Reflexologist Rai Jayne Powell shares horror stories from a fellow therapist, as well as her own first nightmare experience visiting a beauty therapist …
My first ever therapist experience was definitely one to remember. I was thirteen and had decided I was now grown up enough to have my eyebrows waxed and so I made an appointment with the local beauty therapist. I remember the smell of the acrylic nails and the hot wax, I was giddy with nerves and excitement. The golden wax was smooth and warm, like honey, I held still and waited for the inevitable sting that was to follow but it was over quickly and the adrenaline coursing through my body helped to lessen the pain. I couldn’t wait to take a look at my new brows in the mirror but they were not exactly what I had been expecting – two bright red, swollen welts sat above my eyes. The therapist, obviously a little worried, assured me that the redness would subside and I would soon have gorgeous eyebrows. I put my faith in her and trotted happily out of the salon. The next morning I checked my brows in the mirror and grinning back at me was a huge caterpillar-like brown scab all the way across my forehead. She had totally burnt my skin! When I went back to show her the damage she insisted that it was not her fault but in fact my sensitive skin was to blame.
Looking back I can understand the fear the therapist must have experienced, no one wants to make a mistake, especially when it comes to working on someone else. When I first started practicing reflexology I would work on one foot at a time but I quickly discovered that this left my clients confused, uncomfortable, and unbalanced. I asked local beauty and massage therapist, Lisa*, if she had been faced with any horror-stories in her therapy career, she laughed loudly and told me that there were too many to count.
Wax on, Wax off!
In her first week working professionally at a salon she had a customer come in for a wax. Lisa happily chatted to her client as she prepared the waxing strips and she seemed to be relaxed, even when Lisa smothered the wax over her upper lip. It wasn’t until after the treatment the woman politely informed her that she had been booked in for an eyebrow wax. Lisa was mortified, even more so when the client asked if she actually had a visible moustache, “not anymore” was all Lisa could think of to say. Luckily for Lisa her client had been gracious and even grateful that she received a free lip wax, but she did have an encounter with another client who was definitely not as understanding…
A young lady was booked in for a bikini wax and individual eyelashes the day before her wedding.
“I don’t know exactly how it happened,” Lisa cringes at the memory. “But by the time I was finished waxing her bikini area it was badly bruised. It looked as though she had been attacked!” But that wasn’t all; Lisa also managed to stick the young woman’s eyelids together whilst applying the eyelashes.
“I think it must be something to do with the pressure that some clients put on you. They are expecting you to make them look perfect for certain days, and it is usually for these big days when everything seems to go wrong,’ says Lisa. ‘But the good experiences definitely outweigh the bad. It is truly rewarding when you see how you have helped some people in some ways, be it through beauty therapy or a well-needed massage. I love the job that I do and my advice for when things do go wrong is keep calm and carry on – it will be alright in the end.”
*Names have been changed