The things beauty therapists wish you knew
When embarrassment strikes at the beauty salon, who better to advise than the experts who’ve seen it all? We quizzed top professionals on how to deal with those awkward situations, so next time, you’re prepared.
At the beauty salon
The expert: Lauren Hill, spa and salon area manager at Beauty & Melody in London
I’d like to have a pedicure, but I’m too self-conscious about the state of my feet
‘If you’re here for a pedicure, then we already know that you want to improve the state of your feet. Any good pedicurist will have seen all sorts of feet in all different states, and will always be discreet – really, nothing surprises us. We’ll consult with you and do our absolute best to help so you feel comfortable and confident to expose them!’
I think I’d benefit from a facial, but don’t want anyone to see my skin without make-up on
‘For a therapist to work on your skin, we do need to remove all make-up. The good thing is, it will only be you and the therapist in the room and should be a private room with low lighting, so nobody else will see you. Again, we’ve seen it all and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Regular facials can improve the appearance of your skin. Requesting to see the same therapist each time you visit might also help you feel more confident.’
Read more: DIY facial – 3 natural beauty recipes
What do I take off when I have a bikini wax?
‘For any bikini wax, you have three options: keep your underwear on, change into disposable underwear, or wear nothing at all. This depends on whatever makes you comfortable and it’s entirely up to you and your therapist to decide. However, for a Brazilian or Hollywood wax, if you want coverage it’s best to wear disposable underwear – then any residue wax or oil won’t ruin your knickers.’
At the hair salon
The expert: John Mulhern, creative director at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa, London
What should I do if I really don’t like the cut or colour I’ve been given?
‘Always be honest – we won’t be offended. Every good hairdresser wants their client to leave happy so they should work with you to tweak the outcome. We would also encourage having a thorough consultation with your stylist before a change in colour or style to fully discuss the look you would like and ongoing maintenance.’
I want to read my magazine and not talk to the hairdresser. Will they be offended?
‘A stylist should pick up on your mood on each visit and whether you want to read, work, relax or have a chat. It’s always OK to say if you would like some time to relax, though, if you are really worried about it – simply say something along the lines of, “It’s so great to sit and read, I never get the time usually”.’
Do I have to tip? And is it worse to give a small tip than nothing at all?
‘Each person varies and tipping is based entirely on personal preference. Any amount will be greatly appreciated, but try not to overthink things – we’re here to make you feel relaxed and renewed.’
Read more: 9 hair hacks you need this winter
At the spa
The expert: Jade Pollendine, assistant spa manager at Champneys Tring, Hertfordshire
What do I remove when I have a massage?
‘For all massages, even if it’s just your back and shoulders, wear only your robe with underwear or swimwear underneath. However, if you’re having an exfoliation treatment, you’ll need to wear the provided disposable underwear – otherwise things can get messy!’
I’ve got an embarrassing skin condition– do I have to explain it to my therapist?
‘It’s best to speak to your therapist before beginning a treatment to make sure it won’t affect your condition in any way. But don’t be shy – any good therapist will be trained to deal with all kinds of personal queries and issues in a sensitive, confidential manner.’
I’m uncomfortable with my massage therapist working my glutes – is it rude to say so?
‘Absolutely not. When it comes to it, just politely ask the therapist to avoid that area. We’re used to it, and more than happy to adapt treatments so clients are at ease and enjoy themselves.’