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.

9. I woke up with huge, itchy, red welts all over my legs

“When I was a tween, my mom wouldn’t let me use razors to shave my legs because—like any good Jewish mother—she worried I would somehow let it slip and hit an artery, bleed out, and die. So I used Nair for the first year or so, and then a new brand of Nair-like hair removal cream, which I will not name here, launched in the U.S. I jumped at the chance to try it. I smeared the goop all over my legs, and it burned a little, but I washed it off and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up with huge, itchy, red welts all over my legs, from ankle to upper thigh. I had some sort of terrible allergic reaction. I was forced to wear long pants (in the Florida heat) for about two and a half weeks after the incident until all the welts healed—and from then on, my mom let me shave.”

—Jenna

10. candy-cane stripes of red and white on my legs

“When I complained that the wax was too hot, she gruffly told me I was being a big baby—she also told me I was a big baby for not getting a full Brazilian while I was there. ‘Why are you not getting a Brazilian? What are you, a big baby? I have a Brazilian.’ Um, good for you? I left that day in agony and angry that I wasted not only a gift card but also cash money (because this service was expensive!) and spent my entire vacation with candy-cane stripes of red and white on my legs—because I was right, the wax was too hot. Another time, back when I was getting bikini waxes (though not Brazilians, ever, sorry/not sorry, super-rude leg waxer!), an aesthetician gave my lady area a little pat when her task was complete and said, ‘There, you’re like freshly plucked chicken.’ Exactly the look I was going for.”

—Kate

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