Attempted hair control through wax

While at the pharmacy today, I felt a sudden surge of daring. A desire to take a risk, live dangerously. So I picked up… a home waxing kit.

Since I’m a beginner at this, I chose the kind you don’t have to heat, so at least I wouldn’t burn myself, and I made sure it said “for sensitive skin” somewhere on the box. After asking the cosmetics lady for a quick overview of the waxing process, I felt confident that I could handle things. Spread wax on, put cotton strip over it, rip off. Hardly rocket surgery.

I got home and opened the kit. Ok, so we have a jar of goopy green stuff. Smells nice. Sort of minty. A plastic spatula to spread the stuff on my skin. Cotton strips to press into the green goop on my skin and then tear away, leaving smooth skin underneath. All right, let’s get started.

Step one was the baby powder, because that’s what the cosmetics lady suggested. Gives a better grip or something. Then I got the first blob of green goop spread nice and evenly on a little patch of my leg, and I smooshed the cotton strip on. Deep breath, count to three, and RIP that thing off. Wow, that wasn’t so bad! Hurts a little, but not like I was expecting. Maybe I can really be a waxer now, and toss those razors! But then I look down at the strip and see that I succeeded in pulling out precisely four hairs. Four. All the green goop is gone from my leg, the skin is bright freaking red, and it only pulled off four hairs.

Screw this. I’m going to see a professional. I’m obviously not qualified. How the hell do people do this on their own?

When you pull, make sure that the pulling motion is parallel to your skin surface. If you pull perpendicular, you don’t pull anything out and could end up in a great deal of pain (I’ve learned this the hard way). Also, make sure the skin is clean - however, make sure the skin and hair is also dry. Wet hair doesn’t wax!

FWIW, I’ve had great success with the Nair brand sugaring kit (similar to wax only…sugar!) That stuff rocks.

You just reminded me of one of my college memories: my roomate, Cathy, and I decided to wax each other’s legs. It would up with burns, spilled wax, and no success. It was like a porn version of Laverne & Shirley.

I managed to get the wax stuck to my skin and it wouldn’t come off. The packaging said that petroleum jelly would do the trick, so I sent my poor husband off to the drugstore to buy some. He grabbed a container out of the baby aisle, and the cashier made some comment insinuating that he had a perverted sexual use in mind. He let her have it for being inappropriate, then returned with the jelly. Pity after all that, it didn’t work, and I was left scraping at my leg with a blunt knife blade under warm water.

These days I use one of those epilators, the electric tweezer units that pluck hairs out. It’s still a little too sensitive to do my armpits very often that way, but it works fine otherwise. Just be sure to exfoliate well and frequently or you’ll get ingrowns; to me, the tradeoff has been worth it, especially to have growing-in hair that’s not scratchy/stubbly.

One thing I used to use, and liked, was the Nair roll-on sugaring kit. Microwave it for a short time, roll on the skin, press on the cloth strip and wait, then rip off. It’s like wax but much easier to clean up, or to remove if you mess up.

I suppose for legs it would be too expensive, but for smaller areas we use Sally Hensen’s wax. It is thin plastic film with a thin layer of wax. Easy to use, you only have to warm it to body temperature, and it does a great job. It is the best for shaping eyebrows.

Getting my eyebrows waxed when I get my hair cut is the best $5 expenditure in my life.

Yet it is awful enough that I always think, “How could anyone have this done to his/her legs, much less to her bizness in order to achieve the infamous landing strip?”

And for one of the most interesting descriptions of the Brazilian wax technique, go here.

Yeeeeeeooow! :eek:

I have tough hair; I’ve never found a wax that’ll take it all off. I’m going to try using the Veet bladeless razor on my legs; it seems a lot less painful.

Yep, I tried the home waxing kit. You know, the one that says “works on even short hairs”?

Let’s just say ten minutes later, I was lathering up the legs with some shave gel.

No waxing crisis is complete without this nightmare to help you feel better about it. Enjoy! :smiley:

Lies, lies, it is all lies! I just tried that stupid product. Didn’t work at all!

The worst thind is I found a wax product that worked great, and they discontinued it. It was the travel version that you drop the little wax container into hot tap water and the whole thing clicks together?

That thing rocked!

I have a professional wax mine. I will never shave again. Yeah, it hurts, but I have about 75% less hair than I used to anyway now (let’s hear it for traumatized follicles!) and it’s only every few weeks. It’s so worth it, I can’t begin to tell you.

I haven’t worked up the nerve to have her do my armpits, though. I hear that hurts like hell. And I can’t imagine a Brazilian. Maybe a bikini wax. Someday.

Yeah, I have a high pain threshold.

Do not attempt to wax your own armpits, unless you have mastered waxing your legs first. I speak from experience here.

Do not rewax or resugar an area of skin for a few days, even if you only pulled out four hairs. The skin gets traumatized when it’s waxed, too.

My daughter sugars her legs, arms, and face. Sometimes I help her with her legs, as it’s kind of tricky to get the back of the legs done by one’s self. It’s sticky, and messy, but not as bad as waxing. My heritage is half Italian and half British Isles, my husband’s is half Polish and half Cajun, so she’s got thick dark hair. She finds it worth her while to sugar herself, and will sometimes get a professional wax job for a special night out. She says that having a professional wax her armpits hurts, but she loves the smooth clean feeling.

That Veet “Bladeless Razor” gubbins is awesome for the legs, if somewhat expensive. But it’s also how I found out I’ve got incredibly sensitive skin under my arms. 4 days worth of rash later, I’d found that “sensitive” formula doesn’t always apply when spray-on deodorant is enough to give you a burn.

Me, I’m lazy. Shave the pits, wear jeans all year. Though my leg hairs are pretty fine (except around the ankles) and pretty sparse, so it’s not too bad.

I worked in an ICU that employed people to do nothing but watch the cardiac and video monitors from all the patient rooms. These people were not specially trained, nor were they well paid.
One young lady had higher aspirations. She was in Beauty School.

One day she told me she was finishing her first half, and needed a “model” for her half-final. It would be a relaxing day of beauty, all free. Haircut, manicure, facial and lower leg wax, free.

I agreed to be her subject. I arrived at the agreed time of 8:30AM. Remember, I normally worked nights, so I was seeing the day from the wrong end.

She introduced me to her instructor, then took me to her station. First, a wash. In minutes I was drenched head to toe. Back to her station with several towels, for my cut. I had fairly short hair style at the time, much in need of a trim. We talked about what she would do to bring back the Dorothy Hammel in me.
She kept saying oops, under her breath. I’d ask if there was a problem, but always get a smiling, “No, everything’s fine.”
I now know why there were no mirrors at the student stations. After an hour of oops, she said she had to call her instructor over. The instructor actually gasped when she saw me. :eek: It grew out, eventually.

Why I didn’t leave then, I can’t really say, but I didn’t. So, on to the facial. To keep this short(er), I’ll just say I think the girl invented the chemical peel.

The manicure was marginally better, except for the nail polish on my cuticles.

THEN, we went to a new station, behind a screen. She told me to take my shoes off. I did. She left them where I’d removed them, just in front of the chair. The chair was a sort of recliner, without the middle section, from knees to feet. She plugged in the honey pot and got her supplies ready, while it began to boil.

She dipped the little wooden spatula into the boiling pot, and smacked it onto my leg, just below my knee. :eek: I screamed. The instructor came running. My torturer stopped her, saying everything was fine. IT WAS NOT FINE! She then spread the rapidly cooling wax down my leg, tugging the hair more and more as the wax solidified. She pressed the cloth strips onto the wax, and pulled from the top down. I screamed again and again she headed off the instructor. The instructor looked in anyway, noticed the bubbling pot and turned the temperature down.

Now the wax gave only second degree burns when applied, and the hair toward my foot actually pulled out with the application. Again she pulled from the top down.

This time another student came to see who was screaming. She stepped in as Miss Mengele was pulling. The other student said, “Oh I thought you were supposed to pull the other way, and hold the skin…” My captor replied, “Oh yeah, that’s right.” :dubious: Second student agreed to help, so the two of them continued.

Finally finishing at 4:30PM. The instructor came in to grade her work. As the perfect end to such a perfect day, she failed all but the manicure. Then with a totally straight face, told me to come back in four weeks for her retest. :eek:
I got out of the chair only to find my shoes full of wax!

When I got home, I took a close look at my legs. They were interesting, to say the least. Those first two pulls had created long bruises, so, I had alternating stripes; red and blue, opposite hairy, white. I guess I looked patriotic.

And, no, I did not go back in four weeks. Of course, I also didn’t tell the poor schmuck that did what had happened to me. :smiley:

Oh good lord, boiling wax? wince

I wax my legs and eyebrows at home. 5 years on and I still bleed each time, and still don’t appear to have any of those precious traumatised hair follicles. My hairs are strong and determined, darn them all to heck. My mother, who has so little body hair that she needn’t even bother to shave her legs, thinks it’s awfully funny that I’m willing to bleed in order to be hair free. Mothers are great, aren’t they?

Funny I should see this thread - I’m just about to take the 15ml of dihydrocodiene I need in order to get through a half-leg waxing. Wish me luck and no ingrowing regrowth!

Those things are evil. I used them on my upper lip once, and pulled off none of the hair and most of the skin. Yee-owch! Itchy scab under nose for two weeks. Apparently I have the skin of a tender little baby, which is why I pluck the hairs on my upper lip. It takes longer, but it’s actually gentler on my skin in the long run.

And boo-hiss to those people who can’t understand why I shave beyond my knees. Ladies, this is the curse of the dark-haired and pale-skinned. Why couldn’t the Germans in my family have been blonde? Rar.

I do think it’s easier to wax at home after you have had it done professionally a few times, it’s easier to get a feel for what’s supposed to happen.

Also, if you get waxed at a salon and decide you like it, I’d recommend getting a real wax system for home instead of the drugstore shelf products. It’s worth it in the long run.

How do I do it? Well I hail from a particularly hirsute part of the world…a location I like to call the “pelt belt.” Pelt Belters erupt from the womb clutching a coupon for Sally Hansen. In all seriousness, we are inducted into hair removal either through personal shame once our pelt comes in, or by sympathetic relatives.

I have naturally shaped eyebrows so I can pluck them and they look great…but everything else is jolened and waxed. However, I must admit to outsourcing the twat waxing…that’s a wee bit beyond me.

I’m just used to it, I guess.

Count me in the category of people who viewed some infomercial and decided to give waxing a try–I think the product I tried was Nads. I got all of 10 hairs pulled, plenty of pain, was irked by the fact that it was now almost lunch time–having needed to wash my legs and allow them to try before using the product. I tried it all of twice. Decided it might be interesting to be waxed by someone who knew what she was doing, but it didn’t work for me.

Though I do have to chuckle at Ms Purl McKnittingham. Which isn’t very nice of me, I’ll admit. But while the hair on my head is dark, and my skin is fair, I don’t have a ton of body hair, and so generally don’t shave above the knee, or more often than once a month or so–another reason why I decided that the promised time between uses of the waxing product wasn’t that big a deal, after I bought the silly stuff.

I’m not very hairy, I trim down below but have no interest in anyone waxing around that area, I get my eyebrows plucked about once every 2 months and tidy them up myself in the meantime.

I’ve booked in for my first professional half leg waxing next week - tell the truth, does it really hurt? I’m off on holidays the next day and don’t want to be crippled!