There seem to be two types of women: those who wax and those who don’t. Among those who wax, you might find the same group in the Nail Salon Regular Department or the Regular Make-Up Wearers Department. Of course, there are women who do neither and still wax, along with those in the NSR and RMUW departments who opt for other hair-removal tactics (or none at all; we’re multi-faceted onions).
Among the Regular Waxers, there’s a blasé attitude that goes along with the intimacy of bikini waxes, a normalcy about it. As a woman who is not very shy, I still felt a great deal of trepidation about the idea of someone really *in there*. What would they think? Is it pretty? Is it ugly? Regardless, when I was sent to get a wax at the newly-opened WAXIT flagship store in Table Bay, Cape Town, I bravely opted for the package Bare Necessities that included the bikini wax option, so as to really immerse myself.
Tip #1: Go To A Wax-Only Space
WAXIT is a wax-only beauty salon with branches in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban, and now, Cape Town. Part of the reason for the wax-only salons, for brand owner (aptly named Director of Smooth) Michelle Royston, is that it’s a specialist experience. “What makes us different is that we specialize in waxing. Waxing is our passion in everything that we do and we do it well,” she says. Because it’s hyper-focused on one thing, they’ve thought of all the things to make the experience better: disposable underwear, heated treatment beds, and even sets of pre-and-post wax products that exfoliate and hydrate.
READ MORE: 8 Amazing Benefits And Uses For Aloe Vera
WAXIT even has their own radio, playing impulsively sing-along songs. A big bonus: the treatment bed was heated, and this felt so comforting, especially in the cold winter air. Every bottle is uniform and cleanly labelled, all products are placed on an easy-to-access swivel table adjoined to the bed. Little details like these matter; they make the space feel professional. WAXIT extends this to their staff too: they hire qualified technicians, but everyone does special WAXIT training, too, and there’s such a difference in practice.
READ MORE: Here’s How To *Actually* Prep For A Bikini Wax, According To Waxitologists
What It’s Like To Get A Bikini Wax
In some reviews I nervously read, many people opted to take painkillers before the event, but I was late and forgetful so that illustrious opportunity passed me by. Instead, I arrived and was shown into my room: an elegant space without too-harsh lighting and inoffensive grey walls. I was told to get undressed – since my session involved most of my hair being stripped away (armpits, legs, eyebrows and full bikini) – and lie on the bed. I was also given a set of disposable underwear that was loose and breathable that my Waxitologist, Nondumiso, would work around. I lay down, waiting.
Is getting a bikini wax painful?
First, the armpits. I confidently took a video to show how easily I would handle things. My smug expression contorted quickly into pain. There was a quick ‘ouch!’ ripping sensation but it went away within seconds, especially when Nondumiso applied her thankfully cold (gloved) hands onto the area with pressure. A few strips later, we’d moved onto my eyebrows, which have not been touched in years. A far more tolerable pain, although the video betrays me. Afterwards, the pain completely vanishes, thankfully.
@splishsplashmishmash #fyp #waxingvideos ♬ original sound – Michelle
The lower body was harder to stomach. My leg hair had been allowed to grow as long as possible, which is fabulous for removal purposes: the longer the hair, the more the wax has to hold on to, making it easier to pluck away. But it’s more painful and stung. It was over fairly quickly, but the real work lay in the Hollywood wax. I opted to remove every bit of hair so as to really throw myself into the scene. It’s intimate work, but Nondumiso seemed genuinely nonplussed, chatting all the while. I timed my breathing so that with every removal, I let out oxygen. This helped make things a lot less painful but there’s just so much real estate down there that the complete removal took a while.
READ MORE: 6 Best Eye Creams For Dark Circles, Fine Lines, Puffiness, And More
After, I hazarded a glance. Hairless like a naked mole rat! The area was for sure sensitive and ouchy for a while. I took a painkiller and resolved to lie myself down and do as little as possible, although I may have been dramatic, like a Victorian woman flush with hysteria. The pain was completely gone by the next day, sensitivity and all.
So far, it’s been a week and I do find myself admiring the way my bikini line now looks, and how smooth it feels to walk around. I’ve been eyeing every area steadfastly to check for regrowths but so far, nothing’s popped out. This is why people return for bikini waxes, pain be damned, explained Michelle. “I mean, a million times when clients walk (away) I hear them say, ‘I feel so clean, so nice.’ So once you try it, you never go back (to shaving),” she says. As for me? I’m about to book my next session. Those Who Wax Department, prepare for your newest member.