Extreme hair removal at Strip wax boutique: review
With a reputation as somewhat of a celebrity favourite (just look at these testimonials) and a branch in Soho just down the road from our office, Strip wax boutique was my first stop this summer on the way to a beach ready body.
If you've never heard of Strip before, chances are you'll know it soon: with five boutiques in London (Chelsea, Soho, One New Change, Notting Hill and a brand new, just opened concession in Topshop Oxford Circus - below), one in Essex and a concession in Harvey Nichols in Bristol, Strip is doing extremely well.
I have a confession: before my trip to Strip - I was a wax virgin. I thought as a supposed beauty editor it was really about time I faced the music. I had two main worries about the whole wax business. One: pain. I fully expected to scream the place down and leave crying. Seriously, I am a wimp. Two: embarrassment. Neither was as bad as I feared.
The Soho salon has four rooms (the image above is the chocolate room in the Chelsea salon), each themed to the four different waxes they offer. On arrival I was sat down in reception looking out onto Berwick Street with a short form to fill out and a glass of water that I wished was vodka. Then I headed into my treatment room which was nicely decorated with a flat screen TV on the wall facing the bed chair thing which shows DVDs to distract you from the
torture discomfort. My therapist Michaela had clearly sensed that I was terrified, and after soothingly telling me it wouldnt be as bad as I thought, she left me (with some wipes, hand sanitiser and a towel) to gather my nerves before coming back a few minutes later to start.
Michaela used the beautifully scented hot lavender wax - they never use strips here as they believe it's way too harsh for the area - which is the best type for sensitive skin, and then so began the ripping. But... there was actually no screaming or crying - it's not enjoyable and it hurts, definitely (although apparently it hurts less after the first one, no doubt because your nerves die that time) but it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.
The embarrassment faded quickly too: Michaela was really bubbly and chatty, putting me hugely at ease, and after a while you start to feel like they don't count. Kind of like a doctor. She got me to breathe in and out before each pull, checked I was okay after every one, and then went over the area with tweezers to make sure it was thorough. When she was finished (about five minutes later, thankfully) a soothing gel was applied to help reduce any inflammation and Michaela advised me to use a aloe vera lotion every morning and night to help prevent irritation (Strip also have their own aftercare products including Ingrown X-which exfoliates to minimise ingrown hairs).
So the verdict from a waxing virgin? It hurts - but the results are worth it. Short term pain for long term gain. Waxing prices start from £10 - check out their menu here.