Sunday, April 12, 2009

To Wax or not to Wax

In an unforgiving hot Sunday Easter afternoon, I accompanied my two lady friends to a waxing salon. Well, what do you know, times have changed indeed. Beauty and wellness centers like spas and different kinds of salon for all body parts are mushrooming like crazy. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of my weakest departments. The only salon that I go to is a hair salon; and shamefully I only visit it once in a blue moon, which is another term for once a year for hair trimming. Well, sometimes I go for major haircuts like what I did last year when I chopped my long hair to a bob. Enduring the salon is not enough though. A couple of my friends were even shocked when they found out that I don't have a regular salon and I don't have a regular hairstylist. It was like I missed out something life altering. After that sudden revelation, I asked my mom and my sister if they have regular hairstylists. My mom said yes while sister said she has two. One main and one fall back. Gosh, well at that time I felt abandoned by not being told about this very pertinent information. Nevertheless, I didn't mind. I go to whatever salon that is convenient and cheap.

So salons now are not only concentrated to hair. It has gone to a generic term. In this day and age, salons are specialized and you have to know these things. There are nail salons, foot salons and waxing salons. So when my two lady friends invited me to go with them to a waxing salon that another lady friend of ours recommended, I decided to go because it was hot and I didn't have anything planned to do. Also, I was curious about this waxing salon people are raving about. At least I can say to myself that I've been there once.

One of my lady friends has already experienced waxing, and by waxing I mean Brazilian Waxing. When she was trying to convince me to take the plunge last week, I researched it on the net and got to know more about it. Apparently, Brazilian waxing is a waxing treatment you do right down "there" in your organ so to speak. It rids your entire pubic area of hair in a fast and effective way while promoting smooth hair re-growth and maintenance. And just like taking your hair from its roots, expect it to hurt like hell.

I'm not really a complete moron when it comes to waxing, although I've never tried it. I was regularly accompanying my best friend since our college days when she would get her legs waxed. I got to see the whole process of putting hot wax, laying some strips and with a quick motion stripping the hair off. She would wince and react and I was just there to support her and count the minutes left. I've thought about it before. Even at those times, when my skin allergies were not yet highly sensitized, I knew I would have a major problem when it comes to severe hair and skin treatments. Apparently, skin is my more hazardous and weakest organ. I get red maps easily and I would have severe skin inflammation when something painful is done to it. That's why visiting dermatologists and facials were not exactly something that I did on a regular basis. Again it's more of like a once in a blue moon thing. As usual, I never did it even if she encouraged me because of my skin issues, although I like going with her and watching the whole process. It even occurred to me that I might like seeing people get tortured because of vanity.

Years later I still result to my safest and usual mode of "hair treatment." I am still surviving and living life as I see fit until last year in which I suffered from an intense skin eruption or an immunological disease called Urticaria or hives. The first week that I began itching like hell in concentrated areas like my back, my two arms and my two legs, I thought I was in deep trouble. The itching was unbearable and it occurred every night. There were small circular eruptions in my skin like weird goosebumps and I couldn't concentrate with anything even if my life depended on it. I've never been allergic to food before, except for peanuts, and remembering those times, I've never done anything unusual. I thought the itch would go away in a week but it got worse. My mom and I eventually went to a dermatologist and did some random skin test. The doctor diagnosed me for having a severe urticaria and later on prescribed me medicines that comprise of expensive itch tablets, anti-allergy medicines, creams, steroids and sleeping pills. In one visit I was able to cash out almost 10K that mostly went to medications. I quickly called my best friend, the same friend that I accompanied to waxing salons, to tell her of my plight. She is a doctor and she quite felt sorry for me when she found out. She knew that this condition is a pain in the ass.

My dermatologist even recommended me to go to an immunologist to make sure that I'm not specifically allergic to something. According to my immunologist, Urticaria is 50% caused by a known allergic reaction to food, cloth, substance or contact and 50% is caused by something genetically made up. I even told him that my whole family is not as sensitive as I am and I've never been diagnosed allergic to something else except for peanut and Ibuprofen which I avoid. But he reasoned out that being sensitized with a skin disease like this does not require perfect timing and cause. It just happens when I encounter something that would trigger it and most of the times I wouldn't be able to pin point what it would be. That is the worse part. My body could react with an Urticaria if one day, out of the blue, I'm triggered with something as minor as a change in temperature or as major as eating a certain food or contact with a certain particle. This also means I would be walking on eggshells from now on and I am strictly recommended to bring medications with me whenever I travel. Experts say that I would never know when it would hit me and not being able to treat it immediately would cause other major complications.

So for the time being I would avoid hot places like saunas or hot springs. I would always eat seafood in moderation and it took time for me to get used to not using loofa and wear clothing that promotes intense friction. In my trips, I always make sure to put medicine as a top priority in my must-have list. Creams and soaps must also be hypo-allergenic. I also avoid having a direct contact with the sun for too long. And did I even mention that I get paranoid on the slightest itch sensation that I get?

Therefore my lifestyle would not permit me to do anything severe to my skin. This includes waxing. Even if I'm highly interested with the good reviews of waxing, I get paranoid. I don't want to accidentally find a way to trigger my Urticaria. My lady friends have been proclaiming that waxing is convenient and a summer activity. Even though it's painful they said, I only have to experience it once to say that it's worth it. I hear them. Good thing is that I can condition myself to disregard the pain factor. The bad thing is I cannot turn off my paranoia.

I've asked my doctor if I can go through waxing because I'm already convinced by my lady friends. Apparently she discouraged it because my skin is highly sensitive and any treatment that goes beyond the skin, like snatching the hair from its follicles (waxing to us) might trigger my Urticaria or worse a disease known as Folliculitis. She said to not take the risk. With my vacation looming, the last thing that I would need is a skin attack. I don't want to go through the experience anymore because I know what it would cause me. A broken wallet, an itchy skin, a chronically bad temperament and a destroyed vacation.

So, I was just in content to go to this popular waxing salon and learned more about the delicate waxing process. I was also amused witnessing my friends go through pain for vanity, which I'm shamefully amused at. I know I have yet to experience it myself to totally understand what this new beauty treatment is all about, but as you all know I have more things to worry about.

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