This one-stop grooming salon in Bacolod helps their employees fulfill their dreams

BEHIND THE CHAIR OF WAXCOVADO. Parlon CEO and Founder Claire Ongcangco video chats with Waxcovado's owner Kristine Yulo

Out of all the #BehindTheChair stories we’ve shared, there’s one thing we can agree on: beauty can be found wherever we are, if only we look closely. And this time, purpose and beauty takes us to the City of Smiles in Negros Occidental. 

Waxcovado, the first one-stop homegrown pampering salon in Bacolod, offers waxing, brow shaping, lash enhancements, nail care, and blow styling services—grooming essentials that women regularly need. Established in 2018 by Tin Yulo, a beauty and fashion enthusiast from Manila who built a life in Negros after marriage, Waxcovado has always been a salon with a purpose. 

WAXCOVADO QUEEN. Kristine 'Tin' Yulo, owner of the first homegrown grooming salon in Bacolod, Waxcovado

“In Manila, iba ‘yung pinupuntahan ko sa brows, iba pa ‘yung pinupuntahan ko for wax, and iba pa ‘yung sa nails,” Tin narrates. “So I wanted to put up something for moms and busy women, or kahit men din naman, na isang salon nalang. Hindi ka na magpapalipat-lipat pa.” 

Tin felt the need to break the ideal limitations of what a salon should only be and emphasize the importance of grooming.

Tin’s vision, while impressive and strong, is a tough feat considering that the salon landscape in Negros still has a long way to go. “In Negros, kapag sinabi mong salon, ang alam nila, haircut and hair color,” Tin says. This is why she felt the need to break the ideal limitations of what a salon should only be and emphasize the importance of grooming.

But Waxcovado’s purpose doesn’t just end there. 

Salon and Saving 101

THE GRAND OPENING. The beginning of the purposeful journey of Waxcovado

As a first-time salon owner, Tin vividly remembers how Waxcovado began. Back in 2018, when a new mall in Bacolod was about to rise, she inquired about leasing a space and got more inspired to put up her dream business. 

“I remember we started construction in September or October, kasi kailangan naming habulin 'yung December 14, 2018 na [mall] opening. Because if mag-open kami kasabay ng mall, meron kaming discount sa rent,” Tin recalls, saying that such deal is a huge help for them as a new brand in the industry.

Seeing other established salon brands finish up their construction work in a month didn’t make it easy for an emerging brand like Waxcovado who was, at the time, struggling with a series of hits and misses while building their space. 

The requirements of constructing a salon—from securing permits to sourcing materials to engineering work—caught Tin off-guard.  “We were at a loss. Hindi pa kami nagsisimula, napakarami ng challenges na mapapatanong ka sa sarili mo kung tama ba ‘yung pinasukan mo,” Tin says. Seeing other established salon brands finish up their construction work in a month didn’t make it easy for an emerging brand like Waxcovado who was, at the time, struggling with a series of hits and misses while building their space. 

ONE-STOP CARE SALON. Waxcovado offers grooming services that every woman need.

And still, Tin pushed through. With her husband by her side since the beginning, they finished construction merely a few hours before the mall opening and welcomed a new chapter in their lives as they started the business.  

Aside from making Waxcovado come to life, Tin was also busy building the future of her employees. 

“I remember I was praying lang na hindi kami ma-zero on the first day,” Tin tells us, saying that she felt worried that no one would go to Waxcovado given that other more well-known brands are also there. To her surprise, clients came flocking in to try their services. “I was so happy when we handled about 30 clients at the end of the day.” 

Aside from making Waxcovado come to life, Tin was also busy building the future of her employees. 

STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMEN. 80% of Waxcovado employees are single moms.

“When we started, we were undergoing training, pinakuha ko sila ng piece of paper each and asked them na isulat nila kung ano ‘yung goal nila, kung ano ‘yung dream nila—one long-term and one short-term,” Tin shares, saying that the most common response she got was that her employees wanted to have a house. 

As someone who was raised by a single mom, Tin unpacked a bigger purpose: she wanted to educate her staff about financial literacy. 

80% of the Waxcovado staff are single mothers who provide for their children and family and rely on their jobs to make a living. And as someone who was raised by a single mom, Tin unpacked a bigger purpose: she wanted to educate her staff about financial literacy. 

CLIENT AND EMPLOYEE SAFETY. Waxcovado makes their clients feel at ease while being pampered at the salon, and their employees protected while providing care.

From then on, Tin became not only an employer to her staff but also a financial advisor as well, teaching them about how they can make the most out of their salaries, have the right perspective when starting their own business, and a few household tricks that will help them budget their money and save up for their dream. 

Gusto ko naman na ‘yung pinaghirapan nila, may puntahan,” Tin says. “Pandemic or not, times are really uncertain. Pero if they have that frame of mind in terms of saving, mas maiiba ‘yung outlook nila.” 

Locked Down with Research 

RESEARCH-BASED SAFETY PROTOCOLS. From the PPE uniform of their staff to the safety equipment they use, Waxcovado developed an elaborate safety plan to prepare for the new normal.

In March 2020, even before the government issued the lockdown, Tin decided to temporarily close the salon and give her employees their full salaries for that month. 

“I told them, ‘Let’s just wait and see. Baka naman mag-o-open,’” Tin shares. When the lockdown extended for more than a month, she decided to continue giving out allowances to their people until they reopened in June. “It was a quick decision to give out allowances until the lockdown is over because I cannot sleep at night knowing na wala sila or ‘yung pamilya nilang kakainin.” 

Tin knows that in order to sustain the business, she needs to make changes in the salon and make clients feel safe to visit Waxcovado. 

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Tin always goes back to her purpose of securing the livelihood of her people. She knows that in order to sustain the business, she needs to make changes in the salon and make clients feel safe to visit Waxcovado. 

HEALTH SCREENING. Clients are required to have their temperature checked and are also disinfected.

“I used [the lockdown] as a time of researching on client safety,” Tin says. “I put great responsibility when clients go to Waxcovado because I know they are risking themselves by going out.” 

DEEP CLEANED & SANITIZED. Waxcovado invested in disposable bed covers and installed air purifiers in every waxing room.

Waxcovado developed and implemented research-based safety protocols that keep both their clients and employees safe.

“When a client comes in, we do a health screening. Then, no outside slippers or shoes were allowed. We give them disposable slippers and shoe covers. We disinfect them using Bactakleen. It’s safe and it’s non-toxic,” she says.

And even though sterilizing their tools and keeping their space clean is already a standard practice for their team, she still re-educated their staff about deep cleaning and disinfection. 

SAFE, BUT KEEP IT CLEAN AND CLASSY. Partitions were installed to give each client the space they need.

For their clients who can’t and don’t want to go out but still want to avail of their services, Waxcovado offers home service. If the client requests for it, they also do RT-PCR tests for their staff. “When they get pampered at their house, [our staff] are in their full PPE gear. The RT-PCR [test] is for their peace of mind.”

They also hired a company doctor to assist their employees in case they feel flu-like symptoms. Tin assures her employees, “if you have symptoms, don’t report na for 14 days and we’ll give you financial assistance.”

WELL-DESIGNED PPEs. In-clinic or home service, Waxcovado staff commits to safety by wearing full PPE gear in gray, blue, and pink.

If a client feels uneasy about going to the salon, Tin encourages people to contact them, ask about the protocols they have in place, and let them know what they can do to make you feel at ease. “From there, you can decide if that’s enough for you,” she says. 

Waxcovado’s dedication to safety is appreciated by their clients who visit them to be pampered, and her employees who continue to fulfill their mission to provide beauty and care.

No Regrets, Just Love for Beauty 

NEW NORMAL. Real care awaits behind the glass doors of Waxcovado.

Tin’s story is proof that when you marry purpose and beauty, you thrive. No matter what. 

Even if the salon industry has been considered ‘non-essential’ because of the pandemic, she still thinks that she’s right where she’s supposed to be. 

"I think there’s power in making somebody happy even for a short period of time.”

“I have no regrets that I am in this business,” Tin says. “Because even in this pandemic, when our clients go in, they feel renewed, they feel happy. And I think there’s power in making somebody happy even for a short period of time.”

At a time when the future seems bleak, Tin believes simple things like having properly-groomed brows, waxing your upper lip, and cleaning your nails are little things we can do to make ourselves happy.

NO REGRETS. For Tin, having Waxcovado in this time of pandemic reaffirmed her purpose.

“P200 lang ‘yon, pero malayo ang narating kasi sa amount na ‘yun, you were happy,” she says. “Gusto ko i-educate ‘yung clients na ikaw sa sarili mo, maganda ka na. You don’t need a lot to feel beautiful.”

"You don't need a lot to feel beautiful."

The more she stays in the business, the more Tin realizes what her purpose is—and that is to provide employment to her employees, and at the same time, provide happiness to their clients. 

WAXCOVADO'S PURPOSE. Providing livelihood to their people and care to their clients.

“The purpose of why I am here in this business, during the pandemic, is reaffirmed,” our Waxcovado queen says. 

And why would it not? When Waxcovado came to Tin’s life 3 years ago, she was ready. But most importantly, she had God’s blessing. 

Visit Waxcovado at 3F Ayala Capitol Central Mall, Gatuslao St., Bacolod City in Negros Occidental. Check out Waxcovado's Parlon page to know more of the services they offer.

Behind The Chair is a series of beautiful and purposeful stories amidst the pandemic as told by salon and wellness professionals. It aims to raise awareness on the challenges faced by the industry that has physical care and interactions at its core, and how they adapted to survive and stay in business. Powered by Parlon, the Philippines’ first go-to platform for beauty and wellness services.