to etiquette. For instance, if you have toenail fungus, is it imperative to share this information with your technician as soon as you sit down in the chair? Jin Soon Choi, manicurist and founder of Jin Soon Hand & Foot Spas, answers: "If you have fungus, the technician cannot correct that for you, and he or she must wear disposable gloves to prevent against acquiring the infection herself." Speaking of sanitation, the best way to inquire as to the salon's practices, according to Choi, is to be direct. "You can simply ask which method of equipment sterilization they use. If they use hospital-grade sterilization equipment, such as an autoclave, you're safe."
So, let's talk cheating; specifically, cheating on your hair colorist. You may be tempted to pretend that it was "just the sun" that dropped in those buttery highlights, but according to Dana Ionato, a colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown, your colorist already knows that you strayed - so be honest. "We can tell before you tell us that you went somewhere else," she says. "I can actually fix your hair better if you can answer some questions about what the other colorist did!"
Another dreaded salon situation: the moment where your stylist puts his or her scissors down and the cut is nowhere near the Karlie-esque crop that you envisioned. Stop, breathe, and don't panic, says Travis Speck, hairstylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown. "It's best to let your stylist know right away that you're not happy," he says. "I'd rather someone just tell me that the cut isn't working for them, so we can work together to find what they're happy with right then." In other words, don't go home in tears and try to snip away at the damage with your Fiskars. Simply speak up as soon as possible (even better if you pull up some photos to demonstrate exactly what you're talking about), and have no fear: super-short hair is totally in this season.
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