Who doesn't know them: customers with problem-free skin, but a lot of downy hair (vellus hair) on their face? For some, it's just a delicate, inconspicuous down on the cheek, for others long downy hairs sprout all over their face.
Downy hair has a maximum thickness of 0.04 mm and a maximum length of 1 cm. Depending on your genetics, it can be light or dark. As we age, the downy hair on the face increases and therefore becomes more visible and disturbing.
These hairs can also become a nuisance when applying make-up, because in combination with make-up all the fluff comes out and the result becomes messy. To ensure a flawless look, make-up artists remove their customers' downy hair.
Dermaplaning has long been an absolute beauty trend. The treatment, in which the fine downy hairs on the face are shaved off with a special blade, promises velvety soft skin and a radiantly beautiful complexion. But should we all really be shaving our face now, or is waxing still the way to go?
Waxing instead of shaving, not only makes the hair-free result last longer but also reduces the amount of fuzz with each treatment. Dermaplaning can also cause ingrown hairs as hair grows back.
Waxing of downy hair
When waxing fine baby hair, success largely depends on choosing the right wax. One thing is sure, we cannot achieve a satisfactory result with strips, soft wax ( roll-ons or cartridges)as these waxes remain soft after application and the finest fluffy hairs can therefore not be properly cached. These usually slip out of the wax when you pull them off with a strip. In addition, waxing with strips hurts the face. The skin is unnecessarily stressed and irritated.
A gentle and effective way to remove fluffy facial hair is with hot film wax. Hot film beaded wax is melted in a heater and applied with a wooden spatula. After a short drying time, the wax patch is removed without using a strip.
This type of wax contracts strongly during the drying phase covers the hair completely and removes the fine downy hairs including the hair root. This is significantly more comfortable and less painful than waxing with strips.
Modern hot waxes of the latest generation are able to remove even the shortest hairs from 1 mm in length. In addition, they have a lower application temperature. Since facial skin is much thinner and more sensitive than the rest of the body and reacts sensitively to temperature, our customers notice a clear difference.
Skin reactions can occur when removing downy hair.
There are several hundred vellus hairs per square centimetre. If all of these hairs are removed, small, white pimples with a red area may appear one to two days after waxing. This is called folliculitis. This is the most common side effect of waxing vellus hair.
The cause is the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This is part of the normal colonization of the skin flora on the face. However, after waxing, the hair canals are open and the bacteria can freely enter the hair follicle.
How can such a skin reaction be avoided?
If customers want the downy hairs to be removed, it is up to us as beauty professionals to first educate them and carry out a skin tolerance test on the outer area of the cheek. After 48 hours we can evaluate the skin reaction.
Waxing without side effects
Of course, it is tempting to simply skip the tolerance test when customers have been waxing body areas for many years.
But there is no way around it: the patch test to ensure skin compatibility is a mandatory step on the way to hair-free cheeks. Even though we have known the customers for years, we don't know how they react to waxing the downy hair on their cheeks. Even if the exact same wax has been used without any problems in the past, customers may experience unpleasant pimples when waxing their cheeks.
The patch test helps to indicate a potential skin reaction in a timely manner.
How to do the test?
First, clean the skin. With hot film wax, the next step is to apply a spray of pre-treatment product using a cotton pad and massage it in to create a thin protective film between the wax and the skin.
Hold the hair back with your hand and apply a teaspoon-sized amount of warmed wax with high pressure from the hairline towards the cheek.
As soon as the patch has dried after a few seconds, it can be removed by stretching the skin.
Lift the patch at the outer edge with a short jerk of about one centimetre and then quickly pull it off in the opposite direction of hair growth. Then place your hand on your cheek to calm the depilated area. To finish off the test, apply some aftercare cream to soothe the skin and help the hair follicles close.
Special waxing aftercare has an antiseptic effect and reduces the germ load on the skin, which minimizes the risk of skin reactions. Before customers leave the salon, ask for feedback after 48 hours. If no symptoms such as itching and purulent pimples occur, all downy hair on the face can be removed safely. Nothing stands in the way of smooth facial skin anymore.