Going to Oakland’s Stript Wax Bar is like a night out at a regular bar that has cauldrons of wax, exam tables and strange lighting. Ok, it’s not like going to a bar at all. However, they do have some kick ass waxing experts that make the trip less harrowing than other salons. Before I go into how awesome they are, I’d like to reveal my own personal horror stories.
The Night of the Living Dead
My former esthetician was a waxing ninja—wax on wax off. Between cracking jokes and ripping waxing strips at a lightening speed, I barely had time to scream in agony before she was done. The honeymoon ended when I came to see her on a day that she looked deathly pale. Ten minutes into my Brazilian waxing appointment, she excused herself to dry heave into a garbage can in the hallway. If I hadn’t known that she was sick, I would have taken offense. I frantically pondered how I was going to remove the wax and myself from the situation.
The waxing room was somewhere in the dark depths of the salon’s matrix. Could I find my way out? My cell phone rang. I know enough about horror movies to know that you should never stop to answer your phone. I saw the doorknob rattle and braced myself. She staggered into the room with eyes glazed and mouth open.
As soon as she tried to assure me that she was feeling better, she sang a rainbow into the trashcan. I took that as my chance to make a break for it. I learned a major life lesson that day that I wished that I had just learned from a horror movie: avoid people with pale complexions who sway and moan.
Like the opening to many horror stories, I bought a Groupon one day. My Groupon was for the waxing services from a particularly shady place in San Francisco that was a stone’s throw from my house. From my bedroom window, I witnessed their raucous parties. Raucous may be a fairly subjective description, but in my book it includes guys with shaved heads wearing tutus and chucking popcorn at passing cars.
Though my gut told me no, my wallet told my gut to shut up, and I booked appointment for a bikini wax. Everything about the experience was normal until it was time for me to get dressed. Like a disastrous candle-making project, wax covered my legs and nether regions (Quick question. Is everything called the nether regions in the Netherlands?). When I asked my esthetician if it was normal that half the wax pot was left on my body, she assured me that it would simply “fall off.” I can assure you that the wax did not “fall off” as I was trudging up the San Francisco hills wearing tight jeans.
Tales from the Stript
The Stript Wax Bar doesn’t play around. You won’t walk out with wax stuck to your leg or the stomach flu. While their wax services are not completely painless, they provide you with numbing spray and Champaign. Nothing about the experience there is nightmarish and with a couple glasses of the bubbly, you’ll find yourself almost looking forward to getting waxed. Their waxistas are remarkably professional, unzombie like and a total delight to work with.