BrooklynButtah: I’m really interested in what it is that you do because you’re licensed to do waxing. First and foremost, what got you into that?
Jacqueline Barimah: I’ve always been really good with my hands. My mother studied cosmetology when she was younger; growing up I saw her doing hair. I got a wax kit as an early teen and I attempted to do waxing on myself but that didn’t really go over well at all. I would try it here and there but then I just gave up on it. Then, one day I stumbled upon an ad for a waxing course, which is a 75-hour course, that you take to become fully licensed in waxing. It immediately peaked my interest and I became a licensed wax specialist that way.
BrooklynButtah: You went to school at Temple University, go Owls! What did you study?
Jacqueline Barimah: I studied Finance. I always knew I wanted to be a business student but as I was studying Finance I knew that that wouldn’t be for me. So, I was like okay this is actually good that I have the business background. I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship though. That’s mainly what I’m headed towards. I actually started Temple as an entrepreneurship major.
BrooklynButtah: What made you switch?
Jacqueline Barimah: I don’t even know. I think I wanted to be more focused on one thing. Like entrepreneurship is so broad. I wanted to focus on one thing because thinking of starting a business, one of the most important things that you have are your finances. You have to make sure everything is good so that was part of my reason behind doing finance.
BrooklynButtah: That makes sense and you naturally found your way back to what you wanted to do in the first place.
Jacqueline Barimah: I actually worked at Estée Lauder. I worked at Origins for a little bit. I was with the natural skincare so I learned a little bit about skincare in general and that sparked my interest in starting my own skincare line. Every time I wax someone, they say ‘okay what should I do’ and when I tell them to exfoliate they ask me if I have any recommendations for an exfoliator and I’m like not yet but give me a little time and I got you.
BrooklynButtah: What made you connect waxing to Waxual? How did this apparel come to light?
Jacqueline Barimah: Well, a lot of people didn’t know that I was doing waxing so I came up with the idea of just having something that’ll say ‘I’d wax that’ and when they ask it’s like ‘oh, I’m a licensed waxing specialist.’ So I’m like okay, something cute like a T-shirt that is self-explanatory to most people because they understand it, they get it when they see the wax strip. Others have different thoughts about what ‘I’d wax that’ stands for. To a whole bunch of women who get waxed all the time it’s like ‘oh you wax that… so you wax?’ and it’s like ‘yeah I wax.’ I met a lot of women of color who told me they usually get waxed by someone who doesn’t really know their hair type. So, it interests them and they trust me enough to know what to do with their hair all over their body.
BrooklynButtah: That’s so interesting especially that they’re thinking about hair type and how that might affect getting waxed. What are some cosmetic do’s and don’ts that women, specifically women of color, need to know when it comes to going for a wax?
Jacqueline Barimah: Well, as women of color we have really curly hair so after a wax we’re really prone to ingrown hairs. That’s just something that most people just have. They have ingrown hair that’s so bothersome but that’s because once you get waxed, when the hair is growing back out, if it’s curly, it’ll go a different direction and it won’t come out the way it should. The hair stays under the skin and that’s how ingrown hairs are produced.
BrooklynButtah: What are some ways to prevent that?
Jacqueline Barimah: Well, preventing can come from a really good wax specialist who really analyzes the way your hair grows. When you wax, you’re supposed to analyze the way the hair grows and wax in correlation to that. So, going to a professional definitely helps alleviate that. Also, to cure it you should exfoliate. I know a lot of people don’t really think to exfoliate down there. They’re more focused on exfoliating their face. But, in order to help prevent and cure ingrown hairs you should exfoliate because that helps get rid of the dead layers of skin and it’ll help the hair push through.
I’m actually working on Waxual skin care right now. So, I’m going to be introducing my new exfoliating scrub pretty soon for the Brazilian area.
BrooklynButtah: In coming up with the skin care line, what is the process that you have to go about in this new creation?
Jacqueline Barimah: Right now, I’m doing natural products. So, everything that I’m making is in my kitchen. I’ve been researching what’s good for the skin, what you can use to exfoliate, what oils are necessary in healing the skin and helping it. It’s all just trial and error. I actually created my first exfoliator and I gave out a couple of samples to friends and I have them trying it and letting me know how it’s working for them. I’m trying it as well.
BrooklynButtah: That’s super dope. So, right now are you only waxing out of your own professional studio?
Jacqueline Barimah: Well, I actually worked at European Wax Center and I currently work in my home. I recently moved out and now I have my own apartment. So, I have my own wax bed and my whole set up here so I usually do waxing from here. I’m also certified in eyelash extensions.
BrooklynButtah: How do you get some people who’ve never been waxed before to feel comfortable to get it done?
Jacqueline Barimah: It’s all about making someone feel comfortable. Letting them know all the steps and all the processes that are going on, like if I’m cleansing the skin or if I’m adding oil to moisturize or if I’m adding the baby powder. I walk them through everything they should be doing post Brazilian so they’re educated. Also, creating a light environment because Brazilians are never fun. Keeping clients laughing has definitely helped with that or just making them speak to me because when they’re talking they’re caught up in their stories and they just forget that they’re getting waxed. Not really, but it helps enough that it’s not at the forefront of their brain.
BrooklynButtah: From here what are some things you see for yourself going forward? What do you want to accomplish aside from this new skin care venture?
Jacqueline Barimah: One of my ultimate goals is to have a waxing spa. Probably in the next couple of years I’ll have a small spa somewhere in Manhattan that caters to African American hair and waxing, and getting girls more educated. Bringing them in and letting them know this is a comfortable place for them to come in, get waxed, and have fun.
BrooklynButtah: Are you working full time right now?
Jacqueline Barimah: Yes. I work for New York City [starting Tuesday] helping minority and women owned business enterprises start, operate, and expand their businesses. I’ve always been big on helping people monetize on their talents and helping them start their businesses and just working towards what they enjoy doing. So, I’m very excited about that. Once I get back into the 9-5, I’ll be surrounded by entrepreneurs helping them. I’ll also be helping myself in the process because I’ll be around them seeing how they’re running and operating their business and learning more about business in general.
BrooklynButtah: That’s an incredible opportunity. Congratulations. So, are you looking to host any beauty events in the future?
Jacqueline Barimah: I am. Where we met at the Shades of Beauty event, one of the things I look back on and I thought about was that I should’ve had my wax station set up because that would’ve been a fun little thing. So, I think the next vendor event that I’m going to do, I will have my wax station set up. Even if it’s not for Brazilian and it’s for eyebrows or places that can be shown on camera.
Also, June 9 I’m having a popup shop at Bakare Lounge on 207th street with another person that was at the Shades of Beauty event. It’s going to be $5 appetizers, $5 drinks. We’ll have some products there. We’ll be there speaking to guests and selling our merchandise.
BrooklynButtah: Anything else we should know?
Jacqueline Barimah: If you go to Waxual.com you can actually book an appointment to get waxed or get eyelash extensions. And of course, the products are up there.