Wow – I cannot believe how long I have been waxing and doing hair removal, it seems light years away from when I started out, and despite not appearing so, the industry has changed quite a bit. No longer is a bikini line just a bikini line … now, we need to know what type of bikini is needed – a basic bikini, G-string, Brazilian with landing strip, Brazilian with no strip and then there’s the LA bikini which means front to back and everything in-between!
These days I can easily wear the crown for the ‘Queen of Hair Removal’ as I stay abreast of industry developments with regards to methods, technologies, and materials and in hair removal, there have been a lot of changes over the last 25 years! When I started it was so simple, we only had strip or hot wax to choose from and it was believed that only dodgy beauticians used hot wax due to many only re-cycling the wax on a daily or weekly basis. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for recycling but when it comes to my lip being waxed from recycled bikini hot wax, well that just leaves me cold!
Waxing has always been my bread ‘n’ butter and it’s what I’ve done more of than any other treatment, it’s also been my favourite service for many reasons. Hair removal is known as epilation and this is where I’ve specialised.
There are many epilation methods to choose from and at Zulu Zone, we are able to offer our clients a full range of waxing, sugaring, threading and IPL/SHR permanent hair reduction. Each method affects the clients’ skin and hair slightly differently so it is great having options, especially when all these modalities can be utilised on a single client to service individual needs. For example, it may be beneficial to thread the client’s eyebrows, but sugar the lip, wax the legs and do an IPL/SHR permanent reduction for the bikini area all in the same appointment! We mix these methods quite often so that we are able to address more sensitive areas or give longer lasting results. It’s wonderful to have these choices and to offer our client’s their best outcome!
What are the differences for hair removal methods?
- Waxing is really the ‘Western’ version of early sugaring practices. I still prefer to use strip wax instead of hot wax, for hygiene reasons, and depending on the client and area, I always have a choice of two or three different waxes on-hand. Wax is a resin that thoroughly coats the skin and hair, it is applied in the direction of the hair growth and removed against the direction of the growth with a disposable cloth that is disposed of with each client. Waxing is still the most popular method of temporary hair removal for larger areas of the body giving a great result for smooth skin and as it takes the dead skin cells with the wax it also provides an exfoliation treatment at the same time!
- Sugaring is an ancient art of hair removal made from sugar, lemon juice, and water which also makes it popular with vegans. There is a long history to sugar hair removal (also known as sugar paste or Persian waxing) as it originated in Persia as early as 1900 BC. Now it is sought by many as the preferred method for certain areas of the body. Egypt also claims to be a place of origin, even purportedly used by Cleopatra herself. The sugar paste is applied directly by hand against the direction of the hair growth, it is molded several times so as to seep into the pores, then removed in the same direction as the hair growth. The application and removal is the opposite of waxing and results in far less ingrown hairs particularly in the bikini region. Sugar paste does not coat the skin and adheres to the hair only, therefore is gentler on the skin and easily removed with water so there’s no sticky residue. This method is usually used in smaller, more sensitive areas of the body like face, underarms, bikini and Brazilian.
- Threading is a method of hair removal used on the entire face and eyebrows and is a perfect alternative to other methods such as waxing as the thread only affects the hair and not sensitive skins. Threading is a skill of old although the history of threading is a little ambiguous, with some claiming that it began in the Middle East, India, or China so its origins cannot be absolute. This hair removal technique uses a 100% cotton thread which is precisely twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin entwining the hairs which are then lifted out from the follicle. When done correctly the sensation has a pinging effect to the skin but it is not a painful experience. Unfortunately, there have been several clients who have previously had a more painful experience when skin is caught in the thread, however with a trained hair removal therapist this should never happen, in fact, it is usually less painful than waxing or even tweezing! There are many methods of threading that can be performed but the mouth method is my favourite. Depending on the hair type and area of the face the hair-free result is effective anywhere between two to six weeks and as with any hair that is removed by the root, the hair will gradually become softer and sparser when attended to on a regular basis.
- IPL/SHR Permanent Reduction is an exciting concept that is fast becoming the most popular method of hair reduction due to the long-term results it offers. A specialized machine is used for this treatment known as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). This technology has been used since the early 1990’s so the concept of IPL is not new, however, SHR (Super Hair Removal) is still quite new. SHR is a function only available on the latest machines and offers a truly pain-free treatment! The cooling systems in these new machines are so advanced, that it negates the heat at the exact same millisecond the light is applied thereby neutralizing any ‘pinging’ traditionally associated with IPL …. Love it, love it, love it! IPL doesn’t suit everyone, so prior to starting any treatments a consultation is required to make sure this is the best treatment for the client, then the rest is easy! The most popular areas for IPL/SHR reduction are legs, underarms, forearms, bikini areas, lip, and chin.
So there you have it – four methods that can be utilised all in one appointment if needed! I’m so proud that Zulu Zone is able to offer such a good range of options and our clients are able to receive the service or services that best suits them. It’s reflecting on things like this that remind me that I love what I do and the difference that we can make for people!