Entries in Body Hair (2)


Parenting Debate: Waxing for Girls Younger Than 15?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Young girls are growing up faster than ever before, wearing makeup and high heels. But what about a cosmetic treatment that many middle-aged women find painful?

More teens and tweens today want to get waxed, a grooming technique that involves applying hot wax to remove unwanted body hair.

And a new ad for a salon chain that offers discounts on waxing for girls 15 and younger has reinvigorated the debate among parents about how young is too young.

The debate erupted after a 50 percent-off promotion began running for Uni K Wax salons up and down the East Coast, targeting teens 15 and younger to celebrate their independence this summer by getting waxed.

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“Celebrate Freedom and Independence All July,” the ad reads. “During the month of July, girls 15 and under can enjoy their FIRST waxing experience and find it NATURAL, SAFE and PLEASANT.”

It’s not just this ad. It seems many teens and tweens – some as young as 10 – are now prepping for summer camp by removing unwanted hair.

Anna Dolgon-Krutolow, 12, begged her mother to take her to Uni K Wax Salon in New York City for a bikini wax. “I swim when I’m at camp so I just wanted to just be fresh,” she said.

For her mother, Carol Dolgon-Krutolow, the procedure wasn’t an easy sell.

“She was very adamant, you know, and she’s becoming a woman,” her mom said. “She’s very concerned about how she looks and it’s important that I listen to her.”

But some, including Atlanta-based therapist Tiffanie Henry, fear that waxing could be over-sexualizing teen girls. “I just really have a difficult time stomaching, inviting girls, specifically girls who are 15 years of age and younger into a salon to be waxed,” said Henry, co-host of ABC’s The Revolution.

Uni K Wax stands by its promotion. In a statement to ABC News, the CEO and founder Noemi Grupenmager said the promotion is intended to help young girls boost their self esteem.

“By the age of 11 or 12, some young girls develop hair on their legs and upper lip.  This can not only be embarrassing, but it often makes these young girls targets for bullying at school, especially during PE and recess,” Grupenmager said. “Uni K Wax is offering a safe solution in a comfortable environment for these girls.”

This was the case for Anna, who considers the procedure a confidence booster and said she plans to come back for another wax.

“I really feel that once I go to camp I’m going to be more self confident and less self conscious, which is a really great feeling,” she said.

Uni K Wax requires minors younger than 17 to have their parents sign a consent form before receiving any treatments.

Therapist Henry advises that tween waxing opens the door even earlier for mothers to have an important conversation with their daughters about their bodies.

“Moms need to be talking to their daughters about grooming, about their daughter’s body changing, about hair growing in places that hair has never grown before,” Henry explained.

Click here to read the full statement as received by ABC News from Noemi Grupenmager CEO and founder of Uni K Wax Center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bedbugs Foiled By Hairy Limbs, Study Finds

Ben de la Cruz/The Washington Post via Getty Images(SHEFFIELD, England) -- Want to fight bedbugs? Try giving your razor a rest.

A group of British researchers have found that hairier humans may have the upper hand in fending off bedbugs compared to their shaved peers. In a new study, scientists suggest that the fine hairs on human skin slow bedbugs down and   help people better detect the bloodsuckers on their bodies.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield unleashed hungry bedbugs on the arms of 29 student volunteers, each with one shaved and one unshaved arm. The researchers watched the bedbugs, timing how long it took them to find a place to dig in for a meal. (None of the volunteers were actually bitten during the experiment; the researchers removed the bugs just as they were about to feed.) The volunteers kept a count of each time they felt a bug crawling on their skin.

They found that the volunteers detected the bugs more frequently on their hairy arms, and that the bedbugs on these hairy arms took longer to find a spot to bite.

The study was published in the journal Biology Letters.

Catherine Hill, a medical entomologist at Purdue University, said it made sense that more hair would slow down foraging bedbugs.

“But it’s a bit counterintuitive that the host has a greater number of bedbug detections when there’s more hair,” Hill told ABC News. “But in a way, it makes sense. Hair is like our antennae, and it initiates a response from us by sending signals to our nervous system.”

However, extreme hairiness could end up being a hindrance in the hunt for bedbugs, said the study’s author, Michael Siva-Jothy.

“If you have a heavy coat of long, thick hairs, it is easier for parasites to hide, even if you can detect them,” Siva-Jothy told BBC News.

Researchers said the study also gave interesting clues into how people evolved, with less hair on their  bodies, than their hairier mammalian brethren.  Previous research suggested that mosquitoes, bedbugs and other bloodsucking insects bit primarily on bare skin, such as wrists and ankles, of mammals and birds and navigated less frequently to the furry or feathery parts. It might be that humans with less hair were more able to find and remove unhealthy parasites, lowering their chances of catching diseases from the bugs.

Bedbug infestations have been on the rise around the world, and U.S. exterminators are treating more of them than ever before, according to a 2011 survey from the National Pest Management Association. The bugs are about the size and color of a flat apple seed, and are found not only on mattresses and upholstery, but in suitcases, boxes, shoes, wallpaper and headboards.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio