So, You Finally Decided To Get A Brazilian. Here's Everything To Know For A Smooth Experience

It's time for your first Brazilian wax, and you may have some questions. There's the pain factor to consider, as well as the mystery around what the actual appointment is like. But don't worry, we've got you covered. First things first, a Brazilian wax is different from other wax styles, like bikini waxes, because absolutely everything comes off. This includes hair on the pubic bone, upper thighs, everything in the middle, and in your backside too. Expect to feel like a hairless cat by the end of your appointment. There's always the option of leaving a thin strip of hair on the front, but that's entirely up to you. It's also worth choosing your appointment time wisely. Don't book a waxing appointment around your period, simply because your genital area — and pain tolerance in general — is going to be more sensitive during those days. Save yourself the additional pain and book it for another time during your cycle. 

The perk of Brazilian waxes is that you get perfectly smooth skin for a heck of a lot longer than from shaving. The good news is that the first appointment is likely going to be the most painful, but over time, the hair grows back less, making each follow-up appointment more manageable. After a Brazilian wax, let the hair grow back and expect to be returning to the waxing studio within four to six weeks. With that in mind, let's get into the nitty-gritty of the Brazilian wax.

How to prepare for your wax

Check off a few things before booking your first Brazilian wax. The first thing to note is how long the hair is. For the wax to effectively grip your hair, it needs to be ¼ inch long (the length of a grain of rice). If your hair is longer, you can trim it slightly so that it reaches the desired length because hair that's too long is harder and more painful to wax. Your specialist will likely be using hard wax as opposed to soft wax for your Brazilian, but this is worth asking about. Hard wax must be warmed before use, while soft wax always has a honey-like consistency. Hard wax is preferred because it's a bit more gentle on sensitive areas. There's also a kind of hair removal called sugaring that uses a sugar paste to pull hair and is a bit more gentle as well. Your best bet is to look up what's available in your area. You should shower before your appointment, but don't use any oils or moisturizers on the region before. Your skin should be as clean as possible so that the wax can grip your hair successfully.

It's recommended you take an ibuprofen 30 minutes before your appointment to help with the pain. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine prior to a Brazilian wax as they can make skin more sensitive; Check that your painkillers don't have caffeine in them for the same reason (ibuprofen doesn't have caffeine, so it's a safer bet). Wear loose-fitting underwear and pants to your appointment, as you don't want anything too tight on the area afterward.

What to expect during the appointment

Upon arrival, your wax specialist will give you time to take off your pants and underwear before lying on the table. They'll then cleanse the area and dust it with baby powder to get rid of any excess oils.

Now comes the different positions. Your specialist may have certain positions that work well for them to get at all of your hair, but typically you'll start by lying on your back. As the wax works its way down to your labia, you'll bring your knees up and hold your feet together in a butterfly position. Once your specialist is ready to work on your backside, they'll likely ask you to roll over on your side and hold your outer leg close to your chest by hugging your knee. You'll do the same on both sides. Your waxing specialist will likely also solicit your help during the procedure, by getting you to hold your skin taught so that they can pull the wax off quickly. People on Reddit had something to say about this. "I giggled when she told me to spread my butt lol," one user wrote

In terms of prices, Brazilian waxes typically cost anywhere from $50-70. Also, it's important to leave a tip, and somewhere in the range of 20% is good practice.

What to expect in terms of pain and after care

Now, a word about pain. There's no getting around the pain from a Brazilian wax. However, appointments typically last anywhere from 10-30 minutes, so while they're intense, they're over pretty quickly. Certain areas are more painful than others too. The top of the thighs and the backside tend to be far less painful than removing hair from the pubic bone region and labia. Just breathe deeply, try to stay calm, and know that it'll be over soon.

Reddit offers some hilarious and accurate testimonies about pain. "Hurt like hell but I just had my second one done last week and it was nowhere near as bad," someone wrote. "[I]t was...shocking. Like, to the point where I giggled uncontrollably to stop myself from crying. And I asked her if I still had a labia," another added. But not everyone had a rough time. "Painful but not the worst pain I've ever felt," one user began. "And it's a temporary pain that you can at least manage." Once it's over, breathe a sigh of relief. Your specialist might apply a light oil to get rid of any sticky residue. Then you put your comfy panties on and head home.

In terms of aftercare, treat the area gently. Avoid strenuous exercise as well as sexual activity in that area for the first 24 hours, to prevent bacterial spread as your pores are open. You can start exfoliating the area about 72 hours after the appointment to prevent ingrown hairs.