Life with Trichotillomania: Waxing

So it’s only half 10 on a Sunday morning and I already have the washing machine on, and I’ve decided to wear a dress for the day (despite it raining and the fact that I don’t really like day dresses.) But I’ve also done something else mystifying: I waxed.

waxingNow I know this isn’t particularly ground breaking for many of you, while others might wince at the thought but I found it especially odd. I have Trichotillomania which means I have urges to pull out my hair– what sense is there in encouraging this habit with a method which purposely pulls out hair at the root? It’s always confused me which is why I’ve never bothered to try it.

Not to say I have lovely furry legs, I have a particular fondness for shiny, smooth legs (on the rare occasion that I show them off, otherwise it’s far too much effort for me to bother). Instead I prefer to use Veet or Nair as I find them quick and simple to use, and far less risk of scarring myself which happens with razors.

But upon moving in, my house mate found an unopened box which she didn’t need anymore (having invested in an epilator.. eek!) so I decided to take them. It’s only taken me two weeks to decide to try them out.

I knew the general idea– place strip on your leg, rip them off. It will hurt. So how hard could it be?

I quickly read the instructions and realised that you had to ‘warm the wax’ by rubbing them between your palms for 30 seconds. Which I probably did for more like two minutes, just to make sure! Then you had to peel the two strips apart slowly (which I probably ended up taking over a minute to do). Place on your leg firmly (done, I feel like a punched myself in the leg many times) then rip off.

That’s where I stopped reading since I thought that part was obvious. But I got it wrong. What I didn’t realise was that you were meant to rip it in the opposite direction to the hair growth– which cued images of me ripped my skin off and made this whole thing even less appealing! So when I did that wrong, no hair came away though the ripping off still hurt.

Take two. Put on firmly, hold skin taunt and rip upwards. Ouch. Done. And voilá attached to the slimey wax was several fair leg hairs. I’d done it– well, one, only had to repeat it another 10 odd times.

Personally I don’t think the process was terrible. Though I will probably be sticking to my typical hair removal methods, I can see why waxing is a popular choice– if your pain tolerence can take it, I can’t imagine the hair grows back very quickly at all!

In terms of a trich perspective, I can also see why this might not actually encourage pulling. The area of pulling, especially within one go, is much larger than what you would do normally. To me, this isn’t the same as a typical pulling urge where I would focus on one single hair or area at a time. It probably also helped that I wasn’t stressed or anxious, which are the two triggers for my condition. Therefore I also won’t associate waxing with my trich whenever I do get in those states, like I do when I start pulling at my eyelashes or eye brows.

My list of ‘firsts’ before my 23rd birthday is beginning to grow…