After hundreds of hours of running anesthesia at an Emergency and Specialty Veterinary Referral Center outside of Denver for most of my vet tech career, I felt like I had a second calling. My love for helping animals had started at a very young age, growing up on a beautiful ranch in California, riding horses in my back yard, and always having multiple dogs and cats to snuggle. That love for nurturing had slowly evolved to wanting to help people as well. I had always loved getting new and trendy skincare products for myself, and couldn’t wait to do my daily skincare routines. Skincare made me feel great on the outside, as well as the inside! Knowing how great clear, healthy skin made me feel as I grew up and appreciated it, I knew I wanted to help others achieve their best skin and the highest level of self confidence within them as possible!
When I began Esthetician school in 2019, I was sure that I wanted to specialize in medical grade skin care. I had a business name picked out, and pictured myself changing peoples lives through their skin health. I advanced my education by completing certifications in microneedling, chemical peels, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion, with plans to offer these outstanding services to clients and friends. My teachers were also so passionate about skin health, and I really feel like I gained so much from them when it came to product and ingredient knowledge. I was literally obsessed.
Upon graduating from Colorado Advanced Aesthetics in January 2020, I passed both my written and practical state boards weeks before covid struck. Talk about stressed. Here I was, taking a leap of faith into a brand new career in my early 30’s, just to have it all put on pause. Although Estheticians were unfortunately not essential, vet techs sure were, and I was very fortunate to have my first career to fall back on for the following year while we all struggled during such a crazy time.
Fast forward to spring 2021 and I found my first esthetic job working at a women owned full body waxing studio that specialized in Brazilians. I loved the idea of working for a small business, and really took the opportunity to master my craft at hard wax Brazilian waxing. Let me tell you, averaging 12-15 custom Brazilian waxes a day with 5 different types of hard wax to choose from, the mastering came quick. I also was very fortunate in having the opportunity to bring on new services within the company, and created my own facial protocols to be able to soon fulfill my clients ultimate skin dreams.
Once I began offering skincare services, I very soon realized the disconnect between in office skincare and at home skincare. I felt like I was unable to provide the “one and done” miracle treatment that we all want, and often felt like a sales woman trying to convince clients that they needed to follow up with at home skincare (with quality products which of course equals spending more money). The truth was that I didn’t like that salesy feeling, and felt like I was letting clients down, even though I 100% knew that anything realistic takes a lot of time and that I was giving them the best recommendations to see positive outcomes. Our skin didn’t get like this overnight and it will not make a drastic change that fast either! I liked the outcome of hair removal via waxing, as it was fast and clients could immediately see what they were paying for, of course by being smooth and hair free.
Working at the full body waxing studio, I had waxed it all, and realized that there has got to be another way, for people that truly want this hair gone for good. I had looked into getting my laser hair reduction certification, but knew that laser is truly hair “reduction”, not at all true hair “removal”. I also didn’t like the fact that laser has been mis-marketed as removal for years, and felt like paradoxical hypertrichosis was far less talked about with potential laser clients than it should be (details on those two fancy and scary words in another blog to come).
One I began to research permanent hair removal within my industry, the word Electrolysis immediately came up. I knew that it had something to do with “killing” one hair at a time, and remember my mom saying that she got Electrolysis in the 90’s, and that it HURT! I looked up getting licensed in Electrolysis, and found out that not all states require training or a license to perform this modality of true permanent hair removal, and Colorado was one of them. I was shocked! I found a job at a local Electrolysis studio that offered certification in Electrolysis through a school in California, a state where of course you need a license to do literally anything! I loved the idea of being able to help people permanently remove unwanted hair, knowing in all honesty that unwanted hair can lower our self confidence and self image just as much, if not more than skin concerns do. I knew I would find that feeling in helping others by being able to help women that were struggling with hormone imbalances that cause unwanted male pattern hair growth (hirsutism) and also help the transgender community prior to gender affirming surgeries. Lastly, I was very excited to receive advanced training in Electrolysis, even though the state Colorado wouldn’t acknowledge it, I knew my clients would appreciate it!
After a lot of extensive hands on and tedious bookwork to receive my certification of completion, and after performing Electrolysis for about a year and a half now, I will say I have definitely found my niche. Don’t get me wrong, I still offer and provide my fair share of hard wax Brazilian’s (can’t let that skill go to waste and my waxing clients would hunt me down)! I love seeing new faces in my studio, and have loved evolving into a new business woman. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding hair removal of any kind, or if you have any skin concerns that you’d like to chat about! Next up on the list of topics for discussion, paradoxical hypertrichosis. Bye guys!
Shelley, Owner and Operator of SMOOTH - Electrolysis by Shelley