Thursday, March 19, 2009
To Wax or Not To Wax: That Is The Question.
Mar 19 2009 07:34AM CST
By BETH DeFALCO - Associated Press Writer
New Jersey is drawing the line when it comes to bikini waxing.
The state Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling is moving toward a ban on genital waxing altogether after two women reported being injured in their quest for a smooth bikini line.
Both women were hospitalized for infections following so-called "Brazilian" bikini waxes; one of the women has filed a lawsuit, according to Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the cosmetology board.
Technically, genital waxing has never been allowed _ only the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted _ but because bare-it-all "Brazilians" weren't specifically banned, state regulators haven't enforced the law.
"The genital area is not part of the abdomen or legs as some might assume," Lamm said.
Officials with the National Cosmetology Association and National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology said they were unaware of another state that has banned genital waxing.
Regular bikini waxes would still be allowed.
Genital waxing can be dangerous in that the hot wax can irritate or tear delicate skin in the bikini area, resulting in infections, ingrown hairs and rashes, according to skin care experts.
Despite such risks, millions of American women _ and some men _ choose to have the hair down there ripped away, and a majority of salons in New Jersey offer the procedure for between $50 to $60.
The state Board of Cosmetology meets next on April 14 and will decide whether to move forward with banning the procedure, made popular in Brazil to accommodate skimpy thong bikinis.
A disinterested male observer wondered if the Board didn't have other, more important business to consider. He also said he foresaw real enforcement problems. "Are you going to have police officers stopping women at the beach and asking them to pull their thongs to the side for an inspection?"
A recent poll of American men found the men were almost evenly divided in their preference for waxed or furry. As a result, a growing number of women are getting only half of their pubis waxed, leaving the other half wild and bushy. A woman exiting a waxing salon after getting the new style said she dates several different men, with different tastes. "This way none of them can complain. You know the old saying about half a loaf is better than none? Well that's certainly applicable here," she said.