Spa (and Salon) Etiquette // Podcast Episode 12

NOTE: This content was originally created for the SKincare Fairy Godmother Podcast, it has been edited for ease of reading


In this week's Treatment Room Tuesday, We are going to talk all about spa etiquette - this topic was suggested by a few of my clients at the Atelier, so I’m excited to dig into this a bit. I also asked what YOU want to know about spa etiquette over on my Instagram @amberbudd, and so I’ll be answering those questions also! Let's dig in, huh?



Prep to do before coming

  • Remove eye makeup if wearing any

  • Depending on your service you may need to grow out hair, or trim hair, or shower prep for a spray tan. Always ask if you have questions prior to your appointment.


What to wear - is it okay to come right from somewhere else?

  • Absolutely! A lot of clients come from the gym, or roll out of bed on a saturday to come in.


Be on time

  • And expect the same of your provider. And if you’re planning to be late because you’re in line at Starbucks, please don’t roll in 15 minutes late with a Starbucks in your hand, without one for your provider - bring one for them too. ;) (brownie points!)


Can I go somewhere after? I.E. Will I be a hot mess?

  • Yes you can go somewhere else, however not all service providers would say this! I’ve had facials where I ended up with oil all over my hair, but I hated that, so I try really hard to make sure you can leave and go in public decently.


What does undress to comfortability mean?

  • Oh, this is SO directed right at me, I tell my clients when they come in for a facial “undress to your comfort level” which means I provide you a facial gown, You can wear that, or you can wear whatever you want - a bra, tank top, whatever. But please still cover your breasts under the gown or the table sheet for modesty, and making sure there are no boundaries crossed.



Should I tell her (my service provider) if I’m unhappy?

  • YES! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - I’d want to know if I wasn’t living up to expectations. Please tell us so we can fix it, or troubleshoot with you!



Can I bring my kids?

  • We don’t recommend it, even if your salon or spa allows kids. Think of your time as YOU time. Also think of all the hazards for little Tommy or Janie…there's hot wax, chemical peels, scissors, and blades… it's not a place for children unless you can keep an eye on them 100% of the time.

Can I use my phone?

  • I don’t have a problem with it, but some establishments are no phone zones. If you have a service with your eyes closed, or you’re having a facial, do you really want someone disturbing your peace? And if you’re having a service around your head, it's really challenging to work around it. (and if you're having lash extensions or lash lifts, that's a NO...your eyes are taped shut...you literally can't.)

  • Also, how often do we have phone-free time these days? TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT! I always joke when my client's phones are ringing “did you want me to get that and tell them you’re busy?”



What should you expect from us?

  • Never bullies you

  • Listens well

  • Doesn’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with

  • No inappropriate comments or touch

  • Offers recommendations for home care to enhance and continue your results


Should I keep my shoes on?

  • Personally I wouldn’t, but that’s up to you, unless your service provider asks you to specifically remove them, for example if it’s pouring rain outside, they may ask you to remove your shoes so as not to soak through their table coverings, etc


Is tipping customary?

  • It is! And it’s greatly appreciated! - Most service providers make about 30% of their take-home pay in tips

  • Occasionally a salon will be a no-tip establishment, and it is very well marked

  • Also, remember if you’re on a membership option that most of the time those don’t have tips built-in, so if you’re the classy tipping type, you can add that separately!


What should I do if I’m uncomfortable with what's asked of me?

  • Speak up! You do NOT have to do anything you don’t want to! If your provider doesn’t honor your comfort level, RUN.

  • Know that in some services- example: Brazilian wax - you are signing up to be half-naked on the table, in different positions, but we always maintain our professionalism and will help you find different positions if the ones we are asking for won't work or make you too uncomfortable.


Can I speak up if something hurts?

  • Please DO! While we try to be gentle, we can’t feel what you’re feeling, so please say something


Red flags to look out for?

  • Inappropriate touch, dirty environment, bullies, double-dipping wax sticks or reusing things that can’t be properly cleaned and sanitized.


What makes the job easiest for you?

  • Seriously, remove your eye makeup for facials and eyelash appointments of any kind. This ensures we get the most time with you to perform the service - if we have to spend 5-10 minutes cleaning your eyes, somewhere else has to sacrifice time, like your face massage, or your lash application.

  • TELL US if something has changed in your medical history or routine. This is actually kind of serious because if you add or change something, there is a change of things like skin lifting during a wax, or service being more intense than planned, or lashes not adhering like usual, and the more we know, the more we can help troubleshoot or avoid issues popping up.

  • If we ask that we minimize chit-chat, please know it's not because we don’t want to catch up, it's because we need to focus on something specific and don’t want to cause any unnecessary issues.


Is it rude not to want to chit chat, I’m shy!

  • Oh goodness no, it’s not rude, it's YOUR service, YOUR time. Just mention it to your provider, and if they don’t honor that, remind them. And if they still don’t honor your request, you may want to look for a new provider.

  • However I will caveat that sometimes we want to let you know when something is changing, so you aren’t surprised - like if we are coming in hot for extractions!

Talking vs not talking // do I have to?

  • Absolutely not! Only talk if you want to, but if you’d prefer not to, just let your service provider know so they can honor your request


When should I reschedule?


  • For ALL services: if you’re sick, have herpes/cold sore outbreak, or pink eye

  • For waxing and skincare, add in that you should reschedule if you have a sunburn

  • I’m positive there are other things I’m missing, but please know that if we ask you to reschedule, its because we care, not because we want to embarrass you, or leave you hurting for a wax, ro whatever.

If we ask you to reschedule because you’re sick, its for several reasons:

  • If we pass whatever you brought in to other people, that’s not fair to them.

  • If we get sick, we become unemployed for the length of time we have to be out, and state unemployment doesn’t exactly cover the flu or a cold.

  • We are held to standards of hospitals…if we have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting, we HAVE to stay home. No questions asked. So please don’t share.


What do I do if I need to cancel?

  • First, respect the cancellation policy - ours is 24 hours in advance to avoid any fees being assessed and that's pretty common. We know emergencies come up, and they are unavoidable, but canceling because something “better” came along, or you just don’t feel like it, is not only unkind, but it makes us unemployed for that timeframe if we can’t fill that spot.

  • Second, cancel as SOON as you know you can’t make it, so we have the best chance to fill that spot as possible


Alright friends, that’s all for this weeks Treatment Room Tuesday, If you have follow up questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Instagram @amberbudd - I’d love to connect with you there!

Cheers to Glowing skin!


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