Everything About Brazilian Waxes You've Been Too Embarrassed To Ask

We're gonna say what you're probably thinking: Hair down there is quite the hassle. What's even worse is trying to get rid of it. No one wants to spend an ungodly amount of time in the shower trying to shave every hair when we all know you're most likely to miss a few. Not all of us have a Scott Disick who's willing to trim down there for us either, and if you don't remember that episode with him and Kourtney then consider yourself lucky (via ET Online).

So what's your other option, you might ask? Well, the answer's simple: waxing. More specifically, a Brazilian wax. We know it sounds scary, but that's why we're here. To save you the embarrassment of several bizarre Google searches (and we mean bizarre), we've decided to ask them for you. So here are some answers to questions you might have about getting a Brazilian wax.

What is a Brazilian Wax and how is it different from a bikini wax?

First things first: You might've heard about a bikini wax, but what in the world is a Brazilian wax? 

According to Byrdie, Brazilian wax removes all hair (sometimes just a small strip is left in the front) from the genital region. That small strip is more commonly known as a "landing strip," which can be done in a few different styles, but that's a talk for another day.

If you're saying to yourself, "Isn't that the same thing as a bikini wax?" — no, not exactly. The two are a bit different. A bikini wax removes hair from the pubic area and the places where hairs might peek out if you wore a bikini (via InStyle). This is essentially what most women try their best to shave. Brazilian wax, on the other hand, goes a step further. 

Remember how we said it's a removal of all the hair? Well, that's exactly what it sounds like. We're talking bikini area along with every other crevasse down and around there. 

How do they make all the hair disappear?

Knowing how much territory Brazilian wax has to cover, how can the techs get every last hair? For this part, you must be comfortable with someone being up close and personal with your lady bits.

To get the best wax, you're going to need to spread your legs. Your waxer will have you lay flat on your back with your legs in a butterfly position (via Shape). This will allow them to reach every part of the pubic area and then some.

As we mentioned before, this wax is taking care of every crevasse down there, so once you're done with the front, you'll be told to lay on your stomach with a hand on both cheeks — when we say cheeks, we mean butt cheeks — in order to spread them enough for the waxer to get all up in there.

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

What should you do to prep?

Now that you know the what and the why you should probably have a general idea of how you should prep for it. 

Your first question might be, "How long should my hair be down there?" In an interview with Allure, aesthetician Gina Petak said, "Don't worry, your hair can never be too long to come to see us. All of our wax specialists are expertly trained to work with all hair and skin types." It's generally recommended, however, that your hair is at least a quarter-inch long, so keep that in mind. 

Obviously, you're not going to your appointment naked — at least, we hope you aren't — so you're probably wondering what you should wear. Your best bet is loose clothing, as your skin post-wax will be a bit irritable, and the last thing it needs is something skin-tight that could cause friction (via Good Housekeeping).

What are some dos and don'ts for prepping?

You're probably wondering if there are any crucial dos or don'ts. The first? Be sure not to shave a crazy amount before or after; you're just going to irritate your skin, and no one wants that. 

Drinking alcohol ahead of the appointment is also not recommended. If you drink before a wax, it'll likely be more sensitive down there since alcohol is a blood thinner (via Bustle). The same goes for coffee: Caffeine can also elevate the pain, which is something we never knew — but the more you know, right (via Glamour)?

On the topic of pain: While you might feel the urge to take a pain killer beforehand — and we don't blame you — just be sure it's not aspirin. You can probably tell it's a running theme, but aspirin is also a blood thinner, so your best bets are Advil or Tylenol (via Marie Claire).

Be honest: Is getting a Brazilian awkward?

Seeing that someone's about to be all up in your private areas, it's only natural to assume that an encounter like this would be awkward. Honestly, though, this is one of those things that could end up being awkward if you make it awkward.

Some of you might have an advantage over the uncomfortable feelings. An article from Little Things said it best: "If you've ever gone to the gynecologist, you're more than familiar with how it feels to show your 'lady parts' to a stranger." Granted, a gynecologist often puts things inside you, so at least you won't have to worry about that with a Brazilian wax session. 

However, if you aren't a part of that group of individuals, remember that these aestheticians are professionals, so they've most likely seen everything under the sun. Besides, if you're nervous about it being awkward, just let them know it's your first time — they might be able to help ward off that feeling. 

Do I have to be a certain age to get waxed?

Body hair can be a hassle at any age, but is there a certain age you can get waxed? Well, this is one of those questions that can be subjective. There's no one answer, and it would appear that every place is different. 

The European Wax Center requires guests under 16 have parental consent before being waxed (via European Wax Center). Then again, waxing expert Jessica Anwalt Johnson said that while it's fine for girls as young as 14 years old to get a bikini wax, she's totally against anyone under 18 getting a Brazilian wax (via Allure).

The good news is there are no set laws or regulations on a state level. So it really depends on who's doing the waxing. Just remember that, in comparison to a bikini wax, a Brazilian wax is a more intimate experience. So it's understandable why some people may have qualms about proceeding. 

How long will it take and what level of pain should I anticipate?

This is probably what you've all been dying to know: How much pain will this cause me, and for how long?

It's an understandable question, seeing that a very sensitive part of your body is about have hot wax yanked off of it. However, when it comes to something like pain, it's all relative to your tolerance. Therefore, the better you are with pain, the less likely it is to hurt. In no way does that mean it'll be a walk in the park, just that it'll be a bit more bearable for some. 

As for how long it takes, this is also relative to you. "Depending on the density of the hair growth, your waxing appointment will take between 15-30 minutes," according to the Airlie Day Spa. They also recommend allotting at least 30 minutes for first-timers.

If I'm riding the crimson wave, can I still get a Brazilian?

Listen, periods can get in the way of a lot of things. Does that also include getting Brazilian wax?

The answer to this question has mixed results. According to Shape, licensed aesthetician Deidra Green said, "Yes, you can absolutely be waxed while on your menstrual cycle. If your skin is healthy and you can wear a tampon or a menstrual cup, then you can get waxed." However, if tampons and menstrual cups aren't for you, you should sit this one out until a better time of the month presents itself. 

There are also fellow wax enthusiasts who recommend waiting until after your period since your skin down there can be more sensitive during your time of the month. They aren't wrong. Dr. Jessica Shepherd said, "They really do increase the sensitivity of the skin" (via Women's Health). So if you're already worried about the pain or have low pain tolerance, wait out the red tide and schedule an appointment afterward.

Somehow I managed to get a sunburn down there. Can I still get waxed?

Sunburns aren't fun in any context for anyone. So if you managed to get a sunburn down there, there are two things: First of all, how? We're genuinely curious. Never mind. Second, you should consider that sunburn when scheduling a Brazilian wax appointment. 

Should you get a Brazilian when you have a sunburn? Probably not a good idea. As your skin is likely already irritated from the sunburn, there's no need to make that irritation worse (via StyleCaster). It would be best to avoid sun exposure altogether before and after getting a wax of any kind (via Allure).

Professional salon Waxxpot said, "True Waxx Specialists (make sure to go to a professional salon like Waxxpot!) won't wax if you have sunburned skin." If your waxer says they'll wax you while you have a sunburn, please leave immediately because they may not care for your well-being.

I've got a bun in the oven — does that make a difference?

When pregnant, your number one priority is keeping that baby safe. If you hate hair down there, you're probably praying that you can still get waxed, even with a bun in the oven. In that vein, we've got some good news for you: Yes, you can, but there are a few precautions you should consider (via Healthline). 

First, be sure that they're not reusing wax strips on several clients. This also goes for the wax applicators. Sharing those types of items can lead to a bacterial infection.

Some moms-to-be find waxing a lot more convenient during pregnancy. Mom of three Petra Guglielmette said, "I was in a shaving phase going into pregnancy number one, and for a while, that continued to get the job done. Then around seven months, things got borderline dangerous. I could no longer remotely see what I was doing down there" (via Glamour).

I was brave enough to pierce my bits. Can I still get waxed?

If you were able to get an intimate piercing, you might be worried that your jewelry could get in the way of your wax.

TikTok user Caroline Hegarty, who happens to be a professional waxer, gave viewers the rundown on how a wax with piercings would go. In her personal experiences with one client, she explained, "What I used to do was move it [the piercing] to one side, get down one area, wait til that dried, whip it off and when the wax was gone I'd move to the other side and do the same thing," (via The Sun). 

While that seems simple enough, Caroline emphasized that you have to stay absolutely still, or else there's a chance your piercing could find its way into the wax. The thought of that makes us shudder in fear.

What should I do if things start getting itchy or uncomfortable?

Waxing doesn't always go smoothly — no pun intended. Sometimes things can take place that may cause discomfort, and Brazilian waxes are no exception. 

The number one discomfort you might face post-wax is itchiness. Some of the biggest culprits of irritation are dry skin or the hair growing back, which should be expected (via Romper). However, there's also a possibility you could be allergic to the wax itself, so if your intimate areas are red and itchy, you should see a doctor. 

Another unfortunate situation can be an ingrown hair. Those suckers can be painful  and cosmetically unpleasant, and if you're getting a Brazilian for appearance reasons, then you don't want ingrown hairs getting in the way of that. To help prevent ingrown hairs, exfoliate before your waxing session and avoid tight clothing post-wax (via Byrdie). You'll thank us later.

How long until the hair grows back?

Assuming you go through with getting a Brazilian wax, there's definitely some upkeep you should keep in mind for the long term. If you want to continue to stay super smooth down there, European Wax Center brand ambassador Melanie Coba has recommended, "For a Brazilian bikini service, you're recommended to come in every three to four weeks. This allows the proper amount of time for regrowth" (via Byrdie).

That doesn't sound terrible, especially if you're someone whose hair grows back at a slower rate when compared to others. 

The European Wax Center has also recommended that you don't shave in between waxes. If you do, you're likely putting yourself at risk of suffering the ill effects of super-dry skin or — perhaps even worse — those pesky ingrown hairs we were just talking about. So, on the whole, we think it's best that you listen to the professionals and consult a physician if you have questions that weren't answered here.