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Always wanted to try a Brazilian but been terrified by second hand stories of the horrors of hair removal down “there?” Read on, for a no holds barred, in depth and up close explanation of everything that happens during a Brazilian wax.
So, you’ve screwed up your courage, showered yourself scrupulously clean, and rocked up to the salon, heart thumping, to get your very first Brazilian. What should you expect?
Brazilian Step 1 – Change
Firstly you’ll be shown to a private cubicle or room and asked to undress whilst the therapist leaves the room to give you a little privacy. Most will offer you a towel, so you can make a vague attempt at maintaining your dignity, although the fact remains if you want to wax an area, you have to show it. Some salons will offer you a paper thong, although most don’t as they can get in the way when performing a Brazilian. If you want one though, ask, salons want you to be comfortable.
Brazilian Step 2 – Pick Your Style
Then it’s time to discuss your waxing preferences. There are a million combinations and permutations when it comes to waxing, but the main types are bikini, Brazilian and Hollywood.
A straightforward bikini wax is just what it says, removing the hair that would show if you wore an average sized bikini. By comparison, Brazilians remove everything except a landing strip at the front, and some also include the anal area. Hollywood waxes take everything off, front, back and underneath. The good news is that waxing, though often painful, isn’t permanent, so any decision you make on how much to wax is only a temporary choice.
Brazilian Step 3 – Wax On!
Waxes vary, but in all likelihood your therapist will apply wax with a spatula and then either use a fabric strip to remove it, or lift the edge of the wax and pull, removing it in one piece. The key to both pain minimisation and not throttling the therapist is to breathe out as they rip. As with childbirth the right breathing technique helps. Sadly unlike childbirth, they don’t offer you a maskful of gas and air, more’s the pity. It’s normal to squeal, scream or swear a little (or rather, no one has ever thrown me out on the street semi naked and coated in wax when I’ve done it,) but try not to scare away their other clients.
Brazilian Step 4 – Pose
Be aware that waxing taut skin is the least painful way so a therapist will often ask you to pull the skin tight in various areas. Similarly, you might be asked to put your legs into all kinds of weird and wonderful positions. This isn’t because waxers are yoga specialists or have a special sadistic interest in humiliating you, it’s because they want to give you the best hair free result possible and that means accessing all of your nooks and crannies.
Brazilian Step 5 – Up Close & Personal
Two somewhat delicate things- some therapists will ask if you want your “inner areas” done. This is, exactly as it sounds, the inner areas that they can’t get to without spreading the vaginal lips. Again this is a job for you, therapists generally don’t like to get involved in that level of intimate touching. Wearing a paper thong really helps to give you some (ok, not much) degree of privacy at this stage and make the whole thing slightly less gynaecological, but this is obviously not really for the faint hearted. Bottom line? You can’t wax an area without getting to it. Just remind yourself regularly that beauty therapists do this all day and hope that you don’t bump into them later at Waitrose.
Brazilian Step 6 – The Final Frontier!
As for the even more delicate rear area, this is one part that really is optional, but that does require a little manoeuvring to get to. Some therapists ask you to get on all fours resting on your elbows, some ask you to bring your knees up to your chest, others still get you to lie on your stomach and, gulp, pull apart your buttocks with your hands. Yes really. Which of these is more humiliating? You tell me.
Brazilian Step 7 – The Tidy
Once your wax is over, your therapist may go over the area with a pair of tweezers to remove stray hairs, and may give you lotion to apply or apply it themselves. A little redness, tenderness and even a minor amount of swelling is normal at this stage and will take up to 24 hours to go down.
You should then be given aftercare instructions that often include not going to the gym, bathing, or exfoliating for a day or two. From day two a regular (delicate) exfoliation or a lotion to prevent ingrowns is a good idea, to stop painful, red bumps appearing between waxes.
In the meantime, you’ve done it! You’ve got your first Brazilian, and every one afterwards should be (a bit!) less painful. Go home and enjoy your new hairless self!
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