In a small, comfortable room while music plays and the lights are soft, Allison Metz-
Wilson gently confirms the procedure her client seeks.
“Just the eyebrows?” Then she quietly gets to work, arranging supplies and shifting her
Before she applies the wax, she smoothes and inspects the area she will treat. Then she
spreads the wax on with a rounded wooden stick.
“It‟s not too hot, is it?”
Waxing, like tweezing, removes hair below the skin level, making it a fairly long-lasting
method of hair removal. Hair grows back softer, not stubbly, exfoliating the skin and
leaving it smooth. With continued use, hair re-growth will be diminished.
A certified esthetician for four years, she now works at Michelle‟s Renaissance Salon on
25th Street. She provides services that range from facials and facial peels to make up
artistry. Mostly, though, she waxes eyebrows.
Metz-Wilson has several clients who swear by waxing. She believes places like
underarms can offer the most telling evidence that waxing works. She explains that after
waxing underarms for a year, some clients have virtually no hair growth.
She agrees there is a minor amount of discomfort with waxing, but she says it gets easier
with each visit because less hair returns with each treatment.
“You have to keep up with it. You can‟t shave. You have to come in about once a month
and you have to exfoliate,” she said. “It‟s not unbearable. It‟s not like „40 Year Old
Virgin,‟” she said.
Metz-Wilson uses soothing lotions and numbing sprays to alleviate any discomfort, but
she believes technique is more important.
“It can be painful if an esthetician doesn‟t know what she‟s doing. Some people just sort
of rip it off,” she said.
She stays current on new techniques and counsels her clients to take care of their skin
before and after a treatment. She recommends that her clients use a Loofah sponge or a
washcloth to exfoliate the area before and after waxing to loosen hair, unclog follicles
and prevent ingrown hairs.
Prices for waxing range from 18 dollars for eyebrows to 80 dollars for legs. She prefers
that clients make an appointment, so she can prepare for the services they need.
She doesn‟t recommend waxing for people who have had chemical peels, who are go to a
tanning bed, or who take Accutane for acne.
“It thins your skin and then waxing can actually tear your skin,” she said.
However, Metz-Wilson believes waxing is an effective method for hair removal for most
“Waxing is great. Everybody should do it,” she said.
Holding a piece of cotton thread in her mouth, Malini Patel winds the free end around
one finger and holds the spool in the other. She leans over her client‟s eyebrow and grabs
the row of hairs she wants to remove.
Twisting the thread rhythmically, she plucks both eyebrows in less than five minutes.
“Threading is better than waxing because we can go closer to the brow. We have more
control,” she said. “It also takes less time and the shape is better.”
In January of 2007, after working for four years at a threading salon in Greenwood, Patel
opened Creative Eyes in Fair Oakes Mall. She provided services for a lot of customers
from Columbus, so she a salon here would benefit traveling clients. Since then her
customer base has grown.
A mother with her teenage daughter and a new mom walk in to wait for Patel.
“It‟s better for people who can‟t wax,” she said. “And it‟s better because we use no
chemicals. It‟s all natural, so there are no infections, no allergies.”
She offers only witch hazel lotion to soothe the threaded area and uses cotton thread,
things that don‟t irritate delicate facial skin. Like other cosmetologists, she is trained and
“Not a single person has complained about a reaction after the process,” she said, though
a small portion of people can‟t tolerate the prickles while the hair is being removed.
Threading is an ancient Indian practice, but it‟s become popular in the United States in
the last decade. Shops like Patel‟s have popped up in shopping malls across the country.
She offers facial hair removal services ranging from 5 dollars to 8 dollars. The most
popular request is for eyebrows, which costs 7 dollars and requires only a few minutes.
Most of her customers are women, though she does offer eyebrow threading for men.
Patel recommends coming in every three weeks for the best results. Eventually, she says,
the hair either won‟t grow back at all or it will grow back finer and lighter.
Clients don‟t need an appointment. Because the procedure is so quick, the wait isn‟t long.
Her thread breaks. She laughs. It‟s normal. She finishes.
“Look close in the mirror,” she said. “You can see how much better it looks if you get
Laser Hair Removal
Last summer, Dr. Susan Dorenbusch surveyed her patients at OB-GYN Associates for
two weeks to determine their interest level in laser treatments.
“We got an incredible response from the survey,” she said. She invested in a laser and she
went through the training.
She now offers facial rejuvenation, photo facial treatments, skin tightening, and laser hair
removal services at the National Road office.
So far, the most popular areas for laser hair removal are the upper lip and the underarms
and she sees both men and women.
She uses a laser that has changeable ends, a small attachment for faces and a larger one
for backs, legs and bikinis. She shaves the area, marks the skin with a makeup crayon,
applies mineral oil or gel, and then moves the laser over the area she‟s treating. The
process quick and she says clients are surprised at how it feels.
“(Laser hair removal) is not painful. It‟s mildly uncomfortable. It might feel like a rubber
band snap,” she said.
The cost is 75 to 300 dollars. While some people require more treatments than others, she
encourages clients to purchase packages of six sessions for the most effective results.
Unlike other hair removal methods, with laser removal there is an endpoint, so the cost
may be less over time.
“It‟s never 100 removal, but it is significant reduction,” she said.
Dorenbusch cautions that if a client is waxing or using depilatories, she should stop for
four weeks before getting a laser treatment. However she says it‟s safe for most adults,
especially those with dark hair, but not blondes or red heads. Because the laser removes
hair below the skin level, it must be able to “see” the hair.
“Clients shouldn‟t wax between treatments, but they can shave,” she said.
Dorenbusch is excited because she believes the laser service is a perfect fit for many of
the patients at OB-GYN Associates. As women go through pregnancy and into
menopause, they complain of unwanted hair.
She is also excited about the results. One of her first clients has reported virtually no hair
growth after only one treatment.
One in three women has unwanted hair growth, according to Betty Ross, owner of Hair
Removal Clinic in Columbus. Since 1978, Ross has owned a hair removal clinic, now at
81 Dahn St.
“Most hair growth is hereditary, caused by hormonal problems or different medications,”
Ross uses electrolysis because she says it‟s the most effective treatment for permanent
hair removal. Waxing and shaving too close to the skin can cause ingrown hairs and
tweezing makes hair coarse and heavy, she said.
She has a client who came to her 20 years ago, as an insecure teenager with excess hair
on her upper lip. Though the client comes in for other treatments now, the hair on her lip
has never returned.
Because electrolysis involves inserting a hair-sized probe into the skin and delivering a
small electric shock, clients can experience some discomfort. Ross has been doing it for
so long that she has learned to read her clients well.
“My working point is what a person can tolerate,” she said. “The more you can take, the
faster it works.”
Generally, she doesn‟t like to work for more than 30 minutes or an hour, though, because
she doesn‟t want to overwork the skin.
A different number of treatments is required for everyone. Ross gives sessions until the
client is happy. Clients with fair skin report more sensitivity and treatments on clients
with coarse hair take longer.
She recommends that her clients come hydrated because water in the body changes the
salinity of the follicle, making it easier for her to do the treatment. She discourages
tweezing of unwanted hair, but says it‟s okay to clip hair between appointments.
After a treatment, she advises that her clients avoid tanning and that they keep the area
make up free for 24 hours. After that, there are no negative long-term effects.
She offers electrolysis sessions by appointment for $50 an hour.
“After 30 years in the business,” she said, “I know hair.”