Over 6 years ago, I tried my first Brazilian wax. I was headed to Thailand for two weeks with some of my best friends. Our agenda was to lie on the beach, zip around on private boats, and float with drinks in hand in the turquoise water. This required bringing along several swimsuits – or swimming costumes, as they are called in Thailand. Along with the suit choices, personal grooming was important.

I remember getting a bikini wax a few times back in college and I am pretty sure that I had one before my wedding and honeymoon. I remember even attempting a bikini wax on my own (I don’t recommend).  But, really, I’d been a shaver for years. I’m a shave-my-legs-and-armpits-daily kinda gal. It was also necessary to shave my bikini area anytime I would be seen in a swimsuit. And with the shaving came razor burn, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs. Sometimes, I wondered what was worse: unsightly pubic hair creeping from my bikini bottoms or the red rash that lined the outside of my suit?

Bikini Wax or Brazilian Wax?

So, in preparation for this trip I decided to get a bikini wax so I wouldn’t have to worry about shaving every day. I found an esthetician in town who specializes in waxing and made an appointment. A few of my girlfriends had mentioned that they’d opted to go full monty and routinely get Brazilian waxes. I thought – what the heck? Might as well just rip the bandaid off, so to speak, and take care of everything. Then the day came, and I found myself lying on a table, pantyless and vulnerable, asking the waxer to take it “all off.”

What to Expect

Brazilian waxing is not for the faint of heart. First off, you are basically naked and the esthetician is all up in your business. If you are squeamish about visiting the gynecologist, lying spread eagle while hot wax is being applied to your vagina may take some getting used to. Finding an esthetician that matches your personality is important. My gal is amazing – she quickly built rapport and has become my friend. Although I must say she’s the only “friend” that I have allowed to get that up close and personal with me! Her place is clean, she always wears gloves, and she never double dips with the same wooden stick. I have never felt embarrassed or awkward. This is her job and she is a professional!

Does it Hurt?

Friends often ask me if it hurts. Yes, it does. But it’s not that bad – the pain is quick, and I find that the anticipation of the pain is the worst part. When I first began, I took a couple ibuprofen an hour before my appointment to cut down on pain. I have also found that the hair has grown back thinner and sparser – so it’s less painful over time. And, since the hair is ripped from the root, the outgrowth does not often produce ingrown hairs. Keeping a regular routine also helps ease the pain.

What to Look For

If you are thinking about taking the plunge and taking it all off, I suggest you find a reputable esthetician. For me, sticking with the same person for 6 years has been important. Feeling comfortable is so important!! Cleanliness is also key. I take my personal hygiene seriously and I want anyone touching me to do the same. Make sure that any linens on the table are fresh, the waxer wears gloves, and that any wooden waxing sticks or cloth strips are one-use only.

I have kept the Brazilian wax as part of my beauty regime and see my esthetician every five or six weeks. I’m a huge fan of not having to shave, deal with uncomfortable razor burn or think about my situation if I am planning on wearing a swimsuit. I’ve also found that things feel a bit cleaner down there. While I have since had a total hysterectomy, I found the Brazilian to be delightful when on my period. And, it helps with clean up after more intimate moments, if you know what I mean. However, I do know other women who are into a more organic and au naturel look. But, I prefer the smooth, no-fuss option.

brazilian wax