Seeking the least painful wax in the world! Or, at least, NYC.
May 4, 2014 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend a spa/salon where I can get the least painful wax possible! Pretend I have zero pain tolerance, because that's not far from the truth.

SO. As you can see from a previous question, last summer I got my legs waxed and it was the most outrageously painful experience of my entire life. I got some good advice in that thread about how to prepare for the next time.

I've decided to give it another try. So, please recommend places in NYC where you got the least painful wax. Of course I'd prefer reasonable prices, but I'll definitely pay more if it means less crying on my part. This would be for my legs. Help! It's almost shorts season!
posted by Everythingsalrighteverythingsfine to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Of your last waxing, you wrote, I was literally sobbing the entire time, hands over my face sobbing like someone was flaying the skin from my body. I can't believe how much it hurt.

It shouldn't hurt that much.

I wouldn't get waxed again.
posted by kinetic at 9:19 AM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm not really sure I understand the question, tbh. Having hair ripped from your legs is going to be painful no matter where you go. The baseline for experiencing pain is within you and your nerve endings, not in the application and removal of the wax. The most you can hope for is someone who can do it very quickly and thoroughly in one go so there is less chance of repetition over an already very sensitive and inflamed area.

I also agree that if you had that much pain the first time around that there is little value in you attempting this again, unless your first experience was extremely subpar. Was the initial application of the wax too hot? Did the waxer pull it off incompletely, requiring multiple painful removals? Did they reapply more hot wax to already inflamed areas?
posted by elizardbits at 9:24 AM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry, just read your other question (which is here for anyone else interested in the background). I think your main issue is that you scheduled it badly. Never go for waxing within 4-5 days on either side of the first day of your period. It will be far worse than a waxing experience at any other time.
posted by elizardbits at 9:26 AM on May 4, 2014 [6 favorites]

I highly recommend Uni K Wax ( They have locations in Murray Hill and Flatiron. I've been going to Uni K Wax since they first opened in Murray Hill a few years ago. Their special green wax is designed for sensitive skin and both locations are very clean, hygenic and friendly.

Prices are great compared to other waxing places and they have a wonderful loyalty program as well.
posted by lovelygirl at 9:28 AM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Elizabeth Arden Red Door on 5th Avenue is not cheap. But, the waxes I have had there have been so good, so much less painful than anywhere else, that I spend the money a couple times a year when I can't bear to go to my normal place (which is competent, but not pleasant). I would call up, tell them you need an appointment with their best, most pain-free waxer, and just suck up the cost.
posted by minervous at 9:31 AM on May 4, 2014

I'm absolutely going to be smarter about scheduling the wax far away from my period. But one thing several people said was that my technician didn't sound competent and that it "shouldn't have taken that long/hurt that much". So I'm hoping things would be better at a different place!

I just want to give it one more try before i give up forever.
posted by Everythingsalrighteverythingsfine at 9:35 AM on May 4, 2014

Unique Threading Salon. The technicians are highly skilled, and they offer waxes (2, I think? I think one is chocolatey and I always do the other one) that are more sensitive on the skin then a regular hard wax.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:59 AM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've had a handful of bikini waxes in my life and each one was so so so painful. I recently decided to get another one, but I got 'sugared' instead at Shobha in Soho. SO much less painful (though not un-painful, mind you). Read up on sugaring. Also, do a search for places that use 'hard wax'. I don't know of any off the top of my head, but a hard wax is also much less painful.
posted by greta simone at 11:52 AM on May 4, 2014

Seconding Uni K Wax. I've only gone for bikini waxes, but if they can make that not hurt so bad, then I imagine they're good with the legs too. I've been to both the Flatiron and Murray Hill locations regularly and find them to be the same in terms of service/quality/cleanliness. They use hard wax, which, in my experience, leads to a better result and is less painful.

Take a few Advil 30-45 minutes before you go and drink plenty of water the day before and day of the appointment; don't be hungover.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2014

IIRC, there are two ways to do wax. Strip wax is where they spread the wax on then stick a piece of paper/cloth on, and then pull. Hard wax is when they spread a thicker wax on, let it harden, and then pull that off. The latter is less painful and more effective. I have never had my legs waxed so I'm not sure if they do hard waxing on legs but I'd look for that.
posted by radioamy at 4:28 PM on May 4, 2014

If you can find No Scream Cream, that might be worth looking into. It's a benzocaine ointment intended for bikini waxes (and it takes a LOT) but might be worth numbing the skin before treatment. My hair removal lady said to use lots more than the instructions call for and then cover the skin with Saran Wrap so the cream doesn't rub off on clothes.
posted by lizifer at 4:40 PM on May 4, 2014

If it doesn't hurt, it means the hair's being broken off above the skin, which is really just messy shaving. (Or, that the person it's not hurting isn't sensitive at all, and that's not you.)

Waxing hurts when the hair is successfully pulled out by the root, which is the point of waxing. And sugaring, and tweezing, and those horrible epilators - they all do the same thing. You could follow melissasaurus' suggestions but that's about it. All those methods also, because they distort the root, increase the chance of ingrown hairs, when they do work.

Alternatives are shaving, which doesn't hurt at all, or laser, which hurts a bit but reduces hair for much, much longer. And I guess chemical epilators, which dissolve the hair slightly below the skin so it might last a bit longer than shaving, but I can't understand why anyone would risk a chemical burn or even just sensitivity for an extra day and a half. (My advice is just shave or go for the laser.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:59 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

How much hair do you have? Longer, thicker hair means more pain.

It's possible you're just not used to this particular brand of discomfort. I think I'm average on the pain tolerance scale, but I've been waxing my legs every few months for almost 15 years, epilating my arms every week, and recently started bikini waxing as well, so the pain just doesn't bother me anymore. Your second time might be better than the first simply because you know what to expect.

In general, you want someone who is experienced (try to find out how long they've been waxing), thorough, and fast.
posted by redlines at 12:04 AM on May 5, 2014

Oh, and also make sure they clean and powder your skin before applying the wax. Some salons skip this step, but it helps the wax not stick to your skin.
posted by redlines at 12:07 AM on May 5, 2014

Oh my god, people.... SUGARING is the new greatest thing in my life. I went to Unique Threading Salon as recommended by ThePinkSuperhero. First of all, the manager took a few minutes to talk to me about my fears and reassure me that sugaring was the way to go. Then the technician was REALLY nice and patient and understanding. And then the sugaring itself was great! Ok, it still hurt a lot. But it was totally a manageable pain. I didn't cry or yell or want to kill myself like I did with the waxing last time. I would say it was 50% less painful than waxing. And the whole thing took maybe 20 minutes, which was a big improvement also.

Thanks everyone! This was an absolute win!
posted by Everythingsalrighteverythingsfine at 4:51 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm so glad to hear it! I've visited other places and have learned through experience never to go anywhere else.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:28 AM on May 7, 2014

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