As promised, this is the continuation of my two-part series highlighting waxing practices in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Today, we move on to the pros and cons of waxing the nether regions, along with tips, tricks, and general recommendations based, again, upon years of first hand research. Before I begin, I will gently suggest that any remaining male readers I have after the brow waxing installment of two days ago turn their heads for the remainder of this post, or perhaps get distracted by a shiny object to the left of the computer or something. This will not interest you, boys. In fact, it might frighten you. So shoo.
Now, you may be hesitant on this front, howevermuch Sex and the City and the Candace Bushnell/chick lit canon has attempted to glamorize the practice of bikini waxing. Or, perhaps you have no choice but to explore hair-removal techniques for this bodily region due to your hailing from what Jeffrey Euginedes refers to as the “hair belt”:
Like the Sun Belt or the Bible Belt, there exists, on the multifarious earth of ours, a Hair Belt. It begins in southern Spain, congruent with Moorish influences. It extends over the dark-eyed regions of Italy, almost all of Greece, and absolutely all of Turkey. It dips south to include Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt. Continuing on (and darkening in color as maps do to indicate ocean depth) it blankets Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan, before lightening gradually in India. After that, except for a single dot representing the Ainu in Japan, the Hair Belt ends . . . Sing, Muse, of Greek ladies and their battle against unsightly hair! Sing of depilatory creams and tweezers! Of bleach and beeswax!”–Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (308)
No, I am not of Hair Belt ethnic origin, but both Eugenides and his narrator, Calliope, are. So it’s OK for them to say it, and I’m just quoting. Don’t get mad. Where was I?
Oh yeah, this is another one of those areas where people think it’s not a problem for them. Guess what? You’re wrong.
But I never wear a swimsuit!
Do you wear underwear? You’re wrong!
But nobody ever sees it!
Do you see it? Then, you’re wrong!
I really don’t have very much body hair.
Unless you have none, you’re wrong.
OK, I do have hair, but I’m blonde.
. . .
See? You’re wrong. Even if you have natural blonde hair YOU ARE WRONG.
OK? Got it? You’re wrong. Don’t kill the messenger–I’m telling you what nobody else will tell you. This is not a feminist issue. This is a self-respect, cleanliness, general hygiene issue and, if I had my way, men would have to do more landscaping as well. If you disagree, then I guess you must just let your fingernails and toenails grow unchecked as well? (Bracing self for hate email and hate comments).
Getting back to business. Sadly I don’t have time, nor does my audience probably have the patience, to discuss all of the places in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego I have visited for waxing. Instead, I will merely touch on the most significant places in Los Angeles that I have visited, and entertain questions regarding the rest via email and comments, should there be any need. The best known place to get hoo-hoo waxing done in Los Angeles without question is Pink Cheeks. This is where Pamela Anderson went back in the day, and it is still the waxing place of choice for many starlets. And, unfortunately, the entire porn industry.
I was a loyal customer of Pink Cheeks for several years. At first, it was great. Because if you go to the owner, Cindy, she is the only waxer I have ever used who can do everything in one (albeit somewhat painful) rip. Their prices are a little steep, and they are not conveniently located for me. But I did go there regularly, enduring the long waits in the cheesy pink lobby next to porn stars and Spice Channel regulars, until the day that I was left in a room waiting for over an hour without anyone coming in to, uh, service me. This was after an hour in the waiting room–WHEN I HAD AN APPOINTMENT–and again I say, what is the point of appointments if you have to wait an hour and a half?
When did private businesses start using the DMV’s business model?
Despite my annoyances with their scheduling practices, I would still recommend Pink Cheeks in some situations and with some hesitation. The service there, once you get it, is good. They know what they are doing, and they make you feel comfortable under circumstances that are in actuality just about as awkward as they can get. They use beeswax and pure muslin there, which they claim allows for more time in between visits. I have to say that I have not found this to be true, but I do recommend them on know-how and longevity in the business. If you do go, though, be prepared to wait and possibly have many people (with pressing “appointments” in the back bedrooms of unmarked McMansions in Chatsworth) pushed in front of you.
My current (for about two years now) favorite establishment for all waxing (other than brows) is a place called–simply–Wax. It is on Melrose, and as you might have figured out from the name, all they do there is waxing–well, and a little bit of tinting, which goes along with the wax services. While I get my brows done elsewhere, I would consider going to Wax for brows in a pinch because my experience with them has been so good.
The advantage of going somewhere that only does waxing is that they know all the different tricks and preferred products, techniques, etc. And, since waxing has the potential to be somewhat embarrassing, it is key to go somewhere that they do this stuff all day long, because they are way more comfortable, and they make you feel way more comfortable.
[singlepic=104,440,330,,left]Before waxing at Wax, they give you a can of Gigi Anesthetic Numbing Spray to spray, uh, everywhere. I’ve found this product to be reasonably effective, but it is not a miracle worker. My advice to anyone going for a wax–regardless of where–is to take some ibuprofen about a half hour before you go. It will make things go a lot smoother. You will also want to time your appointment about mid-month, because you want to avoid this during periods of hormonal fluctuations. If you are pregnant, it is still possible to keep up the waxing, but it will be more difficult due to your hormones as well as the general physics of the think, but yes, I have done it so I know it’s possible.
At Wax, they use two different types of wax. This is the wax they use for the semi-sensitive parts, Berins Pink Rose Hard Wax. It has a creamy texture, is flexible and gentle, and is used for the major areas in a bikini and/or Brazilian wax. You’ll know it by its pink color.
Sorry this is so blurry, but my stealth camera is a piece of shit, and I would have been a little conspicuous carrying in the giant stalkerazzi Canon to Wax, so this is all I got. Oh yeah, they will use strips to rip this pink stuff off, and it will be on the more outer situated areas.
The wax they use for extremely sensitive parts is called Berins Blue Hard Wax. It has a lower temperature and can be ripped off without the use of strips:
I have found both of these waxes to be much less painful, MUCH LESS PAINFUL, than the beeswax used elsewhere (e.g. Pink Cheeks, but also other places). There is some debate that the reason for this has to do with whether the hair is pulled out at the root or not, and I don’t really have enough technical know-how to offer an opinion on this. Except to say that I have found it’s about 4-5 weeks in between visits no matter where you go, regardless of what kind of wax they use.
So why not go for the stuff that hurts less, yes?
While you are at Wax, you can enjoy the view of the rafters while they rip out hair:
The insanely bright, glowing orbs will distract you whilst you do your best not to shriek in pain. Just kidding, it’s not that bad at all. And here’s a trick: right before they are going to rip, you should breathe in a bunch of air, and then let it all out at once while she rips the strip off. It’s kind of a variation on the childbirth breathing techniques, and it really does work.
After waxing, there will be no pain, but the skin might be a little sticky and/or red. In such cases, Wax gives you some tea tree oil ointment to put on. This is the same stuff they use post-wax at Damone Roberts, and it takes the red away very quickly. I have known other places to use almond oil or baby powder for this–anything somewhat greasy or slippery will work.
Now, as far as styling goes, this is up to you. I don’t want to guide too much since everyone has their own preferences, and there are a lot more decisions to be made in this area than you realize. I present you with the services menu from Pink Cheeks as evidence of this.
FULL BIKINI: The full removal of all bikini hair. “In the butt” waxed also.
PLAYBOY: Your panty line sides waxed into a “V” or straight line. Labia is waxed. “In the butt” waxed.
PSUEDO: Panty line waxed. Labia is not waxed. “In the butt” waxed.
BRAZILIAN: A thin line of hair left on top with the same thin strip of hair remaining down the lips. Like a long straight line up and under. “In the butt” waxed.
REGULAR: Just a wonderful old fashioned and wholesome panty line wax. This can add a nice illusion of length to your legs.
THUMBPRINT: One “thumbprint” left on top. Look at the bottom of your thumb and there you go. This became popular when the low pants came in style. “In the butt” waxed. [Editor's note: I have heard this one referred to as "The Hitler" as well--that's the SFV for you.]
DESIGNS: Can be expensive and there is a lot of work, waxing and plucking to create initials and figures. Hearts are popular for valentines day. Ask.
Oh man, I guess it has been a long time since I’ve been to Pink Cheeks. Check out some of their other services. Perhaps this is an issue better explored in the comments?