It’s time for that little ‘W’ word that all ladies get anxious about, no not wedding, waxing! Personally I can’t stand body hair anywhere on me, so I shave every day with a razor to keep my legs and armpits as smooth as possible. The only downside of shaving is the fact that it cuts the strong hair into a blunt edge level with the skin, and as it continues to grow back it feels sharp, rough and bristly. Much like trimming a weed in the garden, cutting the head off will do nothing to remove the plant as the roots are strong and well established, so removal is undoubtedly the best method.
I had a horrific home-waxing experience as a young teen before going on a family holiday. My mother convinced me to join her with her waxing regime and sat me on the bath with a tub of hot wax in the sink and some material strips. I had shaved everyday for a couple of years by that time and my shin hair was thick, black and strong. Needless to say I screamed with the pain, refused to finish the rest of my leg after the first swipe and cried as I tried to hand wash the remaining wax off of my red and mottled skin. So it’s safe to say that my experience of waxing hasn’t been the best. Fast forward several years and as I’m a mother of two my pain threshold and approach to beauty has somewhat matured and I now appreciate the luxury of stubble free skin.
Pulling into the car park of the Belmore Centre which was clearly signposted from the main Stoke Mandeville Hospital road, I was pleasantly greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff at reception before being shown to a beautiful white stone waiting area filled with beauty products, soft lighting and soothing music. A few moments later I was greeted by Lauren, my therapist, and shown to a peaceful, cosy and quiet treatment room upstairs which was furnished with beautiful white and purple materials and sumptuous soft fluffy towels. After answering a few questions about my health concerning the procedure that I was about to have, Lauren showed me to the bed where I laid on my back ready for the appointment to begin.
Knowing I was having my full leg and underarms waxed I hadn’t shaved for seven days and exfoliated in the shower before coming to remove any dead skin and free any trapped hairs. As it was a sunny day I wore a dungaree dress and a vest top so that my arms and legs were exposed for easy access and Lauren began by moisturising my dry knees so that the wax wouldn’t stick to my skin, before advising that some of my leg hair may be too short to remove as ideally I should have left it to grow for two to three weeks. Lauren then started spreading the warm wax, which was melting in a pot on the side, onto my leg with a wooden spatula much like icing a cake. The wax felt lovely on my skin, it was beautifully warm and soothing, and when Lauren applied her cloth waxing strip and pressed it down onto the skin, the warmth and rubbing motion made pulling the hair out surprisingly bearable. I expected to be gritting my teeth, clenching my fists and screaming like I did as a teenager, but it was far more pleasant that pulling off a plaster even. Lauren was fantastic and said that as I was nervous she would get straight into it, waxing quickly and in small sections at a time so that it would be over with as fast as possible. With each swipe and press the waxing cloth was up, down and around my shins, ankles, knees and thighs within seconds, as Lauren twizzled, smoothed and spread the wax across each and every inch of my skin. My legs felt super soft to the touch after being waxed as Lauren said it was because it also exfoliates the dead skin away as well as removing the hair.
Within minutes my legs were finished and where the hairs had been pulled out there were little red dots which I was assured is perfectly normal as the follicle has been opened. Lauren then applied an after-wax treatment which soothes and protects the skin, and advised me to keep my legs dry and out of the sun, as well as avoiding chlorine and swimming pools for the next 24hrs to avoid infection or burning whilst the follicles took time to close. She also told me that my legs had reacted perfectly normally to waxing by showing red dots, and I could expect these to go down by the following day. There were just a few very short hairs left on the side of my shin which I was expecting as I couldn’t stand leaving my hair to grown any longer, so Lauren removed these with a pair of tweezers to complete my hair removal.
As my after-wax cream soaked into my legs, Lauren then proceeded to my underarms, and began by wiping them clean to remove any sweat or product, before applying a powder to soak up any moisture. I was asked to lay back with one arm above my head, and my free hand to pull the underarm skin taught. I turned my head away so that I wouldn’t get knocked by the waxing cloth, and Lauren began by smoothing the wax onto my underarms. She advised once more that after several days my underarm hair wasn’t ideally as long as it should have been, and that I would get a better result if I had had more growth for another week or two. She also said that my underarm hair was thick and strong and would be more uncomfortable than waxing my legs, with the possibility of bleeding. I was happy to continue and closed my eyes in anticipation as I felt the waxing cloth press onto my underarm. With one deep breath the cloth was pulled away, replaced, pressed down and pulled again. It was more noticeable than having my legs waxed, but I wouldn’t call it horrible, as I continued to chat, laugh and ask questions for the couple of minutes that it took to complete my underarms. As expected my underarms bled, but not like a cut, just tiny specs of blood where the strong black hairs had been pulled out by the follicle. With an after-wax treatment applied to a cotton pad, Lauren wiped my underarms and the specs of blood disappeared. She plucked out the remaining short hairs with some tweezers and my waxing was complete.
Before my appointment I had really psyched myself up to be brave and not panic, but I have to confess I was nervous as anything. That horrific memory of my only prior waxing experience has haunted me for over a decade and resulted in me shaving daily ever since. Since having my waxing my skin is silky soft, days later I am still as bare as a baby’s bottom and I can’t stop stroking, ooh’ing and ahh’ing over how lovely my legs look and feel. There are no dark grey shadows under the skin from shaving, the redness went down overnight and I’m now laying in my garden sunbathing with my perfect pins. Bliss!
I have had such a positive experience at the Belmore Centre that has restored my faith in waxing and given me the confidence and encouragement to step away from the love/hate relationship that I have with shaving. Lauren advised that people with some skin complaints may not be acceptable for waxing, but aside from that it is suitable for every age, gender and area of hair removal. People tend to wax more over the summer when they have their legs on show, and especially before going on holiday to ensure silky soft and smooth skin for around six weeks. Within an hour Lauren transformed me from a hairy caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, removing all of the long spider-like hairs that I always seem to miss on the back or my knee or sides of my thigh. I find it so embarrassing when I go out and realise I’ve missed a patch of hair when shaving, or find an inch long hair sticking up on a special occasion, but now I needn’t worry. Every inch of my legs from the tops of my thighs right down to my ankles is perfectly preened, professionally smooth and absolutely flawless, and I never would have achieved this at home. I couldn’t be happier!
You can visit the Belmore Centre’s website here and watch me having my waxing in this video:
Please Note: I have no connection with The Belmore Centre and have not received payment for this blog. I only agree to blog about content that I have a personal interest in. All text, pictures and opinions are my own.