Originally from Romania, Claudia Titan arrived in Canada 14 years ago and has been working as an esthetician for the past 12 years with Frilly Lilly, the Calgary-based chain of beauty boutiques with locations in Alberta, B.C. and California. Titan currently works out of the busy Mission location on 4th Street S.W., where she sees a steady stream of bikini lines. With the beach and rafting season really starting to heat up, we caught up with her to ask what Calgarians are taking off these days.
What’s the biggest trend in waxing right now? Is going bare still as popular as it used to be?
“It’s actually very popular. We offer four kinds of bikini-wax styles [at Frilly Lilly]: ‘Brazilians,’ ‘Hawaiians,’ ‘Canadians’ and ‘Alaskans.’ And I would say between Brazilians and Hawaiians, which is not a very big difference – basically just a teeny-tiny strip left – they are half and half the most popular.”
One swimsuit trend you’re seeing right now is bikini bottoms that are cut to show more cheek. Does that affect how you wax?
“For our Brazilian or a Hawaiian, everything is included, the bum area is included. Whoever wants everything taken off wants everything taken off.”
What have you learned about people by waxing them?
“It’s all about trust and comfort. I try to put them at ease. It’s painful, but you want to make the best of it.”
So how do you put people at ease?
“I explain what it is. It’s never a piece of cake. It’s never without pain. But I explain the results versus shaving and how it does last much longer, the hair does become much sparser and finer and easier to get out.”
Do clients talk much while they’re getting their waxing done?
“Minimum. I try to keep it professional but if they want to share I listen.”
What do you recommend when it comes to caring for the waxed area at home?
“The cheapest way is exfoliating. It should be done on a regular basis with an exfoliating glove and soap or body scrub. In addition to that, we have products to prevent ingrown hairs and treat an ingrown hair. So it’s a combination. But best to start with exfoliating which is handy for everybody.”
Do you have many male clients?
“There is a limited clientele for men. We don’t do all the services as we do for females. For men we do manicures, pedicures, back wax, chest wax and eyebrows. We do not wax the bikini area on men.”
What do you like most about your work?
“For me it’s the satisfaction that I do something good. It’s an inside satisfaction and it’s a bond that you do have with a lot of your clients, even if it’s just professional. It feels, for me, very moving. Coming from a very different background, I’m privileged to continue to do this.”
How old are your clients, generally?
“Everything from early twenties to early fifties.”
What was the oldest client you’ve ever waxed?
“I would say they were in their sixties. But they did not get a Brazilian!”