Ever wondered why it is considered the norm to shave your armpits and wax your legs and bikini hair? Faith Suwanprathet from The Wax and Thread Company delves into our (not so) hairy past to explain all…
It all started with the ancient Egyptians with their obsession of beauty rituals. An awful lot of time and effort was spent on hair removal; it was common for ancient Egyptian women to remove all of their body hair.
The Roman Empire followed suit. A lack of body hair was a sign of wealth and class, even pubic hair was considered uncivilised, which is why many statues and paintings we often see of this era are depicted hairless.
On to the Middle Ages, Queen Elizabeth I set the trend amongst women by removing facial hair, particularly eyebrows and hair from the forehead (to make the forehead appear larger).
In the late 1700s Jean Jacques Perret, a French barber, created the first straight razor for men, which was also used by some women. Come the 1800s, one of the first depilatory creams was created and soon after, in 1880, Gillette created the first modern day razor for men – a revolution was born.
However, a razor specifically marketed for women did not appear until three decades later in the early 1900s. Ads for depilatory creams began circulating, promising to remove ‘humiliating growth of hair on the face, neck, and arms’.
A decade later, a leading women’s fashion magazine ran an ad featuring a woman with her arms raised and her armpits bare, the first of its kind.
In the 1940s Remington released the first electric women’s razor, after the success of a male version, and by the 1950s hair removal became more publically accepted.
Since many depilatory creams were still irritating to the skin, women relied on razors to shave their legs and underarms and tweezers to groom and shape facial hair.
By the 1960s wax strips made their debut and quickly became the method of choice for removing unwanted hair under the arms and on legs. The first laser hair removal method hit the market in the mid-sixties, but was quickly abandoned due to its skin damaging tendencies.
The invention of the bikini made it fashionable to have smooth arms, legs and bikini lines. The 1970s saw the rise of electrolysis, although having been around for nearly a century, it became more reliable and safe with the development of transistorized equipment. This decade also saw a resurgence in the removal of bikini hair as the swimsuit fad of the 1960s stuck around.
From the 1980s to today, most women rely on some form of hair removal in their everyday beauty routines, whether it is threading, tweezing, shaving, waxing, or depilatory. Even men are getting smooth.
The greater exposure of athletes, celebrities and models continue to fuel the trend. Waxing salons, eyebrow threading bars and laser centres are at an all time high and continue to rise. Hair removal has made it one of the most popular beauty services out there.
In Brighton, The Wax And Thread Company opened its doors in January 2015, concentrating only on hair removal, and it is the only salon in Brighton and Hove dedicated to waxing and threading, for women and men.
The age-old tradition of threading has become very popular and is now a preferred first choice method for facial hair removal, as opposed to invasive facial waxing.
Although a maintenance rather than a luxury treat, that doesn’t mean it has to be an unpleasant experience you have to endure. The salon itself at The Wax And Thread Company is cool, clean and contemporary with a relaxing atmosphere.
As well as two treatment rooms there is also a dedicated threading room away from prying eyes, so you can feel at ease, along with a hand selected team of professional therapists with 45 years combined experience.
Centrally located in the heart of town, the salon open six days a week, including evenings, and is very popular with those working professionals and commuters and, for more information, visit www.thewaxandthreadcompany.co.uk