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Health, Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

Bush-Whacked: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Wax-on, wax-off. What you need to know before going to get waxed.
Wax-on, wax-off. What you need to know before going to get waxed.

Posted Jun. 19, 2013, 9:09 am

Barbara Bishop / Hot Flash Columnist

The Good

It’s summertime, and with the warm sun comes sexier clothes. One BIG mistake you can make is not shaving your legs, armpits, or waxing your bikini line – a total turn-off for men and women. It might be okay to let it go in the winter, but absolutely not in the summer!   

My “go to” gay stylist/friend Colin says, “Women and men should be waxed all year ‘round. It’s very fashionable to be well-groomed.”   

And, I personally think it makes you feel sexier and younger!

The Bad

But buyer beware. I have a friend that told me that within 24 hours of getting a bikini wax at a reputable salon, an infection crept in. Eww! Not sexy.

Her doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. It took her months to recover physically from the infection, a big price to pay for a supposedly harmless procedure. Scary!

The Ugly

Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin’s outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What’s more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this make that area primed for skin infections and ingrown hairs. Yuk.

For those who are willing to take the risk, here’s what you need to look for:

1) Choose a Facility Carefully

Before you make an appointment, stop in to see how clean the place is. Read reviews, ask friends (I have Colin to help me), and find out the best place to get your wax on – and off.

Be sure the person you choose is state-licensed and has experience. Once I had a practitioner whose first patient ever was ME! Not good.

2) Use Hard Wax

Hard wax is best. It’s gentler and adheres to the hair, not the skin. Look for products that are chemical-free; and contain nothing but sugar, water, lemon juice, and glycerin. Sounds like what they put in Lemon Drop cocktails.  

3) Make Sure Everything’s Clean

Before beginning the process, the practitioner should wash her hands well. She should have waxing equipment that’s never been used on anyone else. To prevent burns, she should check the wax’s temperature on the inside of her wrist before applying it to your skin. If you don’t see these steps being taken, speak up or walk out, honey!  

4) Prevent Irritation

For a few days following your wax, apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic cream and an anti-inflammatory 1 percent hydrocortisone cream to the area. All this after-care for 15 minutes of someone ripping your pubic hairs off? Is it really worth it? Colin says hell, yes!

5) Beware Aware of the Signs of Infection

Be on the look-out for inflamed ingrown hairs, rashes, or raw, open sores or cuts. See a doctor if you develop redness or swelling in the area, an itching or burning sensation, peeling of the skin, or a fever. Nice.  

As Colin always says, “If you are paying to get your lady parts waxed, you better play it safe. No one wants a bumpy cooch!”

Now that you think you’ve found the perfect place, you need to choose the perfect style of a wax-job.

There are several:

• Regular Bikini Wax: Removes the hair outside the panty-line.

• French Bikini Wax: Takes all hair off the in the front (except a small strip) and continues to right before the back. It doesn’t take hair off from the back like a Brazilian.

• Brazilian Bikini Wax: Takes all hair off the bikini line, front all the way to the back. Sometimes a small landing strip or triangle is left in the front.

• Hollywood: Where a Brazilian may leave you with some hair left, a Hollywood removes all of it. Only in LA!

On Saturday, I will take my chances and officially welcome summer with a French Bikini Wax. Ooh-la-la! I always loved French things!   

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.

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