Few topics in the beauty industry spark as much heated debate as that of double dipping: repeatedly using the same spatula on a client by returning it to the pot of wax after each application.
Ardent single dippers argue that the practice of re-dipping a used stick back into the wax is at best distasteful, and at worst puts customers at risk of cross-infection from harmful bacteria, fungi and blood borne viruses.
Squaring up to them are the pro-dunkers, maintaining that the practice is no more risky than double dipping nail polish, and that we’d all be riddled with disease by now if it were that easy to transmit things via a wax pot.
Read About My Pledge To World Land Trust HERE.
Frustratingly, there has been very little research on the topic, although there are certainly lots of opinions to be found. Some claim that heating the wax to its normal working temperature is sufficient to kill any pathogens that might be present, while others state that the lower melting points of modern waxes in fact provide the perfect temperature for micro-organisms to survive!
How many salons do you think leave their pots to bubble at boiling point for a period that is long enough to eradicate every nasty that might be lurking within, and then repeat this process between each and every customer? And, what about spores which require a much higher, sustained temperature to kill?
Interestingly, the HABIA guidelines make no distinction between general body waxing and intimate hair removal, although most of the therapists I know choose to avoid re-dipping the spatula for a Brazilian wax.
Author of The British Aestheticians Guide to Waxing the Twigs and Berries, puts her reasons for this rather succinctly:
“ I wouldn’t like to think I was having an eyebrow wax with wax that had earlier been in contact with some guy’s scrotum. ”
- Claire Barnes
Bear in mind that until relatively recently therapist would take used strips of hot wax, melt and sieve it to remove any hair, and then re-use it on the next customer (and the next, and the next...).
While there were never any reports of cross-infection as a result of this practice, many would throw their arms up in horror if salons were to do this today. I suspect that double dipping is destined for the same fate.
" I was concerned about the amount of environmental waste I'd produced by single dipping wooden spatulas, so I've pledged to donate 10% from the sale of every wax service to the World Land Trust Buy an Acre programme. "
There is no denying that the issue of double dipping remains a hot topic within the industry, and doesn’t look set to go away any time soon. For every therapist who believes it should be banned outright, another will maintain that there is absolutely no risk from the practice.
In many parts of America it is now against the law to double dip under any circumstances. Is it time for a voluntary change of practice here in the UK?
Would you want to be on the end of a re-dipped spatula?
Certified Organic, Vegan Friendly, Crulety Free Waxing for Ladies & Gents at Wedmore beauty lounge.
Originally published in BABTAC's Vitality Magazine.
Text © Andy Rouillard, 2012, all rights reserved.
BLOG POST AUTHOR
Andy Rouillard - Award Winning, Axiom Bodyworks Owner, Educator and Waxing Therapist. Hailed as “Britain’s top male waxing specialist” by the Men’s Health grooming editor. Axiom Bodyworks is widely regarded across England as the leading men’s skin and body care advisor/educator.
This content is strictly the opinion of Kaye Squire and Andy Rouillard, and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. The author of this content takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions.