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What To Expect From Your First Wax

Are you dying to try a Brazilian wax but are scared to death? Are you so unsure of waxing styles that you're not entirely clear on the wax you want, and are embarrassed you'll ask for the wrong thing? If so, keep reading--here's a step-by-step guide to waxing, from the different wax styles to aftercare. If you're a waxing virgin, start with a modest and moderate bikini wax, and build up to the full Brazilian. Waxing does hurt, there's no arguing that point. But your hair actually grows back finer the more often you do wax, so it does become less painful with experience.

And yes. Your first Brazilian wax will hurt. A lot. But the vast majority of women who've gone Brazilan swear they'll never go back to razors or depilatories.

Waxing Styles.

Let's clear up the various waxing options first.

  • Bikini Line--This is a good "starter" wax. The aesthetician removes hair from your panty line and not much else. The bikini is the most modest wax, so if you're nervous about the intimacy of the moment, begin with this.
  • Bikini Full--Similar to the basic bikini, the full bikini goes further in from your thighs and back towards your bum, as far as you like.
  • Brazilian--Most of the hair is removed, front, back and in the middle. The aesthetician leaves a "landing strip" of hair for the Brazilian effect.
  • Hollywood--It's all taken off. Every single hair between your belly button and the top of your thighs.  

When There's No Turning Back

You've booked an appointment .Now what? Prepping for your Brazilian waxing session will make it a lot easier.

  • Let it grow. Your hair needs to be at least 1/4 inch long for the wax to grab hold. If you've been in bush mode, trim hairs to that length--about a grain of rice- -as removing long hairs is more painful.
  • Don't exercise before your appointment. Warm muscles are enlarged and more sensitive--not ideal for waxing.
  • Take an ibuprofen or Tylenol an hour before your appointment.
  • A glass of wine is okay to relax, but more and you're more likely to bleed. Bring a couple of wipes--this gets seriously personal.
  • Ask for hard wax. It hurts less.

On The Table

Waxing isn't a manicure, you do get a private room for a Brazilian waxing--or any wax. And your aesthetician is a lot like your gyno--she has seen it all before, and on any given day is up close and personal with five or six hoo-has. Trust me, you're not that special.

She will ask you to strip from the waist down, and offer a paper thong for modesty (insert giggles here). You'll lay your bare bum down on a table with sheets and a fresh layer of paper. Treatment rooms often have aromatherapy, soft lighting, and soothing music to help you relax; the aesthetician uses a high-powered mirror to see.

After you've discussed the waxing style and was temp you prefer, lie back and relax. Seriously--if your muscles are tense it will hurt a lot worse. You'll get a nice sprinkling of talcum powder so the hot wax doesn't stick to your skin.

You may be asked to help pull skin taut so the wax is applied and removed more smoothly. After the front is done, you'll flip over (like with a massage) and perhaps be asked to assume the Child's Pose yoga position. Your aesthetician goes to work on your bum--this usually only takes a couple of minutes, as opposed to the 30-45 for the front.

She'll tweeze away any strays, and finish you off with a soothing cream. Yes, your lady parts will look like they've been through a meat grinder for a few hours, and cortisone cream will help with the pain.

Keep It Up

Your friends have told you that you'll love your waxing in a day or so, and they're right. Go ahead and book your next appointment before you leave the salon--three or four weeks so the hair can grow back to the proper length. The next time won't hurt nearly as much--your hair will be less coarse and you'll know what to expect.

Grab a couple of friends and make an appointment at Brazilian Beauty together. Afterwards, you can all recuperate with Sex and the City reruns and icepacks. And that second glass of wine.