The Best Brazilian Wax in Toronto

By Denise Balkissoon

“A Brazilian wax isn’t about how it looks,” says Perla Porto, “It’s about how it feels.” It’s also about laughing so hard you don’t feel the pain, at least when it’s Perla doing the depilation. A trip to her table is always hilarious, although sometimes in a gross way (I’ll spare you the details but please, keep your parts clean, lest your esthetician gossip about you to random strangers). The Brazilian expat is so good at what she does that estheticians from other salons have come in undercover to creep her technique, only to confess their mission and end up loyal clients themselves.

For the Ethnic Aisle’s Hair Issue, Perla shares her thoughts on Canadian attitudes to nudity and shyness, which are very, very different than what she grew up with in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city (admit it, you thought it was Rio). I personally vouch for her quick and relatively painless skills – if you’re looking to get waxed, you can reach her at 416-903-8864.



The Hair Issue

Of all the beauty issues fraught with ethnic baggage, could hair be the heaviest burden to carry? This week on the Ethnic Aisle, we discuss hair – facial hair, body hair and yes, even head hair.

Navneet Alang has learned to love his totally awesome chest hair: “In the time I was busy developing complexes about how I was an impossibly unattractive yeti, Bollywood had hopped on the “ripped, hairless chests” bandwagon.”

Jaime Woo is a Chinese guy, yet he can grow a beard. Weird. “In gay culture, men have decided to flee from the swishy, polished look of the late-90s and early naughts towards beards and tatts. I’m lucky, I guess, that my laziness happened to time in with the trend towards a more traditionally masculine look.”

Denise Balkissoon tries not to laugh as her hilarious Brazilian esthetician Perla Porto waxes on about Canadian shyness while waxing off her errant eyebrow hairs. Watch the video here.

You want to talk about curls? Let’s talk about curls. Renée Sylvestre-Williams has found the hairdresser of her dreams and Caroline Shaheed is no longer going to try and “tame” her Egyptian tresses.

Canice Leung has got pin-straight hair, the kind Chinese girls are born with, and the kind they pay lots of money to get. “It always seemed to me a bit like Hudson’s Bay traders selling beaver pelts back to the natives.”

Kelli Korducki longed to be blonde so that she could star in her own telenovela. “Blondeness wasn’t exactly required. It was more like the silver bullet that could make even the most marginally negotiable amount of onscreen charisma sufficient for stardom.”

Navi Lamba had her first haircut at age 15, only to learn that she didn’t have white girl hair. “I didn’t have the Princess Diaries moment I had hoped for and was left with something a bit shorter and much puffier, with the odd curl protruding from of my head.”

Jef Catapang’s hair isn’t just thick, it’s thick enough to pierce skin. “Tools high school homies needed for cutting my hair: tweezers, baby powder, and poor rock-paper-scissors skills.”

Scaachi Koul worries that her arm hair makes her unfeminine. “Leg hair removal felt unavoidable, and socially required, but I figured arm hair was okay to take to the mall. I was wrong. ‘Why do you have that?’ a male classmate asked, pointing to my arms. ‘You’re hairier than I am.'”

Bhairavi Thanki thought being hairy was awful, until she found out it was lucky. “My parents once told me that they were fortunate to have a hairy daughter. It brings good luck they said. Excuse me, what?! I thought they were trying to make me feel better after one particularly gruesome waxing session.”