History & Origins of Waxing
Removing hair from the body is certainly not new. The ancient Egyptians did this long before suburban house wives discovered the bikini wax. A smooth and hairless body was the standard of beauty, youth and innocence for a woman in Egypt. The wife of the divine Pharoah set the example and every Egyptian woman took care that there was not a single hair on her body. They used depilatory creams and waxed with a sticky emulsion made of oil and honey, similar to what we now call “sugaring”.
Later, the Greeks adopted this ideal of smoothness. The old Greek sculptures show us that. The sculptures of women are polished, shiny and all, and there is no pubic hair at all, whereas the sculptures of men do show pubic hair! The Greeks thought pubic hair on women was ugly and upper class ladies removed it. The Romans did not like pubic hair either and young girls began removing it as soon as it first appeared. They used tweezers, which they called the “volsella” and had a kind of depilatory cream, the “philotrum” or “dropax”, the forerunner of the current depilatory creams! Waxing was also a way of depilating and this was done with resin or pitch.
In 1520, Bassano de Zra wrote: “The Turks consider it sinful when a woman lets the hair on her private parts grow. As soon as a woman feels the hair is growing, she hurries to the public bath to have it removed or remove it herself.” The public baths all had special rooms where the ladies could get rid of their hair. Nowadays the hamams, or public baths, have special rooms for the ladies to depilate.
The habit of depilating fell out of fashion after Catherine de Medici, then queen of France, forbade her ladies in waiting to remove their pubic hair any longer.
In the sixties, smoothness was rediscovered with the invention of the bikini, and today many woman remove hair somewhere on their bodies. It is the fashion to have smooth armpits, legs, bikini lines. Today, even men are getting smooth. The greater “exposure” of athletes, models and even porn stars continue to lend to the trend.