There are relaxing spa treatments, and then there are those that are downright decadent— even life-changing, according to some.
Body wraps certainly fall into the latter category, making them one of the most popular spa serve available for those looking for an indulgent, head-to-toe service.
You can supplement your esthetician’s toolkit by offering a host of body wraps, certain to delight your clients and your bottom line.
Here’s the lowdown on body wrapping and its importance to your business:
An Esthetician’s Guide to Body Wrapping
As the name suggests, body wrapping involves wrapping or covering the body with treated bandages or a substance like mud or seaweed leaves. The outcome of body wrapping varies depending on what is being used to wrap the body. While some body wraps are designed to slim or tone the body, others are designed to relax and sooth muscles. Some are designed to hydrate or firm the skin, while others ease inflammation and help ease aching joints.
Body wrapping also includes substances applied to the skin and sealed in with Mylar foil or thermoplastic wraps, thus creating a “cocoon effect.” Wrapping is often supplemented with heat, generally via heated blankets or pre-warmed wraps.
The Body Wrapping Process
You would first ask your client to change into their personal swimwear or underwear. After the solution or wrap is applied, the client rests for a period of time, allowing the wrap’s ingredients to penetrate the skin. Many times, the client rests in a quiet, dimly lit room, often accompanied with soft music to add to the relaxing effect of the wrap.
After the wrap or product is removed, a warm, wet towel is used to remove any residual product. A moisturizer is then applied.
Professional Body Wrapping Supplies
Professional body wrapping supplies are necessary if you want to offer your clients an assortment of body wraps. Some of the supplies offered through beauty supply companies include:
- Mylar blanket
- Thermoplastic sheets
- Seaweed gel/powder
- Thermal Mylar foil sheets
- Linen wrap
- Elastic bandages
- Full heat blanket
- Cheesecloth roll
- Herbal bags
Who Shouldn’t Be Wrapped
Although body wrapping is generally a safe spa service, there are some people who should not be wrapped. Women who are pregnant or think they are pregnant, for example, should not undergo any heated body wrap, as it could raise their body temperature to unsafe levels. Clients with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions should also avoid heated body wraps.
Body wrapping may also not be ideal for clients with claustrophobia.
Different Types of Body Wraps
There are many types of body wraps and a host of variations based on the types of substances soaked into the bandages. However, the major types of body wraps include:
Seaweed wraps may be applied as paste or as leaves and are often applied warm. Seaweed body wraps nourish and detoxify the skin, as they are rich in vitamins and amino acids.
Clay body wraps detoxify and firm the skin and draw out impurities as they dry. Many types of clay may be used, and essential oils are often added. Clay body wraps also increase circulation and offer muscle relaxation and pain relief. The mud is applied to the skin and, after resting for a period of time, wet, warm towels are used to remove it. This type of body wrap often follows an exfoliating shower or body polish.
Compression body wraps, used for their temporary slimming benefits, consist of bandages soaked in minerals, herbs, and/or essential oils. The bandages are wrapped snugly on the body for an extended period of time (usually about an hour). Heat or plastic wrap may be added to encourage sweating and the loss of inches on areas of the body like the hips, stomach, and buttocks.
Clients should drink large quantities of water following a compression treatment (usually about 64 ounces) to re-hydrate and flush the toxins.
Herbal body wraps consist of herb/oil-soaked cloths that are applied to the skin to heal and detoxify. The goal of these wraps is to produce smoother, firmer skin. Many times, herbal wraps include essential oils designed to provide aromatic benefits.
Cream/oil body wraps nourish and moisturize the skin. A thick cream or oil, such as aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, or sweet almond oil, is applied to the skin and the skin is covered with a warm blanket. Essential oils are often part of a cream/oil body wrap to add to the relaxation effect.
Advanced Esthetician Training in Body Wrapping
The application of seaweed, mineral-soaked wraps, and mud requires training, often at an advanced level. Although spa training is part and parcel of any esthetician program leading to initial state licensure, advanced training in body wrapping provides practicing estheticians with a deeper understanding of the benefits of the many different natural products used for their medicinal properties. Advanced training also helps estheticians develop the dexterity and attention to detail needed to apply wraps in a way that is most effective.
An advanced course/program in body wrapping for estheticians encompasses the history, efficacy, and safety of using a variety of materials for body wrapping. Many programs also teach students how to make their own body wrap blends.
Hands-on training is an important part of a body wrapping course for estheticians, as it provides estheticians with the opportunity to administer and receive a variety of different body wraps for an experiential understanding of the process and healing benefits.
A couple of states require estheticians to receive additional training and/or certification in order to provide body wrapping services. For example, estheticians in Florida must take a 12-hour body wrapping course to meet the qualifications necessary to register as a body wrapper under Chapter 477 of the Florida statutes.