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Your Guide to a (relatively) Pain-free Brazilian Wax

Photo by Eric T White

It’s an intimidating subject, right? Does anyone really know how to prepare for a Brazilian wax? Do you take one aspirin or swig a bottle of champagne? There is a lot of unease around the subject, so I’d like to clear a few things up and dish out some tips to help your Brazilian experience go as smoothly as possible.

1. Make sure you have enough length to get waxed in the first place. The recommended length for hair is about the length of a grain of rice or four weeks of outgrowth; whatever comes first. If it’s longer than an inch, it’ll be easier for everyone if you trim it back a bit before you drop trou.

2. Find a technician that uses hard wax. There are several kinds of wax and not all are created equal. Hard wax is ideal for the more sensitive parts of the bikini area because it is gentle on skin and doesn’t need a strip laid on top of it before removal, which means less time spent in anticipation for you. BONUS TIP: If it's your first wax, or your hair is dense, ask your waxer to use narrow strips of wax. They'll have to apply more strips, so it will take slightly longer to get all of the hair, but IMO, it's far more tolerable than fewer, wider strips.

3. Exfoliate! To cut down on time spent tweezing during your appointment, take up exfoliating for at least a few days leading up to your wax. Using a scrub, dry brush, exfoliating liquid or a combination of the three will remove dead skin so the wax can grab as much of the hair as possible. Skip this step and you might end up with stubbly, broken-off pieces and/or more time spent pantless on the table.

4. Pop it before your drop it. Ibuprofen, that is. One or two ibuprofen and a glass of bubbly before your wax should do the trick to help you relax and minimize pain.

5. Breathe in… Breathe out. If Champagne isn’t your thing, try to find another way to relax; I usually recommend deep diaphragmatic breaths.

6. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The wax will feel hot, especially towards the end when there’s less hair, but trust your instincts and don't be afraid to speak up if it’s hurting you or if something else doesn’t seem right. More often than not, your waxer cares and wants you to be comfortable.

7. Aftercare, step one: Post wax, you might have a few sticky areas and a little bit of swelling or tenderness. Aloe vera and an oil like coconut or sweet almond are perfect for calming the skin and rubbing away any leftover wax. If you have any areas that are shiny and kind of raw, you might think that you have been burned, but it’s more likely that your skin has ‘lifted,’ which tends to happen if the area has been waxed over too many times in a session. Apply Neosporin for a few days and you’ll be good as new.

8. Avoid angry red bumps: For the rest of the day after your Braz, avoid any lotions on the area and wait for a solid 48 hours before you even THINK about exfoliating. It’s also better to opt for fabrics like loose jersey over tight spandex. Give the lady some space. And a free pass to skip the gym or other sweaty activities.

That said, you might be tempted to partake in some hanky panky, so I should be warn you that you’re risking potential irritation and infection. Proceed with caution (wink; just take a shower after. Worth it).

If you’re thinking about giving Brazilian waxing a go, do it!! It’s something worth trying once, if only for the street cred. If you need some more convincing, there are lots of reasons to love waxing so stay tuned for a that post and send in your questions!

How did you find your waxer? Any tips for how you make your brazilian more bearable? Let me know in the comments below!

(Cover Photo by Tom Munro)

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