no hair no hair

In between the gusts of pain, the flinching and unflinching of all my body muscles, the sweating, the pleading with my beauty therapists, the breathing and panting a la Lamas Class, I had a fleeting thought that I would eventually do  my homework and find out who I’m to blame for the two most excruciating processes used in the quest for no hair: Threading and Waxing.

Every month, I go through these processes of hair removal for the sake of beauty, hygiene, a general feeling of well being and in keeping with the times. It is 2009 and I dare not walk around with shapeless eyebrows or weavable armpits!

So when I gather up enough resolve, which is usually after days of promising self to actually book an appointment, I lie on the bench and ask to be tortured. We start with the eyebrows, which are shaped using the art of Threading.

According to Wikipedia, Threading, also known as Epilation is an ancient method of hair removal which originated in Persia and spread to the Middle and Far East and is now gaining popularity in Western countries. Practitioners use a pure, thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over untidy hairlines plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing where a single hair is pulled out each time, threading can remove and entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line. Threading tends to be as or more painful than waxing and hair removal lasts for about four to six weeks.

So it’s the darn Persians! Of course the Iranians had something to do with it. Now, just need to narrow down to which one in particular and kill him with a thread!

By the time I’m done, my eyes have welled up with enough tears and I’m handed tissue to dry them after the first blink. As if this is not enough, I have to get Methylated Spirit dabbed on the area where the hairs have been removed so as not to get bumps and pimples. This causes in me another sharp pain as the pores are completely open and the Methylated Spirit is happily absorbed.

You would think that at this point, I’d leave the salon and sprint on home but instead I raise my arms so that the next phase of pain will begin. It involves  hot wax, a cloth and some screaming and cursing.

According to the same Wikipedia, Waxing is a method of semi-permanent hair removal which removes the hair from the root. New hairs will only grow after around eight weeks. Waxing is accomplished by spreading a wax combination thinly over the skin. A cloth or paper strip is then pressed on top and ripped off with a quick movement against the direction of hair growth. This removes the wax along with the hair.

Again, I’m not really sure why I do this but for me its tonnes better than shaving which not only leaves bumps and some tiny hairs but also discolours the area. By this point I have exhibited all the ramifications of pain as expressed at the start of this post, but I’m not done yet. Yeah, there is hair elsewhere!

A Hollywood/Brazilian wax involves removing all the hair front to back in the pubic area (what first started as a Bikini wax of which the benefit was no hair being seen on the side of the bikini) was later discovered a some seven Brazilian sisters in 1987 and aptly named after them. I shall not attempt to explain the extent of this particular pain (my friend ran out before they were done and didn’t care that it was not entirely a Brazilian probably a Mexican), but the benefits are worth twice that pain. And honestly, I still don’t think it’s as bad as the threading…and the more you do it, the softer your hairs become and the less pain it is.

However,  there is the little aspect of another person, besides your gynaecologist having full access to your privates. And I mean from every angle owing to the little trouble hairs that have to be waxed off while you pose in more ways than one. At some point you literally act out as an acrobat. Then there’s the battle of whether you should make conversation with the waxer as they do the job or pretend there isn’t any awkward moment and talk about politics or just come right out and talk about how awkward the moment is. Sigh.

But as a little anecdote from a San Fransisco expert in the matter Marilyn Jaeger in reference to Brazilian bikini waxing said ‘If you want to sell the house you’ve got to mow the lawn’. Ahem…  So, I encourage all the boys and girls out there to try it. It’s liberating!

So I’m done with the hair removal and my skin is pulsating in more places than one but I feel clean and magnificent. I even have a spring in my step…well at least for another four weeks before I do this all over again.


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