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Is Waxing Waning?

I wondered if the economic downturn might do the trick. Brazilian waxes cost from \$45-\$90, and with disposable razors at under a buck, it feels profligate to pay a stranger to tear out your short ones at the root. In fact, it gives a whole new meaning to “rip off.” So I asked women all around the country if they were shaving costs off their budget by forgoing their monthly waxing. Indeed, women are cutting back on beauty rituals in Pennsylvania and Washington. They’re doing it in Los Angeles and New York. But they’re not necessarily doing it south of the equator. It turns out that unlike a dye job, French manicure, or beloved massage, the bikini wax is one of those grooming splurges that some women cannot — will not — live without. “I’d probably grow out my fro and skip the pedi before giving up the bikini wax,” said a friend of mine who’s been getting them for 20-plus years. “I just can’t deal with hair there.” Another friend gave up her every-three-weeks waxing appointment but found she, er, couldn’t hack it. “I tried, but I can’t live without it,” she said. “I’ll just have to give up my housekeeper.” Really? It seems there’s more than fashion — or finance — fueling the fuss to be fuzz-free. Alisa Bowman, who pens the marriage blog, first got waxed two years ago as a surprise for her husband. “But I got completely hooked,” she said. “It’s just incredibly sexy to look at — and no amount of feminism can bring me to say that about my former woolliness. It’s also a lot more sensitive. It has completely changed my sex life.” There’s a lot of loyalty between women and their waxers. It’s a fact: Where there’s pain, and privates, there’s bonding. “I have relationships with these women,” said S.B. waxer Nina Lafuente, who’s been offering discounts to longtime clients faced with financial cutbacks. “Women, we’re cool with each other. We like to take care of one another.” S.B. esthetician Jamie Sprovieri said the recession hasn’t affected her business at all. “In the Great Depression, the beauty industry went fairly unscathed,” she said. “In times of crisis, people will do any little thing that makes them feel better: buying a tube of lipstick or taking a yoga class or getting your bikini waxed. It won’t break the bank, and it makes you feel more confident.” She herself still gets regular waxes. And don’t expect her to stop any time soon: “My husband is Brazilian.”]]>

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