No pain, no gain: Keeping it soft and smooth

Daily Sundial

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Waxing is a beauty ritual that women participate in throughout the world, to remove hair from their bodies. Simply uttering the word, however, can cause some women to shudder in pain. The truth is that even though the pain level of waxing is high, it has several benefits, and can be an entertaining experience, if you follow some tips.

Since the start of civilizations in Ancient Mesopotamia, women have been removing hair with honey, and sugar based waxes. The pharaohs of Egypt used to ask that their maidens and concubines make them “clean and smooth,” meaning hairless. Renaissance artwork also shows a preference for muses with hairless physiques.

When swimsuits were first developed, they brought with them a different need for hair removal in the pubic region.

Although in the 1920’s, swimsuits were skintight, full body coverings for women, by the 1960’s bikinis were the swimsuit of choice. The revealing cut of the bikini led to the revolution of a pubic hair removal called bikini waxing.

Bikini waxing involves the application of warm to hot wax on the pubic region. A cotton or muslin strip is then used to rub onto the region, and with the skin taut, one must pull against the way the hair grows and remove the hair from the root.

You are probably thinking, who the heck would want to purposely torture themselves in that way. Waxing is a practical alternative in hair removal because it gives you hairless results for up to eight weeks, and helps hair grow back finer and sparse.

As a faithful “waxer,” one recommendation is please, if you are an amateur do not try this at home. It is best to let your nearest neighborhood esthetician, or cosmetologist handle this excruciating beauty regimen.

It is important that you let your hair “down there” grow out for at least two weeks, or an inch long. If it is too short, it can be more painful, or worse, it will not pull out, and you will be left with patches of hair everywhere. It is definitely not the look you want.

Exfoliating prior to waxing also makes the skin more prepared and prevents ingrown hairs from appearing. If you see red bumps, leave them alone. Ingrown hairs are normal when you wax, but if you create too much friction, they can become infected.

Tend Skin, is an excellent ingrown hair product, which you can use, a couple of days after the waxing. It also works great for men, to prevent shaving ingrown hair, so you can pass it on to your boyfriend when you are done.

In terms of product options, they are endless. There are a significant number of salons, and spas, which cater to your waxing needs. Some salons specialize in bikini waxing. My favorite is “Pink Cheeks Salon” in Sherman Oaks, which does the task fast, but in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.

The “Vagina Monologues” has a great monologue on bikini waxing in which the women denounced the process. Eve Ensler, who is the author of the book, wrote “you cannot love a vagina unless you love hair.”

I consider myself a modern, independent woman, and I love every part of myself, but I happen to love mine just a little bit more without hair.

Connie Llanos can be reached at connie.llanos.600@csun.edu.