- Brazilian: Most Brazilian waxes remove all hair front and back (including labial lips and butt), but leave a thin “landing strip” down the front. (Also known as the Playboy) However, at many salons, a Brazilian doesn’t include the landing strip.
- Full Brazilian: Leaves you completely bald. (Also known as the Telly Savales, the Full Monty, the Sphinx, and the Hollywood)
Be sure to ask the aesthetician how her salon defines each type of bikini wax.
Also, don’t hesitate to tell the waxer specifically what you want (two fingers’ width of hair taken off on top, inside lips, no butt, etc).
Some women even ask for shapes like hearts, lightning bolts or boyfriend’s initials.
There’s no reason to be shy with such requests – the waxer has heard it all.
What to Expect
Whether you’re at a pricey day spa or your neighborhood salon, the process is pretty much the same. The aesthetician will show you into a treatment room, then leave while you undress from the waist down (including the panties!).
The treatment then may differ depending on the type of wax. Most salons still use “soft” wax, the warm, drippy stuff that is applied with a small wood spatula, then covered with a cloth and ripped off. However, a new “hard” wax that may be gentler for sensitive skin is also used in some salons. With hard wax, the aesthetician applies the warmed wax to the hair, waits for it to cool, then pulls it off directly – no fabric needed.
Depending on the style you’re getting, be prepared for the aesthetician to move your body around. For a Brazilian wax, you may be asked to pull a knee up to your chest (so the waxer can reach sensitive areas). If you’re also waxing your buttocks, you may need to hold your, er, cheeks apart. Obviously, this procedure isn’t for the shy.
- Let’s be honest – waxing doesn’t tickle. But a little discomfort is worth it for skin that stays smooth for at least a couple weeks. If the “ouch” factor has you stressed, pop an ibuprofen 20 minutes before the treatment to help with the pain. You can also try an over-the-counter numbing cream like PRE-Kini, available at drugstores such as CVS.
To minimize redness and bumps, try an after-wax product that contains azulene, an essential oil derived from chamomile. Gretchen Hauer, an aesthetician at Avia Spa in Santa Barbara, CA, also recommends applying Tend Skin - a lotion that helps prevent ingrown hairs – the day after your treatment. For general soothing, you can use aloe vera gel, but the best thing is to just leave the area alone.
The main thing you’ll feel post-treatment? “Clients have a real sense of accomplishment after they’ve been waxed,” Hauer says. “They always feel sexy and are excited to show their partner.”