I've always thought my threshold for pain was high. Yet there was one thing that made me rethink this notion: waxing.
However modern and sophisticated our culture has become over the years, waxing and hair removal in private parts of the body has remained somewhat of a taboo. For many, it’s an unfamiliar process; for some, it’s an expensive procedure. For others still, it’s an unnecessary option.
“Waxing is not a fad. We go to the dentist for our teeth. We go to the salon to have our hairs done. More than aesthetics, waxing and hair removal should be done regularly for hygienic purposes,” Tab Abad-Estacion, managing director for Harem Inc., the Philippine franchise holder of Strip, told the Inquirer.
Strip was founded in Singapore in 2000, advocating a mantra of hygiene, speed, and quality “to provide the safest, most comfortable waxing experience for its discerning clients.”
In the country, Strip put up its first location five years ago in 2008, setting up shop in Serendra. A year after that, a store in Greenbelt 5 opened. These are two of the 29 branches in major cities in nine countries where Strip is located, including New York, Hong Kong, and London.
According to Estacion, bacteria in privates stick to hair, which could cause a host of problems, including unpleasant smell. Therefore, removing the hair eliminates many of the common problems people may have had over the years, without even realizing it.
Of course, there are professions where waxing seems to be essential, including models and celebrities, who are often seen in bikinis and other skimpy clothes. Certain athletes need to have hair removed in some parts of their bodies as well.
Strip’s services and techniques are standardized to ensure consistency. The Brazilian wax, for instance, has to be done in 15 minutes. The company’s Striperellas, what they call the staffers who conduct the waxing, undergo a rigorous training.
In a scale of 1 to 10, Estacion would rate the pain level to 3, with 10 being the highest, for waxing in the more sensitive areas of the body. For yours truly, I'd say it was an 8. I was told it gets easier from the second time onwards. But I'm not sure I'd like to find out for myself.
“Our advantage, as a business, is that waxing and hair removal are our core business (unlike similar options that also do nails, massage, or hairstyling),” she said.
Focusing on what they do best seems to be working. Strip has about 900 regular clients per branch who go to their clinics on a regular basis. According to her, some 60 percent of Strip’s clients are women, while the rest are men. It seems to be working--business has grown a hundred percent from last year. In fact, a third branch is to open soon.
As for Strip’s IPL machine, it is upgraded at least once a year, offering customers the latest advancements in hair removal technology. While the brand itself is fun and sassy, she said, there remains to compromise in giving its customers the best possible hair removal possible.
*** This article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 29, 2013. It has been edited for TWIST. Enjoy! ***