TORONTO — The pursuit of silky-smooth, hair-free skin has long been called a no pain, no gain operation. And it usually plays out something like this. Client gets waxed. They cry. Client gets laser treatments. They cry. Then the bill arrives from that upscale spa or medical-grade clinic. Client cries again.
Lexi Miles, founder and chief executive officer of Waxon Laser + Waxbar, knew that wry, woeful tale of beauty all too well, just like millions of other consumers across North America.
“I was that typical customer behind a shower curtain getting waxed at some spa. And like everyone else I felt vulnerable. I didn’t know if I was going to screech from the pain or end up with a scar or one eyebrow,” said Miles, who worked as a management consultant in the hospitality sector before launching Waxon in Toronto in 2012.
Miles frequently dealt with hair removal issues on the go, grabbing appointments wherever possible as she traveled for work between 2010 and 2011. Yet those experiences, coupled with hearing similar tales from busy consumers in city after city, pushed her to launch this gender-friendly beauty destination to fill a market void for high-end hair removal services that were affordable, pain-free, convenient and empowering.
“Waxon is unique because it only specializes in taking clients from waxing to laser. That’s a bonus for today’s consumer,” said Miles, whose brand boasts 13 locations across Canada.
“You could go to Groupon.com and head off to an expensive spa for treatment. But those spas do everything from hair removal to vein treatments and more with their lasers. In the end, you really don’t know what you are paying for,” she told WWD.
Unlike other luxury spas and skin-care clinics where staff do all treatments Waxon’s certified laserologists only do hair removal. It also offers interest-free financing for most laser packages for greater consumer accessibility.
As well, every product Waxon carries and develops is built around enhancing client results. That includes its proprietary Gold Wax, which is formulated with titanium dioxide to calm the skin, as well as mica which grips tighter to the hair to get it on the first try. As a result, this hard wax applied without strips “speeds up treatment times and reduces pain and redness,” Miles said.
Waxon’s new-to-market Vectus Laser, which is the most advanced technology out there today for pain-free hair removal, also delivers high-volume permanent hair reduction in fewer sessions, which saves clients time, cost and discomfort, according to Waxon’s director of operations Amy Finnegan Burns.
“We spent two years researching this brand’s move into laser. During that time we heard clients complain about the pain of laser treatments and that they could not get significant results with outdated technology,” Burns said.
The Vectus Laser’s cool tip is less painful and works faster. “It’s a Brazilian service where the client is in and out in 10 minutes or less,” Burns said.
Its Skintel technology, which took 10 years to develop, also reads melanin levels in any skin type so that treatments can be tailored for greater results.
“Skintel is the only FDA-cleared melanin reader on the market today,” Burns said.
“In the past burn rates were pretty high with laser, but this new machinery can be set to avoid that problem and treat a Nicole Kidman or a Whoopi Goldberg. The machine will know what to do.”
Waxon is one of the few companies using this costly technology, but its inclusion is all part of a well-targeted niche concept that now attracts a core group of 20- to 35-year-old Millennials to the brand — including a growing male demographic.
“Ninety percent of Waxon’s base is female, but laser has been the great crossover into the male market,” Miles said.
“Women maintain hair care all year long. Men come in when they are going to the beach and want their backs waxed. But they are curious and interested in technology and what it can do for them.”
Investors, too, have grown curious about Waxon’s burgeoning reach among the sexes.
“We will be in the U.S. by the end of 2020, said Miles, who inked a multimillion deal with a Canadian investment firm in September 2018 that will fund Waxon’s North American expansion over the next two years, with New York, Los Angeles and Miami on the company’s launch list.
In December, Waxon will also unveil a lineup of newly branded proprietary products formulated by experts, such as numbing creams, products for ingrown hair removal, and more that are PH-balanced for sensitive body areas.
Finally, in spring 2019 Waxon is upping its empowerment message with the online debut of its LiveSmoother Lifestyle content channel and platform, which will cover skin-care issues; beauty; health; wellness; weekly interviews with industry experts; plus open question periods between Miles and Waxon’s growing following.
Interestingly, this well-time expansion comes just as the medical aesthetics market is forecast to reach $17.07 billion by 2023 — up from $10.03 billion in 2018. But according to Miles, “We want to dominate this boom in the market and be the point person for hair removal. Whatever stigma remains about hair removal we, as educators, want to finally eliminate it across North America.”