Humans, why do we do the things that we do. Is that the ultimate question? I got a Brazilian wax for the first time, and I feel like this is one of those mysteries that needs to be talked about. Don’t Panic!
Why a Brazilian? If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it, ok, that’s it.
Does a Brazilian wax hurt? Hell to the yes.
I’m going to share with you how I got through the pain, and how I handled the aftercare and upkeep. Also, check here for my favorite sugar scrub recipe; so grab your towel, because, by the end of this article, you’re going to need it.
Brazilian Wax Planning and Research
Do it a week ahead of time.
I got my first Brazilian wax a few days before Valentine’s Day. It just lined up, ok. But spoiler alert, if you do need to schedule for a “special occasion”, do it over a week ahead of time, because, friend, you’re not good to go right off the table.
The more hair, the better.
After I called and made the appointment, I tried to mentally prepare for the couple days in between. Keep in mind, the wax needs something to grab onto, so the more hair the better, plan accordingly. For me, it was winter, this was completely ok to be a last minute decision and appointment. Which gave me less time to think about it and chicken out.
Do your own additional research.
My first suggestion in approaching something new, whether it’s shrouded in mystery or not, research. You may have already begun this step, and that’s how you find yourself here. I didn’t focus on how bad it would hurt. I researched, I knew. Jenn Sinrich tells it like it is in their article for SELF, What You Need To Know Before your first brazilian wax. This really helped me place my expectations. This was going to fucking hurt, but it’s fine.
Waxing is one of my ways to get rid of negativity.
Let me give a little waxing background, I love getting my eyebrows waxed. The feeling of the hot wax on my skin and the sting of the rip, paired with the departure of unwanted hair feels so, so good. It’s my ritual send-off of the negativity that those stray little hairs bring to me. It’s a version of self-care for me and not just in an aesthetic way.
I’ve tried DIY wax strips at home for my bikini area once. Wax strips that you warm up between your hands, then peel off a clear backing before slapping it on and hoping it grabs the hair. I never used them again, because how many times can you torture yourself with a strip of hardly warm wax. I have a hard time ripping off my own band-aids.
The Brazilian Wax Appointment.
The prep step.
Once it’s time for my appointment, I’m led to a small, private room, asked to undress from the waist down (while the technician waited outside), and lay a paper cover myself from the waist down. It was warm in the room, due to the vats of wax being heated. It felt really comfortable. The table is just like a massage table, with a headrest instead of a face hole (I’m sure there is a name for those). It’s flat, able to be moved up and down. After a couple of minutes, the technician came back in and it was show time.
What type of wax do Brazilian salons use?
I was happy to know that the waxing salon I went to used hard wax. The wax itself hardens around the hair and is ripped off when it dries, as opposed to soft wax, which needs a cloth strip applied to rip off. It supposed to be more efficient in getting the hair.
Check for numbing agents!
I had also scheduled my brows to be done so before that, a numbing agent was applied to every part of my undercarriage. My eyebrows were waxed while that went to work. The numbing stuff may have been a placebo, I have no evidence. After about 15-20 minutes, I had gorgeous brows and a slight bit of nervousness because I knew what was next when she told me to butterfly my legs.
Focus on your breath.
Going into this, I considered how I could make this the most comfortable experience it could be. I knew I would need to be in the most relaxed state I could get into for two reasons. One, I had to get my mind right, two, hair is easier to rip out of relaxed areas. In my mind, if I tightened my muscles, it was going to hurt more. A relaxed mind makes for a relaxed body. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I considered asking the technician to not talk to me at all and really focus on my breathing so I could get into a deep meditative state. But that felt like it’d be awkward and I was only focusing on my own comfort without considering others involved. So I just planned to do the best I could at focusing on my breathing and my body; not on the pain itself. The technician I had was so personable and easy to talk to, so I felt that I was able to joke about my pain, between wax applications. She was focusing on her job which involved precision and trust me, I was respectful of that. Plus, the small talk to work to keep my mind off of things.
I kept my breathing slow and intentional. I tried to line up a breath out with the ripping of the wax, and focused on keeping the cadence. Breathing into my root chakra to release any type of negative feeling, physical and mental, right along with that hair. Keeping my body relaxed and at ease. Repeat for almost an hour.
The most and least painful areas.
As far as the most painful part of the Brazilian wax, it’s a tie between all of it. Sorry if that’s not helpful. The “leg pits” hurt just as much as the pubis on “top”. The top hurt just as much as the labia majora. But not all of it hurt and not all of it was the total worst, only 95% of the experience was painful.
I knew it was close to being over when I was told to flip over, for the easiest, least painful part. There is no eloquent way to say, the waxing of the butt crack. Remember, if I’m going to do it I’M DOIN’ IT. But hey, this doesn’t hurt at all, it’s on eyebrow waxing pain level and when this part is done, so is the appointment. The technician applied some cooling cream, left the room so I could get dressed, then I made another appointment for 4 weeks later.
Take off your pants, but not for that.
After your wax, it’s probably time to go home and take off your pants. Tight clothing and freshly waxed skin do not get along. You’re going to be red, swollen, and slightly uncomfortable for a few days. HelloGiggles has an excellent list on what to avoid right after your wax, while your skin is recovering, such as sex, baths/hot tubs, the gym, scented soaps & etc., and exfoliating. I used aloe vera, that I keep in the fridge, to offer cooling relief of irritation. Again, this was only for about 3-5 days.
Why you should plan ahead.
Go easy on yourself, let your skin heal and when the bumps and redness clear up. A lot of hair was just ripped out of your skin, the follicles are irritated, causing the bumps and redness. This is a reason to plan ahead if you’re looking to have smooth skin for any particular occasion.
Once that redness and bumps have gone away, or the wax technician may give you an estimated timeline of when to do this, it’s time for exfoliating. Why is exfoliating after waxing important? Exfoliating removes dead skin. When dead skin builds up in our hair follicles, it can cause ingrown hairs, which can be super painful and not a good time to deal with. Plus, this helps develops a habit of exfoliating your entire body, if you didn’t already.
I usually make sugar scrubs and masks for my face so it was a no brainer that I was going to do the same thing for my vulva! I’ll share the recipe, it’s super easy. If you’d rather buy something, Bustle compiled a list of store bought sugar scrubs in their article encouraging after waxing exfoliation. They do mention “opting for store-bought products might be your best bet, since you never really know what [might be in your sugars and oils]”.
My DIY Sugar Scrub
Brazilian Wax Upkeep
My next appointment was made for 4 weeks later. For most, it’ll be about 4-6 weeks before you will go back in to get another waxing. Whenever you do start seeing hair growing back, it will be a lot thinner and there won’t be much of it. If you have a few stragglers, grab them with some tweezers. DO NOT SHAVE. This cuts those new hairs and creates a sharp, angled end just asking to be an ingrown hair. Also, remember all of that exfoliating going on? You’re soft, exfoliated skin could get irritated by the razor. The more you get waxed, the less hair comes in; or so they say. So that means that the less hair, the less painful getting it ripped out of you will be.
I’m definitely planning on keeping up with waxing appointments as I can. Not feeling like I have to shave is a nice perk but the best part? The new hair growing in isn’t itchy at all. So long, and thanks for all the itch! To me, that’s all worth the pain. Actually, maybe I need to count the number of rips next time, what if it’s 42?
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