Ripping your hair out by the root – it's hard to imagine a less pleasant task in the realm of personal grooming. Perhaps that's why an increasing number of women are turning to a new crop of body-waxing bars to do the dreaded deed for them. In the past few months, these dedicated waxing salons have proliferated in Toronto and Vancouver, the latest comers in the specialized beauty-services market that also includes brow and blow-dry bars.
"The personal-grooming focus has shifted to convenience," says Lexi Miles, founder of Waxon Wax Bar (www.waxon.ca) in Toronto, whose offerings include a 20-minute leg wax, a service that can take up to an hour in a full-service spa. To further simplify the process, treatments can be booked online (the salon also offers walk-in appointments).
Florence Gavin, who owns Toronto's Fuzz Wax Bar (www.fuzzwaxbar.com) with partner Jessica Frampton, agrees that waxing isn't about indulgence: "Getting your nails done is an event. With waxing, [clients] don't want to linger," she says.
Meanwhile, at Stripped Wax Bar (www.getstripped.ca), a chain that has three locations in Vancouver, the aim is to make waxing as ubiquitous as the mani/pedi. "Previously, people were waxed in the dingy back room of a nail salon or in an expensive hotel spa," says owner Susan Vu. "We're [making] waxing a mainstream service."
In addition to convenience, a big draw is a new waxing technique known as "precision waxing," said to hurt less than the old boiling-hot-waxon– a-stick method. Waxon, for instance, uses a low-temperature Lycon wax made of natural resins and beeswax that is said to cling to hair but not skin, resulting in less discomfort. It also comes in a more pliable formulation called Lycojet, used for Brazilian waxes, which is said to condition skin and cause less redness, and boasts celebrity fans such as Victoria Beckham.
On top of waxing services, products such as exfoliating creams and post-wax serums are available at Stripped and Waxon. And for clients who don't want to experience any sensation at all while having their most sensitive areas waxed, Waxon sells a "numbing kit" that contains disposable latex panties to be worn overtop of lidocaine cream 45 minutes before a bikini wax. For men – all three companies cater to both a male and female clientele – Waxon sells a pain-relieving cream called Numb Nuts. Stubble, after all, is equal-opportunity.