Di Medlock, director of waxing for Exhale
I am not going to lie, when I set up my appointment to chat with the director of waxing at Exhale, the uber-chic spa/workout facility/urban oasis, I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean, director of waxing? That has just got to be the scariest job title ever. But the irony is that Di Medlock couldn’t be any nicer or more bubbly. When I went to the Upper East Side location to meet her, she was so sweet she practically gave me a hug and immediately offered me a hot aromatherapy neck pillow before we headed to the very zen Genie Room for our chat. Needless to say, it was the most relaxing interview I had ever conducted. To find out what exactly Di does, the benefits to waxing, and why you should visit Exhale, continue reading.
So, what exactly do you do?
We have seventeen locations across the country, soon to be eighteen, and my job is to pretty much oversee all those departments. I write the protocols and what is expected, and work on our legal stuff—things like our waxing waivers.
Does everyone have to sign a waiver when they come in?
Only if they’re contraindicated, so if you’re using Retin-A, Accutane, Differin Gel, any hyper-exfoliants on your skin that can cause it to thin. Ever single time someone comes in we’re asking them what kind of medications they’re on, when their last facial was, if they’ve had a sunburn in the last 24 hours — it’s just having a conversation with our guests.
What’s the biggest benefit to waxing?
Every time that you wax it’s breaking down your hair follicle to the point where eventually it’s going to stop growing in. That’s the whole reason that we do it. It’s just to stop that little machine that makes hair. We’re going to break it.
What would you say to someone who is worried about the pain factor with waxing?
It’s all relative, everybody’s pain tolerance is different and I am never going to lie about pain. It hurts. It is what it is. Especially if you’re coming in for a Brazilian—I am going to remove your pubic hair and it’s not going to feel great, but the positives outweigh the negatives. For me, that’s a fair enough trade where I’ll go through a few minutes of pain to not have to deal with it for a month versus some people who are shaving every single day. And it gets easier and less painful every time.
What kind of wax do you use at Exhale?
We use two forms of wax, which are the only two forms of wax that you can use. There is soft wax, which is strip wax, and there is hard wax. Hard wax is when you lay it down on the skin, no strip required, it hardens down and then we remove it and the patch that it’s in. Strip wax is when you’re literally laying it down and laying a strip on top and then remove it. Both are equally effective, and both are great. Some people have a preference one way or another. But our soft wax is sort of the special one. We use Nufree, which is a soy-based wax. It is a bit different than anything else on the market. The regular waxes that are on the market are made with honey or pine or sap, the consistency of them is that they’re really, really sticky. The Nufree is more of a cream so it doesn’t adhere to your tissue, just to the hair so it has less of that bite that happens after you do your pull.
How do you decide between the two?
It depends on the skin type and the hair type. Typically a quarter to a half an inch is how long we need the hair to be in order to wax it off properly. If it comes in and it’s a little short and a little coarse, I’ll go for hard wax because it has a tighter grip. A hard wax is going to grab on and get everything from the root rather than breaking it off from the surface because sometimes if the hair is a little bit thicker it can be brittle. It’s just about gauging the situation and talking with your guest.
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