JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For some, getting waxed is as routine as getting a haircut. But not all salons are created equal. On Your Side reporter, David Williams, combed through state inspection reports and has what you need to know before you go.
Kisha Began, of Jacksonville, said she has gotten waxed before.
"I can recall maybe some places having the wax a little too hot, but other than that, it wasn't horrible. It would just kind of leave your eyebrows a little bit red afterwards," Began said.
Waxing salons are regulated as cosmetology salons. They're inspected every two years or more often if a complaint is filed.
"We look for safety, sanitation and licensing," said Sandra Rentfrow, who is with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Rentfrow said unlicensed activity is the single biggest concern.
"Because if an individual is not licensed, then they don't have the knowledge of the skill to be able to provide that service to the public,"
FCN looked at state cosmetology records going back to 2010 and found 10 cases of unlicensed activity.
One of them was at a salon on Norwood Avenue, in Jacksonville.
Owner, Lisa Ngyuen told FCN off camera they weren't licensed during their April 2013 inspection, because she "forgot to renew." Ngyuen said it was the first time in 20 years that it had happened.
According to records, the salon also failed to keep a log book of pedicure equipment cleaning and disinfection.
Nguyen told FCN that records were kept, just not in a book because it was possibly taken.
Nguyen showed FCN their new license, log book. The salon's re-inspection a month later was satisfactory.
FCN found 5 instances where implements that came in contact with blood or bodily fluids were not put into an EPA disinfectant.
One of those salons was on San Jose Boulevard, in Jacksonville.
The salon's manager told FCN off camera that the salon has a nearly identical name to the previous owner. The current salon's owner said he was unaware of the inspection and showed FCN their December 2012 inspection with all satisfactory marks.
Diana Manzano is part owner of Sole Spa, in Jacksonville Beach. Sole Spa specializes in waxing. Manzano said she is fully certified and licensed. According to records, Sole Spa's most recent inspection was satisfactory.
New in 2013, Manzano said she is seeing more customers coming in saying they had a bad waxing experience somewhere.
She said being waxed incorrectly can hurt you.
"Infections, torn skin, bruising," Manzano said as she described potential injuries from incorrect waxing. "Ingrown hairs from wax not being done properly."
Manzano said waxing salons should look clean, especially where you sit or lay and the wax shouldn't be crusty or dirty.
"Make sure you ask the right questions such as double dipping,"
Manzano advised. "What type of sticks, what type of wax."
Questions like if they double-dip? How was their last inspection? Are technicians licensed?
About wax temperature, Manzano said ideal is 60 to 80 degrees depending on the wax. She said wax should never be more than 89 degrees.
Manzano said disposable tools should always be covered. According to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, there is no double dipping in waxing and everything used on you like wax strips must be discarded.
The state requires licenses to be visible to customers.
Also new in 2013, there are 148 fewer complaints this fiscal year compared to the last. There are also 10 fewer citations.
All of the advice and warnings are all things Began will take to heart.
"That'll always be in the back of my mind," Manzano said.
If you're wondering about your salon, go to myfloridalicense.com. There, you can pull up any salon and make sure they're properly licensed and check any complaints against them.