Mario Tricoci, a chain of salons and spas in Chicago and the Midwest, told us that they will perform bikini waxes (and other spa services) on girls ages 13-16 with parental permission. If you’re 16 or older you can go without a parent, but they won’t touch anyone 12 or under, even with parental permission.
Where things start to get muddy is with other waxing procedures. At a lot of places, an underarm, lip, brow, or leg wax is available for younger girls. Ramon Padilla, the Director of Strip, told us they do about 15-20 brow services a month on young teenagers. He told us, “But we’re extremely careful. A parent has to be there, or we’ll talk to them on the phone or by email to make sure the parent tells us what they want done.” As far as requests for bikini waxes, Padilla said that there have been about 15-20 requests from underage girls since Strip opened (all denied), but he also noted that Soho/Nolita, the neighborhood where the salon is located, doesn’t have a lot of children and families.
Which is not the case on the Upper East and West Sides where MaxWax is located, and the salon’s business reflects this. Owner Cornell told us, “We…do a lot of upper lip and brow waxes for young girls. It’s actually quite sweet when a parent comes in with a younger child – some of the kids are terrified and some of them can’t wait to get that pesky moustache waxed.”
Which brings us to the next point, and what is really the most important part of this. What’s driving the kids into salons, the kids themselves or the parents? Obviously parents have to support these services, because most businesses won’t do anything on a minor without a parent present. One mother interviewed for the Good Morning America piece said, “I feel it’s a part of hygiene. I think they’re better off starting young.” Another said, “This is all new to them. You have to kind of point them in the right direction.”
So the question is: Is this the right direction?