POSTED ON FEBRUARY 4, 2009:
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Waxing unwanted body hair an affordable, lasting solution
Damaged Goods. The first time is the most painful due to a dense amount of thicker hair. What waxing does, however, is damage the hair follicle; after a waxing hair comes in finer and at a slower growth rate. And the waxing also damages the nerve endings (sounds worse than it really is) which means that upon return visits, the waxing hurts less and less.
Getting dressed has always been such a big production for me. When I would tell my irritated father that it would be another five minutes before I'd be ready, he'd always respond, "We're not going to a fashion show."
It was more than just the overdressing, but the pomp and circumstance of getting ready for a simple errand that he never quite understood. Yes, I was and still am an over-dresser, but there are definite trials and tribulations associated with getting ready.
Some girls require an hour to get ready and they will neglect Saturday errands only to spend all day on the couch because they know there's no turning back once they get in the shower. Once you've committed to wet hair, it will be X hours before you'll do anything besides get ready.
Luckily, we get a break during one season of the year. Harsh winters mean covered bodies. We may not go European through and through, but we cut back on frequency of hair removal. Legs covered in pants or thick tights, shirts that cover armpits, maybe a hat when you're not tweezing the brows. Yes, I'm talking about any and all variations of hair removal. Ladies use the excuse of winter to cut back on cutting back their depilatory tasks.
Not to sound like a cable channel infomercial, but shaving and tweezing are so freaking awful- and not because of irritants like razor burn or cuts. Granted, nothing that you do to get ready lasts forever; showers, makeup application, hairstyles- they all have a 24-hour or less shelf life. You could spend 15 minutes shaving your legs and step out of the shower, only to see hair shoot out between your goose bumps - all your hard work down the drain. Or, just the opposite. You spend hours torturously plucking one hair at a time from your brows. As you attempt to even, you slowly maim your face; not only do you have to wait upwards of several weeks for them to grow back, but the redness from plucking readily indicates an overzealous hand. It's time to bring on the waxing.
As a self-proclaimed novice, I've only waxed my brows. So, I contacted Emily Paschal, esthetician, waxing specialist and owner of EP Waxing Studio, to learn more about the process and why the pain might be worth the results.
EP Waxing Studio is located inside of Sterling and Company Salon, 1608 E. 15th St. Four years ago Paschal took an esthetician class and decided that she wanted to operate a place in Tulsa where women could get a Brazilian wax. She saw that women all across the world received Brazilian waxes almost as often as basic haircuts. So, she wanted to bring Oklahoma up to speed on this trend and now considers herself "a waxing advocate, addicting one woman at a time to the Brazilian."
Before you begin to scoff at this risqué procedure, I should tell you that Paschal said she waxes both men and women. In addition to her Brazilian waxing specialty, she has also mastered the art of eyebrow contouring. This service is essential for women who have spent years unsuccessfully shaping their brows.
Paschal works like an interventionist for the first month and a half to two months (depending on the speed of personal hair growth) by talking clients down from the ledge of plucking. Once she has a clean (or is it hairy?) slate, she determines the right shape for the brows based on facial structure. She measures where they should start and end, where the arch should be and how severe to make it and how to keep them symmetrical. But for every pair of legs, chest, back or noses (yes, noses), Paschal insisted that one waxing session at a time hurts much more than all at once.
Ninety percent of the waxing she does is men's and women's bikini waxes. Who are these masochists? Well, they aren't pain seekers at all. Word gets out that it really doesn't hurt, that it prevents irritating bumps and that hair growth is prolonged. Men don't usually hear it from their friends, but sometimes a wife or significant other makes the suggestion. Most often, it is a personal decision men make in order to look better.
Nice Wax Job
What's all the fuss about? Paschal said it's an easy 15-minute procedure. Most clients have already hit the Internet and know what to expect. She recommended coming in with a week and a half's worth of growth (roughly a quarter of an inch) so the wax has something to grab onto. A few minutes later clients are "baby smooth" and the results last a month.
What about the pain? Paschal said that most clients' first time ends with a "That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." The first time is the most painful due to a dense amount of thicker hair. What waxing does, however, is damage the hair follicle; hair grows finer and slower after waxing it. The waxing also damages the nerve endings (sounds worse than it really is) which means that upon return visits, the waxing hurts less and less.
Paschal uses three different types of natural-based waxes, all of which are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. The soy-based wax is gentle and used for facial waxing; the soft cream wax grips but is gentle and is used for the body; the hard wax is dry and removes hair without using a strip. It's only used for truly coarse hair.
Reactions are minimal, and the waxes and procedures are safe for all skin and hair types. A little redness surfaces for any area waxed but that typically recedes within a few hours. Paschal finishes her work with a cream to soothe skin. She suggested not taking hot showers or dipping into hot tubs that first night. Otherwise, the only things required to follow up are regular exfoliating and a consistent monthly appointment to maintain the look. If you're planning a special day (weddings, dates), go a day or two before the occasion.
If not for pain, the knee-jerk reaction to appointments like a Brazilian is the issue of modesty. I guess I should have mentioned it before, but everyone's aware of what the Brazilian is, right? A full bikini wax.
Paschal said that the experience is very private and clients can get comfortable and relax. And if you're not quite ready to jump into the Brazilian, then start your waxing experience slowly -- a brow here, a leg or two (okay, probably both) there.
This beauty ritual has been embraced by women and men from their 20s to their 60s. And the procedure can be had by anyone from any financial bracket. Yes, we might have to cut back on some of life's frivols, but we don't give up things like letting our hair down, going to the bars and waxing.
Paschal works in the studio Tuesdays through Saturdays with no set hours but by appointment only. Until Valentine's Day, you'll find the "No More Bush" special. Call 720-8334 or visit www.myspace.com/epwaxingstudio.
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