Dermatologists warn against viral face wax TikTok trend

A barbershop in the Netherlands is generating a lot of attention on TikTok after posting videos of an elaborate face-waxing procedure.

Dermatologists are concerned that the videos, which have racked up millions of views, will inspire copycats and amateur attempts.

The clip’s creators, from the Kapsalon Freedom barbershop, are professionals who are following all sorts of safety procedures — like using eye protection and Q-tips for air pathways — but the trend is dividing doctors and TikTok viewers over whether it’s actually safe.

In the videos, the barbers are shown coating clients’ faces with hot wax, even inserting Q-tips covered in wax into their noses for nose hairs. Most of the customers seem to be men, so the wax is typically wrapped almost fully around their heads in order to clean up the back of their haircuts and reach inside their ears.

Some customers even get their bodies waxed at the same time.

After the wax dries, the barbers gently tug and pull the wax off their customers’ faces.

“Hi, licensed esthetician here,” one TikTok commenter wrote. “Don’t do this, never do this.”

“It looks so painful,” another lamented.

One of the barbers at Kapsalon Freedom barbershop, Renaz Ismael, told the BBC that the concern over face waxing is unwarranted. Ismael, who grew up in the Middle East, said it’s a very common practice.

“It’s not bad for your skin,” he added.

Some dermatologists are not necessarily on the same page.

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) raised concerns that anyone attempting the procedure at home could seriously damage their skin, particularly the very thin and sensitive skin around the eyes.

“Attempting to wax inside your nose or ears is not recommended,” BAD told the BBC.

There’s also no control when it comes to applying hot wax. If some were to dip into a person’s airway or ear, it could harden and then require surgery to remove.

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