By Janine Puhak
Published February 17, 2021
That’s just got to hurt.
The Kapsalon Freedom hair salon in Gemert, Netherlands, had shot to stardom on the video-sharing platform in recent months for its full-face hot wax treatment, the BBC reported this week. During the salon's service, wax is applied across a customer's face, mouth, neck — and even sometimes the inside of their ears and nose — and allowed to harden before being stripped away. Cotton swabs are apparently used to create air passages during the procedure, with strips of paper applied to protect eyebrows and eyelashes.
Some of Kapsalon Freedom’s more dramatic clips have been viewed millions of times online, with one video racking up nearly 20 million alone.
Though the act surely yanks unruly hairs, experts are warning against it for safety’s sake.
"Waxing is a traumatic process for the skin, especially sensitive areas such as those found around the eyes," Dr. Anjali Mahto, a London dermatologist, told the Evening Standard. "Attempting to wax inside your nose or ears is not recommended, as it can damage the skin deep inside these cavities and can cause ingrown hairs and inflammation, known as pseudofolliculitis barbae."
Mahto added that ridding hairs in the nose, especially, strips away "a natural layer of protection against bacteria and germs."
Also of concern, the British Skin Foundation has raised red flags after the Dutch barbershop posted videos of young boys receiving the treatment, the BBC reports.
"Personally I would not recommend treating children," dermatologist Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, also of London, told the outlet of the craze.
Furthermore, she stressed that TikTok should consider restricting such content with warnings or advisories.
"There is a lot of misinformation and potentially harmful DIY beauty practices on TikTok and other social-media channels," Wedgeworth argued. "And it would be good to see these more tightly regulated."
At present, a number of dangerous crazes have rocked the platform as it’s become more popular, including the "skull breaker challenge," the "Benadryl challenge" and another in which participants were grinding their teeth with nail files. Most recently, a woman was chided online for accidentally styling her hair with Gorilla Glue, a stunt some criticized as a shameless publicity stunt.