Wednesday, June 20, 2012

wax that tash!

The first time I visited Houston, Texas, I fell in love with the countless walk-in beauty parlors, calling to me from every shopping mall I happened across.

I couldn't believe how many there were - and how cheap it all was!

The majority of these parlors are under Asian proprietorship, with an all Asian beautifying crew,  and - let's face it - when it comes to servicing our weary bodies, Asians definitely beat the pants off the rest of us!

Unlike beauty treatments in the UK, here I found it a most affordable indulgence to get obscenely pampered with peddies - a popular enough treat in Texas to earn itself a nick-name - and manicures - I guess these are called mannies? There was simply no excuse for excess leg hair growth, sprouting and bulging bikini forests (see keeping your hedges trimmed), or arid and cracked heels resembling the Arizona desert.

But that was back in my pre-kiddo days when I was earning British pounds - and working for a disgustingly affluent oil company that didn't bat an eyelid at flying me across the pond for a five week training course.

So one hot afternoon, during my first work hop across the pond, I managed to escape to one of these big city oases and treat myself to a fancy facial. In the midst of my magical and mollifying massage the Korean beautician leaned in and said to me in her pigeon English.

"You need to wax your lip.. yes? I do it for you.... "

And just like that, her wonderful work was undone, and all my newly acquired tranquility went out the window. I was appalled and offended. I didn't have a mustache, did I?  

I stiltedly declined, and I couldn't get out of there quick enough. I scurried back to the sanctuary of my hotel suite where I could examine my new found lip hair privately - not under the scrutiny of that fine skinned, soft and hairless beautician.

What was she talking about? I couldn't see any hair. I looked up close, with the bright lights on, and the magnifying mirror angled just right... Ugh! Not the prettiest of sight... a black head or two could do with squeezing...

No mustache though!

I suddenly remembered poor Miss Owen at first school with her hairy upper lip, and old Mrs Earch at middle school with her sprouting beauty spots dotted across her chinny-chin-chin. Then there was the youngish and hott-ish high school gym teacher - Miss Wade I think her name was - who was also unfortunately bestowed with freakish facial hair.

It's funny how many mustache 'Misses' there were now I'd come to think of it - I hadn't had cause to think of them until faced with my own face fuzz. Had I become one of them? How was it they hadn't been able to see their own mustaches? Denial it seems is a powerful and dangerous thing.

I eventually got over the incident. I put it behind me and moved on with my life. I never forgot about it though, but after umpteen assurances of my tash-less state from the hubs I was eventually content to drop the subject altogether. I put the beautician's overstepping the mark down to trying to swindle more money out of the gullible Brit and that - as they say - was that.

A few years later I left my lucrative job and we moved across the pond. From the get-go we were on a tight budget and, what with my previous traumatic experience, I didn't venture into a beauty salon until long after I'd had my first baby.

I decided to 'get my feet wet' with a peddie - I wasn't about to let a wax-happy beautician get a close-up scooby at my face. It was so nice to get pampered again after all that time and so I let my guard down, and a month or so later (almost two years ago now) I decided to get another peddie. This time I decided to let them wax my eyebrows also. Bad call.

"Your lip is very hairy too... you need me wax it for you?" 

WTF? There it was again.... ! Was it a business ploy, or had I really been walking around for another two years with a mustache? Why hadn't anybody pointed this out to me until then.... ?! The irony that somebody already had pointed this out to me - two years previously in a different salon - was not lost on me...

Again I declined, and I hightailed it out of there all embarrassed and offended for a second time.

I boycotted the beauty salons losing all faith in their honesty. I resented being made to feel paranoid, and I started to look twice at my invisible 'mustache' every time I passed by a mirror. 

I complained about this beautician to the hubs, and a close friend and my sister-in-law, all of whom assured me the beautician was bonkers - and I was being ridiculous. Apparently I didn't have a tash. Well of course they're going to say that...... 

But the seed of doubt had been planted. I didn't want to start waxing my lip. It seemed like the start of something that would have to continue forever - and if I ever stopped once I'd started I feared a real manly mustache would grow back in... Eeek!

I'm so bad at staying primped and preened - even keeping on top of the bare minimum; lower legs, armpits and bikini line (eyebrows if it's a special occasion) is a stretch. Being a busy uni-brow Momma - I could just about live with that, but mustache Momma is a whole different kettle of fish!

However, since acquiring my lady bump, I've started to notice a more telling shadow hovering over my lip whenever I catch a glimpse of my reflection. I blame it on the pregnancy hormones - I have more...err..... testosterone in my system..... right?

Finally a few weeks ago - after almost a two year boycott - I treat myself to a pedicure and manicure and an eyebrow wax. This time I was ready for them, and I went in with a different tactic - the preemptive strike.

But before we even got to my hairy face I had a new line of offense to contend with...

The man (yes - I was a little surprised to have a bloke too, but why not? Many blokes did the massaging when I was in Asia. They've got strong hands so they're really good at it.) doing my pedicure kept tutting at the state of my feet!

I'm NOT kidding! To make matters worse he was rough handling them - I'm not sure if that was just his way, or whether he was inexplicably angry at my pedi-neglect - and most embarrassingly of all he kept showing me the hard skin shavings. 

After a few minutes of this humiliating treatment - there were other clients watching us - I closed my eyes in an attempt to fruitlessly enjoy, what was starting to look like 25 bucks of relaxation down the pan, and block the castigator out, but the merciless manny insistently tapped my leg saying only "Hey....!"

Then he'd point to the scummy crap he'd just polished away with his eyebrows raised and a 'tut-tut..!'


I was feeling like a chastised schoolgirl for not doing my homework - not the pampered and penny-wise Momma who is, quite nobly (I like to think), far too busy to fit in frequent pedicures! 

He couldn't speak more than a few words of English - what was a mortified Mommy to do? I put up with it of course - true stiff (but hopefully not so hairy) upper lip Brit style - and giggled lots in a vain attempt to ease the tension. I felt a little better when the lady beside me took pity on me and leaned in to whisper conspiratorially, 

'He's rough with everybody. I stopped coming here because of him!'

She was only here then, apparently, out of necessity - she couldn't make it further afield as she was having visitors later on that day. I noted that in spite of her kind words - she was a frequent pedicure patron. It was probably part of her 'must-do' list, like grocery shopping or going to the dentist.

Eventually the torture was over and my feet and hands were beautiful. It was time for the awful moment of truth I'd been dreading. Did I have a tash or not?

I followed the lady - thankfully my teste torturer wasn't qualified in hair removal - into the waxing room, and without further ado, I tackled the 'tash' issue head on.

I asked if she could examine my lip to see if it needed waxing or not, once she'd finished with my eyebrows.

Without a word she applied the hot sticky gloop to my eyes and got to work. It took a few applications and rips, and a bit of extra plucking, to tidy up my bushy brows (I'm surprised they don't add a surcharge for the likes of me).

I never saw her take a magnifying glass - or examine my lip up-close - or even think about it. She just dove  straight in and smeared that hot gloop all over my mustache area and.....


I have to concede that waxing a bald patch could not have hurt quite that much!

I so desperately wanted to see the used wax paper. It's that nasty fascination I hold for wanting to check out that black-head the hubby just squeezed out of my back - or to unfold a tissue to look at the goods after blowing out all my nose contents full force.... 

I don't for the life of me know why I chickened out of asking her for a squiz. I'm still kicking myself.

Instead I asked tentatively.

"Was my lip pretty hairy then..?"  

"Oh yes!" She exclaimed.

Well there you have it. No longer a Mommy in denial - my tash is finally waxed! I only hope I don't have to wax that sucker too often!

So spill it ladies! How often do YOU wax YOURS????


  1. Never waxed it. I used to bleach it, but I'm over 50 now, and I just don't care any more. I'm the only one who ever had a problem with it. No one else has ever said a word.

    1. I should definitely take a leaf out of your book Cynthia! Maybe one day - for now though I'm hoping to remain just that little less hairy than my hubs;)

  2. I waxed myself once. It wasn't pleasant. Now I veet once a week! I swear I never saw a tash on u! X

    1. I remember our conversation about you veeting your tash - and no, thankfully I didn't end up getting any spots on my upper lip after they waxed it! I swear it already needs doing again... If I pinch the space above my lip I can pull on the regrowth already....

  3. bwahaha we must have gotten the same guy! what a jerk.

    i got asked once if i wanted my lip waxed and let her rip my lip off, and honestly, now that i know it's there, even though it's next to invisible, its outta there!

  4. Brilliant Josie. I haven't laughed as hard in ages. Fascinating topic and I often chuckle at that hairy top lip question for ladies. ... That was until this very morning when I spotted dark hairs sprouting out of my EARS! Yes. They're gone!!

  5. Hi Josie! I'm visiting from Bloggers..we just became friends! LOL. Loved this post. It reminded me of when my youngest asked why my 13 year old son needed razors for his "stache" when he could just wax like I do. Yes, I almost died...Ah, getting older is too much fun.

  6. Ouch, ouch and another ouch...
    That must have been painful, but I must say, you gave me such a good laugh today and it is so true that when we blow our noses, burst our spots or even pick at sores we just can't wait to see what it all looks like, although we find it gross.

    Some people say that the more you try to get rid of the hair, the thicker it comes back, so based on that theory you should have a pretty thick uncontrollable mustache due, ha ha ha. :)