So you’re getting your first Brazilian wax, eh? Welcome to the club, my dear.
If you’re shaking in your ballet flats, you have absolutely nothing to fear. Here are six things to know about Brazilian waxes before you head in for your appointment.
1. Find a Great Esthetician
The key to a great experience is finding someone who is more than a wax expert, but an esthetician who can truly help you care for your skin before, during, and after the process.
Believe it or not, Yelp is a great place to start when you’re looking for an esthetician. Why? Because of the reviews, of course!
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your close friends where they go to get their waxing done. When looking for a waxing salon, you want to ensure cleanliness in types of wax or tools that the esthetician uses. If your esthetician doesn’t use gloves, sterilize her tools, or take you to a separate room to perform your waxing service, it may be time to look elsewhere.
Finally, if this is your first wax, don’t be afraid to give the salon a call and ask a few questions before scheduling your appointment. Great salons are always to happy to answer any inquiries.
2. Prepare Your Pubic Hair (and Yourself)
First things first, if this is your first time going to get waxed ever (or in a very long time) DO NOT CUT YOUR PUBIC HAIR! Cutting the hair (no matter how long it is) will make the waxing experience more painful than it ought to be. And make sure it is squeaky clean down there—any “loose particles” caught in your hair could also make for a very interesting experience.
Also, if you that you have a low tolerance for pain, you may want to pop an Ibuprofen about 20 to 30 minutes before your appointment to take the edge off.
3. Remain Calm
All right, so you’ve walked in the salon and checked in for your appointment. The receptionist tells you to have a seat in the waiting area until your esthetician is ready to see you.
“Am I doing the right thing?” you think to yourself. “Maybe I should just try that sugaring technique I read in that Refinery29 article.”
Too late, she’s ready to see you.
When you lay down on the table, get comfortable. Put your hands behind your head or by your sides and just relax your body. If you’re tense, your esthetician is going to notice and you are going to make it a lot hard to give you a good wax.
Something that works well for me is deep breathing. I’m a runner, so I’ve gotten used to breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. If you inhale as the wax is applied and exhale at the rip, it will lessen the pain significantly. And before you know it, you’re bare down there!
Bye, bye, hair.
4. It’s Okay to React
When it comes to general waxing, there are two different types of waxes that estheticians will use: soft and hard. Soft wax is a little easier on the skin, as it uses strips and doesn’t require re-application. For hard wax, there are no strips used, and the esthetician typically removes the wax after it has become a tacky substance.
No matter what your grade of hair, the esthetician will use soft wax because of the sensitivity down there, so you can rejoice. He or she will apply the first coat of wax along your bikini, and with each coat, firmly press a white strip of paper on the hair. Then…RIP! Immediately after the rip, your esthetician will firmly apply pressure to extinguish some of the pain.
If this is slightly overwhelming for you (or too painful) don’t be afraid to ask the esthetician to perform a lighter service, like a bikini wax.
When it comes to the removal of the hair, you want to make sure you’re breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Almost like you’re in yoga class.
Back to the actual wax. This “wax on, wax off” process continues for about the next 10ish minutes as your esthetician moves to the more sensitive areas. It’s important to know that hair removal from the vulva lips will be the most difficult, but a good esthetician will apply pressure to the naked skin to ease some of the pain.
5. Beware of Ingrown Hairs
“Okay, that wasn’t SO bad,” you think to yourself. But then you see your esthetician reach over to grab a pair of tweezers.
Now this is the part I particularly loathe, because it is the removal of ingrown hairs. But if you’ve made it this far, then you’re practically at the finish line.
If you’ve ever gotten your eyebrows waxed, do you remember at the end you had someone pluck the pesky hairs that were missed by the wax? This is what removing ingrown hairs feels like. It’s not as painful as the waxing process, but it is slightly uncomfortable to have your freshly naked skin picked and probed. Just keep breathing.
After rubbing a few essential oils on the newly waxed skin, your esthetician will let you know that you’re all set.
Congratulations! You made it through your first Brazilian wax!
6. Don’t Skip the After-Care
Exfoliation post-Brazilian wax is absolutely critical because your skin down there is so incredibly sensitive. You’ll want to use a gentle scrub (like St. Ives Apricot Scrub) or a sea salt scrub to remove any dead skin cells.
A mistake I made my first time getting a wax was being quick to put on tight clothes immediately after getting my wax. If it’s your first time getting a wax, it may be best to wear a sundress or something breathable to your appointment. Also, not moisturizing my skin the days following my Brazilian was another mistake I made. Coconut oil is also great for moisturizing, keeping the skin soft and relieving any itching as the hair begin to grow back.
And there you have it! While Brazilian waxing is sworn off by some OB-GYNs, everyone handles the process differently. The important thing to remember is to take good care of your skin in between appointments, which should be no more than six to eight weeks apart.
What’s your waxing story? Tweet us any tips or tricks you may have at @HelloFlo.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.