Health & Fitness

I Wish I Read This Before My First Brazilian Wax

First and foremost, a brazilian wax never entered my mind until I heard my friends doing it in college to please their boyfriends. Even though we live in a world where we can swap first hand reviews and information, nothing could really prepare me for my first brazilain wax. 

What’s a brazilian wax? 

Unlike the name suggests, a brazilian wax didn’t originate in Brazil but it has to do with brazilian sisters who opened a salon. 

Brazilian waxing is a full bikini wax which was nicknamed the “Hollywood Wax” because it’s different. All the hair is removed at the sides, down the middle and at the back, BUT a thin landing strip on the front is often present. This mode of waxing was finally taken internationally in 1987 when the J Sisters, seven Brazilian sisters, opened a waxing salon in Manhattan and so introducing the idea and techniques of pubic hair removal. 

Suffice to say, the salon and this style of waxing has gained celebrity clients making the Brazilian wax famous, associating Brazil with vast pubic hair removal and earning its name of the Brazilian wax.

What Friends Should Say Before a Brazilian Wax

  1. Be prepared for the waxer in the salon to touch you everywhere. It’s a thorough job and if they can pull hair out, they will. So don’t feel shy or get offended. 
  2. For the love of all things sane, please don’t wax the landing strip off just above the clitoris – it is very painful. 
  3. The waxer may ask you to separate your butt cheeks, sometimes they even ask you to go on your knees and have your arms down( think dog) so that they can apply wax on your butt. 
  4. Speaking of on your butt, yes it means applying wax to the butthole which can feel very unpleasant so don’t panic. 
  5. You may get intimidated by the waxer as you lay down and bare your private parts but they might go for a second or two to get waxing materials. 
  6. Be prepared for your pee to act like a sprinkler after a wax. Avoid a public restroom, especially if you like to hover to pee (and you should) in which case the pee will stream towards your leg. So stay home after the wax. 
  7. Expect for your vagina to feel extremely bald when you touch it, or sense it as you walk around. 
  8. DO NOT GO BEFORE YOUR PERIOD.
  9. When your esthetician walks in, she should also look tidy and insist on wearing gloves. If your esthetician isn’t concerned enough about her own cleanliness and safety, she’s definitely not concerned about yours. This is not an arm wax, this is an intimate one! 
  10. Opt for loose clothing. Tight-fitting clothes like leggings and yoga pants can rub raw spots and irritate. Stick with breathable cotton underwear and fabrics. 
  11. Sex can cause excessive chaffing from friction on extra-delicate skin. 

What Estheticians Say Before a Brazilian Wax

  1. If you’re especially sensitive, you can try using a numbing cream. For most people this is probably unnecessary. Ask your esthetician to demonstrate how to use the creams effectively. Don’t replace numbing cream with ice. Ice can numb the area but it will make the pores close up making hair removal extra painful! 
  2. However, an effective numbing cream that does work, can prevent you from noticing that the wax is too hot — something you should definitely speak up about, since all of us have different heat sensitivities.  But, that’s only if the cream actually works; as people have found that numbing creams are totally ineffective than those who’ve raved about them.
  3. Your hair should be 1/4 inch long before you get it waxed. If it’s longer than this, the esthetician should trim it. If it’s shorter (or if you got waxed in the last six weeks), you should wait a bit. Don’t shave three weeks before getting a wax.
  4. Exfoliating before a wax can help ensure that dead skin cells don’t prevent your hair from being pulled out by the root.
  5. You’re least sensitive to pain in the days right after getting your period, so schedule your appointment for then. At the very least, avoid going right before or during your period.
  6. Skip tight clothing, skip scented lotion, and skip direct sunshine on your private parts right after getting a wax.
  7. For your first time, consider getting a standard bikini wax so you can get an idea of how the procedure will feel.
  8. Hard wax is gentler than soft wax. Find out which kind your salon uses.
  9. Most women have found the butt to be the least sensitive part of the wax. The lower abdomen is the most sensitive (mons pubis), and the area right around the vagina is between the two.
  10. If you’re in a lot of pain, tell the esthetician and they will do what they can to make you more comfortable.
  11. Breathe!
  12.  Don’t get waxed if you have a sunburn.
  13. Ask the esthetician to explain how it’s going to go down. Usually, they apply some baby powder to remove excess moisture and oil from the area. Then they dip a popsicle stick into warm wax and it should not be too hot. After they check the temperate with you they will spread it on a small area, put down a strip of paper, rub it in the direction of hair growth, and then pull it off (like a bandage) in the opposite direction. Then they will rinse and repeat the process until all the hair is gone.
  14. “Avoid public water like swimming pools(or oceans or lakes) for a few days,” says dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, M.D.  If you don’t, you could have an increased risk of getting an infection, and no one wants that.
  15. Avoid the sauna and hot yoga. “Steam will open pores, which pushes hair out,” warns Noemi Grupenmager, founder of Uni K Wax Center. Because it could cause premature stubble, “it might make you think the wax service wasn’t done correctly,” she says. Plus, bacteria thrive in warm, wet places, and you want to keep your fresh wax as clean as possible. For these reasons it’s worth it to take a break from hot yoga as well.
  16. Use gentle, fragrance-free body products for the first few days “Avoid any lotion, soap, or other toiletry items with artificial fragrance or color,” says Grochowska. Try Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash, which is formulated specifically for irritated skin.
  17. Your esthetician should ask you to avoid doing any intense leg workouts for at least two days. Not because of the pain, though, but because its not a good idea to get really sweaty down there after the wax. “Activities such as running, aerobics, or cycling can cause friction in treated areas,” says Dr. Papantoniou, “and sweating can also be irritating.” In other words, use this as an excuse to hit the couch for a couple of days. You deserve a break, a well deserved break. 

How long does Brazilian Wax last?

Brazilian wax usually lasts for 3-4 weeks for most people. However the rate of re-growth will vary from person to person, depending on their genetic predisposition to hair growth. Using the right skincare products can also help the skin stay smoother for longer.

Alternatives 

Personally, I am never getting a brazilian wax ever again because I disliked the whole process, not to forget the pain –  this coming from a person with high pain tolerance. 

So, here are some options to try as alternatives: 

Sugaring:

Sugaring is a centuries-old hair removal method where a wax-like paste made of sugar, lemon juice, and water is used to remove hair. The sugaring process is similar to waxing in that you will apply the sugaring mixture to your body hair and use it to pull the hair out, but it is a more gentle process than waxing. Sugaring is comparatively gentle because the mixture only sticks to the hair, whereas waxes will stick to hair AND skin. This means that when the paste is pulled off your body it will only pull your hair. Wax will pull at your skin a bit. Sugaring is a more gentle means of removing hair and exfoliating skin. Some spas that offer waxing also offer sugaring.

Shaving:

Shaving your genitals is the process of cutting off hair with a razor. It doesn’t last as long as waxing and sugaring because it only removes hair above the skin. Waxing and sugaring remove hair at its roots, which people prefer as it will enable a person to wait WEEKS before they need to remove more hair. However, shaving comes with faster hair growth and  the added risk of causing cuts, bumps, and ingrown hairs.

Depilatory or Hair Removal Creams:

Depilatory creams are made of chemical mixtures that dissolve hair so it can be wiped away like Nair or Veet. 

But most people dislike using chemicals to remove hair (especially on sensitive body parts). When depilatory creams are left on for too long they can burn the skin, so use them carefully. While depilatory creams can be used to tidy up your vagina, don’t use it on your butt crack. 

Going Bare:

A totally relaxed way of addressing your body hair is to just leave it be. Unless you’re at your first few months of dating, just kick back with your partner and embrace each others bodies. 

Epilators:

Epilators are machines that contain several sets of rotating tweezers. The tweezers will grasp hairs and pull them out of their roots. This may be painful as its similar to tweezing dozens of hairs at once. 

As with any painful treatment, most people either tend to get accustomed to pain, or they get accustomed to the steps in the process of a brazilian wax. Just keep in mind that no matter how much you prepare and no matter how often you go, dermatologists have stated that waxing will hurt no matter what. Question if this is super important to you and decide. 

If you’re not doing it for yourself, it isn’t worth it. 

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