updated 8 Aug 2013, 16:48
Login password
Tue, Sep 06, 2011
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Confessions of a wax therapist
by Joyce Lim

It's a jungle down there, and it is Ms Shino Yee's job to clear the path, so to speak. You see, the 37-year-old is a waxer who specialises in the Brazilian.

The Brazilian wax involves the removal of all hair in the pelvic area, front and back, while sometimes leaving a thin strip.

Ms Yee's job is not as easy as it sounds.

Her task could be one of the toughest in the beauty industry - not only does she need to make sure her customers feel comfortable (especially since they are going to expose their private parts to her), she has to become a friend so they will return to her every month.

And she has to achieve all this within 20 minutes - the maximum time this professional waxer sets aside to rip out the hair from the follicles of each client.

But Ms Yee does spend 30 to 45 minutes on waxing first-timers as she needs the time to help them conquer their fear or discomfort.

"I have to hold their hand and walk with them into the waxing room. Once they are in, I shove the wet tissue and towel into their hands and quickly shut the door so that there is no turning back."

Most customers would want "all off" as it is neater and "less ticklish", said Ms Yee.

"But others don't like to remove all their hair and prefer to keep a strip in the middle."

In a soothing voice, she lulls her customers into a comfortable zen-zone, constantly reassuring them that "it would all be over before they know it".

There are customers who feel so at ease with MsYee that they doze off within minutes of the start of the treatment. Some even snore, she said.

Ms Yee notes that Brazilian waxing is becoming more popular judging from the increase in the number of beauty salons offering the specialised service today.

But the Singapore permanent resident, who is from Malaysia, said her job is still considered taboo by many. She is often asked why she took it up.

"I don't feel this job is less respectable than others," said Ms Yee, referring to gynaecologists' examination of their patients. "Does that make their job less respectable?"

She added: "I take pride in my job and I am very focused on what I do. If not, I would make my customers feel embarrassed about the whole experience."

Wearing her gloves and mask makes her feel like a surgeon in an operating theatre, she said.

Her tools include scissors, tweezers and wooden sticks which she uses to apply the wax onto the skin.

She mentally marks three main out-of-bounds spots - those that may sexually arouse a client if they are accidentally touched.

Ms Yee said she has had customers jumping up from the bed and glaring at her.

Most of her clients do Brazilian waxes because their partners ask them to, and they often ask about what would improve their sexual experience.

"When you are cleaned up down there, it will definitely make you feel sexier and more confident about yourself," said Ms Yee.

Which is why the men want it too, she said.

But Ms Yee doesn't do Brazilians for men. She waxes other parts of their body like the chest, arms and legs.

Occasionally, though, there are a few who insist on that job. Some have even tried to get fresh with her while she was waxing their legs.

But Ms Yee knows just how to deal with the guys who aren't there for the right reasons.

"You see, to minimise pain, I use one hand to press down on the skin, keeping it taut enough so the wax and hair come off easily when I do the stripping," Ms Yee said.

"Without me keeping the skin taut, trust me, it really, really hurts."

Secrets of the trade

1. The level of pain varies for different people. First-timers and people with dense hair will find it more painful. To minimise pain, the waxer will need to press on the skin to create a taut tension, and strip off the wax in one quick go. Professional waxers will also avoid waxing the same spot repeatedly as skin can be compromised.

2. For women, the best time to do a Brazilian wax is two weeks before your period. The skin will be less sensitive to the hot wax and it will be less painful.

3. Soft wax is not recommended for a Brazilian, although some therapists use it as it is cheaper than hard wax. Soft wax adheres to the hair more than hard wax. As the skin is soft and sensitive down under, soft wax may cause the top layer of skin to be stripped away, which can result in infection or irritation.

4. Tip on finding out how professional and hygienic your therapist is: Check that she does not double dip the same stick or spatula into the pot of wax.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments

No leh people stripping on train like no body business ... Orps ... Its the wrong stripping word :o
Posted by tmfoo888 on Tue, 6 Sep 2011 at 22:25 PM
Stripping is definitely the most painful way to do it .... ew
Posted by mystrawberry on Tue, 6 Sep 2011 at 21:24 PM

Copyright © 2013 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.