Hairless in the Hub

by Ondine Brent
Friday Nov 11, 2005
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Darlings, the question on every hipster’s lips this season: how to rid oneself of bothersome, unwanted body hair? From moustaches on ladies to the infamous unibrow on gents, back hair, bikini, underarm (and every other imaginable location), our fearless researchers have gone into the field to help you find a solution.


Grabbing my lovely lavender Bic disposable razor, I hopped into the shower ready to banish unwelcome leg hair. I lathered up with soap and warm water (yes, shaving cream works better but I’m working on a budget, people) and proceeded to defrock my gams. The whole operation took less than five minutes, with minimal blood loss – using a fresh blade makes a difference, no need to butcher yourself with a dull one. Beside the pesky hairs that one misses around their knee or ankle, I was good to go. Three days later, I was at it again.

Best left for the legs (on the ladies), this is a short-term, relatively inexpensive option; not the best for long-term hair removal.


Looking for a longer-term, less stuffble-filled option? Plucking might be the way to go...ouch!

Armed with a slanted tweezer from chez Revlon, I approached the bathroom mirror with unease. Clearly, there were a few stray hairs in my browline that needed to be evicted, but was I up to the challenge? Plucking one’s eyebrows seems easy and straightforward, however, it is anything but. Each hair requires a big decision, an agonizing aesthetic choice. You need the eyesight of a sharpshooter and the hands of a surgeon to remove just one hair at a time, not to mention excellent lighting. I like the portable aspect of tweezing – I’ve actually seen people reshaping their brows on the T! – but unless you are extremely artistic, it is far too easy to end up with a bald spot. I say, practice on someone else first. Regrowth appeared within 5 days.

Sally Hansen Lotion Hair Remover

Sally Hansen Lotion Hair Remover (great raspberry peach scent!) was the next weapon in my quest for a hairless self. I don’t know about a great raspberry peach scent, but it definitely was not as offensive as its former incarnation. The lotion is a bit unwieldy to apply. It’s quite thick and once you slather it over the desired area, you need to rinse your hands and remain motionless – not super convenient. The instructions claim that the product should take effect in four minutes, it seemed more like ten. Once you have determined that the hairs are leaping out of the follicles to their death, you need a wet washcloth to remove the lotion and loosen the dead hairs. Charming, no? I will say that the result was very soft, smooth skin and regrowth was slower than shaving.


From our New York correspondent, P J Gach…

I tried Nads at home. Nads is an Australian (G’day mate!) no heat remover gel that quickly leaves your skin baby-soft. It can be found almost anywhere and one box will last you a few months. Nads is a completely natural product; made up of a combination of sugars, vinegar and honey.

Nads No-Heat Removal Gel for Men contains an easily understood instruction booklet complete with pictures, spatula and everything else you’ll need to get rid of unwanted hair. Nads Facial Wand works well with those pesky hairs that wave at you between your brows. And if you’d like to get a little crazy, try their Strawberry No-Heat Hair Removal Gel or their Squeegee & Crème Hair Removal System.
We tried the Facial Wand (bye-bye monobrow) and the Squeegee & Crème System.

Pros: Hair is gone! It’s quick and if you follow the directions, very easy to use. Skin is very soft and smooth after the treatment. Resulting hair-free condition should last about a month.
Cons: Hurts! Yelled “Mama,” during the operation. However, it was worth the pain.

Nads is available at your local drugstore.


From our anonymous “test subject”…

I have to admit I was nervous about going to have my back and shoulders waxed. I’d seen some reality shows where the guy is getting waxed and they really ham up the pain. I mean, the guy is screaming like a baby.

Getting there reminded me a lot of driving to the dentist with my mom when I was a kid, or of going to the doctor knowing I was going get a shot. Like those times, the anticipation was way worse than the actual experience.

I visited Etant Salon which serves a varied clientele; about half men and half women. Interestingly, a lot of the women come in with girlfriends on the weekends while the guys tend to show up at lunch hour during the week or just before going out to Club Café on a Friday night.

My aesthetician, Brandy, was very friendly. She explained what she was going to do and we joked a bit about how I was nervous and how minimal the pain really is compared to what people think. That was very reassuring to me.

She was right. She applied warm wax to my skin and then used a piece of canvas gauze to remove it. It was like pulling off an adhesive bandage over and over. Her hands were swift and sure and the way she used them kept me focused on her touch rather than on the momentary sensation of pain. I figured it must hurt more to have the underarms, chest or bikini areas waxed and she confirmed that. I’ll save that experience for another day… maybe.

When we were all done, she looked over my freshly waxed skin and plucked a few errant hairs with small tweezers. Then she pronounced me a “new man” and told me I looked like a “million bucks”.

When I got home, I dare say my boyfriend could not keep his hands off me and now when I put on a tank top, I feel sexy.

Etant Salon, 524 Tremont Street, 617-423-5040


From our intrepid Style Editor…

Going in for the laser hair removal treatment, I was a bit anxious. However, the thought of not having to pluck between my eyebrows won out over any hesitation I had. It turns out, I needn’t have feared at all.

The procedure itself is totally easy, fast and involves very little pain. In fact, after having three tattoos and a few piercings, it was nothing.

First things first: the procedure I had done uses a technology called ‘elos’ on an Aurora machine. It’s not actually a laser, but rather an ‘intense pulse light’ machine that uses light and radio-frequency energies to destroy the hair follicle. (Yes, that sounds violent and we love it, but in reality it’s very boring. It does the job though, so I can’t complain.)

Legally, the procedure can be done by anyone trained to do “laser” hair removal. However, like many things, it’s much safer and wiser to go to someone who’s not only been trained in the use of these machines, but also has a background in dermatology, plastic surgery and skin esthetics.
I went to Dr. Michele Sasmor’s office in Newburyport, Mass.

The actual treatment itself is super quick and easy. First, a cooling gel is rubbed on the skin. A cold air ‘wand’ is also used before the ‘laser’ to cool the area and decrease any discomfort. The actual ‘laser’ head (which looks very similar to a dentist’s hand piece, but with a cool rectangular crystal on the end) is then placed firmly on the skin and for a tiny second you feel a snapping or ‘hot pinch.’ To me, it felt like a small rubber band being snapped between my eyes, but the pain went away immediately as soon as it started.

This is repeated over the area being treated. Obviously the time needed depends on the area; for unibrow separation, I was in and out of the office in less than half an hour. For an entire back, up to two hours may be necessary.

After treatment, the skin is pink and may be slightly sensitive for a short time, but recovery is fast. The area may ‘shed’ some hairs over the next few weeks, and after each treatment, less and less hair returns. The number of treatments required also varies depending on the area being treated, the thickness and density of the hair and individual’s skin tone. Eyebrows, underarm and bikini usually take 3-5 treatments while legs, back and face often take eight to ten.

After the second treatment, I saw considerably less hair re-growth. By the fourth time, it was gone. A few weeks afterwards I was nearly hair free. The verdict: well worth it.

The cost of “laser” hair removal varies greatly depending on the area being treated. For more information on the procedure and elos/Aurora technology, go to or

For a consultation or appointment with Anne Connolly or Marjorie Noone (both of whom look fabulous- true testaments to their work), call Dr. Sasmor’s office at 978.462.8300 or email them at


Very in with the Kabbalah crowd, threading involves thread (yes, regular ol’ thread), which is twisted and maneuvered around unwanted hairs. Something mystical and painful happens and suddenly your hair has moved on to a higher consciousness. Practioners are very tight-lipped about the procedure: licensing and spiritual guidance are a must. Devotees swear by it, just ask Madonna. Hair does not re-animate for a month.

Try Anthony Pino Salon, 299 Newbury Street, 617-927-0085.

Ok, you marvelous creatures, you’re armed and dangerous: woe to any stray hair that crosses your path. Regrowth? Go ahead, make my day.

Style and etiquette maven, Ondine Brent, spends her time between Boston, L.A. and Paris. Find her at


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