A paraffin hand dip with my haircut?
This was new to me…. I had gone to Boardroom Hair Salon for Men as a live model for a student who was taking the technical part of her job interview. This is where the shop gets a chance to see an interviewee cut hair and get an idea of their skill level and how they work.
So when the student had finished cutting my hair, the manager asked if she could shampoo my hair (which makes sense), and to go wash my hands, which was new… I’ve never been asked to wash my hands for a shampoo service before.
Then hand sanitizer… check…
Then she asked me to place my hands into two warming pots… and I was receiving my first paraffin dip.
I didn’t know the first thing about paraffin, or most spa services… but my hands felt great afterwards… cleaner, maybe? Definitely softer and just more comfortable.
So now that I am learning to administer these dips, I figured I may as well learn about what it does and why…
Paraffin is a wax – what I have seen has been a whitish, almost clear wax. There’s no scent to it, and it is a soft wax which is melted, and then applied. It is used in spa services, industrial settings for lubrication and insulation, and at home in objects like candles, and even crayons.
It is an emollient (which simply means that it softens the skin… I had to look it up). So it makes your hands soft, both while being applied and afterward, continuing to add moisture for some time. The hands feel softer and smoother. It is also used on feet and dry patches of skin in many spas.
The treatment is moist heat. Paraffin wax has a low melting point, so it is warm and soothing without being so hot that it burns your skin.
When applied, it opens the pores on the skin, and can increase blood circulation while relaxing your muscles at the same time. Studies have shown that it can decrease joint stiffness, and reduce inflammation. Some say that it helps with muscle spasms and sprains.
As the wax is removed, it removes dead skin cells at the same time. It also softens calluses and cracked skin. Its moisturizing properties are good for chapped skin.
While all tests have shown that paraffin wax is safe, precautions do apply and you should look further into it before getting a treatment if you have very sensitive skin, or poor blood circulation, diabetes, numbness, rashes, open sores (or “the usual suspects” as my friend describes it). Also, it is a petroleum product, so if you are sensitive to chemicals, you should look further into it, as well, before receiving a paraffin dip.
After my paraffin hand dip, my hands felt fantastic for several days. I recommend getting it done at least once a month to my clients as part of a monthly “take care of myself” session.