Bad experience at a beauty salon ends in shouting and no resolution for either party

2015-03-03 00:00

JOANNE Naidoo decided on her ­birthday, Valentine’s Day, to have a full facial wax at a new local beauty clinic but was sorely disappointed when her skin was burnt during the treatment.

Adding insult to her injury, Joanne ­alleged, was the manner in which the clinic’s owner had apparently abrasively brushed off her complaint without ­compassion. But Dianne Naidoo, the owner of The Nail Factor at Liberty Midland’s Mall, said she was saddened by the isolated incident and claimed it was her client’s fiancé who had been rude to her on the telephone and that he had not given her a chance to respond properly.

Unfortunately, this story did not have a happy ending.

Joanne said she had monthly wax treatments without incident at another local clinic but had wanted to try the new outlet. “During the wax, the one side of my face was burnt badly. The manager said I did not have to pay and she said that it looked bad. The burn was most painful throughout the night.”

Joanne sent me photographs showing the burn wounds.

“The next day bruises and scars appeared and it looked awful,” she said.

She said she went back the next day to complain and ask for assistance to treat the burns, and that staff called the owner to speak to her fiancé over the ­telephone.

“The treatment I received was less than acceptable. The owner told me to apply moisturiser for three days and it will go away, without even seeing the damage her worker had caused,” she said.

“My fiancé tried to explain that it would take much more than that. She was rude on the telephone.

“There was no apology or any ­sympathy shown, not even to offer me complementary treatments … I am ­totally upset, especially because it was a birthday,” she said.

“I would like to make the public aware of the matter and the owner needs to take responsibility.”

However, Dianne claimed it was her client’s fiancé who had been rude, which was why she had eventually put the phone down on him and told her staff to call security to remove the couple from the premises if they felt threatened. Joanne vehemently denied this, saying the store’s CCTV footage would support her version.

Dianne said her beauty therapist had advised her client not to have the facial wax because her skin was sensitive, but that she had insisted on it. However, the client said this was not the case.

“I provide the store with an expensive wax and we have never had any ­complaints,” Dianne said.

“Wax can be too hot but the therapist tries it on her hand or inner arm first before applying it,” she said.

“Apparently her skin did burn and I told her husband [fiancé] that the only thing she can do is use a moisturiser with no alcohol as her skin is now hypersensitive. He was screaming and shouting and I put the phone down on him,” she said.

She said he had asked for compensation and had not given her a chance to offer a complementary treatment or explain that she did not have a suitable product in the store that she could recommend for her burnt, sensitive skin.

Dianne said she owns several stores in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and that her local therapist is “fully ­qualified” in somatology.

She added that her therapists always advised clients with sensitive skin against waxing and to opt for threading hair removal. “If anything happened to me I would be upset. I feel sad that she got burnt. I don’t like losing clients. That’s not how I operate my business.”

Dianne said she would like to offer Joanne a free threading and a facial to make up for her experience. However, Joanne, still upset about the incident, ­declined the offer, saying she hopes ­rather that consumers can learn from her experience.

When it comes to wax treatments, like other beauty treatments, there is no official health regulation.

Sandy Fuhr, public-relations board member of the Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie (CIDESCO), which upholds standards in beauty and spa therapy globally, offered consumers the following advice about wax hair-removal treatments.

It is not recommended to have wax treatments if your skin is sun burnt or if you are on any of the ­following medication:

• antibiotics.

• tranquillisers.

• diuretics.

• steroids (for example cortisone).

• birth control pills.

• hormone replacement therapy.

• thyroid medications.

• quinine.

• blood-pressure tablets for high or low blood pressure.

• long-term immuno-suppression drugs.

• vitamin A treatment.

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