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Arm wax of death?
January 13, 2013 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Instead of tips on avoiding a sketchy salon experience, I need tips on what to do if I had one.

I'll preface this with saying I should have spoken up the minute something felt off but I didn't. And now I'm here. So I just need advice on going forward, other than don't do this again :)

Today I was in desperate need of a salon day. I have a big meeting/dinner coming up and needed an arm wax and a professional polish color change. I went to a salon I had gotten so-so mani-pedi's at before because it was the only one with availability.

More than halfway through the arm wax I realized I wasn't keeping track of if she was double dipping, and I've read enough issues of Cosmo to know this is bad, even if I can't remember why. And yes, she was double dipping. I should have stopped and said something but the wax was 90% over and I need better confrontational skills/confidence.

I also had her begin a mani-pedi, taking off polish and I had my feet in the pedi tub, she also started in on cuticle pushing on my feet. At that point I explained I was uncomfortable and grossed out so I was leaving. (Yes I paid for the wax and yes the manager denied that they double dipped.) So what do I do now?
1) I've already freaked out and washed my arms, hands, feet, and ankles in anti-bacterial soap multiple times and did a soak in water with tea tree/peppermint and then moisturized. I have no idea of this was helpful but it made me feel better. I'm envisioning both the pot of wax and the foot tub to be cesspools.
2) However, what else do I need to do? I realize I'm in danger of an infection and everything I see online caters to (a) people talking about how they got an infection or (b) people telling you how to avoid salons that will give you one. But nobody seems to have answers for my situation. I assume drinking lots of water and keeping up my immune system with lotsa vitamin C and such should help in some way?
3) I also want to report them to....whoever I would report them to. Board of health? This is a large metropolitan city. I will also be writing reviews on crowdsourced sites so other people know this salon is shady.

I learned my lesson emotionally but can you help me not-have-to learn it physically? Anything (else) I can do to ward off bacteria? Thanks!!!
posted by manicure12 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You are going to be fine, and if there is no blood/broken skin I am pretty sure you are at VERY low risk of infection. You can report them if you want, but the most important thing for you to do is to RELAX. This will help your immune system more than anything else.
posted by chelseagirl at 1:04 PM on January 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are you immuno-compromised in any way? Any open cuts or sores on the areas you had waxed? Any open cuts or sores on your feet?

If the answer to all of those is no, chill out.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 1:10 PM on January 13, 2013


I'll be honest. I go to cheapo, double-dipping, cuticle-pushing places all the time and I've never had any problems. Anecdotally, you're going to be fine. Think of it as if you were served food in a restaurant that may have fallen on the floor before it was served to you. Whoops, maybe it's kinda gross, but you'll be fine.
posted by samthemander at 2:07 PM on January 13, 2013


I'm confused about the cuticule-pushing part. From what I understand, this is better than the places that cut your cuticles off. Better for the health of your nails and better because you aren't at further risk of infection from a potentially dirty tool cutting you open...

I appreciate places that don't double dip, but I honestly don't think I would get a wax on an area of skin that had an open wound (and I don't bleed during waxes myself, though YMMV) so I don't worry so much if I do end up somewhere that double-dips. Agreed that unless there's something you're not telling us, you should just calm down. You will likely be A-OK. If you are really concerned, head to the doctor and avoid rando salons and spas in the future.
posted by two lights above the sea at 2:14 PM on January 13, 2013


You don't have to have an open wound. Having wax ripped off of the top layer of your skin and hairs ripped out by the root is enough to create tiny openings for bacteria to enter. Same reason you don't let semen in your mouth after you've brushed your teeth: the microscopic abrasions from your toothbrush are opening enough.

Meanwhile, there's not really anything you can do now, short of preemptively taking antibiotics which I strongly discourage. I think the risk is low—you won't get food poisoning every time you eat at a restaurant with a B grade. But avoid it for next time.

Speaking of which, I really wish they gave nail salons letter grades.

And since you said you don't remember why double-dipping is bad: the one pot of wax will last through several clients. So the client before you had something in their bloodstream or on their skin that you don't want in yours. The aesthetician takes one of those metal spatulas (if they're using a metal spatula instead of disposable wood tongue depressors, there's your sign), spreads wax onto the previous client's leg, then rips the wax off (leaving tiny skin abrasions). Whoops, a few hairs didn't come off, so the metal spatula goes back into the wax, back over that patch of skin, and then back into the pot of wax. And so on. And then the same metal spatula, maybe sanitized since the previous client, maybe not, goes into the same pot of wax and then onto your leg. The thinking of the waxers who say it's NBD is that the wax is heated to a high enough temperature to kill anything, but that's false.
posted by thebazilist at 2:27 PM on January 13, 2013


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