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Written by: Susan Etter
Whether you are from the era of Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy or Adele, it’s hard not to appreciate what amazing lashes can do not only for the eyes but the whole face. They are the easiest way to brighten a face and create a dramatic look even without makeup. The latest offerings in brow and lash extensions give such a natural look, it’s no wonder lash and brow bars are popping up all over the country. However, these particular beauty offerings seem to strike fear in the hearts of salon and spa insurance carriers. The reason for this is not overly clear, perhaps because most insurance providers don’t understand the nature of these treatments. To prevent potential fallouts, it’s important to understand your coverage options and the best ways to decrease the chance for costly mistakes.
Know the Risks
You should be sure to review your policy coverage and exclusions carefully, or better yet have a good agent that can do this for you. Do this before starting to offer these treatments, as some carriers can cancel your policy if they find out you are performing certain services such as eyelash extensions. Go into any expansion in your business with your eyes wide open — and beautifully adorned of course!
The first step in reducing risks is to provide quality services. For eyelash extensions, be sure you are using high quality eyelashes and glue; this can mitigate the risk of an allergic reaction. Provide extensive training for your technicians, as the technique used to apply lashes takes finesse and practice. Just like any profession, consider having one or two people specialize in this service. This can help prevent the likelihood of getting glue in the eye or causing a corneal abrasion. Threading or waxing eyebrows and other facial hair can open the skin to a higher risk of infection or picking up MRSA. Be sure to keep your wax pot clean and sanitary, as well as at a constant temperature. Waxing burns are very common insurance claims for salons and spas. It is also important to work with onetime use equipment and keep a sterile environment. Finally, be very clear with aftercare instructions. Send the client home with written details; do not expect them to remember what you said during the visit. For eyelash extensions, include cautions like staying away from water and hot steamy areas for 24 hours, to not pull or tug on eyelashes, what can happen if regular mascara is applied, what happens when makeup remover reacts with eyelash glue and, most importantly, what to expect when the eyelashes have grown out.
Protect Your Practice
If your insurance policy doesn’t cover these procedures, stand-alone policies are available to cover the professional exposure brought forth with these services. Then if you want to keep your current policy in place, you can. Otherwise, some insurance carriers cover all services within a practice, as well as general liability and property coverage. Many policies for independent contractors start as low as $150 – $200 annually for professional and general liability coverage. Property coverage tends to be additional. Full salon and spa policies can usually be obtained for about $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the size of the operation. As with any policy, be sure that the insurance company or agent understands all of your operations, including your retail sales of take home products. Eyelash growing and strengthening solutions are also growing in popularity and can present a minor professional exposure if you instruct the client in the office on how to apply the serum. Once you’ve properly covered yourself and your business, lash and brow treatments can be quite an asset to your beauty business. Eyelash extensions specifically have a high return on investment when looking at the cost of the procedure for the client versus the materials needed to perform the service. Needing a fill-in or touch-up every six to eight weeks keeps the customers coming back. While trends and treatments may come and go, this is one extravagance that could easily become a staple in the lives of many women of all backgrounds. After all, who doesn’t like pretending to be Adele while singing in the car?