Beauty salons are fighting against cervical cancer by offering free bikini waxes to women who goes for their smear test.
Pinky’s Beauty and Beautique by Riley are offering the free treatment to customer who want to feel more confident ahead of their pending cervical screening test.
Katie Pickett, who owns Pinky’s Beauty, launched her ‘preen for your screen campaign’ for Cervical Cancer Awareness month and had six women book their smear test within two days.
Two women die from cervical cancer every day and one in four miss their screening test but Katie’s generous offer is encouraging women to shed their embarrassment and go for a check-up.
Katie set up the scheme after six of her friends lost their lives to cancer in recent years.
The 34-year-old, from Walderslade in Kent, said: “Cervical cancer is a very taboo cancer because of getting your private parts out.
“We thought what can we do to help create awareness and what can we do to give back?
“They feel more body confident in getting ready for their test and we get really good feedback from people.
“We had six ladies within two days say they had booked their smear test, and said ‘thank you for reminding us.’
“A lot of our clients have said they had an abnormal smear and it was sorted and they were okay.”
‘The Pink Ladies’ at the salon in Hempstead, Kent, are running the scheme until Valentine’s Day and Katie hopes to extend it.
People who take a #smear4smear photo – a selfie showing lipstick smeared across their face – will get a discount.
The popular hashtag campaign has been flooding social media since its launch on January 22 and is spearheaded by UK charity Jo’s Trust, supporting women affected by cervical cancer.
Katie wants other salon owners to get involved, such as
Christina White, who owns Beautique by Riley in Maidstone, Kent., wanted to take the #smear4smear campaign one step further and ‘offer something to try and make people more comfortable.’
The 34-year-old, from Chatham in Kent, is rewarding all customers who can prove they have booked their smear test with free wax treatments, worth £18, and said she has had a ‘fantastic reaction.’
Christina launched the campaign as MPs began debating whether to lower the age women are invited to undergo cervical screening from 25 to 18.
It comes after a mum-of-four launched a petition last year to ‘enable all women to detect cell changes and prevent cancer’ and was taken to the House of Commons after receiving more than 10,000 signatures.
Christina said: “I try and get involved in a lot of social media campaigns but I wanted to take that one step further and offer something to try and make people more comfortable.
“I know us girls find it a bit embarrassing but a bit of shyness is nothing compared to what could happen if you shy away from having a smear.
“I was lucky, when I was growing up my mum spoke to me about it a lot, but there’s many young people who aren’t as aware, I don’t think it’s quite followed through the generations.
“If you can get over the shyness to have a bikini wax you can then build the courage to go one step further to have your smear.”
Appointments are fully booked until March but Christina is preparing to open up earlier each day due to popular demand.
She added: ““I don’t mind it at all, it’s just what we do to try and get the word out there.
“There’s been a fantastic reaction so far and it’s times like these when social media absolutely comes into its own.”