Wednesday 17 November 2010

From Fluff to Buff

First published October 2007

Oh my God, look at her legs! Like a Gazelle ... as hairy!

Whenever there is something on the telly about hair removal: I’m clinging to it! It is a rather queasy and a bit of a scabrous subject and whenever somebody is talking openly about it I’m not to miss it, by no means!

What on earth is it about body hair? We are breeding pigs with an additional rib, have eradicated a lot of diseases, carrying fake boobs, have been on the moon and had all sorts of great achievements – but we still are squeamish about body hair and we still don’t know how to get rid of it.

The last TV show, depicting a lot of ingrown hair, and painful faces left me as clueless as all the others before. So let's see what remedies there are on the market.


I used hair removal cream once, about 100 years ago and back then it was a rather messy and smelly affair. If one is to believe the adverts at the telly, then these days it's nothing but fun to use these nice and girlishly wrapped chemical concoctions.
I bought this pack in a desperate moment when I didn't have my varifocals yet and thus couldn't read the label in the store. At home it felt like reading the blurb of a very dangerous medication and hence that stuff stayed in its wrapper. I heard that some of you have good results with it, though!

It’s OK, apart from the fact that after a few hours you feel like a hedgehog and after a day you look like one – especially if you have dark hair and fair skin.

Wet shaving is messy, although smoother. Dry shaving is quicker although the whole neighbourhood knows what your usual grooming hours are, and whether you have shaved today or not, and from the amount of swearing and choice of words they might even be able to guess which parts you have been treating.
This all makes one particularly ill at ease during holidays, where one might share a log cabin, apartment or even worse a room with people who are in the best of cases friends in the worst merely acquaintances. Can’t happen to me anyway as I refuse this sort of holiday arrangement - but this is worth another story!

BTW: If you are dry shaving – use baby powder. That doesn’t harm the shaver, but keeps the skin dry. Desperation made me research the websites of the adult scene. I thought if those ladies don’t know how it’s done, then nobody knows.
However having decided for the shaving option a while ago, I usually travel with heavy gear: Dry shaver for quick access and stray hair, plus a bottle of shaving foam in case the power adapter doesn’t work, or in case one should have a bit of time to achieve a smoother finish, or in case sunburn makes dry shaving impossible, although wet shaving is no fun then either.

It is plucking, although not with tweezers, but with a machine working like 20 tweezers at a time. The noise is even worse than a shaver and very distinct. Using a dry shaver you might be able to envision that neighbours hopefully might think that hubby has a really manly beard growth. Not so with an epilator.

The idea is to get the hair ripped from the root so that it grows back thin tipped, and that more and more roots get destroyed from the torture so that it won’t grow back at all. Some of them come with an ice pack to be somehow attached, wich I never managed to do properly, and of course this thing is never in the freezer when you need it. Or if it is, then you are already butt naked ready to go for a nice bathroom session when you remember that you forgot to get the icepack from the kitchen.
Tried it – not working for me, although a friend of mine has great results with it. But in my case too many hairs get broken off, and after 2 weeks there are hairs growing of all length so that I’m epilating every day to keep up with the irregular growth. Some of them are breaking below the skin surface and that’s the nasty ones which tend to grow in. Strong and sharp and sometimes a bit curled from ripping them, like these gift bows which start curling up when pulled over a blade, the hair starts growing into all sorts of directions. I have an epilator for appropriation – just in case you were interested…

Heat is applied into the root of the hair and kills it. Some say it’s painful some say it’s not. It surely is expensive and the hassle is to find a place where you can trust the people who do it, as they have to be well trained. It seems to be time consuming as a lot of sessions are needed to treat a whole body, but given that after that you never ever have to bother again … ?
However, for me that has the smell of surgery and hence it would be a last resort.

Same as Electrolysis really, just the means of applying the heat is different. Laser sounds a bit more modern and it does hurt. I know that some say it is not bad, but I saw a lady on the telly having the treatment and she WAS in pain. I think there might be a time where I would have to write another article comparing Laser to Electrolysis, but for now – it’s a last resort as well.

Oh well, I thought it’s nothing different from epilating. Hot (actually: warm) wax is applied and then some paper strip which binds together with the wax is applied and then pulled off, hopefully taking all the hair with it. But in the light of my upcoming beach holiday end of January, and after another disastrous shaving session which turned out to be only half thorough despite spending ages in the bathroom – I have to have the sun coming in from a specific angle, what happens about twice a year - I decided to brace myself and to have a chat with Kelly, my lovely beautician about the following.

Like with the epilating the hair is to be pulled from the root and thus the back growth will have a fresh thin tip which will not grow in but straight out – at least in theory. Apparently the statistic is that epilating misses too many hairs and breaks them. That happens as well if your beautician is an inexperienced waxer. So the word of mouth game is very important in this case.

There is only one BIG hiccup with the waxing. The hair needs to be really long to get good results. She says that the worst thing for her is if a client comes two days before a holiday for a first wax and has shaved the week before. She just can’t do a good job in this case because the wax won’t hold grip. Due to ingrown hair, irregular growth from shaving and thus not catching them all during the initial session, she needs 2-3 sessions to have them all come off the roots, and then having grown them back all the same length with thin tips in order to get a really good result.

So while I was enjoying my facial with some cotton pads on my eyes and seductive music in the background, I wrecked my brain to find out how many weeks there are until my holidays are due to start. She needs 6 weeks between sessions, I had shaved a week ago and looked disastrous already, and now she just told me that I had to wait another TWO WEEKS – Eeek!

But it was all so meant to be; once I appeared from underneath of all my fluffy towels, cotton pads and her soothing hands we eventually used her computer to count backwards. One session two days before I leave for hols, one right before Christmas and one mid November – and I’m not supposed to shave AT ALL.
However, at least autumn is the best time of the year to get started. Aren’t we all happy to wear trousers and boots again?

Well, we will have to see how it goes. At least I will have a great holiday without having to take any excess toiletries with me. After that I might bleach during the time the hair has to grow long enough for the next session and if that is not working for me, I might stick to my word then and research the last resorts a bit more.

Keeping you posted!

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