Wax the hair down there? Evidently this’s a common practice, and when it came into my radar I admit it wasn’t something I was excited about. But I was curious and wanted to experience something new (always the adventurer) so I had one. So here’s everything you want to know about it but are afraid to ask! Yes, I’ll probably do it again.
1. How much does it hurt?
Notice I didn’t title this section “Does it hurt?” When I posted a little survey about the Brazilian Wax on my Facebook page, I asked readers to rate the pain 1 - 10, 1 being easy, and 10 being “I’ll never do it again.” I actually had numbers ranging from 1 to 10. Everyone has a different pain tolerance. And pain is so relative. Have you had a baby? Go for the Brazilian, you’ll be fine. Tattoo? Yeah, the Brazilian has nothing on you. Faint during an eyebrow wax? You might skip this one then.
By the way, the Brazilian ended up a 4-5 on my pain scale, but I’ve both had a baby and two tattoos. When I made a little noise from the pain at one point my gal pressed down on the area (which weirdly made all the pain go away) and said, “I know, I know, the first time is the worst.” Evidently subsequent visits will be less painful because the hair follicle is being weakened each time.
One tip from my amazing esthetician, Shireen Dholoo, of Pure Derma in Gaithersburg, Maryland is to stop shaving. When the hair is more grown out, the waxing is more efficient by grabbing and weakening the hair by the root, over time making the process less and less painful.
2. Is it embarrassing?
I was told to undress from the waist down, get on the table and cover myself with the towel (a hand towel, not a beach towel). When she came back into the room she pulled the towel off, started a conversation with me and got to work, leaving me absolutely no time to feel embarrassed. My gal explained, “Half of the time my first time Brazilian clients are uneasy or shy about spreading eagle or “butterflying” for me. Skilled estheticians have seen it all. We’re focused solely on getting each and every hair out, assuring you get the quality service you came in for. We’re not there to examine you.”
I come from a long childhood practice of extreme modesty, and am only recently (in my 40’s) feeling freer and easier in my skin, especially naked. Any skilled and professional esthetician should be making you feel totally confident and relaxed. In the twenty minutes I was baring all for mine (including spreading my butt cheek for easier access), I didn’t really care what she saw because she was focused, speedy and friendly.
3. Are you supposed to leave any hair?
Totally personal preference. I private messaged a couple of my gals who’d responded to my Facebook survey about this (felt the TMI might have been too much for the thread). I found out there’s really no rule about what you’re supposed to do. So if you want a little heart shaped tuft left over, go for it. Actually I think they should figure out some sort of wax strip that’ll create shapes like that - could be a huge new fad.
One of my gals said she thought it felt weird to leave any hair and the other said she didn’t want to look like a ten year old girl. Another told me she left a little triangle at the top. I understand all these choices. What did I do? Wouldn’t you like to know.
4. What about ingrown hairs?
This’s the most common thing I heard about post-wax issues. Here’s what Shireen had to say about that problem: “Ingrown hairs vary client to client. Some people are prone to them unfortunately. There’s a great product you can use for this problem, called Tend Skin if you get ingrown hairs. It can take 4-6 weeks to notice improvement with this product. I always recommend exfoliating regularly to avoid ingrown hairs. You can use a scrub or a loofah and exfoliate daily on the area of concern.”
5. I have sensitive skin. Will waxing be okay for me?
Turns out I have sensitive skin down there. When the first few strips were pulled off I heard, “Oh, you have sensitive skin,” which of course started to make me feel nervous, like I must have been bleeding or something. But when I looked down, it was just pink. Kind of like tanning an area where the sun don’t usually shine. That lasted a couple/few days and then faded away, along with some small, red bumps, like a shaving rash. For cases more sensitive than that: “For my clients prone to redness/inflammation or breakout post-wax I always use hard wax. My hard wax is formulated for the most sensitive skin types. Sensitive skin clients will still turn pink/red post-wax but that will subside in an hour or so. I always apply a thick coat of aloe gel on waxed areas post-wax. That seems to help calm the skin and gives a nice cooling sensation.”
6. How long does it last?
The consensus is between 4 to 6 weeks but it might be safer to tell clients 3-4, just incase they have a faster rate of hair growth. Some of the gals who responded to the survey said 6-8. And pretty much everyone said that the length of time you get to be smooth, as compared to shaving, makes the Brazilian totally worth it (the pain that is).
7. How do I choose a good place?
I paid $45 for a Brazilian. If you go to a fancy spa be prepared to pay more, and not necessarily because your esthetician is more experienced. You get what you pay for - and, a personal recommendation is a must for this kind of service, says Melissa Brooks, a local health and fitness expert. A clean environment, high quality wax and an experienced, professional, licensed esthetician are just a few things to look for, but in the end avoiding issues like torn or incompletely pulled hairs is going to be about getting a good recommendation says Melissa.
Another Facebook friend said she was burned by the wax and would never do it again. My friend Melissa tried five different places before she found who she described as the least painful, fastest and friendliest waxer she’s met!
8. What else should I know before I try it?
In the end, choosing to remove the hair down there is personal preference. If you’ve never had one and the idea interests you, you should go for it. If you’re thinking you should have one because everyone else has one, you should pass. Peer pressure isn’t the reason to do it.
Why go hairless down there? Here’s a list of reasons to try it; A clean feeling, less hair growth over time, better sex, great exfoliation, less need to go through the hassle of shaving, and the bathing suit thing, I suppose your partner’s preference could play into this as well, but that might lean a bit toward peer pressure.
Whatever feels good, right and sexy to you is the best reason to choose anything for your body, including the Brazilian.
Remember, getting a good recommendation is key. A Brazilian wax should be performed by a licensed esthetician. You should see the person’s certification or license hanging on their wall when you enter the room. If you don’t see it, ask. If you get a weird feeling or your gut is telling you to run for the hills, by all means, run. A cancellation fee (probably the worst case scenario) is way better than a terrible, or worse, harmful, experience.
Readers please feel free to add your Brazilian experiences and/or questions in the comments!