Waxing 101: The Difference Between French, Bikini & Brazilian

Priyanka GhuraPriyanka Ghura  |  May 6, 2016
Waxing 101: The Difference Between French, Bikini & Brazilian


This story was updated in January 2019.

French, bikini or Brazilian wax? What’s the difference? If you want to try some hair removal down there but aren’t sure how much hair you want to get rid of, then you need to get yourself acquainted with the three most common kinds of waxing regimes available to you. If you thought that a bikini wax was all you could choose, take heed. You have a couple of more options – french wax and brazilian wax are available too. Before deciding on what to go for, we will help you find out the difference between bikini and brazilian wax and understand what is french wax? Read on to clear the air and go for the suitable choice.

Difference Between French, Bikini and Brazilian Wax

The Regular Bikini Wax

Difference between French, bikini and Brazilian wax

Your typical bikini wax removes much less hair compared to the other two. It basically involves the removal of hair around your panty line – the sides and top of your thighs as well as below your navel – leaving you with an inverted triangle shape of hair.

This type of wax is great before heading off on a beach holiday for a hair-free bikini line when you slip on your swimsuit, or just to stay tidy down there. You can request your aesthetician to go a bit deeper on the sides if you would like some more taken off.

When to get it: A bikini wax is ideal when you are looking for a cleanup, or if you’re a first timer and want to gradually move onto the more painful, full-fledged Brazilian wax.

You don’t need to take your underwear off for this type of wax.

A Brazilian Wax

Difference between French, bikini and Brazilian wax

This is the most common type of bikini wax around the world and also the most severe. The difference between bikini and brazilian wax is that the latter involves removal of hair from the entire pubic region, including your bum fuzz. While, in bikini wax, hair in the pubic area is not waxed. So naturally, it is the most painful type of waxing and requires you to spread your legs wide, or to bend and raise your knees to your head so your waxer can reach your most private of parts.

If you’re a seasoned bikini waxer who is well accustomed to the experience and pain, then we recommended this for you. If you’re trying it for the first time, don’t worry so much, the aesthetician is a professional who has serviced hundreds of women before so there’s no need to feel shy or awkward. Just get ready for all the pain before the pleasure of smooth skin.

When to get it: If you want to get rid of all the hair down there, the Brazilian wax should be your preferred option.

You need to have your underwear off throughout the procedure.

The French Bikini Wax

Difference between French, bikini and Brazilian wax
French bikini wax is similar to the Brazilian wax, except the hair between your buttocks is left to stay. A French bikini wax will typically leave behind a small, vertical strip of hair so you will be bare down there, but not beyond the anus.

It has all the advantages of the Brazilian Wax, except in the derriere department, of course, which means you won’t need to stretch and spread your legs as much.This method is great for those who want to go bare but not as extreme as with a full-fledged Brazilian. It’s perfect for a first timer as you can experience the treatment without having to go all the way up.

When to get it: If you’re planning on wearing a thong, or want to be clean and bare down there minus the terror of getting your butt waxed.

You will need to have your underwear off for most part of the procedure but not during the entire time.

A Few Waxing Tips

If you plan to be a regular at the salon for these waxing sessions, you might want to know some waxing tips beforehand. Since, a french, bikini or brazilian wax lasts for 3 to 6 weeks, so, you must do the following needfuls on a regular basis.

Be clean: Needless to say, you must have a nice shower just before your waxing session. Exfoliate your bikini area with warm water and keep baby wipes with you, just in case, you might want to be sure till the very last minute. Use a loofah before and after your wax to get rid of any ingrown hair and to keep it smooth.

Trim: The perfect length for your wax is a quarter of an inch so it can come off easily and isn’t too long to cause more pain. Make sure to trim down to this length before your appointment. If you have less or no hair, then wait for it to grow for better results and less pain. If you aren’t sure of doing it yourself, then get it done by the attending professional. Make sure you inform them beforehand. Also, avoid using oils or lotions before getting the french, bikini or brazilian wax done.

Breathe: Exhale every time she pulls. To avoid pain, control your pelvis from jerking with every yank or else it will just intensify the pain. If you are weak at handling pain, you must consider taking a painkiller prior to the appointment.  

After-care: Use aloe vera gel on the area for a couple of days after getting waxed to sooth, and reduce irritation and red spots.Your skin will be irritated. Your skin might swell up and have red patches when you get bikini wax done. Suggestively, do not go to the beach just after your wax as the skin cells too get removed with the hair at the time of waxing. You might not want yourself to be burnt.

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