Brazilian wax also called LA bikini or XXX consists in removing the pubic hair from your genital areas. It can be all hair off or you can leave a landing strip at the front. It was introduced in New York in 1994 by the J Sisters who originated from Brazil. In Brazil the bikinis are so small that waxing the area is a necessity.
Your first Brazilian wax can be very daunting. You’ll be baring it all to a total stranger and to top it all, it may be painful too.
Preparing for your Brazilian wax appointment
There are a few things to do before your Brazilian wax to minimize pain and the likelihood of ingrown hairs:
- Exfoliate the area once or twice a week. If the area is free of dead cells it will facilitate the hair extraction and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
- Moisturise every day. Dry skin tends to wrap tightly around the hair making the extraction more difficult. If the skin is well hydrated the hair will come out more easily and complete, rather than breaking at skin level. It will also be less painful.
- Trim your hair with an electric trimmer if it is too long. The ideal length is around 6mm or 1/4 inch. If it is too long it can be more painful. It may also not allow the wax to make full contact with the skin, and cause hair breakage.
- Painkillers may help. Some people say that taking 1 or 2 painkillers half an hour before your treatment diminishes the pain.
- Try to stay relaxed. If you are tense during the Brazilian wax you will feel more pain.
- Wait after the period. Schedule your appointment to coincide with ovulation or at least 5 days after your period. During your period your body is more sensitive. If you are having the period, you can still go to your appointment using a tampon, however your Brazilian wax will be more painful.
- Wear loose underwear. Your skin may be irritated after the waxing and tight underwear will make it worse.
- Avoid Coffee. Caffeine is an stimulant and will make your skin more sensitive.
- Help the beautician. You can help your therapist keep the skin taut. It will reduce the pulling of the skin, hence reducing pain. If you don’t know where to hold, just ask.
What happens during the Brazilian wax
- Your therapist will show you to a room and instruct you to remove your pants and underwear, lay on a treatment bed and cover yourself with a towel. She may provide you with a disposable g-string for you to feel more comfortable, however at the end of the day you’ll have to bare it all, so it makes no difference. She may also provide you with wet wipes for you to refresh yourself if necessary. Your therapist will then exit the room for a few minutes to allow you to get ready.
- On her return, your therapist will put on disposable gloves and proceed to clean the area. This is a good time to let her know if you do not wish to remove all the hairs and if you want a special shape. If you want any other than a strip of hair or a triangular shape you should let the salon know when you make your appointment. Not all therapists are able to make any shape you want.
- After cleansing and depending on the wax being used, your therapist may apply white powder. In the case of hot wax, the powder keeps the wax from sticking to the skin. For sugar waxing, the powder eliminates any moisture that may prevent the sugar paste from gripping the hairs.
- You will be asked to bend your leg/legs to the side, in a frog-like position.
- For hot wax your therapist will proceed to deep a wooden stick in the wax pot and spread the wax on a section of the area to be treated. She will then apply a cloth strip over the wax pressing firmly for it to attach to the still warm wax. Once it has cooled off she will grab a corner of the strip and quickly pull it out in the opposite direction to hair growth. The wax and hairs will come out attached to the skin. If it is too painful you can request to be worked in smaller areas.
- For sugaring or sugar wax your therapist will take a ball of sugar paste with a gloved hand. She will then mould the paste onto your skin and pull it off with a quick movement of the hand. In sugaring the hair is removed in the same direction of hair growth, this makes it less painful than traditional waxing. Sugaring will also give you smoother results because there is less likelihood of hair breakage. Another advantage is that unlike wax, the sugar sips inside the mouth of the follicle lubricating the hair for an easier extraction.
- The process will be repeated on all areas of the front, in-between and back. The Brazilian wax does not include your buttocks, but yes the area between them. You will be asked to turn to one side with the lower leg stretched and the upper one bent to give better access.
- After the waxing the therapist will spray a soothing lotion.
- The area my be irritated after the Brazilian wax. Excessive blood flow to the treated area my leave the skin red and feeling hot. This reaction is normal and usually disappears within a few hours. Try to wear loose underwear to prevent friction of the area. You can also use a soothing lotion such as Aloe Vera or Calamine.
- It is also possible to experience a histamine reaction. This is an auto immune defense mechanism. The body thinks is being attacked and produces a histamine reaction. It manifests as inflammation and hives, sometimes small pimples with white tips. This kind of reaction may take 2-3 days to clear. You can ask your chemist for a suitable antihistamine prescription.
- After any irritation or skin reaction disappears, you should exfoliate the skin once or twice a week and moisturise every day. This will prevent ingrown hairs when the hair grows back.
- Wait 24 hours before exposing your skin to the sun.
- Avoid exercising, saunas, swimming pools and the beach for 24 hours.
- Don’t apply any products with fragrances or chemicals for at least 12 hours. Your pores remain open and any chemicals may further irritate your skin.
- To diminish pain and for permanent hair reduction it is recommended to do a Brazilian wax every 3-4 weeks. The hardest is the first time. After that the hairs will come out more easily and they will refine making the treatment painless or at least less painful.
New trends include Vajazzling, Vatooing and Vajaycials. Vajazzling involves decorating the pubic area above the vagina with Swarovski crystals. Vajazzling was introduced by Jennifer Love Hewitt in 2010. The crystals come in stick on patterns that are applied to clean skin after a freshly waxed Brazilian. You can do it at a salon or buy a DIY kit.
Vatooing consists in applying a temporary tattoo to the pubic area. The Vatoo is applied with an airbrush after a Brazilian wax. Vatooing lasts up to a week, you can have in a variety of non-toxic colours and the ink slowly fades away without cracking. If you want to remove it sooner, you can rub it off with alcohol or exfoliate the area.
Vajaycials are vagina facials. The technique varies from salon to salon, but usually includes a combination or some of the following: gentle exfoliation, steam, microdermabrasion and acid peel to exfoliate, open up the pores, and even out skin tone.