What Is Oriental Epilation?

Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Many Oriental spas prefer that customers shower before undergoing an epilation treatment.
Many Oriental spas prefer that customers shower before undergoing an epilation treatment.

Men and women are not always happy with where and how much hair is growing on their bodies. Though many exclusively turn to depilation methods of removing hair at the skin level with razors or chemical creams, others seek out more lasting methods like Oriental epilation — a technique that removes hair from the follicles on up. The process involves making or buying a paste of sugar, water and lemon juice, then smearing it over unwanted areas of hair. One or maybe two passes is all it takes to remove the hair, which could take at least a week or two to grow back potentially softer than before.

Oriental epilation may be used to remove unwanted underarm hair.
Oriental epilation may be used to remove unwanted underarm hair.

An at-home Oriental epilation wax can be created with simple ingredients. Some dissolve sugar in a little water until it turns brown, which is the basic method for making caramel. Others use honey as an alternative. After the sugar slurry turns brown, just drops of little lemon juice is added. The mixture is then sealed in a container and submerged in cold water until it has cooled into a thick, waxy paste.

Waxing the bikini area during menstruation may caused increased pain to the area.
Waxing the bikini area during menstruation may caused increased pain to the area.

The process for applying an Oriental wax is different when a homemade wax is being applied, as opposed to a store-bought Oriental epilation wax or even wax strip. With the home concoction a ball of the wax is slowly pressed into small areas of hairy skin, then quickly pulled away. When a commercial epilation wax is used the material will often require a quick warming by kneading the material between the fingers before being applied to the skin. The hair should be allowed to grow to a visible length before undergoing this treatment, and baby powder should be applied just before the wax to dry the hair fibers and make it easy for the wax to grasp.

Waxing the genital area during pregnancy may be more painful for some women.
Waxing the genital area during pregnancy may be more painful for some women.

Various spas around the globe regularly offer Oriental epilation as an alternative to traditional cold or hot waxing. This procedure may be included in a traditional Asian spa regimen. Upon arrival, many Oriental spas will have customers disrobe, sit in a steam room, and shower before undergoing an epilation treatment. This cleans the skin and opens the pores and follicles. It also helps to relax the mind for a hair-removal experience with at least the potential for some pain.

Oriental epilation is a time-honored alternative to other more mainstream waxing techniques. Another popular method involves applying a hot or cold wax to the hairy skin, then applying a thin piece of paper over the wax. This can then be quickly ripped away, taking all the hair out with it. Another epilation method involves a machine that is passed over problem areas, quickly ripping away hair instead of cutting the fibers at the surface. Though all of these epilation techniques typically remove hair in one pass, a few applications may be needed in some particularly dense areas.

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    • Many Oriental spas prefer that customers shower before undergoing an epilation treatment.
      By: Mila Supynska
      Many Oriental spas prefer that customers shower before undergoing an epilation treatment.
    • Oriental epilation may be used to remove unwanted underarm hair.
      By: Gabriel Blaj
      Oriental epilation may be used to remove unwanted underarm hair.
    • Waxing the bikini area during menstruation may caused increased pain to the area.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Waxing the bikini area during menstruation may caused increased pain to the area.
    • Waxing the genital area during pregnancy may be more painful for some women.
      By: Natalia Chircova
      Waxing the genital area during pregnancy may be more painful for some women.