My leg hairs seem to be a fantastic barometer for the weather. Why? Well, as soon as I have my legs waxed it will be cold and rainy, therefore a need for trousers. As soon as the sun comes out, and I would like to wear a skirt, they will be at that awful in between stage, too short to wax too long to show!
For as long as I can remember leg and under arm hairs have been the bane of my life. Being Greek it seemed to be a bi-product of the nationality. Well I now realise it really is not that bad and I have put together a few ways to get rid of the fuzz so we can have a hair free summer.
Lets start with the basics, shaving, the one good thing about shaving is that it is instant, no need to wait for a time for re-growth. Wet shaving gives you a close shave but you can end up with razor rash, an excellent counter for that is ‘Tend Skin’ this a do it all skin care solution formulated with an asprin-derivered complex. It helps treat razor burns and nicks but it was originally developed to un-block in-growing hairs. You just need to wipe it over the area day and night with a bit of cotton wool. We now move on to epilitiry creams, they are nearly as instant, but again, especially if you have sensitive skin, can cause rashers. The main problem with both these types of treatments is they only treat the hair at the surface so re-growth is pretty instant, in some cases literally shaving morning and night! Try Mr. Shaves Vanish hair spritz, immediately after shaving, this helps to break down the hair protein, leaving more time in-between shaves. (0800 083 8416 for stockists) There are also some excellent electric shavers on the market, and Philips seem to have the best choice in their Lady Shave range, especially the skin soft with comes with Nivea cream in the unit to instantly smooth your skin.
Then we have the many different forms of removing hair from the root. Lets start with threading, this is very popular with Asians, this is done literally with a piece of string, one end held in the therapist mouth then the other end is twisted and rolled along the hair trapping it in the string and pulling it out by the root. I once had this done on my full leg and bikini-line on a beach in Vietnam, it is not an experience I would recommend, but threading is good for smaller areas like upper lip, or for areas that need shaping like eye-brows. Another way is sugaring or haloua as it is called, this is an old method where a sugar derived substance very much like play-dough is pushed down the leg (to get the hairs to adhere to it) and then quickly pulled off. My main problem with this is the pushing down hurt as much as the pulling off, so it seemed double the pain for the same result!
You can also get hand held epilators with remove the hair from the root, these are not for the light hearted, especially if your pain threshold is low, but they are got for taking on holiday, to get rid of your waxing re-growth. Try Philips Satin Ice Epilator £65, which comes with a nifty skin-chilling attachment to reduce the ouch factor Now we move on to waxing, there are two main types of waxing; hot wax, where the wax is put on the hair, left to harden then pulled off, or strip wax where the wax is put on then removed by a strip of muslin put on top and pulled off removing both the wax and your hairs. There are pros and cons with both of these treatments, but I think if you have very strong roots the hot wax, due to the time it is left on the skin, allows the pore to dilate thus causing less snapping and more removal by the hair root. It is sometimes hard to find hot wax salons as it takes longer to do and is generally harder for the therapist. Maria Apostoli, does a Stirling job with both types of wax, in her converted salon in Totteridge.
You can also buy certain creams and gels that you put on the skin directly after you have waxed in order to retard hair growth and I think with regular use these do seem to have some effect try Thalgo Gel Biodepyl or Mary Cohrs Anti-Hair Growth Cream (£14.50 for 100ml, 0808 100 3102 for stockists)
There are also many types of laser treatment on the market; these can work wonderfully or hardly at all. I have been to various laser clinics there in London, but none of them compared to the treatment I had done in Cyprus last year, and intend to repeat this year. It made such a difference to my happiness I had the treatment at the clinic of Dr. Nickolas Chrystodolou, in July and did not even have to think about my leg, bikini or underarm hair till well into October. For someone who normally gets there legs waxed every three weeks this is life changing! No longer do my legs govern what I am to wear, it is incredibly freeing. I not only found it was the only laser treatment with such good results but it is also a fraction of the price of treatments in London.
If you decide to have laser while on your summer holiday, you need to take some things into account. Firstly, make your appointment from London to avoid disappointment. Secondly, get your legs waxed 2 weeks before you intend to have your treatment as this will mean the hair is in the right cycle of growth for the laser to have optimum results. Laser works best when you do not have a tan, hence the need to do it right at the beginning of your holiday.
So all that is left for me to say is, enjoy your hair free holiday.
Maria Apostoli Aesthetician: 020 8445 6809
Dr. Chrystoforou: 003572 2315014 (Nicosia)