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An Ethnic Girls’ Guide to Taking Care of Business

By - Apr 30th, 2011 04:00 am
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Photo by Rick via Flickr.

Save for a few sunny days here and there, it hasn’t quite felt like spring in Wisconsin. But it’s nearly May, and before we know it, temperatures will rise and we’ll all be wearing shorts and complaining about the mosquitoes. The shift from spring to summer can happen overnight, and no one wants to be unprepared for the unavoidable shedding of winter layers.

For some of you, the only preparation you need is some sunscreen and you’re good to go (oh, to be so lucky!). But if you’re like me, warm weather is also a harbinger of all the fun personal grooming necessary to prepare for swimsuit season. Along with all the beautiful and inspiring aspects of my Persian background come the darker, ethnic physical features that can be a handful to maintain. I have spent countless hours with my mom, aunts and female cousins experimenting with homemade waxes, different fabrics for waxing, threading, creams, razors, powders, and anything else under the sun that one might do for hair removal. I won’t even get into the trials and tribulations I’ve been through trying to manage my crown of curls.

But as I’ve gotten older, I lack the time and patience for half-effective methods and burns. As such, I’ve looked to more efficient (read: professional) means of personal grooming. Now, if I lived in, say, California, this would be easy as pie, as there are myriad ethnic ladies providing these services on the cheap. Here in “exotic” Milwaukee, this endeavor has taken a bit more time and effort. Let’s face it: if you’re not white and fair, even some of the more exclusive (and expensive) salons just don’t cut it.

Lucky for you, after many tears, laughter and embarrassing photos, I’ve finally found some great people and products that have made my life infinitely easier. Give them a try! Maybe you won’t shy away from getting that string bikini after all.

Jagruti Threading
414-793-5343

Before I met Jagruti, I never thought my eyebrows could look so good. Threading has been in practice for centuries in the Eastern hempisphere, and while many people are afraid of the pain, it is truly no worse than waxing or tweezing; in fact, it is even less so when you are in the hands of an expert like Jagruti. Her services include any other part of the face you wish to have threaded. Also try: Martha’s Hair, 4800 W. Burliegh Ave, Milwaukee; or Mr. Dino’s Hair (Brookfield Square Mall) 95 N Moorland Rd # A14, Brookfield.

Ria Salon
Ria Salon at Solo Salons
1560 East Hwy 18 (Moreland Boulevard),
 Waukesha
262-436-0456

The first time I went to Ria, she told me that she felt like she was waxing her daughter. I knew I had found the lady for me! While Ria offers a number of different services (including facials, manis, and pedis), she is most well known for her Brazilians. With a medical background, Ria gently and meticulously does her work, and sees about 30-40 clients per week. Not only is she a master of waxing, but she is also a hilarious and insightful lady. Great waxing and conversation, what could be better?

Silk-épil Epilators

Epilators have saved my life. For areas that are less sensitive and delicate than the aforementioned ones, the epilator is perfect.

Less messy than waxing, longer lasting than shaving, using an epilator is an efficient way to take care of business on your own. They come in different sizes too, including a narrower one for the face, although you really can use them anywhere you can make it work.

The Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment
Freya Salon
2318 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee
414-455-2991

Over the years I have experimented with different hair relaxers and straightening methods, a great number of which usually smell pretty terrible, dry my hair, or can literally melt your hair off if you have treated it with different dyes/bleach (which, fortunately did not happen to me, though I have witnessed it first-hand). What’s great about the Keratin treatment is that it naturally straightens and smoothes the hair without damaging it, and is safe for color treated hair as well. It is so rare to find a treatment that not only does what it says it will, but also is good for your hair. It is a bit pricier, but SO worth what you pay for it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can purchase the necessary products from somewhere like Sally’s and have someone do it for you at home, but for your first time, I’d recommend having it done professionally.

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