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Adventures in Brazilian Waxing: A First-Timer's Guide

Mar. 1, 2017
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I know I’m pretty late to the party, but I just started Brazilian waxing about two years ago. I don’t know how I was left out of the loop for so long. Apparently, this is a low-key million dollar business that I was blissfully unaware of. All of my friends have been getting it done for years, but no one was really talking about it. I’m not sure why they weren’t; it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, if anyone is going to shamelessly talk about it out in the open, it would be me. Now that I’ve jumped on the Brazilian waxing bandwagon, I talk to all of my friends and female family members about it. How else are we ladies going to learn about these things if we don’t talk about them, right?

I started off by asking a female family member what it is like to get a Brazilian wax. While she admitted that the first time would be the worse time, she nonchalantly made it seem like no big deal. “After the first time, it gets easier from there,” she told me. Ok, cool. I was ready to try it out. 

I started off by researching internet reviews of different waxing salons in my area. I found one close by that had glowing reviews, so I called the same day and made an appointment. I thought it might be a good idea to prepare, being that this would be my first time. I was nervous as hell, as if it was my actual first time; I would essentially be losing my Brazilian wax-virginity. Luckily, the place I chose had a website with a bunch of helpful tips on how to prepare for a visit. I was feeling much more at ease because the place seemed really caring, professional, and legit. Unfortunately, there were no tips on how to mentally prepare; but in their defense, I don’t think this is something that any place could successfully do. Let’s be real: if you’ve had a Brazilian wax before, you already know that had someone told you what it was really like, you probably would have never gone through with it. Being the total chicken that I am, I certainly would not have. 

So, I arrived at my appointment completely anxious but cautiously optimistic. The place was absolutely beautiful and relaxing. Soft music was playing, candles were burning, there was a chandelier, refreshments were available in the waiting area – I felt like I was literally being prepared to have my virginity taken. There was a surprising amount of men in the waiting area – not as supportive husbands, but as clients. Hey, who am I to judge? I was taken into a private room and told to disrobe from the waist down (again, reminders of my innocence about to be taken). The young lady who was to perform my wax was very nice and engaging, and not awkward at all. Being my normal silly self, I asked her in the most gentle, innocent voice I could muster up, “Will you at least call me tomorrow?” We both busted out laughing and the ice was broken. 

She began to prepare her supplies, including the wax, waxing sticks, etc. She poured the wax from a big warming pot into a fresh, disposable cup and retrieved a new, disposable waxing stick (we’ll discuss double-dipping a little later). We were ready. The initial feel of the wax was a bit jarring, to say the least. It was hot, but not hot enough that I couldn’t take it. Sort of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’-ish hot wax. It kind of felt good after a few seconds. 

Then came the misery…

So, it is crystal clear to me that Brazilian waxing was created by an awful, salty, scorned man who was mercilessly dumped and was out for revenge against all women everywhere. After letting the wax sit for about 30 seconds, the esthetician gripped the edge of the dried wax and proceeded to rip for dear life. I THOUGHT I DIED.  It was a pain that I had never experienced before. I’ve gone through childbirth, and while I assure you that childbirth is worse, this was a close 2nd place. I had tears running down my traumatized face. I literally yelled at the esthetician, then quickly apologized once the pain began to subside. She assured me that this was a normal reaction for a first-timer and that her little feelings were not hurt that I just called her everything but a child of God. And this was only rip number one; I still had about 10-15 more to go. Not to mention that the esthetician insisted on making small talk the entire time. As sweet as she was, I kept picturing myself kicking her in the face, bare bottom and all. Finally, it was over. She did a quick clean up and told me how to maintain it until my next visit in four weeks – next visit? Four weeks? The hell you say! I was never going back. I paid my little money and was on my way, limping and feeling defeated all the way back to my car. 

Two years later, I still go every four weeks like clockwork. Each time that I go, as I’m looking up at the ceiling, laying on that little bed/table, I say to myself that this will be the last time. Certainly this pain is not worth it, right? But my family member was right – it gets a little bit easier each time. More than anything, the results are what keep me going back. I’m pretty much hairless for four entire weeks and don’t have to worry about shaving or how I look down there. The last thing I want to worry about before getting it on with my man is if the proverbial forest has reclaimed the land, if you know what I mean. In a nutshell, Brazilian waxing keeps me relatively carefree for a month – one less thing to worry about. 

Some tips to remember in preparation of your first Brazilian waxing encounter, as well as aftercare: 

  • Choose your waxing salon wisely – Do some research. Make sure the place and its estheticians are all licensed. Check out online reviews and ask friends and family for recommendations. But be wary of recommendations - my neighbor was getting her wax done in the back of a nail salon in some weird, underground doctor’s office-looking set up, but she swore they were the best. Needless to say, she now goes to my place for her waxing needs.  
  • Choose your esthetician wisely – Not all estheticians are created equal. Although I love the place that I go to get my waxing done and all of the ladies are great, I went several times before I found an esthetician that I felt most comfortable with. She is now my go-to girl and the only one who I will see. She knows me in one of the most intimate of ways, after all. We’ve bonded.
  • No double-dipping – When choosing a waxing salon, be sure to ask them if they have a policy on double-dipping. Double-dipping is when the esthetician dips the waxing stick in the same waxing container that was used with previous clients and/or uses the same waxing stick on more than one client. This is gross, unsanitary, and an absolute no-no. Double-dipping can lead to infection and disease because the same exact wax and/or stick that touched a potentially diseased/infected client would then touch you. The place that I go to has a strict “No Double-Dipping” policy, which is the only way to go.  
  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – Exfoliate the area to be waxed within 24-hours before waxing, and about 48 hours after waxing. This will help to prevent ingrown hairs. And believe me, ingrown hairs will happen. But exfoliating creams and ingrown hair removal creams help. 
  • Do not shave beforehand – I know you may think you’re helping by getting rid of some of the hair before your wax, but you’re not. The more hair, the easier it will be for the wax to grip it. 
  • Do not moisturize – The area being waxed should be moisture free, so don’t use any lotions, creams, or deodorant (if you’re waxing your armpits) beforehand. 
  • Use sunblock - If the waxed area will be exposed to the sun within 48 hours after waxing, it is important to use sunblock to avoid hyper-pigmentation. 
  • Acne medications - If you are using any type of acne medication (topical or oral), be sure to let your esthetician know. Certain acne medications can make your skin super sensitive and much more susceptible to burns. 
  • Avoid touching - Avoid touching the waxed area for the first 24-48 hours, especially with dirty hands. The area will be extra sensitive and exposed; touching it with dirty hands can lead to infection. Although I don’t know why you would be touching your vagina with dirty hands in the first place, but whatever…you’ve been warned. 

There’s nothing that I can do to take the pain away, but I promise you that these tips will help to make the process more tolerable. Happy waxing!

Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman

Tags: waxing