Best spas and salons for hair removal
Waxing, threading, laser and more-if you have unwanted hair, we know a place that'll gladly rid you of it.
Mon Mar 29 2010
Though this well-known spa has a rep for being pricey, the basic bikini wax is a steal at $35. The $30 eyebrow waxes won’t leave you broke either, and we adore the work of Bliss 49 house waxer Dee Subkhanova. Pristine facilities, attention to hygiene, disposable panties (provided for modesty during bikini, “Betweeny” and Brazilian treatments), and the use of pain-reducing, strip-less wax make the experience tolerable—and a far cry from the back room at the nail salon. Locations throughout the city; visit blissworld.com.
If you like to keep your hair down there tidy, this big-name minichain (with three NYC locations) is the place to go. After an embarrassment-free consultation (they ask you about problem areas so you don’t have to bring it up), choose from four levels of hairlessness: basic bikini ($42 for wax, $220 for laser); bikini plus inner thigh ($63 for wax, $330 for laser); Brazilian, which removes everything sans the landing strip ($74 for wax, $360 for laser); or the completely bare, which leaves nothing ($82 for wax, $425 for laser). Your hot date may also appreciate the Vajazzle ($115), a completely bare wax paired with a Swarovski crystal application that lasts up to five days. Locations throughout the city; visit completelybare.com.
Eve’s Nail Salon
You can tell by the line out the door on a Saturday afternoon that Astorians are all about Eve’s. We understand why. Waxist Lisa will leave your skin feeling baby-smooth and pampered. Added bonus: They won’t charge you an arm and a leg to do your arms and legs ($27 and $32, respectively), so you can stick around for a manicure ($8) or pedicure ($15), and a complimentary massage. 30-09 30th Ave at 30th St, Astoria, Queens (718-956-1300). Daily 11am--9:30pm.
Jeniette Day Spa
This Union Square salon was founded nearly 30 years ago by Iranian aesthetician Jeniette Melamed. Thankfully, the frills are all in the Victorian-style decor, not the service. Expect a skilled, speedy wax anywhere from you upper lip to your ankles. Eyebrows waxing or tweezing starts at $18, facials begin at $55, and massages range from $12 for ten minutes to $170 for two hours of deep-tissue rubbin’. 58 E 13th St between Broadway and University Pl (212-529-1616, jeniette.com). Mon--Fri 10am--8pm; Sat 10am--7pm; Sun noon--7pm.
You can get facials, waxing and henna tattoos at this no-fuss salon, but we come for the eyebrow shaping—and as the continual lines of both men and women attest, we’re not the only ones. The staffers, plucking along to Indian pop music, have an effortless understanding of face and eye shapes. We’d happily pay big bucks for such expert treatment, but luckily we don’t have to. Each session is just $7, and your tenth visit is free. 1—5 Greenwich Ave between Sixth Ave and Christopher St (212-243-7354, madhuseyebrows.com). * 106 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-228-7576). Daily 11am--8pm.
When this hole-in-the-wall chop shop opened in 2004, founder Eric Uvaydov had a built-in buzz thanks to a list of discerning clients, including fashion insiders like John Bartlett and Narciso Rodriguez. We’re not sure how much extra fluff those guys had under their shirts, but if you’re sporting some man-fur, you’re in luck: Chest trims and back shaves ($15 each) are as affordable as the cuts ($14), and with only four chairs in the place, you don’t have to worry about an audience. 439 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-777-0798, neighborhoodbarbers.com). Mon--Sat 8am--8pm; Sun 10am--7pm.
Ronni Kolotkin Electrolysis
Looking to permanently remove a much-loathed section of hair? Thirty-five-year vet Ronni Kolotkin will get in, get out and produce TONY-approved results (prices start at $65 for 15 minutes). Her Union Square location is convenient, making it possible to squeeze in a lunchtime session or pop in early to numb the to-be-treated area with ice. Kolotkin will tackle any area, and men are also welcome (waist up). 80 Fifth Ave at 14th St, suite 1508 (212-366-6663, ronnikolotkin.com). Mon--Fri 9am--9pm; Sat 9am--6pm; Sun 10am--6pm.
Shade Bar Boutique Spa
The posh feel of this boutique spa almost made us forget that we were about to have our hair follicles ripped out. Depending on your skin type, fruity-scented hard wax is applied to brows followed by a thorough tweezing to ensure that not a hair is out of place. Initial brow shaping is $20, and cleanup visits cost just $12. 36-05 Ditmars Blvd between 36th and 37th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-278-7892, shadebarspa.com). Fri--Sat 10am--8pm; Sun 10am--6pm.
Waxing and its gentler cousin, sugaring, are both on the menu at this chic minichain, but facial threading is its signature treatment. Any of the well-trained specialists can give you brows Brooke Shields would envy ($20), but Manju (at the midtown location) is particularly fast and gentle. Arrive early to unwind: Each salon stocks a wide assortment of herbal tea and a generous selection of magazines in the waiting area. Shobha also extends its hours before and during holiday weekends to accommodate the high volume of clients in need of bikini maintenance. Locations throughout the city; visit myshobha.com.
Susan Davina Electrolysis and Skincare
Susan Davina’s spa is warm and intimate, with a fountain and aromatherapy scents—and the spa offerings aren’t half-bad either: Waxing starts at $15, electrolysis at $35, a rejuvenating facial at $115, glycolic peels at $75. Known for her gentle touch, use of Yon-ka of Paris products and excellent massages (complimentary with a facial), the London transplant attracts a classy clientele. New customers get 10 percent off their first visit; consultations are free. 24 W 57th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, suite 702 (212-751-7377, susandavina.com). Tue--Sat 11am--8pm.
TriBeca Med Spa
This downtown facility is more med than spa, housing more than $250,000 worth of laser equipment, as well as medical aestheticians trained to work with any hair type. To ensure that hair is gone for good, you’ll sit for six to eight sessions, with five weeks between each treatment. Being hairless for life doesn’t come cheap: Abolishing your ’stache will run $175 per visit; de-fuzzing a manly back costs up to $525 a visit. 114 Hudson St between Franklin and N Moore St (212-925-9500, tribecamedspa.com). Mon noon--5pm; Tue--Thu 10am--8pm; Fri 10am--6pm; Sat 10am--5pm.
This Southern Florida staple opened in Murray Hill a year ago. Thanks to its long hours and multiple technicians, getting an appointment with your favorite waxer (ours is Marianna Rojas) is rarely a problem. The Brazilian bikini wax is one of the sweetest deals, with services running just $25 a session. We know bikini waxes aren’t easy, but friendly and professional staffers put clients at ease, and the special quick-drying wax (it doesn’t need paper to be peeled off) makes the experience less painful. The best part: It’s right by El Rio Grande, and nothing numbs pain like a stiff margarita! 553 Third Ave between 36th and 37th Sts (212-481-2777, unikwax.com). Mon--Fri 9am--10pm; Sat 9am--8pm; Sun 10am--7pm.
Valery Joseph Salon
Eyebrow and makeup specialist Rachel Gangemi’s perfectly lit room in this airy townhouse salon has the laid-back vibe of a chic friend’s apartment, but once inside, you know you’re in the company of a true artist. Gangemi wields scissors and tweezers with precision, sculpting even the most unruly and over-plucked arches into stunning, face-framing shapes. Brow shaping costs $75, brow tinting is $20, makeup applications run $150, and makeup lessons cost $175--$200. 820 Madison Ave between 68th and 69th Sts, second floor (212-517-7377, valeryjoseph.com). Tue, Thu 9am--7pm; Wed, Fri, Sat 9am--6pm.
Reported by Samantha Campbell, Billie Cohen, Jamie Finazzo, Olivia Giovetti, Julia Israel, Laura Lanz-Frolio, Lauren Levinson, Lisa Levinson, Maria Longo, Chris Schonberger and Allison Williams.