By: Shirley Oh
Transit Magazine – May 16, 2007
By the time you are reading this, you have probably had your share of beach trips checked off your summer to-do list and bikini photos uploaded in your Friendster, MySpace or Flickr accounts.
However, the significance of one pre-beach trip ritual remains to be a rising to-do priority all year round. Blame it on the Brazilians, blame it on pop culture, blame it on the increasingly innovative bikini designs, blame it on the rain if you want to but one thing is for sure: Brazilian waxing is here to stay.
Though having its own list of pros and cons, waxing seems to be the most preferable choice of getting rid of unwanted body hair down there. Done right, it can mean minimal skin and follicle irritation, reduce hair growth and, most important, smooth skin for days. There is also something terrifying about the idea of a sharp blade touching your most delicate regions, not to mention the highly-developed sensory skills you must have in order to get al the hair out from down there. Hence, the growing patrons of the waxing business and the subsequent increasing number of salons that offer waxing services to answer the demand.
It is not enough, though, to simply march up to a salon and get your waxing fix – a procedure that involves the necessary exposure of body parts that rarely, if ever, see the light of day makes one very vulnerable, making certain other requirements necessary on the part of the salon. Aside from the actual waxing service, privacy, cleanliness and discretion on the part of the waxing attendant are very important.
The idea of a specialized waxing service was the starting idea fro Fiona Hilario, owner of Lay Bare Salon. With two branches opened since June of 2006 and plans to open a third branch this year, Lay bare is proud to claim to be the only exclusively waxing salon in the country, much like the waxing salons in the U.S. or in Brazil. “Waxing is a very private activity. Of course ayaw mong may makakita sa ‘yo na hindi dapat. Kaya medyo tago ‘yung locations ng Lay Bare branches – aside from the rental costs, we’d really like our clients to enjoy their privacy as much as possible,” Hilario explains. “No unnecessary noise from the traffic, not too visible from the street.” The salon’s first branch is located on Filmore Street, Makati while the second is at Scout Ybardolaza in Quezon City. Both branches are cozy, smaller than usual salon with unobtrusive facades, in keeping with the privacy-respecting stance that the owner has.
Hilario says that one of the benefits of having waxing as the only service being offered by Lay Bare is the small amount of waiting time for clients. “With other salons kasi, sometimes you wait for as long as two hours because and daming ginagawa ng mga attendants: Hair, nail spa, etcetera. Here in Lay bare, we encourage people to make appointments so that when they come in here, we can serve them immediately and we know the length of time the service would take.” The simple interiors of both salons also serve to create a soothing environment for clients, comforting in its unintimidating setting.
Among Lay Bare’s female clients, underarm waxing is the most popular service on their menu while facial waxing is the preferred service of the male clients. However, Hilario claims, Brazilian waxing is also steadily becoming popular to both sexes. “Regular people, models, people over 50…more and more come in and ask for a Brazilian wax,” she reveals. “especially for the summer, even couples come in to have it done. Lately, 20 percent of our clientele who ask for that service are male. I think it’s part of their hygiene practices already. Masasanay ka na kasi if you go hairless and besides, naiilang sila to have a lot of body hair when going to the beach.”
Aside form offering solely waxing services, Lay Bare is also known for using cold wax. Sugar-based and mixed with clamansi and honey, cold wax has added benefits, such as exfoliation and bleaching. “There is also a difference in the level of discomfort compared to when you use hot wax,” says Hilario. “With hot wax, delicate skin gets burned that’s why nagiging dark yung skin after the treatment. Cold wax also results in thinner, fairer hair kaya the more you get waxed, the less you will eventually need to get waxed.”
Cold wax also proves to be less expensive than hot wax: The most expensive service on the Lay Bare menu, which is full body waxing, is only Php1,500 for women and Php2000 for men – just a little more costly than other salons’ bikini or Brazilian waxing services. Lay Bare’s Brazilian wax costs only Php450 for women and Php500 for men, making this monthly “vanity” expenditure easy to squeeze into the budget.
“I suggest that people vary the Brazilian wax with the bikini wax. It’s also optimal that you get waxed every four to six weeks para there will be less and less hair to remove at hindi ka na uli ma-traumatize from the pain. We can also pluck or thread the small hairs na hindi pa kaya with wax – some people come in almost every week dahil ayaw talaga nila ng magka-hair ulit.”
Get optimum waxing services at the following Lay Bare Salon branches: 5081 Filmore St., Palanan, Makati and 18 Scout Ybardolaza, Sacred Heart, Quezon City. Hours are from 9 am to 9 pm. For appointments, call the numbers 833-7915 for Makati, 416-0998 for Quezon City, or 0917-LAY-BARE. Visit www.lay-bare .com for more information.
Aside from the monthly upkeep, Hilario offers other tips in order to ensure a smooth, bump-free hair growth after every waxing:
1. To help prevent trauma to the skin and to avoid dermatitis, apply anti-bacterial skin cream after a waxing session (this is already a standard operating procedure in Lay Bare that DIY waxing practitioners can also do). “Don’t wet or wash the area for four hours after application,” she shares.
2. Sadly, neither shaving, hot waxing nor cold waxing can prevent ingrown hair. The best way to deal with this problem is though regular exfoliation. “You can also use astringent on your skin,” Hilario advises. “It’s also been said that you can boil orange skin in water then rub it onto the waxed area. That helps daw.”
3. Once you’ve started waxing, I strongly advise people not to shave anymore,” Hilario warns. “Kakapal lang uli yung hair pagtubo so sayang.”