Waxing is a pain in all ways imaginable. It is expensive, excruciating, exposing and embarrassing. There is no other act of grooming which is less fun.
I am very glad to report that Strip tries to turn almost all the horrible es mentioned above on their heads. The only one it adheres to is the first. It is expensive. £34 for a bikini line wax in the Notting Hill branch, and £17 for an underarm wax, is a little steep.
Having mentioned that, I think I should also justify this somewhat – you do get more for your money here. All their employees have waxed for years and, when they join the business (started and run by two sisters – collective ah), are sent to learn to wax in the strip way – more on this later. The rooms are decorated thematically: there is a Berry, Olive, Chocolate and Manifico room. The first three have divine smelling wax designed to transport you somewhere, anywhere!, away from legs akimbo and braced for pain. The final room is less scent, more masculine – hence the name.
The therapists here have really seen it all, which helps vanquish the embarrassment in exposing yourself – whipping off in front of them is therefore relatively blush-free. To provide distraction for the shy, each room has a flatscreen TV to transport you mentally away from the process.
It is, surprisingly, not too painful when they pull the wax off and clear that thought, and training, has been put into this pain-free approach. The area to be waxed is sterilised and then oiled to reduce pain before the Lycon wax (Strip have sole distribution on the wax in the UK – it is packed with essential oils and boasts natural, not plastic, resins which means it doesn’t harden fully so the yank off isn’t too bad) is applied and then pulled off. After they have removed every last hair with wax, then tweezers, you are treated to a spritz of their anti-inflammatory spray and sent on your way bald as a coot in your chosen area.
Upstairs in the shop area they also stock a wide range of goodies from nice undies (Hanky Panky/Cosabella/Stella McCartney) to body care potions, changing the stock frequently enough to tempt you anew with each visit.
I wish I didn’t like it so much here – I would be all the richer were it not for Strip – but I do. I love that I don’t dread it with a passion and, really, what more could you ask for from a waxing joint?