I hate not being consulted about matters that when introduced, will affect me, like the congestion charge for instance. I lived in the zone before the charge moved in but still have to pay it. My local supermarket took an arguably sound business decision to cull its stock of a fabulous brand of fresh soups, claiming that they were not a popular seller. Hello!!! I adore them and faithfully purchase a basket full every week. If only they had checked their CCTV footage for a stunning female on the soup aisle every Sunday at about 11.30, they would have seen me.
I feel this same level of disappointment sometimes at never being given the choice regarding whether I wanted body hair. Whose idea was it put hair on legs, under arms and let’s not even mention the mini rainforest unaffected by global warming but unlikely to receive a warm reception when accessorised with a sexy bikini on holiday. I don’t remember being asked if I wanted to sign up for the full hair range, do you? Now we’re condemned to spending most of our adult lives trying to get rid of the stuff. We wax, sugar, pluck, thread, shave, smother in cream and even laser all this hair away week after week. What a waste of a bodily resource. Personally, if I had been asked at the creation stage, I would have gone for the “hair on head only” option and what a mane it would have been too. Paired up with some shine boost shampoo and conditioner, this girl would have stopped traffic!
Alas, I have resigned myself to being totally wax-lyrical about my body hair but some friends and colleagues have also sung the praises of the other available methods. Let’s see which ones have got talent.
Most methods of hair removal fall into two categories namely epilation which is the removal of hair from the root below the skin and depilation, the removal of hair that is visible above the skin.
Waxing is the most famous member of this family with a broad fan base including underarms, legs and the bikini area. When carried out by a professional therapist, hot wax is applied to the skin then a cloth type strip is placed over the wax and very swiftly “whipped off” in the opposite direction to the hair growth. It is important to note that for underarms and legs this process could best be described as slightly uncomfortable. Conversely, for a first timer, if the bikini area could talk during this process, it wouldn’t …it would scream…loudly. Therefore, I strongly recommend an alcoholic epidural which is guaranteed to dull the pain and also go some way to lessening the initial embarrassment factor. There is a saying that beauty is pain and I couldn’t agree more but as a new wax convert with two screaming sessions under my belt (pun not intended) I’ve already booked my next appointment. This method is very effective and depending on which areas you have waxed, re-growth can be kept at bay for between three to eight weeks. Pre-waxed strip Kits are also generally available for the bold and more budget conscious DIY enthusiast.
Tweezing is one of the best ways to groom those hairy downturned forehead smiles we call eyebrows. It is inexpensive and highly effective due to the technique of plucking one hair strand at a time. However, there is another kid on the block in the form of threading. As the name describes threading involves the use of a loop of cotton thread skilfully held in the practitioner’s hands and teeth and manipulated to trap and remove multiple hairs in one go. Threading is faster than tweezing and is considered by some to be less painful. Results generally last for between two to four weeks. The only main downside to note is that a decent pair of tweezers can be purchased on your local high street whereas finding a threading practitioner may prove slightly more difficult but well worth it when you succeed.
Epilators take their name from the process itself. They are hand held electrical devices with a mechanical head that grasps multiple hairs pulling them out in a simultaneous motion. Think of a hungry hair mouse munching its way up and down your leg at your command. This process is very similar to waxing and the two methods can be interchanged to save on cost or for convenience sake when you’re asked out at short notice and find your beauty therapist is fully booked.
Shaving rules this roost and can go almost everywhere that waxing can but not for as long. Expect to see re-growth within a couple of days. On a more positive note, those who have formed a strong bond with their razor claim that it is an easy and totally pain free way of eradicating body hair. Please don’t try this on your eyebrows as I can bear witness to the fact that they will never be the same again. My brother shaved mine off when we were children. They grew back as half brows so I can only conclude that 28 years on, the other halves are still keeping their heads down.
Finally, we come to the depilatory creams. I’ve nicknamed them the hair deceivers because they masquerade as moisturisers in their colour and application Hairs lay down under the cover of the cream basking in its glory, then the penny drops as the shower water washes them away but its too late. The chemical composition of these creams breaks down the bonds in the keratin which in turn weaken the hair to the level that it can be gently rubbed away. This process can be messy coupled with a somewhat unpleasant smell and having to stand around in some form of nakedness waiting for the cream to take effect. However it does work and leaves skin feeling smooth for at least three days.
Parting is such sweet sorrow which ever method you choose. My vote is firmly cast in the waxing ballot box because in the throws of my discomfort, I forget my disappointment about all the hair I’m losing that could have gone on my head if I’d been consulted.