Waxing. A mystery to some, a horror to many. Having your hair yanked out by the roots in the name of beauty doesnâ€™t appeal to everyone, but as around 92% of women shave their legs, itâ€™s clear that most of us donâ€™t like to be hairy. So why do women go for the razor rather than the waxing salon?
Waxing seems sort of like a cult; those already indoctrinated canâ€™t imagine life without it, but to everyone else itâ€™s something strange that other people do. So, Iâ€™m going to stand as an advocate for waxing, and hopefully give you a few interesting facts at the same time.
Pain is subjective, of course, and one womanâ€™s kick is anotherâ€™s tickle, but Iâ€™m usually a bit of a wimp when it comes to hurting, and I have to say that I donâ€™t find waxing anywhere near as painful as people make out. To clarify, I use a professional salon, I donâ€™t do it myself, and on the one occasion I did try to self-adminster, I simply couldnâ€™t do it. I chickened out and washed the wax off. But a professional waxer has it over in minutes, and itâ€™s only really the first strip that hurts, and even then only for a second. Itâ€™s not as bad as, say, having your ears pierced, but that doesnâ€™t have anywhere near the same reputation. I wonder why.
So, what are the facts and the myths about hair removal?
First off, shaving does NOT make the hair grow back thicker. It just looks that way cause you sliced it off at the thick end, which then becomes the tip. But thatâ€™s still a negative for shaving, in my book. Bring on the wax! Waxing, as the rumour goes, can in fact weaken the follicle, and may in some cases lead to a reduction in hair growth, or finer, weaker hair. But be warned! Improper waxing can make more hair grow! A bit of science from a study on hair removal:
â€œPlucking also gives rise to alterations of the mesenchymal sheath of the hair follicle mainly leading to hemorrhages and a distinct edema entailing an increase in the volume of both the dermal papilla and the underlying “papilla cushion” of Pinkus. The different break types can be due to inappropriate plucking techniques or may depend on different subphases of the anagen stage.â€
From Effects of plucking on the anatomy of the anagen hair bulb. A light microscopic study, Bassukas ID, Hornstein OP, Department of Dermatology, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg.
The lesson there is, get yourself to a qualified professional. At least if they do cause you to turn into King Kong, you have someone to sue.
Legs and underarms are fine, but the really interesting topic is bikini. Some women arenâ€™t bothered, and thatâ€™s groovy, but personally I canâ€™t stand peepage. However, I had always drawn the line at a ‘sensible’ line, until I started to research this article. I read so much about Brazilians, I finally thought â€œyou know what, donâ€™t judge it til youâ€™ve tried itâ€. So, I got on the phone and made a booking.
A Brazilian isnâ€™t the removal of all pubic hair (thatâ€™s called a Hollywood), but the removal of everything (front to back, seriously) except a small patch as a sort of â€˜X marks the spotâ€™ marker I guess. I didnâ€™t fancy being that bald, so I opted for whatâ€™s called a â€˜Megaâ€™, which is a compromise between a Brazilian and Britney.
â€˜Brazilianâ€™ is a bit of a misnomer, as itâ€™s not particularly popular in that country. Rather, itâ€™s named after seven Brazilian-born sisters: Jocely, Jonice, Joyce, Janea, Jussara, Juracy and Judseia Padilha who pioneered the look at the J. Sisters International Salon in Manhattan.
My main concern before going was the indignity. Iâ€™ve had leg, underarm and bikini waxings a-plenty, but not underwearless, and not, yâ€™know, right round there. And there. But the waxer, Yasmine, was great. She just chatted about mundane stuff and got on with it so professionally and quickly, I didnâ€™t have time to feel self-conscious. After all, she does it all the time. It was over before I knew it, and I have to admit, I really like it. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll have quite so much removed next time, but I will certainly go further than I used to. Iâ€™m not worried about any paranoid Freudian theories about looking pre-pubescent, I find that a silly objection. I doubt most men secretly desire children, and I doubt most women want to emulate one. Itâ€™s just not relevant.
You know me well enough by now to know Iâ€™ll talk about anything, and I donâ€™t believe in sacred cows. Everything is fair game for debate, discourse, and discussion. Taboo subjects cease to be so if you talk about them. So, if youâ€™d like to share your own opinions on the benefits or bores of hair removal, or tell me why the au naturelle life is superior, Iâ€™d really like to hear it. And if you happen to be a guy, your perspective would also be most welcome. Let the pain begin!