Remember when we lived in a country (clever, dirty pun totally intended) where you could decide things like how much foliage you let spill out fromunder your clothes and then got to make the decision on how to remove it? If certain legislators in New Jersey have their way, you’ll be keeping that memory not-so-neatly tucked away in your thong – provided there’s any room – if their proposed ban on Brazilian waxing passes.
Last year it seems that there were a couple of Jersey ladies who had issues getting their bald on. They complained, one even filed a lawsuit, and the great state of New Jersey’s … um… ears perked up. They were ready to listen.
“Please, tell us in detail what happened during your waxing session. Wait. Start with what you were wearing… yes, yes it’s very relevant! We need these details for the official record… slow down, what did your waxxer look like?”
Not to take the complaints lightly, both women were hospitalized because of their injuries, but is a state-wide ban on uhoh-waxing really necessary?
Fact: The wax at your salon is not necessarily sterile. It’s not necessarily new. And it’s not necessarily free of little pieces of the last client’s (or the one before hers or the previous day’s clients’) vajayjay skin… but that’s also true for lip skin, armpit skin, leg skin and toe skin (from the hobbits going undercover).
Fact: The vagina and anus have more bacteria living around them than other waxable parts. That wooden stick smears that bacteria all over your body like frosting on a hairy cupcake.
Fact: There is a real risk when going to a salon that you could come out with someone else’s bacteria partying in your vacated follicles.
Fact: Sterilizing wax in between uses is generally impractical. It has to be heated to at least 220ÂºF (104.4ÂºC) for 15-20 minutes.
Fact: Infections do happen. And, like in cases like the two women in New Jersey, they can lead to hospitalizations.
So yes, there are some real concerns involved in waxing. And new Jersey’s response is that women should either buy bigger bikini bottoms and embrace the abandoned wild ‘dos of the 1970’s or DIY.
Now, DIY doesn’t seem so bad (some websites have dedicated considerable time and space to those willing to pay $19.95 a month to “appreciate” the fine-art of DIY hair removal.) In fact, most of us rely on ourselves for hair removal. There are plenty of benefits to DIY over hiring someone to do it – it’s cheap, no appointment necessary and there’s no wondering what your hair removal expert is thinking about that curiously placed Max Hedroom tattoo you were so proud of back in 1986.
But it also raises new issues when its time to trim – or remove – the hedges.Â Realistically, you have two options for your there-hair – you can shave or you can wax. Do not ever use hair removal cream on your nethers! Most of them are barely gentle enough to use on your skin at all without risk of burns, much less the most sensitive areas.
Self-waxing can be messy and tricky at best. While waxing at home frees you from the issues of other people’s coochie cooties, you still run the risk of spreading your own cooties to parts of your body they don’t belong… it’s like wiping back to front, but then smearing the tissue all over your irritated skin that’s covered with open micro-wounds. While you’re not going to get someone else’s infection, you’re still not using a sterile product. You’re probably not sanitizing your bathroom before waxing either, so you’re opening yourself up to other contaminants that you woudln’t find in a salon. Is it better or worse than a salon? Probably neither, but at least at the salon you don’t have to rip your locks of love out of place yourself.
Shaving is generally safe for most hair-removal purposes. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’s fast. Unfortunately, it’s very short term, lasting only hours for some people. But the reality is that shaving can be risky, too. Anything that involves unsanitized cutting utensils pressed up against unsanitized skin should be categorized as “proceed with caution”. Add a bunch of folds and crevices while removing the ability to navigate visually… and suddenly “bumpin’ uglies” is crossing the line from euphemistic to literal.
Women are still going to remove their funfuzz, no matter what the lawmakers say. Salons are still going to offer it off the menu if it’s criminalized. Women are still going to be hospitalized with nasty infections. Ideally, we’d see salon owners working on making their salons more sanitary, or perhaps we’d see laws requiring more education in the licensing process. Maybe instead of banning the procedure all together, NJ could try some stricter regulations.
We should be educating people about what happens and what risks are involved with hair removal, and maybe even try to send the message that body hair isn’t a flaw.
There is no ultimately safe way to remove your downtherehair. If you like it gone, get it gone, but do it as safely as possible. Here are things you can do to reduce your risk of infection:
- If you are diabetic, don’t get waxed. Diabetics are at increased risk of infection from waxing.
- Before y0ur waxing session starts, ask for fresh wax. If they won’t oblige, leave. A good salon will do it.
- Make sure your esthetician does all your other waxing before going on to the “bikini” part of your session.
- Have the area around your anus waxed last, and area around your vagina done second from last.
- Get over the stigma, go with the ‘fro!
Update: Thanks 100% to this post*, NJ has decided that the ban is ridiculous and is no longer pursuing a law against waxing-off.