The Bottom Line
European Wax Center at Market Street in The Woodlands, Texas is a clean, modern facility that's ultra quick and sanitary. My eyebrows were done very nice, but my arms weren't waxed 100% correctly and I saw a lot of re-growth rather quickly.Pros:
- No double-dipping policy
- Tech wore gloves
- Modern and comfortable
- Free first wax (with exclusions)
- Unlimited Wax Pass and Pre-Paid Wax Pass available
- Didn't remove arm hair in the exact opposite direction of hair growth
- Only one type of wax
- Didn't have me fill out skincare questionnaire
Company: European Wax Center
Type: Waxing only Salon
Info: They use their own hard wax developed in Paris with currently over 300 locations and one of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States at the time this was written. They offer a free first time wax if you are a state resident to the state of the location you're visiting. (Women have a choice of the bikini line, eyebrows or underarms, and men, the eyebrows, ear or nose.)
Full Review: European Wax Center The Woodlands, Texas (Market Street)
I visited Texas and was staying at the Avia on Market Street, a beautiful nook of stores, spas, salons, restaurants and beauty. With an appointment, I walked over to the European Wax Center located here to get my lower arms waxed.
The inside is very clean and modern in black, white and red. The receptionist was very nice, checked me in but didn't have me fill anything out- not general information, or a skincare or basic health questionnaire. I could be allergic to an ingredient in a product they use (like beeswax), be using something in my skincare routine (like glycolic) that deeply exfoliates or have a medical condition which could make it unsafe to wax, leaving skin peeling, bleeding, scabby or overly red (see waxing precautions).
Although every facility that offers waxing should know the person's skincare routine and general health as it relates to waxing, and ask about any changes before each service, it really surprised me it's not their policy because it's the only service they do.
I got there early but only a couple minutes later my tech introduced herself and took me to a room. A very clean and organized, but comfortable space, with the hugest stainless steel pot of wax I have ever seen. She had me sit up and placed paper over my lap wondering why I wanted to wax my lower arms ($26) because they aren’t hairy at all- just light, fine hair. Well I've written solely about hair removal for about four years- so I only have so many areas to remove hair.
Wearing gloves she cleansed my skin, applied oil, and only dipping the applicator once before getting a new one, smoothed the wax straight from my elbow crease to my wrist almost on the entire width of the top of my arm. She must have applied the wax about five or six times on each arm to get all of the hair. It didn’t hurt, and she was really quick and thorough twisting and turning looking for missed hair and asking if I saw any stragglers.
However, wax is supposed to be applied in the direction of hair growth, and removed in the opposite direction to actually lift the hair up out of the root instead of missing it or breaking it. If you look at arm hair you'll notice it doesn’t grow down, but to the side. So she wasn't removing the hair in the complete opposite direction, but sideways.
Putting the wax in large vertical sections, instead of shorter horizontal ones, didn’t make the process any faster because she ended up having to go over the same section so many times to get all of the hair off. But I don’t actually blame the tech personally, when watching the company’s Our Vision & History Video (no longer online) it shows what looks like a trainer apply wax to the arm vertically.
Hard Wax with Paris Roots
All European Wax Centers use the same hard wax, developed in Paris specifically for their company, which is one of the most beautiful dark purple shades. The tech said their wax is different because it’s 100% beeswax. It doesn’t contain any alcohol, and like most other hard (stripless) waxes, it's applied at a warm temperature.
Most hard waxes can be used over the same area more than once, but not recommend any more than that. Their specific formulation must be very gentle because even though she applied the wax, like I said, about five or six times to an area, my arm was just slightly pink and only mildly irritated.
My Challenging Eyebrow Wax
Although it wasn't scheduled, I asked her if she had time for an eyebrow wax ($16), and she said "Yes". I explained my situation: I was very leery to get them waxed because I've had problems with my left eyebrow, it's sparse on the outer side and one wrong move could make me best friends with my eyebrow pencil for awhile. I saw on the table they had a laminated sheet of eyebrows styles, which she said they don't really use that often because most women have the shape they want already in place.
She had me lay back on the comfortable bed and did a really good job, and quickly, especially considering my sparse eyebrow issue. She didn't clean up the remaining hair with tweezers so they weren't fine-tuned like I'm used to, but I just trimmed them (get step-by-step on how to trim) and got the few strays later. But she was probably just extra cautious, and I would much rather do a little work myself than leave with brows that are too thin.
The Good and the Not So Good
All in all, I was done with both of my waxes in about 20 minutes -- very quick! I loved that she wore gloves and no double-dipping is company policy which are huge bonus points for me. Sanitation is so important because a person could get an infection or a disease (see: Is the Salon Clean or Dirty?).
I was disappointed they don't find out their guest's skincare routine and basic health information to see if it might be unsafe to wax. A lot of my arm hair grew back very quickly, which makes me believe some of it was broken below the skin's surface instead of being removed. This may have been because of the way the wax was applied. (See more: How to Wax)
To sum it up: Would I go back if a European Wax Center is opened where I live? Yes.