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Ask Lydia

05 February 2020

ask-lyd

 

ASK LYDIA

Welcome to the first (hopefully of many!) in this series of posts. We hope to use this platform to explore and educate our lovely readers on many topics including but not limited to: our products & the ingredients that we use, skincare, salon spotlights and stories from our industry.

In this post we are putting LYCON’s CEO and founder Lydia Jordane in the spotlight – although one might argue that she requires no introduction at all. She has been arming therapists (now in over 75 countries) with premium waxing products since 1978, and is one of the reasons why clients all over the world no longer dread their waxing appointments.

With so many young female business owners choosing to use the LYCON brand in their beauty services, it is amazing to see just how successful waxing can be with hard work, great techniques and excellent products! You may remember that we put out an open call on social media in December giving you the chance to ask our incredible leading lady some of your burning questions, and we were delighted to get so many fantastic ones. So, without further ado, we will let Lydia take the floor…

 

Hannah Rowe (Facebook): Hi Lydia! How did you come up with the idea for this amazing wax?

 

Hi Hannah, good question.  I also wonder how it all happened, as I really didn’t have a plan to create a business.  It kind of had its own beating heart in many ways.  When I migrated to Australia in 1964 with my parents, I was 14 and I didn’t realise I was hairy, as where I came from (Macedonia) women in those days didn’t remove body hair. It was in fact a cultural taboo.  Surprise surprise, a couple of months after I landed in Australia, I learned enough English to understand that my school friends were talking about shaving their legs in readiness for swimming class and the summer.  It was only then that I realised I was the exception at the school with hairy legs and under arms.  That night when I went home, I had a single mission to shave my legs which I hated, as the hairs were so prickly and they caught on my bed sheets at night.  I also tried depilatory creams, which were somewhat better, but they irritated my sensitive skin, so that was not much joy either.

Three years later in my final year of high school, I read an article about different methods of hair removal in an American magazine, called Seventeen.  They explained about tweezing, shaving, depilatory creams, electrolyses and waxing.  I knew about all of them, but not about waxing.  Waxing sounded very interesting as it has the sort of benefits I couldn’t have with shaving.  Seventeen explained that with waxing the hairs are pulled out from the root, and the new hair that grows weeks later is soft (as it is a new hair and grows with a point), not blunt and sharp.   It also said that with regular waxing the hair growth becomes less and hairless patches develop.  This was like music to my ears.

At that time, I was in my final year of high school and I often used to go to a reference library to research things for my school assignments.  On one occasion I looked up depilatory wax, and found a book with a formula in it, which I jotted down with the thought of maybe making it up.

My father was a cosmetic chemist, he used to make skincare products.  He never made wax, because in Europe hair removal on the body was not the ‘done’ thing.  I knew the ingredients he had, as I was his chief interpreter when he was ordering ingredients for his skincare.   There was just one ingredient he didn’t have, which was pine resin.  I managed to track down a supplier and set off to mix the wax formula I had seen in the book at the library.  At which time I had no plans of creating a business at all, it was just a fun experiment for me. 

I worked it out and then had to teach myself how to use the wax.   Ten years later, I was married and had children, and I became a beauty therapist; armed with my wax, which I used to call Lydia’s Wax.  My salon business grew and I reluctantly started to sell the wax to other salons, because they had heard about the amazing wax I was using and my ever growing clientele.   Not long after, I changed the wax name to LYCON wax and sold it all over Australia. Now it is exported to over 75 countries and growing year upon year, with thousands of therapists and many thousands of their clients loving LYCON.

Over the years we have improved the wax formulas and have added a lot of new waxes to the range. As well as many skincare products for the body. 

My father died in the early 80’s, so he sadly didn’t see all the developments.  I got divorced in 1990 and have been running the business on my own since then.

 

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Jordancasey_beauty (Instagram): Lydia is an inspirational lady who has created the best wax I have ever used… Did you ever have a different career in mind growing up? And what gave you the determination to fight to become as successful as you are? Being a business woman is hard – blood, sweat and tears went into my business but it is also the best thing I have ever done. Would be an honour to hear back from you.

 

Hello Jordancasey_beauty

Thank you for your lovely recognition of LYCON and me. Very kind! Thank you!

I migrated to Australia with my parents when I was 14 in 1964.  At that time, I spoke 3 languages.  I then also studied and picked up a couple more languages, as my aspiration at that point was to become a linguist.  But in those days, linguists in Australia were not in great demand. 

At that point, I didn’t have any determination to become ‘successful’.  I did however need to make money to help along with the family budget.  I was married, had 2 young children, we were doing up an old house, which was costly and my husband’s salary didn’t stretch very far.   I worked for an airline in reservations before my children were born, then after the children, I was a stay at home mum.   I became a beauty therapist at 28 years old, when my girls were just 2 and 4.  All we needed as a family was an extra $10.00 per week to live more comfortably and get some perks, like a colour TV and a dishwasher and pick up Kentucky Fried chicken on Friday nights if we felt like it.

My first job as a beauty therapist was 12 hours per week and I earned about $50.00 per week, which was big money for the family.   It became difficult to ferry the girls around to baby sitters for the time I worked for someone, so I started a salon at home.   I already had the wax which I made just for my self about 12 years before that and I started to sell it to other salons and the business took me over.   I liked being taken over and this is where LYCON was born and has been a great part and companion in my life ever since.  I have been running LYCON as a sole proprietor for the past 30 years, with many wonderful staff that have been amazing and shared and still share my vision. on my own with staff for the past 30 years, which I still enjoy and love. 

 

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The Beauty Barn Heage (Instagram): I just love love love your brand and my clients are as obsessed with it as I am. More of a business question than a wax one and a big one for me at the minute – how do you find a good work/life balance, especially in the early days? I have just started my own business and though I absolutely love it, I don’t want to crash and burn. I am finding my brain is in work mode 24/7!

 

Hi The Beauty Barn Heage

That is a fabulous question.   Oh, how I struggle with work life balance and I always have.

It all depends at what stage of life you are at and whether you have a partner, children and any other commitments you have.  For me in the early days, it was difficult.   The business for the first 10 years, manufacturing, beauty salon, holding seminars, all of it was in my marital home. 

I had 2 daughters when I started the business - 2 and 4 years old.  It was all happening all around them.   I did the salon work, took wax orders, packed the orders, took them down to the post office to post every day.  A few years later, I ran around taking the girls to school and various after school activities.  I had an older lady that used to do housework for me, washing and also walked the girls to and from school a lot of the time.  It was great help and very necessary.  My mother often did my washing and ironing, as well as cooking quite often, bless her.  But I still didn’t have a good work/life balance every day - and this was in the early 80’s. 

But in those days, there was one thing that was different - there was no internet.  All we had was a land line phone and an old ordinary portable type writer.   I could type letters at night, but I didn’t have to do many, as most of the communication was done via phone during the day.  People used to ring in their orders.  So, at night and weekends there was no time being taken by social media (with so much to follow and reply to).  Therefore, there was more time with the family at night. But then again, I used to make the wax at night when the children went to bed.  

Nowadays it is very different to those days.  I now make sure I have down time for me and to catch up with friends and family.   But I literally have to make myself go out, make catch up appointments, otherwise I would be on my laptop until all hours of the night as well as early in the morning - with little sleep, attending to emails, questions, literature to be written and many other things that need to be done.

You see, I am not the boss.  It is LYCON who is my boss.   It has a life of its own, it demands to be nurtured and taken care of.  But I love my work and I live on my own, so my work/life balance does not affect me as it would if my children were still young.

I know women who are in our type of business and they set strict rules for themselves; they will have certain times of the day that they are not on the phone or attending to anything on the internet or social media.  It takes a lot of will power to do that. I find those kinds of rules very difficult to stick to, as there is so much to attend to. If I’m not constantly ‘on it’, I feel like I am letting people down.  I find it less stressful to get things done, rather than having things hanging over my head.  

Rewards for hard and long hours are important.  On the weekend I do reward myself with hours of not attending to emails. I do things for me, with my daughters, granddaughter and friends as much as I can.  

In short, it is not easy to create a good work/life balance and it very much depends on what each person really needs or wants.   For me, I am happy with what I do and it doesn’t bother me how much I have to do.  I don’t stress about it, I just go with the flow and do the best I can, which is the way I have balance in my life.  My moto is to enjoy everything that I do or need to do, no matter what I might be missing out on.   If I love what I do, then I feel I cannot be missing out on so much.

 

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Sarah Fletcher (Facebook):  Hi Lydia.  My question is a simple one I think. Please can you define the amount of hair and where, as per service. So basic, high leg, Brazilian and Hollywood are the names I use. I always get told by my clients that when they recommend me to their friends that they tell them I take off more than what they were expecting.

 

Hi Sarah, 

People and salons often call the different types of Brazilian by different names.   What I think they are is:

Basic – bikini line.

High Leg – a higher bikini line.

Brazilian – this can be a landing strip, or some hair on the front left on.  In Brazil they actually do not remove the hair on the inner part of the labia.  However, the anus is done (which can also be optional)

Hollywood – is usually when all the hair is removed, front and back, all of it. 

Many people and salons refer to Brazilians as all off.  

It is best to first to discuss with your client how much hair they would like removed.  They might be thinking one thing and you do another.  So, a straight forward consultation is the best thing.   A lot of it depends on what a client has in their head, and also depends on their body shape, how much hair they have and of course how much they would like you to remove. There are personal preferences to consider and what looks better to them; but you can always suggest what you think would suit them best.  Once you have discussed the treatment with your client, it is important to stick to what you have both agreed to.  It is not a good thing to remove more hair than what has been discussed.  Don’t forget, you can always remove more if you complete the treatment as agreed and they realise they would like a bit more off.  So best not to remove too much in the first place.  

Another important thing is: if they want some hair left on the front, make sure it is waxed symmetrically.   If you do not wax them symmetrically, then you need to fix it and wax some more in the attempt to make it symmetrical.   But this way, you might keep removing hair…left, right, left, right and before you know it, you may remove too much.

 

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Kathy Matthews (Facebook): Hi Lydia. I love your products and I'm sure you’ve been asked this but are you ever going to make your block wax in pellets of chunks so I don't need a hammer and weird looks from people when I am breaking the wax up?!! 😂

 

Hi Kathy, thank you for your question and for loving LYCON.

We might create beaded wax at some stage, but it won’t happen in the immediate future.   What I recommend is to break the wax up and put the broken wax in a plastic container.  If you use a few different waxes, you will need a few containers.  The good news is you only need to buy them once and they last for ever.  Put the name of the wax on the front of the container.   Depending on how much wax you go through, you can choose a container size that is more suitable for your situation.   Ikea has great containers with lids, they are cheap and they stack up nicely.

 

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Michelle Mybelle Tona (Facebook): Hi Lydia thank you for creating a brand of wax that actually no other company has yet even to compete with! My question is: Could your LYCON WAX training be put into levels study, practice, knowledge etc. to encourage more waxologists to update, critique ourselves to ever higher standards of use of LYCON wax techniques etc? Thank you !

 

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your question and for your love of LYCON.   

Our agents do hold classes regularly, the problem is that many waxologists do not think they need to update themselves, which I find when I teach all the time.  No matter how many years they have been waxing, it could be 25, 30 or less, everyone is surprised how much they end up learning and how they actually mater some great waxing technique improvements.   But sometime it takes a bit of a push for them to actually do something differently.