Although often confused with bikini waxes, which remove hair from your pelvic area and rear, Brazilian waxes are services that remove all of the hair around the very sensitive skin of the inner labia, anus, and testicles. Brazilian waxing, popularized by the HBO TV series Sex and The City, has far outstripped the old-fashioned bikini wax, though many people get both done together.
Removing hair has many benefits and several disadvantages, but deciding whether or not to get one really comes down to your personal aesthetics and preferences. Waxing promotes skin health by exfoliating the area, provides longer-lasting results than shaving, and makes hair grow back softer, finer, and sparser with minimal irritation.
When it comes to booking your first appointment for a Brazilian wax, there are a few things you can do to help you prepare, but most importantly you should be aware that it is a relatively painful and invasive process.
As a result, if you are sensitive to pain, it might help to take a pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen a half-hour before your appointment. Additionally, you can put a pain-relieving cream like No Scream Cream on the area a half-hour before your Brazilian wax.
If you've had a urinary tract infection recently, it's best to avoid further irritating the area, and you should avoid getting a Brazilian wax four days before and after your menstrual cycle. The process should also be avoided if you have breakouts or healing wounds near your genital region as the wax can reopen cuts and abrasions.
The Process and Aftercare
The best way to prepare is to know what's involved in the process of getting a Brazilian wax. First, a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician put on gloves and ask you to disrobe. Once you're comfortable, the cosmetologist will take a fresh stick, dip it a pot of special heated wax, and apply a thin layer to your skin in the direction of the hair growth.
Next, the esthetician presses a strip of paper or cloth over the wax, pats it a few times, and then quickly pulls it off. The "pull" will likely be parallel to the body to minimize pain as pulling straight up is much more painful. The hair, which will mostly be stuck to the wax, will then be pulled out by the roots. The esthetician will then pat the area a few times to soothe the skin before proceeding to the next area.
Skin in the genital area, especially inside the labia, is extremely sensitive. A Brazilian wax can be painful, so the skill of the waxer is extremely important.
After you're all done, you can use an ointment like Aquaphor to soothe the skin on the first day or two after the waxing. Two days afterward, though, you want to use a product like Tend Skin to help prevent in-grown hairs. Finally, avoid the sun and tanning beds for two days after the process as the skin has lost some of its protection and is more sensitive to UV rays.
Selecting the Right Cosmetologist
Finding the right esthetician is extremely important, especially if you want to minimize pain and awkwardness during your appointment.
Your licensed esthetician should be able to communicate in your language, be impeccable about cleanliness, put you at ease about the process, and show consideration and tact while dealing with your most sensitive areas. Some estheticians will give their clients towels to cover the sides they aren't working on to make them feel more comfortable.
The cosmetologist should also use a gentle wax and wear gloves for the entire duration of the service. Your esthetician's skill will determine in large part how painful the Brazilian is. She shouldn't do too large an area at once or go over the same area twice. She might ask you to participate by pulling on your labia to help make the skin taut. This makes sure she gets a better pull.
In order to find the best esthetician for you, don't hesitate about reaching out to a spa or salon to speak with the cosmetologists on-site. Additionally, you should always check reviews on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor to verify that other customers have been satisfied with the esthetician's work.