Whether you opt to go natural, desire to eliminate all pubic hair, or fall somewhere in the middle is entirely your choice (and always should be). However, if you have ever accidentally cut yourself while shaving your bikini area or experienced razor burn, then you have probably considered the appeal of a Brazilian wax.
If you are new to bikini waxing, the thought of exposing yourself to a complete stranger may seem a bit intimidating. But don’t worry! Here, experts explain how to prepare for a Brazilian wax and what to anticipate during your first appointment, including the level of discomfort. Trust me, you will want to read this guide before diving into your initial Brazilian waxing experience.
The Distinction Between Shaving and Waxing
A quick reminder: Shaving trims the hair at the skin’s surface without removing the entire follicle. The skin consists of three layers, and the hair’s root is situated in the dermis, which is the second deepest layer. Shaving cuts the hair where it emerges through the skin, never reaching the root. As a result, the hair will reappear on the surface every few days as it regrows.
On the other hand, waxing completely extracts the hair from the root. This complete removal of the strand results in a smoother and longer-lasting outcome. With this method, you will remain hairless for several weeks. However, it is important to note that waxing is not a permanent solution for hair removal as the follicle will produce new hair. Although not foolproof, many individuals have reported anecdotally that consistent waxing can lead to finer hair regrowth due to the weakening of the follicle’s strength.
What Constitutes a Brazilian Wax?
When discussing bikini waxes, there are various terms used that can cause confusion. When selecting your desired service, you have options such as the bikini line (removing only the hair that would be visible in a typical bikini), deep bikini (a more comprehensive removal of hair on the sides of the labia), and Brazilian bikini wax (which eliminates all hair from the front and back). According to Noemi Grupenmager, the founder of Uni K Wax Studio, these are the common terminologies.
As commonly understood, a Brazilian wax involves the complete removal of hair from the pubic area, including the buttocks strip (also known as a full Brazilian or Brazilian front and back). In case you were wondering, the service earned its name because of the popularity of Brazilian bikinis in the 1990s. The high-cut, small bottoms inspired a more thorough waxing style to prevent any stray hairs from being visible. However, if going completely bare is not your preference, you can choose to get a Brazilian wax but leave some hair on the pubic bone in the shape of a triangle, strip, square, or any other shape you desire, as noted by Helene Marie, a waxing expert at European Wax Center.
What to Anticipate When Receiving a Brazilian Wax
While every salon possesses a different approach, undergoing a Brazilian wax adheres to the same fundamental concept. For a bikini wax, you might have the option to retain your underwear during the service — but for a Brazilian, you will be completely unclothed from the waist down. The initial step involves eliminating lotions and oils from the skin using a purifier, toner, or wipe. Some salons employ strips to swiftly remove the wax, whereas recent advancements have introduced waxes that solidify and become the strips themselves.
After preparing the skin, the waxing expert will instruct you to lie flat on your back with your legs spread in a butterfly position. When transitioning to the backside, different salons may require you to assume various positions to access the area. Nevertheless, you will almost always need to use one hand on each buttock to widen them apart. Yes, it may seem incredibly awkward, but the waxing expert has encountered it all and will inform you of the appropriate position, how to assume it, and when to switch.
Following the waxing procedure, a calming gel or serum will be applied to alleviate inflammation and prevent the occurrence of ingrown hairs. Many waxing salons offer their own products to help you continue preventing ingrown hairs and maintain well-hydrated skin at home. For instance, European Wax Center offers a wide range of ingrown hair serums and even post-wax masks for soothing hydration.
Each salon employs a distinct type of wax — such as pine, honey, chocolate, and aloe vera waxes — although many salons also have their own exclusive blend. For instance, Uni K Waxing Studio incorporates an all-natural, gluten-free, pine-based elastic wax into their blend. European Wax Center, on the other hand, utilizes a beeswax-based wax that is applied warm (not hot) and solidifies for removal as a strip. (If you are still hesitant about waxing, you can try these six techniques for shaving your bikini area.)
Where to Receive a Brazilian Wax
This is one beauty treatment that you should not attempt to do yourself. It is advisable to visit a waxing salon, particularly if you desire a Brazilian wax. While waxing may seem simple, improper execution could result in ingrown hairs, bruising, burning, or the wax becoming stubbornly adhered to your skin — ouch. To find a suitable salon, start with the basics: Seek recommendations from a friend or peruse Yelp reviews in your vicinity.
If you know you have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients, make sure to inquire extensively to determine if a salon and its ingredients are suitable for you. Irrespective of the type of wax, one of the most vital things to be cautious of is cleanliness: Ensure that your wax expert does not reuse the stick and uses a fresh one to dip into the wax for each strip. Even though every client receives their own fresh pot of wax, once the applicator has touched the skin, it should not go back into the wax because there is always a possibility of contaminating the wax and causing infection, clarifies Marie.
The price of a Brazilian bikini wax varies depending on the wax utilized, the extent of hair removal, and the regional location of the salon, but you can anticipate paying between $40 to $60 plus gratuity per session.
How to Prepare for a Brazilian Wax
Curious about how to get ready for a Brazilian wax? The most crucial aspect of prepping for a Brazilian wax — or any bikini wax, really — is to refrain from shaving for at least a week or until the hair reaches the length of a grain of rice. When uncertain, opt for longer hair. It is always better to have hair that is too long rather than too short since the wax specialist can easily trim it before waxing if necessary, states Marie. If you arrive with hair that is too short, you risk having your appointment canceled (which is a bummer) or experiencing a very painful procedure (yielding lackluster results) because the wax cannot securely grip the hair for removal.
And because you are probably pondering: You can receive a bikini wax while on your period (if the salon permits it, they will likely request you to insert a tampon). Just be cautioned: During that time of the month, you may be more sensitive to pain or experience increased tenderness after the waxing.
Gently exfoliate the external bikini area in the shower in the morning of your appointment or the night before. Additionally, ensure to moisturize your skin after showering and stay well-hydrated by consuming plenty of water leading up to the wax. Dry skin and dry hair can cause the strands to break during removal instead of being pulled from the root, advises Marie. To achieve the smoothest and longest-lasting result, your hair and skin should be adequately hydrated.
And as tempting as a quick shot of vodka might be (given that this is a very vulnerable experience), refrain from consuming alcohol (and caffeine) before your waxing session since both substances stimulate the skin and could heighten your sensitivity, according to Grupenmager.
How Painful Are Brazilian Waxes?
The harsh reality? Getting a Brazilian bikini wax is not enjoyable, and certain areas may be more agonizing than others. However, you can converse with your wax specialist, listen to music, or find other ways to distract yourself in order to (hopefully) make the time pass more quickly. Typically, your wax expert works in small sections and applies pressure to the skin after removing the strip to diminish the pain.
(You could also attempt this brilliant tip to an ache-free Brazilian wax.)
How to Preserve Your Brazilian Wax
The positive news: The subsequent occasion you receive a Brazilian bikini wax and all successive occasions afterward are generally a more comfortable experience — mostly because you know what to anticipate and are adapted to the agony.
You’ll want to slip on roomy clothing right away following your wax, and you should forgo your regularly scheduled workout until the following day. Friction and perspiration can irritate the inflamed skin and lead to infection since pores are still open and more prone to bacteria.
Additionally, wait a few hours before taking a hot shower, since the hot water might feel uncomfortable or painful on your sensitive skin. However, this sensitivity will decrease the more times you get waxed, as your skin becomes accustomed to the process and recovers quicker. And as tempting as it may be to touch your freshly sleek skin — resist. You can obstruct pores and transfer bacteria from your hands, which can result in ingrown hairs or infection. You’re also going to need to refrain from engaging in sexual activities that cause skin friction for 24 to 48 hours after waxing to avoid creating more inflammation.
Lastly, you’ll want to continue to exfoliate and moisturize regularly after your wax to prevent dead skin cells from obstructing the pores, which can hinder hair follicles from growing outward, says Grupenmager. Hairs that don’t grow toward the surface of the skin become crimson, prickly ingrown hairs.
It’s less maintenance than shaving, but waxing does require a lot of upkeep. For the best outcome possible, Brazilian bikini waxes should be done on a schedule. When you wax too early or too late, hair is more likely to fracture, says Marie. Return every three to four weeks to maintain the result, she suggests.
Now that you understand how to prepare for a Brazilian wax, approach your first appointment with assurance, ready to go bare.
Thanks for your feedback!