After shaving for more than 20 years, I decided to look for an alternative method of hair removal. Over the last month or so, I have bought a few products and stashed them in the hall closet, waiting for 10 minutes of privacy to use them. It is not surprising that it took several weeks to find 10 minutes.
Sunday, I had my chance and I decided I was going to use some home wax strips on my underarm. It did not work out so well; I must have terrible technique or very resilient follicles. So then I had, quite possibly, the worst idea that I have ever had. I decided to try Nair.
Why, at the age of 33, I would decide to use Nair for the first time is beyond me. I clean my (almost) entire house with water and microfiber cloths, but I was willing to put chemicals that dissolve hair on my body. Twenty minutes after I used wax to rip several layers of skin (and maybe 3 hairs) off. The words “For a smart girl, you can act pretty dumb,” keep reverberating in my head.
I took the bottle out of the closet. It was called Nair Mud Spa or something innocuous and indulgent like that. I first went about spreading it all over my legs. It did not smell bad and it was called Mud Spa, so it seemed pretty harmless in my head. I went ahead and spread it under my arm. Pain. Intense burning pain.
The next few moments are a blur, but I think I got myself into the shower and managed to spray it off. The pressure from the water was enough to make me cry. When I managed to finally get the Mud Spa off my body, I stumbled out of the shower and lifted my arm. My entire under arm was bright red and very chemically burned. I was relieved that the skin was not hanging off, because that is what it felt like.
I was too embarrassed to tell Mark what I had done to myself, so I spent the rest of the day sneaking to the kitchen to put coconut oil under my arms, googling chemical burns, and moving as little as possible. In the midst of my googling, I came across sugaring.
I had never heard of sugaring before, but it made my little green/crunchy heart soar to discover a completely natural and cheap way to remove hair. A few days later, I went about making my sugar paste while Mark was safely occupied in the basement.
I heard him coming up the stairs before I was finished and I yelled to him to not ask me what I was doing.
“Okay,” he said, “I’m sure it will just make my eyes roll.”
I agreed with him. He just shakes his head at me when he sees me making laundry detergent and drain cleaner, so I was pretty sure that sugaring would be no different.
As he came into the kitchen, he looked at my pot of boiling sugar and he asked the dreaded question, “Okay, what ARE you doing?”
I explained to him about sugaring, but left out the part about my burned up pits.
“Can’t you just buy a bunch of fruit roll ups and use that?” he asked.
I TOLD him not to ask.
I am still waiting for the chemical burns to heal all the way, but I tried it out on my arm. My paste was not perfect (I am going to keep working on it and add guar gum next time) but it did remove hair without the burn, and it was cheap and relatively easy, and cleans up with just water.
Thank you ancient Egyptians!