We get all kinds of questions about what we do at urban waxx. In fact, in days to come I will devote an entire entry to questions about embarrassing topics that you were afraid to ask. Believe me, no matter how embarrassing you think they might be, I have been asked it at least 50 times. But we’ll save that for another day.
Today, I will discuss something that is very near and dear to my heart, something I spend too much time thinking about: wax.
In the past 12 years, ever since I was a lil pup in esthetics school back in New Jersey, I have worked with a lot of different waxes. Before I ever decided to go into this business, I used to go to the local nail joint to have my lip and brows waxed. Each and every time, the woman waxing me would rip the top layer of skin under my brows off, leaving me with shiny red skin for a day, then a lovely scab for about a week after that. In my naivete, I was pretty sure that was how brows were supposed to look. Well, clearly, that is not the case. I attribute that scabbing to cheap, crappy wax that is WAY too hot.
I was waxing for about 5 years when, in 1997 or so, I started to hear the buzz about Brazilian waxing. To be honest, I was a little nervous about taking the plunge. I was very concerned that without proper training, I could easily rip something off that someone really needed. I mean, you have to be careful down there…as we all know. But, the more I heard about it, the more I was intrigued. I started adding Brazilians into my repertoire, learning by trial and error, basically.
The next summer, I went to New York for a little vacation. While I was there, I decided to check out the supposed waxing mecca: J. Sisters. From what I had heard, J. Sisters was THE place to get a Brazilian, especially since Gwyneth Paltrow had announced that the J.Sisters had “changed her life.” I was curious.
I made my appointment for my first Brazilian. Now, although I had been performing Brazilians for a year or so at that time, I had never actually had a Brazilian. Control issues…it’s a problem. So, I showed up for my scheduled appointment with my boyfriend at the time. I checked in and then a beeline for the tiny closet of a bathroom. After peeing, I just wanted to bend over to take a quick peek at my privates to make sure everything was on the up and up, considering that a stranger would be investigating that area in about 5 minutes. Satisfied that everything was inspection worthy, I stood up, in the process soundly cracking my head on the paper towel dispenser and making an enormous, resounding noise. After the stars cleared, I stepped directly into the small, crowded waiting area to be met with curious stares. Not a good start.
My Esthetician came out to get me. At this time my BF asked her how long it would take. She answered firmly; “Seven minutes.” Seven minutes!?! That made me a little nervous. I considered myself pretty proficient, and I had NEVER completed a Brazilian wax in seven minutes. I gave my BF a fearful look and was led away.
The room where she waxed was TINY. Basically four walls and a table, and her waxing cart. And the strangest part…no ceiling. After she left and I was undressing, I could hear the waxing going on in the rooms on either side of me. All of the “rrriiippps” and the grunts of pain did not make me feel any better. I felt like I was a voyeur…and not in a good way.
So, my waxer opened the door and the fun began. I was laying on my back on a tiny table, and she immediately began chastising me, in a thick Brazilian accent, about the fact that I had shaved a few weeks ago. “This will hurt,” she announced. Oh, brother. She applied the honey colored wax to my areas, pressed the muslin strip down, and then rip. I blacked out. THIS is what I was doing to women all of this time, I thought? Oh my God I am a sadist!
In the end, the wax took less than 10 minutes, and that included the tweezing (yes, tweezing. not good). At one point I glanced down and noticed that she was not wearing gloves. I was suddenly horrified, wondering how many other New Yorker’s privates she had touched that day. Did she wash her hands? Was there Purell involved? To finish me off, she squirted some gel into her hand and gave my thoroughly annoyed vagina a vigorous rubdown. I felt like maybe she should have at least bought me dinner, first.
I flew out of the room, white as a ghost (except for my lobster-red privates), paid, and got the hell out of there. I explained to my BF that she was not wearing gloves, she didn’t talk to me at all, she used the hottest wax ever, and after she rubbed cream on me like she was trying to get a stain off of a dress. At that, his eyes lit up a little. “Huh. So…did it feel good?” he asked. Ahhh, men. So silly. So simple sometimes.
Anyway, what is the point of me regaling you with my Brazilian horror story, you ask? Well, firstly, to tell you that I too have felt the pain of a bad wax…and I would NEVER let that happen again. I know the difference between a fabulous experience and a nightmare hair ripping. And, secondly, to illustrate the point that all waxes are different. In my experience, I have found that the soft wax, that wax that is heated until very thin and then removed with a strip of cloth, is NOT suitable for the more private areas. It burns, it removes skin, it leaves you red for days.
After much trial and error, I found and fell in love with the 3 waxes that we use at urban waxx. For more sensitive areas, such as the bikini, underarm, face, etc., we use 2 types of hard wax. One looks just like Silly Putty, and the other is deep purple. Both are applied to the area, they set up, and then you pull the wax off. No strip, no sticky residue. Because the wax is not heated until thin and melty, it is much gentler on the skin, doesn’t leave you red, and allows us to go over the same area more than once (no tweezing)!
The 3rd wax that we use is a strip wax, and we use that for larger, less sensitive areas, like the legs, back and chest. It also leaves no sticky residue, and really grabs those little baby hairs.
Clients that come to urban waxx and experience our amazing wax selection versus other lesser quality wax always comment that it hurts SO much less. I agree. Higher quality wax+talented waxers=a pretty painless experience, all things considered.
So, that’s enough about wax and my pain for today. I can assure you that I have had hundreds of Brazilians since that first experience, and they have been much, much better. And I am a pretty big baby when it comes to pain. But I thank you for letting me wax poetic. Get it?