If your hand is up, put it down and put the razor down too. The nail lady is not concerned with your leg hair but you should be.

There are a number of events where women scramble at the last minute to get rid of that pesky leg hair.  Think potential ‘Get Lucky’ dates, an impromptu pool hang day, or pulling on a pair of pants that once seemed to provide full (leg hair) coverage only to realize that an inch above the ankle, there is that dang leg hair on public display.  So you quick run to the bathroom, leg up on the toilet seat and dry shave just the one inch surface of hair peeking out from the bottom seem of your pants. “Phew! That was a close one.

We all in one way or another have been there.

Another place we don’t want to show off our leg neglect is the nail salon.  Rooms full of other women, bright lights and a place to beautify, relax and renew; yet many of us fret about shaving (or not shaving) for the nail lady.  You may go in more prepared, to sheepishly admit, “My toes are horrible, I haven’t had a pedi in forever it’s been like six months.”

Take it from me, I am a master pedicurist and have serviced feet all day long for the past 12 years- six months is too long.

Love your feet.

You wash your face daily, brush your teeth daily, put gas in your car weekly so please give your feet monthly love. Your feet are the wheels for your body- take care of them and they will serve you optimally.  A pedicure is more than a beauty service, but I digress, that is a whole other topic.

Being a celebrity manicurist for the likes of Lady Gaga, Mary J Blige, Kim Kardashian and having owned my own nail spa I have serviced thousands of feet and performed many, a many, a many pedicures.  In my experience I’ve noticed women with a constant ring of apologetic, “I’m so sorry I didn’t shave,” or “Excuse my hairy legs, I’m like a wilder beast” and my favorite, “So sorry I didn’t remove my polish before I came”. I always chuckle and reply with a smile, “Well, let me earn my keep, I’ll remove your polish, I’ll take care of you. You are in good hands now”.

Polish removal/application are standard inclusions for pedicure services, hair removal is not, but it always struck me how over the years no matter the shape, size, color or status, women across the board apologize to me for not shaving.

I began to take it as an opportunity to open up the conversation on beauty professional’s non-judgment for things like this. Once you are in our chair, in my experience, we do not judge callused feet, chipped polish or hairy legs. We just want to serve you. We want to do a good job. We see feet all day long and it is work to us, so hairy legs do not faze us.

I know, I know, you may be thinking of scenarios where technicians are speaking another language you may not comprehend and imagining them talking about your hairy legs. “Ohhh, look hair like man on her legs” etc. That is not really happening. In my research the talk is more about, “Why she have designer purse and leave small tip?” type conversations NOT about your minute leg stubble.

These days, whenever a woman apologizes for her “woolly mammoth legs,” I use it as an opportunity to educate her and I will do it here as well, in hopes that you will share it with your girlfriends, colleagues, friends, families and neighbors. I put my apologetic client at ease by explaining that they did the right thing by not shaving before coming to the nail salon. Just like with a full body scrub (exfoliation) you want to shave after, not before. Exfoliation is part of most pedicures and so is a foot soak and use of tools that have been used on others.  In my highest hopes, I want ALL salons to practice perfect sanitation and be on the up and up when it comes to cleanliness, however it may not always be the case. When you shave, it may result in open cuts or microscopic cuts invisible to the eye- either way this leaves you in a vulnerable position for possible infection.

It is best not to shave your legs the day of your appointment.  Shaving too close to pedi service creates an unnecessary potential source for infection. Safety should always be your top priority. Plus getting a scrub during a pedi is great because exfoliating before shaving is best for smooth skin results.

Please take my word for it, Put the razor down and pick the relaxation up, no more apologizing at the nail salon- come in, sit back, unwind and renew.

Be sure to head back to Sheen Magazine every Saturday for the whole month of April for more tips and tricks from Naja herself!

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