Firsts are freaky, but they don’t have to be. In Her Campus’ series My First Time, we’re answering the burning questions you might be uncomfortable asking about IRL. In this article, we tackle getting a Brazilian wax for the first time.
It’s almost spring break which, for a lot of us, means it’s time for beaches and bikinis… and Brazilian waxes. Now, before you freak out, I know what you’re thinking: The idea of a Brazilian wax, or even a bikini wax, can be terrifying. Think about it: laying down in the spread-eagle position, with some stranger getting ready to literally rip the hair out of your nether regions? Talk about nightmare fuel. However, if you have been considering it for a while, it can be a super effective way to remove hair — a little pain now makes things a lot easier later.
Before we get deeper into things, put the disposable razor down, bestie. You don’t need it anymore — especially if you’re looking to get a wax soon ( you’ll need at least two weeks of growth before your first session).To ease your waxing anxieties, I spoke to Nikki Beavers, owner of The Dollhaus Beauty Co., and Jessica Meyers, owner of Good Skin Waxing, to learn about all things waxing — including the best practices before, during, and after your first Brazilian or bikini wax. Take a deep breath, babe, and let it rip.
First and foremost, find an esthetician.
Finding somewhere to get waxed is, obviously, the first step. But it can be daunting to find a place with estheticians you trust. Meyers recommends using both word-of-mouth recommendations and the power of social media to find a waxing expert you will feel comfortable and connect with. (Imagine being in pain and dealing with someone who makes you uncomfy. No, thanks.) So, do some social stalking to find estheticians in and around your area before booking the appointment.
“You want someone who matches your energy that you have or that makes you feel comfortable,” Meyers says. She says her clients know her as being chatty as a way of helping them relax and she added that she loves to talk with clients about their lives to get them talking while she waxes.
You’re going to do some work beforehand.
After finding your esthetician, it’s time to get started on your prep work. If you’re going to remember anything, remember this: Pre-waxing prep work is crucial. Start by not shaving for at least two weeks (AKA, right now) before your appointment.
“At a minimum, we need the hair to be the length of a grain of rice in order for the wax to be able to dry around it, grip it, and remove with the pull,” Beavers explains. “If hair is shorter than that, the wax can’t get a good grip and your hair will not be removed.” According to Beavers, it takes about three weeks for your hair to reach this length, so kiss the razors goodbye for now.
Additionally, consider exfoliating your pubic area with a pair of exfoliating gloves two days before the service.
“Do some exfoliation, your estheticians are all going to have different things they would recommend,” Meyers says. “You want to make sure there are no hairs that are trapped under the skin when you go in to get waxed.”
Additionally, getting dressed for your appointment is another aspect of prep that will make your entire waxing journey a hell of a lot easier. “Loose, comfortable bottoms that are quick and easy to remove like sweatpants and sandals are a perfect choice to wear for your first appointment,” Beavers says. “There’s no point in wearing underwear — it will just get in the way— and we do not recommend wearing tight undies, lacy undies, or tight clothing like leggings or skinny jeans for at least a day after your appointment.” You heard it here first, no matter how cute, no lace panties after a wax.
Along with all of that, be sure to eat a good meal and stay hydrated before the appointment. No one wants a dehydrated client who passes out once the waxing strips show up.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
It’s easier said than done, but you must be comfortable with our esthetician. Before the service starts, take a minute to chat with your esthetician about what aesthetic goals you are looking for with the service: If you want to be almost entirely hairless, in the back too, a Brazilian might be your best bet. If you want some hair, but just want to clean up around the bikini line, a traditional Bikini wax is perfect.
“If you want a Brazilian, get the Brazilian,” says Meyers “It’s still to feel the same as a bikini wax. And always do the butt strip.”
It turns out estheticians are real panty droppers, and removing everything from the waist down makes it possible for them to wax. Your esthetician might put you into some crazy positions to get every little hair, don’t worry though, this is literally nothing to them.
“As far as encouragement, I always let our nervous nellies know that millions of women have gotten waxed over decades and decades in hundreds of thousands of wax parlors across the world,” Beavers says. “Might sound scary if it’s your first time, but most waxers do about 12-15 Brazilian waxes a day, or more, so it’s no big deal to us — you can think of us kind of like nurses.”
And yes, waxing is definitely not a painless experience, but “the results are so worth the temporary pain,” says Beavers. “Your waxer will instruct you the positions to get into so that she can get all the hair. The last few strips on the front are the most uncomfortable, but the butt strip doesn’t hurt at all. The pain is totally tolerable for 99.99% of people.”
The experience will take about 15 minutes, maybe less depending on how much hair you are having removed. And just like that, it’s all over.
Please, please, please don’t skip the aftercare.
Okay, so you’re freshly waxed and (ready for the beach), but your work is not done yet. To protect yourself from any possible bacterial infection (yuck) avoid bodies of water like pools, lakes, or hot tubs for 48 hours. Also, no sex: Sorry, bestie, I know you’re feeling real cute now, but safety is most important.
“You’re gonna avoid lacy abrasive underwear or tight clothing, you’re gonna avoid intercourse and hot showers, and you’re gonna avoid exercise and getting sweaty,” says Meyers. “And after 48 hours you can return to normal life.”
Continuing to keep your pubic area moisturized and exfoliated is super important as well, as it will keep the hair and skin soft. “Not using aftercare can result in ingrown hairs, or hairs getting broken at your next appointment because they are dry and brittle,” Beavers says.
The better your aftercare, the longer the soft and smooth results of the wax will last. “You’ll need something to cleanse with, exfoliate with, and hydrate with. We treat any waxed area like we would treat our face,” Beavers says.
72 hours after the wax, you should start a moisturizing and exfoliating routine, two to three times weekly. “That’s the entirety of your post-care,” Meyers says. “The reason that we have these rules about not sweating, not intercourse, no wearing abrasive clothing, no pools, is because when we pull these hairs out, your follicles are wide open and they are susceptible to bacteria.”
(BTW it takes a month to clear a bacterial infection down there, so I’d listen to this part.)
Make waxing a habit.
There are phases to hair growth on your entire body, the goal with waxing is to sync up all of the hair to be able to remove it all and stay silky smooth all the time.
Because your hair isn’t synced, you might have a few strays pop up after your first wax. If you are only getting a wax for spring break, feel free to ask the aesthetician to pluck the hairs.
If you fall in love with the results of your wax and want to go frequently, do not pluck the hair! It might take a few sessions to sync your pubic hairs’ growth cycle but it will make the waxes last longer. “Once you have waxed three or four times, four weeks apart, by then all of your hair growth has synced up so by then you are removing all of the hair at once,” says Meyers.
“Being religious about your wax appointments will get you the best results since we are synching it with your body’s natural hair growth cycle, longest smooth time, less ingrown hairs, softer regrowth, finer, softer hair,” Beavers says, “All the good stuff.”
Once you finish your wax, book your next appointment for about four weeks out — this time, feeling much more secure than before. Look you, glowing already, told ya you could do it!