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The How-To Lounge: All About the Brazilian Wax

Many of our readers wonder out loud about the Brazilian bikini wax, so let's cover this subject thoroughly in a two-part series. The Brazilian wax has seen a lot of American converts in the past few years, but many women still don't know all the details and remain a little shy about asking the proper questions.

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Many different styles of Brazilian exist, so you need to be very clear with your waxer about what exactly you're getting. One style includes removing every bit of pubic hair from the top, the bottom, and everywhere in between, while another leaves a "landing strip" or a small triangle of pubic hair. There's the "Mommy Brazilian", which entails leaving your frontal pubic hair natural but removing everything from the bottom and between. Then there's the straight Brazilian, which simply involves getting a nice wax around your bikini line.

It's uncomfortable; there's no way around it. Every one's threshold for pain is different, however. From all accounts it's about a million times less painful than electrolysis. I'd say, if asked, that it's more painful than eyebrow waxing but less painful than a lip wax, but I really can barely stand having a lip wax. Hopefully, I can tell you everything you ever wanted to know but were too afraid to ask. Let's begin.

  • The cardinal rule for any kind of wax is knowing where you are in your cycle. There's nothing more painful than waxing right before or right after your period; your skin is extra sensitive, which increases the pain and might increase the likelihood of major irritation and bumps. Just don't do it
  • Before your appointment, exfoliate all the areas you plan to have waxed. I recommend buying Tend Skin to use between waxes as another preventative measure against ingrown hairs
  • Brazilian waxes are not for everyone, so if you're not ready to be bare down there, take it slow and start off with the "mommy Brazilian". There's nothing wrong with keeping things a little natural and comfortable. Pace yourself
  • Most women I know absolutely do not regret removing all the 'bits and pieces' from between and behind, and that's usually the part most beginners are nervous about exposing and waxing. It doesn't hurt like you think, and everyone seems to prefer how fresh they feel afterward
  • In order for your waxer to remove all the hair, they'll ask you to get in some very 'compromising' positions, so make sure you find someone you like. Ask your friends for recommendations. I bet your hairdresser knows someone really good and really professional, too
  • If you're uncomfortable being completely naked during your wax, you'll have the option of wearing a disposable paper thong, which you'll be asked to hold taut during the waxing. Once you get to know your waxer, none of this will feel quite so awkward

That's the first installment, ladies. Come back tomorrow to read the rest of our Brazilian wax basics!

Join The Conversation
luxnigra luxnigra 9 years
Thanks for your response, Ised8. Actually I do get a Brazilian wax myself fairly regularly, but thanks for your honesty. I will def suggest tendskin to my gf. I had never heard of it before. Thanks so much.
ised8 ised8 9 years
^ are you sure you're not asking for yourself? :) (b/c that would be ok too) try tendskin
luxnigra luxnigra 9 years
I'm writing on behalf of my girlfriend, 'coz she is too shy to ask the question: She is an African-American woman and when she shaves her stuff or gets a full Brazilian, she gets fierce, painful ingrown hair 'coz her is curlier than a non-black woman. Anyone in the forum who could address this? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, my gf will be grateful.
Sofiababy Sofiababy 9 years
im always so surprised to hear women say having no hair down there makes you look prepubescent. i absolutely prefer it!! i didnt know people didnt. personally i just HATE body hair- on my legs, arms, etc.. and i have a hard time feeling sexy with coarse hair "down there". i think it looks neater and feels way better freshly waxed or shaved, and every single one of my friends agrees! its on par with sexy undergarments. it must be my generation (late 80's early 90's babies) that are pubic hair-phobes. i even know plenty of guys who "groom" down there just as much as we do.
hammie hammie 10 years
ok im on the 4th day of my period and its light And its ending but i'm getting my legs and bikini line waxed tomorrow! what should i do? I'm pretty sure it'll be over by then but still... will it really hurt because of that?
clairepetrol clairepetrol 10 years
Oh boy, I love/hate waxing. Love the 3-4 weeks after where its cute, hate when it starts growing back. I've had it done plenty of times now, and it never gets easier. I wish i'd never let them go behind though, now i'm always conscious of it when its grown back in *sigh*. Love to see a page on how to treat area...I get bad bumpy lump skin for months after...
geegeorge geegeorge 10 years
A good friend of mine had it done, and she said that for the most part the pain was bearable. But the area right above where her clitoris is was the worst pain, she said she felt faint when they did that part. She says she would get it done again, but leave that little patch alone.
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
it takes longer to grow back than your eyebrows and i agree with less 'itchy' than shaving...i wouldnt get it done just anywhere def. worth the extra $$ to go to a spa like place!
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Ok cool. I have never waxed and dont really plan on it at this point of my life but I always wondered about the growing back period because it doesnt not seem pleasant
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
Informal poll here, JessNess: Everyone says it grows back in way more comfortably than with shaving & the hair itself is much less coarse. Done right (the steps above) means less irritation, fewer bumps and ingrown hairs. Most women don't have any itching as the hair grows back in, which is one of the appeals of the whole experience. Tomorrow's Part 2 will cover more of during & after the wax.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Ok here is my thing about it. How annoying is it when it grows back in? That area is not fun to have hair growing back in- a little itchy sometimes. Also how long do you have to wait in between waxes? It would have to grow back to a certain length right? Im thinking that waxing stubble is not to pleasant
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i had it done at the jay sisters in nyc for my wedding. wasnt near as bad as i thought. getting someone who really knows what they are doing is key to being less painful
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
The Brazilian was definitely more painful for me than a regular bikini wax. But it's tolerable.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
yeah, but the people doing the procedure have seen it ALL. kind of like going to the obgyn, i'm betting you won't be giving them any surprises. i can't help but laugh at the idea of paying someone to put hot wax on your private parts. the end result is good, but the THOUGHT is funny. we are slaves to beauty.
brokenbracelet brokenbracelet 10 years
I think I'd either die laughing at the whole process, or cry of embarrassment.......ohh the things we gotta do for beauty!!
nycgirl nycgirl 10 years
$60-75 around NYC for a full brazilian done in a reputable spa. I prefer and recommend Bliss spas. I won't lie, it does hurt quite a bit. It shouldn't cause your eyes to water, but you will be biting your tongue!
smith3 smith3 10 years
I'm with you, popgoestheworld. Nothing wrong with keeping it trim down there, but the idea of trying to look like a prepubescent girl is all kinds of weird!
andaman andaman 10 years
Does it hurt a lot? I'm contemplating the idea..
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
It totally varies depending on city and salon. I'd say maybe 50 for the full deal, considerably less than that for just a normal bikini wax. I did a full blown Brazilian once and hated it. I felt like a prepubescent teenager. I get waxed still, but just on my normal bikini line. I like looking like an adult!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
For the ladies who have gotten this done... How much does this typically cost??
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