New Yorkers tend to let themselves go feral during the cold-weather months until about Valentine’s Day, when everyone who waxes starts to puts regular topiary trimming into their date book. Not us. We suffered through a winter of waxing to be able to share the state of bikini waxing in the city come spring. Our testing took us to the dedicated wax palaces like Completely Bare and Uni.K., as well as nail salon chains and one-off high-end hair salons. Our findings? Not one scored above a B+.
Double-dipping is rife citywide, and shockingly not just at your corner walk-in place. Even nail salons that offer some of the city’s most hygienic nail services, like Dashing Diva, apply an anything-goes philosophy to back-room grooming. Out of sight should not mean out of mind.
While we greatly appreciate the thankless work of waxers, there are several hygiene-related duties they routinely ignore: Why not make a show of washing their hands, displaying a fresh pot of wax, or the handful of new popsicle sticks they’ll be using during the service?
Here are some things you can do to raise the standards of your waxing experience before, during, and after you drop your drawers. And our Waxing Hall of Fame: a shortlist of spas that didn’t double dip.
Before the wax
- Thwart double-dipping at booking. When you make your appointment, request a fresh pot of wax (these are more likely for the first appointments of the day) and that a slew of popsicle sticks be made available.
- Plan a wax a week after your period, when most women are less sensitive; take Advil a half hour before; and plan to take everything off from the waist down. (Maybe don’t wear a black sweater that day—baby powder can get everywhere.)
During the wax
- Many waxers need to work on their bedside manner. The good ones we encountered do the following:
- Coach you on when to take a deep breath.
- Perform the hold and stretch method to rip the wax away cleanly, in one fail swoop.
- Use “the press” immediately after each tear, per the Geneva Convention (Why has this gone out of fashion??)
After the wax
- Ask for a hand mirror, so you can see your waxer’s work before you jump off the table.
- Ask if they can get strays with tweezers. (Heck, bring your own, if you wish.)
- Bring a wholesome brand of wet wipes to clean up the baby powder and remaining bits of wax. (We like ones infused with calming chamomile.) Spas rarely provide the necessary supplies.
WAXING HALL OF FAME
Print this out and email to friends. These vetted spas didn’t double dip.
Boom Boom Brow Bar, 35 7th Ave., btwn 12th and 13th Sts., West Village, 212- 229-2666, www.boomboombrowbar.com
Euphoria Spa, 18 Harrison St., btwn Greenwich and Hudson Sts., Tribeca, 212-925-5925, www.euphoriaspanyc.com
Thread, 140 Nassau St., btwn Beekman and Spruce Sts., Financial District, 212-608-9232, www.threadsalon.com
Does your go-to spa practice good, clean waxing habits? Tell us, here!