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The Best Hair Removal Services in New York

Photo-Illustration: Curbed; Photos: Getty

For a Same-Day Appointment

Uni K Wax, multiple locations;

There are plenty of fancy places to get a bikini wax in the city — like Haven in Soho, where treatment rooms are decorated with roses floating in bowls of water, or Maris Dusan, which is situated on the ground floor of a Park Avenue townhouse. But none, according to Lili Chemla, founder of clothing company Leset, beat Uni K. No matter which location she visits (the chain has 13 across the city, from Bay Ridge to Lenox Hill to Long Island City), the technicians expertly (and quickly) use hard wax and are “diligent about making sure you’re smooth as a seal,” she says, “not letting a single hair pass their notice.” The no-frills studios are always clean, but the real appeal is the company’s online booking portal and easy-to-parse menu of services listing several variations on bikini waxes, ranging from “top only” ($13), for just the horizontal strip of hair above the pubic area, to a “Boy Short” ($87), which includes hips and inner thighs. Nora DeLigter, writer-director who has been going to Uni K for bikini waxes for eight years, says over all that time, she has “never not gotten a same-day appointment.”

For a BoyZillian

MPM, 239 W. 26th St.;

When it comes to cleaning up his nether regions, “most woman waxers act kind of afraid of me,” says one avid male client who’d prefer to remain anonymous. “They generally aren’t willing or able to get me into the right positions to really get it done.” Not so at MPM, an exclusively for-men spot in Chelsea that sugars (a hair-removal process that uses a lemon-water-and-paste mixture instead of wax) away hair in the perineum, on the balls, around the shaft, and basically anywhere else the customer pleases (prices start at $30 for “the crack only”). Oskar, one of the technicians, is particularly good at “contorting my body into whatever shape it takes to really get into the crevices of my butt. He’s not shy around or afraid of the male body.” The “BoyZillian” ($60) removes hair from the full pubic area in 30 minutes or less, and while it’s admittedly “extremely painful,” Oskar is “gentle and makes it more tolerable than it should be.”

For Taraji P. Henson’s Go-to

Tenoverten, 121 Fulton St.;

In her ten years at Tenoverten, Miranda Doxani has gained a high-profile following for her surprisingly painless waxing services. Her client list includes Demi Moore, Taraji P. Henson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Naomi Watts as well as Jimena Garcia, Chanel’s in-house brow artist, who has been seeing Doxani for bikini waxes (from $35) for 15 years, since before Doxani moved to Tenoverten. Doxani uses nontoxic products (Satiness beeswax, natural resin-based wax, azulene oil), but Garcia says Doxani’s finesse comes down to experience: “She knows how to adjust the temperature, the pace, the way she holds her hands specifically. You can learn technique in school, but you have to actually do it over and over to be able to really see hair-growth patterns and hair types the way she does.”

For a ’90s-esque Arch

Zubi’s Threading Corner, 157 Allen St.;

“Zubi always has a point of view about eyebrow shape and the relationship between how your hair grows and the shape of your face,” says stylist Mellany Sanchez of Zubi Kothiya, owner of Zubi’s Threading Corner. (She got Kothiya’s name in the first place from her friend Seymore Fleck, a beauty specialist who has beenseeing Kothiya since 2008.) Take, for instance, the time Sanchez showed Kothiya her saved photos of ’90s supermodels and Puerto Rican women with their ultra-arched, razor-thin brows. (“I live for it,” she says.) Kothiya steered her away, suggesting instead that a better arch would be achieved by growing her brows in and shaping them so they gently taper past the outer corners of her eyes. Now Sanchez has a feathery, ’90s-esque arch with none of the no-going-back overplucking. (From $10 to $200 for a wide range of services.)

For No Ingrowns

Shen Beauty, 138 Court St., Cobble Hill;

Beauty writer Saleam Singleton gets chest and stomach waxes and says his priority is to find “a service that is as gentle as possible” because his coarse hair typically leads to ingrown hairs and irritation. He’s been a regular for a year at Shen Beauty, where he sees Annie Otaigbe, who does waxing, facials, and body treatments (from $16 to $145). Otaigbe is “very interested in and passionate about skin care,” says Singleton, pointing to her biomedical-informatics training from the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute New York as well as the product regimen she has put him on. Besides using micellar water, Amber After Wax Quench, and Fur Oil (a product that softens pubic hairs and clears pores) during treatments (and recommending them for at-home care), Otaigbe has given Singleton crucial advice on preventing ingrowns in between waxes. From sharing the best exfoliators (Nécessaire’s The Body Exfoliator) to which acids will gently treat hyperpigmentation (glycolic, kojic, and mandelic), “it’s more than just waxing,” Singleton says. “I’ve gone to waxers in the past who don’t share any tips, but Annie is a gem.”

For Ancestral Brows

Azi Sacks, the Brow Studio, 205 W. 20th St.;

As a child, Zara Rahim’s unibrow was openly praised at home by her Bangladeshi family but mocked by her classmates at her Florida school. “I threaded my eyebrows mercilessly as soon as I was allowed to,” says the communications strategist, and from the age of 17 up until the pandemic, she kept her brows in distinct, separate arches. But post-lockdown, with her childhood brow fully rewilded after having no access to a salon, she decided to leave “colonial standards of beauty” behind. On a recommendation from hairstylist Dhiran Mistry, she went to see Azi Sacks, whose “eyes lit up in a way I hadn’t seen before,” Rahim says. “Her concern was, ‘How do we keep these as full and ancestral as possible?’ ” For Rahim, Sacks carefully tweezes to preserve her brows’ natural shape ($120 for shaping) — somehow taming the cowlick that stumped previous eyebrow artists — and adds a tint ($40) for further definition.

For Beauty-Editor-Trusted Laser

Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, 5 E. 57th St.;

In 2016, contributing editor at Vogue Jenna Rennert went to Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal on the recommendation of a friend and has been a regular ever since, dipping in frequently ahead of events. She has referred industry friends, like Instagram’s head of beauty programs, Kristie Dash, who has since become a regular. Romeo & Juliette has 14 available lasers, including Nd:YAG lasers, which yield the best results on darker skin tones and are not available at many med spas. Rennert’s bikini-line treatments (from $235) are generally done with the Synchro REPLA:Y, which has nuanced settings to allow for more targeted treatments based on hair type and thickness and skin tone and sensitivity. Dash remembers being pleasantly surprised at her first appointment when multiple settings were used on a single body part. “It’s such a thorough process,” she says. “Other salons pop you into a room and just start zapping.” Blake Newby, an editor at Essence, has been getting her Brazilian area done at Romeo & Juliette for three years. “The area has stayed hairless as long as I’ve been diligent with touch-ups,” she says. “And I’ve never experienced so much as an ounce of discoloration. I’ve referred friends with deeper skin tones than me to R&J, and they said the same.”

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