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N.J. cans Brazilian wax ban

Put away the sarongs and bust out the thongs, because the Brazilian wax is back in the Garden State.

Put away the sarongs and bust out the thongs, because the Brazilian wax is back in the Garden State.

Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman, reacting to disgruntled salon and spa owners, may have rescued genital waxing by rejecting Friday a state Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling proposal to ban the painful procedure.

"Thank the Lord. I can't wait to run out there and tell the girls," said Linda Orsuto, owner of 800 West Salon and Spa in Cherry Hill. "They're going to be so happy."

Last week, the Daily News reported that the board had introduced a proposal to ban genital waxing in New Jersey's spas and salons, something the board claimed was already illegal but never spelled out in the regulations.

The board cited public safety as a main issue, saying that two women injured by Brazilian waxes had come forward with complaints. One of them filed a lawsuit.

Salon owners, including Orsuto, felt that the ban would strip women of a popular, albeit painful, procedure and only contribute to unsafe conditions. Many women, the owners claimed, would try to wax themselves or visit unlicensed spas to maintain hair-free.

A fax campaign was started to inform the New Jersey Attorney General's Office that Brazilian waxes could be done safely with the proper training.

The state apparently listened.

Szuchman, in a letter written Friday, ordered the board to "re-examine" the issue.

"Many commenters have noted that the procedure can be safely performed," Szuchman wrote. "I therefore believe that there are alternate means to address any public health issues identified by the board."

Schuzman also encouraged the board "to begin an immediate review of the training necessary to safely provide this service, and to establish appropriate protocols and safeguards."

New Jersey statutes permit waxing of the neck, abdomen, legs and arms, but regulators never enforced the omissions and most salons in the state offered genital waxing under many different names for $50 to $80 a session.

Orsuto said news of the ban made for a bumpy week in her busy Route 70 salon.

"It's been chaos," she said. "I'm not kidding. The girls have been in a state of panic."

Rosemary Weiner, chairman of the Association of Salon and Spa Professionals in New Jersey, was cautious about Szchuman's letter, noting that it was more of a recommendation than an order.

"This is very big news. It's a very positive step," she said. "Nobody else bans this in the entire country."

Szuchman's office oversees the board, however, likely meaning that a ban would never be approved. *