Hot Wax, Cool Spots
Because it's the season for depilation – although you probably know this already. And while there are a whole host of hair-be-gone strategies – for legs, shaving remains the most popular method – nothing beats the long lasting, cost efficiency of a good old wax.
London always lagged a bit behind New York in the nail- and blow dry-bar stakes but we certainly make up for it in waxing salons. We’ve picked our favourite three London establishments, in Central, East and West London, each with a slightly different depilation approach and vibe, all aimed at making your wax as pain free and pleasant as possible.
East: The Cowshed at Shoreditch House
Ahhh Cowshed, you are a sanctuary of bliss that transports us far from the maddening crowd of Shoreditch. With the gentle wafting of natural oils diffused through the spa, manis, pedis and LED facials take place in the beautiful ground-floor studio with Bridesmaids screened through individual monitors, while the waxing and body treatments take place in the myriad treatment rooms below. A half leg wax is made to feel as relaxing as a massage in these low-lit, wood-panelled rooms. And Anna, our knowledgeable therapist, quickly got to work with a tea-tree based wax. In half an hour it was over and Anna, ever the beacon of knowledge, was massaging pure tea-tree into our calves to soothe inflammation.
Shoreditch House hair removal from £10, they can be booked online.
Central: The Ministry of Waxing at Holborn
The Holborn branch of this waxing behemoth – there are branches across the world and five in London – is decorated to resemble the pink interiors of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Dedicated to pure and simple hair removal, the Ministry of Waxing use their own specially developed waxes and train all staff in their special pain-minimising method. They use a unique chocolate wax on the thickest hairs and a natural beeswax on the legs, while each client is also provided with a stress toy to squeeze during the treatment. Chloe, our therapist, was exceptionally efficient; she applied pressure to the areas as they were waxed to stop the stinging and antiseptic to prevent the follicles from becoming infected. With the widest menu of waxing treatments we have ever seen, the Ministry of Waxing do one thing, and they do it really, really well.
The Ministry of Waxing prices start from £9, they can be booked online.
West: Wax in the City, King's Road
Wax in the City is a drop-in, one-stop waxing shop. There's no need to make an appointment, instead you are whisked by a resident "Depilidora" downstairs to one of the six brightly-lit treatment rooms for a speedy, but highly professional, hair removal. This German company runs 24 studios across the world and have developed their own all-natural formula and aftercare range: so it's little wonder they know what they're doing. Our waxpert Beata had us waxed and out the door in 15 minutes; we were dizzied by the sheer speed of it.
Wax in the City treatments start at at £8 and can be booked online.