Brought to you by Treatwell, in partnership with
Public Health England


Brought to you by Treatwell, in partnership with Public Health England


Who is Treatwell?

Treatwell is Europe's leading online marketplace for booking hair and beauty. Treatwell’s team, of over 500 people across Europe, is changing the way people book beauty appointments online – with over 25,000 salons and spas listed, and more than 10 million people booking their hair and beauty through the platform every year.

Who is Public Health England?

Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. Public Health England is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. For more information on PHE visit or follow us on Twitter @PHE_uk.

What is ‘Life Saving Wax’?

Around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and around 690 women die from the disease. It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.
Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts, yet the number of eligible women attending their cervical screening is at a 20-year low – particularly in the 25 – 34 age group. According to research, feeling embarrassed, fear of pain or discomfort, not having the time or not knowing the tests purpose are some of the main reasons why women are not attending.
However, we don’t see the same barriers when it comes to intimate waxing – in fact, it is on the increase. Therefore, given the number of women engaging in waxing treatments in the UK, ‘Life Saving Wax’ was born as a new partnership between Treatwell (the UK’s largest online marketplace for booking hair and beauty treatments) and Public Health England (PHE).
Using the unique dynamic between a beauty therapist and client and in the ‘safe space’ of the salon treatment room, ‘Life Saving Wax’ is opening up the conversation around cervical screening. It is providing opportunities for beauty therapists to bring up the subject with clients in an appropriate way. Armed with key facts and a supportive attitude, they will be encouraging women to see screening as a potentially life-saving part of their self-care routine and encouraging people to talk about it with friends and family.

How are ‘Life Saving Wax’ and ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ related?

‘Life Saving Wax’ has been launched by Treatwell in partnership with Public Health England’s ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign.
‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ encourages women to attend their cervical screening appointment when invited. The campaign highlights the risks of cervical cancer and the preventative benefits of screening and provides practical tips to help make the test more comfortable. Life Saving Wax wants to build on those goals by opening up the conversation on the topic - by getting more people talking about it, we can break down barriers, increase knowledge and ensure women feel empowered to attend when invited.

Why have Treatwell decided to support this campaign?

Treatwell are supporting Public Health England’s ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign by working in partnership with on a new initiative called Life Saving Wax. As the largest hair and beauty bookings website in Europe, Treatwell has access to a network of salons and beauticians that are well placed to raise awareness among the age group with the lowest cervical screening attendance rate; 25 to 34-year olds. Treatwell believes this is a great cause that impacts their core customer, so they are proud to be supporting this initiative and hope salons are also.

How are salons and beauticians supporting the campaign?

Beauticians provide intimate treatments, such as waxes, every day. Beauticians understand when it is appropriate to open up a conversation on a matter like cervical screening and when it is best not to based on their relationship with their clients.
We aren’t asking beauticians to act as a medical expert, but instead to help open up the conversation on screening so more women feel confident to talk about it and we start to remove the stigma and embarrassment around it. As this is an initiative with Public Health England where necessary, clients will be directed to the NHS website for further information about the screening programme.
Beauticians and salons will be given everything they need to start a conversation – including posters, window stickers and take-home leaflets for clients is order to give further information and tips.

Where will people be directed to?

People will first be directed to Treatwell’s ‘Life Saving Wax’ webpage: If they are looking for more detailed information on cervical screening they will be directed to the NHS website –

What materials are salons being provided with?

Partner salons will be provided with training materials to equip all staff members with tips and advice on how to broach the topic of cervical screening, in the form of a video and printed materials. They will also be sent posters and point of sale display cards to spark conversations with clients, as well as window stickers to show that the salon is part of the initiative. The clients will be given take-home cards which have more information on the partnership, the purpose of screening, who is invited, tips for when women attend screening and also website details where women can find out more.

Does ‘Life Saving Wax’ encourage women to feel like they must have had a wax before attending their cervical screening?

No. ‘Life Saving Wax’ is not suggesting that women must have had a wax to attend their cervical screening. The initiative is all about opening up the conversation around cervical screening in a trusted environment to a core audience. Beauty therapists in salons across the country are in a unique position to talk about the issues that affect women. Where appropriate, they can start conversations and support women with finding information about cervical screening and its importance.

What if clients don’t feel comfortable talking about cervical screening during their appointment?

Beauticians have a unique relationship with their clients, and they will know when the time is right to open the conversation, when to point clients in the direction of more information, or when to skip the subject altogether. Salons will have posters strategically placed which can spark conversation on the subject, often from the client, not the beautician themselves. The beautician is not expected to speak to every client, just those who they feel appropriate. Clients will have further information leaflets on the reception desk to take away and women might choose to take these without being offered.

What if salons want to be a part of Life Saving Wax but are not currently on Treatwell?

Treatwell would welcome any conversations with salons wanting to take part in the conversation and encourage them to contact the Treatwell team through the details provided.

Do all beauticians have to open up the conversation about screening?

For any beauticians who don’t feel confident to talk about cervical screening and the campaign, Treatwell and Public Health England have produced take home cards for clients which has all the information they need and details as to where they can find out more about cervical screening, so these can simply be handed over.

How have the beauticians been trained?

The beauticians involved in ‘Life Saving Wax’ have been sent a training video created with Dr. Zoe Williams that talks about cervical cancer and cervical screening. In this video, she meets with a beautician trailing the initiative in her salon and they discuss ways she is opening up the conversation around cervical screening with clients. Further training materials, including FAQs, full briefing documents and conversation starter cards, are being provided. Salon staff are being advised to only open up the conversation around cervical screening when appropriate and not provide detailed medical information, instead direct women to NHS websites for this information. Beauticians provide waxes every day, and consequently know their clients so they know when the time is right to broach the conversation or skip the subject altogether. The cards and leaflets being offered have tips and advice for clients, and it is up to them how best to use these assets.

Are there any free beauty treatments associated with ‘Life Saving Wax’?

No. The aim of the initiative is not to increase the number of waxing treatments in salons, Treatwell also do not want women to feel that they need to have a wax before going for their cervical screening, therefore there are no Treatwell promotions or discounts planned as part of this initiative. There are also no free waxes being given to women as a reward for booking their cervical screening, this campaign is about starting the conversation amongst women to feel confident to visit their GP or practice to have their test.

Can someone book a ‘life saving’ wax?

The name of the campaign is not literal and is about starting conversations about the importance of screening, not trying to sell wax appointments via the market place.

How are Treatwell benefiting from this commercially?

Treatwell are not benefiting financially from this campaign. Treatwell wish to support the successful ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign to help raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening by linking individual salons and beauticians across England with the PHE campaign through their unique relationship they have with their partner salons.

Who will the campaign target?

Like the ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ campaign, the ‘Life Saving Wax’ targets all women who are eligible for screening who come into partner salons for treatments. However, given that 25 to 34-year olds have the lowest rate of cervical screening attendance and have a higher rate of abnormality detected in screening compared to other age groups, ‘Life Saving Wax’ will particularly encourage women in this group to attend.

Which age groups are most at risk of a cervical cancer diagnosis?

Women between the ages of 25 and 64 are at most risk of cervical cancer, which is why women in this age group are invited for screening. Cervical cancer mainly affects sexually active women aged between 30 and 45. Cervical cancer develops slowly, which means it is highly unlikely that women over 64 who have been regularly screened will go on to develop the disease. Women under the age of 25 are not routinely invited for screening as cervical cancer is very rare in women under 25. Everyone who receives an invitation should consider cervical screening to protect themselves from the risk of cervical cancer.