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13th March 2015

Waxing lyrical

Adrienne Galloway takes a deep breath and delves into the prickly world of hair removal

Female hairlessness has become the norm in society, so much so that when it is not adhered to it seems strange, unnatural even…which does not make any sense at all. For many years there has been endless debate about the methods of hair removal: Creams, razors, waxing, threading, tweezing, and even laser treatment. After all, why wouldn’t any woman want silky smooth legs or her eyebrows ‘on fleek’? I recognise that men increasingly partake in hair removal too, but because of the nature and association of hairlessness and femininity it’s often considered a feminist issue. It’s time we talked about waxing and why, even though there is some method to the madness, ultimately hairlessness is your own individual choice.

The aim of waxing is to remove the hair follicle from the root causing long lasting smoothness along with thinner and slower growth. There are several methods of waxing including: professional, DIY hot wax or using cold wax strips at home. As the warm wax is spread thinly over the chosen area and ripped in the opposite direction of growth, it makes me wonder why many women make a conscious decision to go through a painful and sometimes inconvenient method of hair removal. After all, there is the hassle of growing your hair to a suitable length, resisting the temptation to shave, booking an appointment, being told to ‘relax’ whilst a stranger gets up-close and personal with your intimate areas, enduring the stinging sensation as the hair follicles are ripped away and finally, obeying the aftercare rules.

Exposing your most intimate areas to a beautician can seem a bit daunting at first. But it is the beautician’s duty to act in a professional manner and not be intrusive; in my experience they have understood and respected this.

Pubic hair has always been a controversial topic in the discussion of hair removal with many women arguing that intimate hair removal is simply conforming to the expectations of a patriarchal society. Numerous celebrities have gone public with their decision not to remove pubic hair, such as Lady Gaga when she graced the cover of Candy Magazine Winter 2013 – 14.

Although the beauty industry is constantly growing, and shows no signs of slowing down, this does not mean that you have to keep up. Like many arguments involving feminism, patriarchy, and conformity, I’d argue that waxing is ultimately the decision of the individual.

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