A summary of the services offered in a typical salon
Here are the treatments you can expect to find at a typical beauty salon, with an explanation of each:
Hair Removal (Temporary)
Waxing is a quick and easy method of removing unwanted hair from any area on the body. There are two types of waxing, warm and hot.
Warm wax is naturally derived honey wax and comes in a honey or cream consistency. It is heated to the required temperature in a thermostatically controlled heater. The skin is cleansed, dried, and dusted lightly with talcum powder. The wax is then applied with a disposable wooden spatula, or rolled on using a specifically designed roller, in the direction of the hair growth. A linen or paper strip is then placed over the waxed area and pressure is applied to ensure the wax and hairs stick to the strip. The strip is removed quickly, pulling it against the direction of the hair growth. In order to minimise discomfort, the skin is stretched away from the direction of pull.
Hot waxing uses wax heated to a higher temperature than warm wax. The skin is prepared as in warm waxing and the wax is applied with a spatula, against the hair growth in circular motion. The wax then cools and hardens and pressure is applied to it with the therapist’s hand to ensure all the hairs are stuck to it. The end of the piece of dried wax is flicked up and it is removed quickly against the direction of hair growth. Once again the skin is stretched away from the direction of pull. Waxing is recommended every 4 – 6 weeks to allow the majority of hairs to come through and for them to be of sufficient length to be able to be waxed.
This is a hair removal technique that hails form India. A piece of cotton is wrapped round the therapist’s fingers and held steady between the teeth and is then pulled back and forth along the area where hair removal is required. It is most commonly used on the eyebrows and facial hair.
Used to thin and shape the eyebrows and help open the eyes and give definition to the face.
Hair Removal (Permanent)
There are many different types of laser machines, but they all essentially use light to kill the growing hairs. It can be quite painful, likened to having an elastic band flicked against your skin. A series of treatments is required. Larger areas, such as full legs, can be treated aswell as smaller areas such as the face, underarm, or bikini line.
Electrolysis uses an electrical current to kill the hair producing cells at the base of the hair follicle. The skin is cleansed and dried and then a very fine (same width as the hair) sterile needle is inserted in to the hair follicle and a current is released killing the cells with heat. There are other types of electrical current that use a combination of heat and chemical changes in the skin’s tissues. Electrolysis is most often used for fine facial hair, but it can be used anywhere on the body where permanent hair removal is required. It is impossible to give an accurate prediction as to how many and how often treatments are required as many factors, such as density of hair, number of hairs and client’s skin sensitivity, all have a bearing on this.
Manicures and Pedicures
During a manicure treatment, the nails, the cuticles and the skin on the hands and up to the elbow is treated. Firstly the nails are filed in to shape. This is followed by an application of a cuticle cream and the hands are then soaked to soften the cuticles. A cuticle remover is then applied and the cuticles are gently pushed back and away from the nail plate. Any excess skin is taken away with cuticle nippers. A hand and forearm massage is then performed. During deluxe treatments heated mittens or paraffin wax is then applied to soften and nourish the hands. The nails are then filed over and cleaned and are ready for polish, a base coat, two coats of colour and a protective top coat.
During a pedicure treatment, the feet are firstly soaked in a bowl of warm water. As with a manicure, the nails are cut and filed and the cuticles are then treated with cuticle cream and remover and any excess skin is nipped away. The lower legs and feet are then exfoliated using an exfoliating cream and any hard skin on the underside of the feet is removed using a pedicure file. The lower legs and feet are then massaged. Once again, in a deluxe treatment, heated booties or paraffin wax is then applied to relax the muscles and soften and nourish the skin. The nails are then filed over and cleaned and are ready for polish, a base coat, two coats of colour and a protective top coat.
There are many different types of facials: deep cleansing, hydrating, anti-aeging, de-sensitising…depending on the client’s skin type. They all follow a similar routine, but specific products, oils and active ingredients will be used according to skin type. There are also many different electrical machines that can be used to deepen the effects of a facial including steam, galvanic, high frequency. The basic procedure would consist of a thorough consultation to determine the treatment needed, a cleanse and tone of the skin, exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, a head, neck and shoulder massage, a mask for the particular skin type being treated, a toning of the skin and application of treatment creams.
These treatments are beauty basics. A 3% solution if hydrogen peroxide is mixed with a vegetable based dye and applied to the eyelashes and/or eyebrows. It is left on for only a couple of minutes for eyebrows and up to 10 minutes for eyelashes. The tint is permanent and grows out, needing to be re-done approximately every 4 weeks. It has dramatic effects on blonde eyebrows and light brown but can be done on any colour to deepen naturally dark lashes/brows
Swedish massage is the type of massage most commonly performed in a beauy salon but there are many alternative techniques such as aromatherapy, which uses essential oils, that are becoming more and more commonlplace. In the last few years Eastern massage techniques such as Thai, Indian Head and Shiatsu have all increased in popularity. Although each specific technique has its own unique benefits, massage in general helps to improve circulation, expel toxins and relax the muscles.
Hydrotherapy is the term used for any treatment that uses water as its means of treating the client. You are most likely to find these in a day or destination spa. There are many hydrotherapy treatments to choose from. Hydrotherapy baths are like large baths but they have several water jets placed at strategic points around the bath in order to massage the muscles and to tone and stimulate as well as increase detoxification. The jet strength can be adjusted to suit the clients needs. Treatment muds and seaweeds or mineral salts can be added to the water to increase the treatment effects. Vichy shower is where a client lies on a ‘wet table’ underneath a rail of shower jets. This can be positioned to stimulate/soothe specific muscles. A manual massage can also be performed whilst the jets are on. Thalassotherpay pools contain sea minerals which are known for their healing and detoxifying properties. Sometimes the pools are equipped with water jets aswell. Plunge pools are extremely cold and are used follwing a heat treatment such as steam or sauna. The coldness of the water combined with the heat treatment will help to stimulate circulation and it will also help to tighten the pores. Heat treatmens, such as sauna (dry heat) and steam (wet heat) are commonly found in spas and are sometimes used prior to other treatments to warm up and relax the muscles and improve the circulation.
This uses a similar technique to tattooing in that colour is inserted in to the skin using a needle. However, unlike tattooing, the effects are not permanent and will fade over time. This is because the colour will fade over time as it is only inserted in to the upper layer of the dermis. Micropigmentation is also known as semi-permanent make-up. The most common areas to have treated are the lips, the eyebrows and eyeliner. It is essential that your therapist gives you a thorough consultation prior to any treatments.
There are many different types of body treatments. The most common ones are: safe/fake tanning, body exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, body wraps which use a variety of treatment muds, seaweeds, or oils to improve circulation, detoxify, moisturise and relax the body. Exfoliation is advisable before a body wrap as it increases the ability of the treatment products to penetrate the skin. During a body wrap the client is literally ‘wrapped up’ in plastic, followed by a heat-retaining blanket. Often a facial or scalp massage is performed whilst the client is wrapped up.