Get stripped: Brazilians come to Shanghai

Get stripped: Brazilians come to Shanghai

Mention Brazilians in Shanghai and most people will think of the city's South American population. But that's set to change from this week with the grand opening of beauty salon Strip & Browhaus
Strip & Browhaus Shanghai
It looks like fun on the outside, but inside it's a serious house of waxing.

We’ll admit that Shanghai is not short of beauty salons. But there are few skilled beauty technicians in this city who can perform a clean wax job around the most sensitive areas without feeling the need to raise an inquisitive eyebrow. Enter Strip, part of Strip & Browhaus Shanghai (Browhaus taking care of all above-the-belt needs), opening on December 18.

When we first opened in Singapore, the customers were only five percent Chinese and 95 percent expats. Now it’s the other way around.— BJ Macatulad, Strip & Browhaus Shanghai’s GM

First opened in Singapore in 2002, the so-called ‘Ministry of Waxing’ has a solid track record of providing a satisfyingly good, professional wax, specializing in Brazilian waxing, for both genders.

New venue, new rules

The first issue in Shanghai to come up with any new salon is always hygiene. Thankfully Strip’s mantra, according to the manager, centers on three important factors: hygiene, speed and quality. Each customer "is given an individually sealed hygiene pack, which includes latex gloves, wet wipes, cotton pads and buds," says Strip & Browhaus Shanghai’s GM BJ Macatulad. Therapists are also not allowed to double-dip which means small wooden spatulas used in wax are disposed of after every application keeping everything (and you) germ free.

In addition to strict hygiene standards, waxing technicians are trained by the chain's Singaporean owner Cynthia Chu who learned the art of waxing -- focusing on Brazilians and "man-zilians" -- in New York City, so they're more than up to the task of catering to those with disheveled follicles.

Brazilians welcome in Shanghai?

Although Shanghai is not historically a waxing-friendly city to say the least, Strip’s managers think that the city is ready to bare a bit more skin.

“When it first opened in Singapore, the customers were only five per cent Chinese and 95 per cent expats,” says Macatulad. “Now it’s the other way around. Surprisingly the Chinese are beginning to be concern about their hair care, all kinds of hair care.”

Strip & Browhaus ShanghaiA little pot of pain

With this in mind, we took to the street for an unscientific survey and stopped five unsuspecting souls to ask what they thought.

Judy, Chinese, 28: “Brazilian waxing? I’ve heard it before but never experience it. I just like to let my hair down under grow.”

The count -- pro: 0, con: 1

Rosemary, Chinese, 23: “I did leg and arm waxing but I’ve never done Brazilian. It’s such a sensitive area and it always scares me.”

The count -- pro: 0, con: 2

Zoe, Chinese, 29: “I’m Asian and I don’t have that much hair. So I just shave if I feel like it.”

The count -- pro: 0, con: 3

Christy, Chinese, 32: “I only began to do waxing when I got married three months ago. It feels clean and comfortable. And now I’m already addicted to it.”

The count -- pro: 1, con: 3

Queenie, Chinese, 36: “I only do it when I’m out on a date. Especially with Western men because they hate bushy hair down there.”

The count -- pro: 1, con: 4

One from five isn’t too bad a start. The coming months will tell if Strip can gain converts or if they pushed into the Shanghai market too soon.

Getting there

Strip & Browhaus Shanghai
158 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu
新乐路158号, 近东湖路
tel +86 21 5403 0011