15 Hair Removal Horror Stories That Will Make You Question Why We Wax And Shave In The First Place

“Beauty is pain” is an understatement.

6. My eyes are watering now just thinking of it

“About a year ago, I decided I needed to do some much-needed grooming in advance of a weekend beach trip. Unfortunately, a full-price Brazilian at my usual hair removal place costs around $80.

So, I did what any budget-conscious New York woman would do: I Grouponed something random.

I had to leave work around 4 to get to my bikini wax appointment, at a vaguely named hair and beauty salon off Broadway in the Noho part of New York. After I took the dingy elevator up to the salon, I was ushered inside a tiny closet—yes, CLOSET—by the waxer, who I’ll called Bertha. The tiny waxing bed was propped up next to a jumble of brooms and mops, folded up tables and other storage items.

That should have been my first warning. But alas, I kept going, reminding myself that I had scored a total deal, getting the wax for $40. Bertha reached for her tub of soft wax, and I already tensed up: hard wax, the kind that doesn’t use an applicator, hurts much less than the old-fashioned stuff.

The real horror, though, came much soon after, as Bertha glommed the hot substance on my, uh, most sensitive areas and firmly pressed down the muslin strips. I braced myself for impact. (There’s nothing worse than those few seconds just before the waxer goes for the rip.)

But instead of yanking the strip off in one seamless, pain-minimizing flourish, Bertha took her time. Oh yes. We’re talking a SLOW RIP. My eyes are watering now just thinking of it.

‘Can you, um, go faster?’ I said, clutching my knees closer, sweating all over the table like a feverish elephant.

‘Oh sure, sweetie,’ Bertha said, spreading more purple wax over the next square inch she wanted to victimize. She positioned herself. This time, it was faster, but she ripped it halfway. Halfway! And then did the other half! I’m no wuss with pain, but this was honestly one of the more ouch-inducing situations I’ve ever been in.

In retrospect, I’m not sure why I didn’t just storm out of the room, leaving my bikini line half-finished, and demanding a refund. Maybe I was still seeing the dollar signs of the cheap Groupon deal flash before my eyes. Maybe it was the looming deadline of my beach trip. But I stuck it out and ended up a little bruised—physically AND spiritually—but hairless nonetheless.”

—Name Withheld


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