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All Your Uncomfortable Brazilian Wax Questions Answered By An Expert

All Your Uncomfortable Brazilian Wax Questions Answered By An Expert

I remember not knowing what to expect the first time I dialed my friend’s waxer’s number to schedule an appointment for an at-home Brazilian wax—a spur-of-the-moment decision. The phone rang for a few seconds before she answered the call, and I almost bailed because I was dreading it. She texted me with a time-slot a few minutes after, and I replied to her with, ‘Wait—is it going to hurt too much?” I think I’d convinced myself that the pain was going to be excruciating—what with influencers documenting their reactions to getting waxed, and posting it on YouTube for all of us to grimace, cringe, and squint our eyes at.

I credit much of my anxiety to not knowing what the process was going to be like, and how I could’ve prepared myself before the appointment. I was clueless. And because I know how daunting the prospect of sloughing off hair from one of the most sensitive regions of your body is, I decided to spare you the anticipation, and spoke to Kanchan S. Punjabi, Beauty and Makeup Education Manager, JCB Salons, PVT LTD, about everything Brazilian wax-related for a first-timer. Ahead—your questions answered.

Everything You Haven’t Asked Your Brazilian Waxer—Answered

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How’s A Brazilian Wax Different From A Bikini Wax And French Wax?

Okay—here’s the tea. A lot of us mistake a Bikini wax and Brazilian wax for being synonymous (and most of us haven’t even heard of a French wax), and use the terms interchangeably in our conversations (guilty); but there’s a definite difference between them. According to Kanchan, a Bikini wax doesn’t remove hair from the intimate area—it merely removes hair from areas outside your bathing-suit. This includes the sides of the thighs, and the panty-line right up to the navel—forming an inverted triangle. “It’s a great option for when you’re planning to hit the pool, or spend the day at the beach,” she says.

A French wax, on the other hand, doesn’t target all of the hair either. It’s like a Brazilian wax—except that it leaves a little hair around the middle and the back. Kanchan says that this one’s ideal for those who want to go bare down there, but not like a Brazilian Wax. She explains that a lot of women seem to choose this option to be smooth down there, and clean of hair without feeling too bare. And, thirdly, a Brazilian wax removes all of your hair—leaving your absolutely hair-free.

What Types Of Wax Are Used In The Process?

There are two types of wax—soft wax and hard wax. The former requires a fabric or paper-like strip to be placed on top of the wax to remove your hair. The process might leave a little hair behind. This method suits people with fine hair; is ideal for larger areas such as the arms and legs; and is much more economical than hard wax. Hard wax is formulated for sensitive skin, and is perfect for the Bikini area. It attaches itself to the hair instead of the skin, thereby reducing discomfort and irritation. Hard wax hardens on its own, and doesn’t need any strips either.

Hard waxing is far less painful than soft waxing. It’s specifically created for sensitive areas—hair comes out easier, reduces pain, and is long-lasting. It doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue, and is easier to clean up as well. Kanchan suggests doing a patch-test on a small area of the skin for 24 hours regardless of the type or brand of wax you’re using. “If you don’t see any reaction, you are good to go,” she quips.

How Do You Go About A Brazilian Wax?

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Kanchan suggests having a frank conversation with your aesthetician, “Let her know it’s your first time, and that you feel nervous about the experience. Speak freely about what aspects bother you. The aesthetician will examine the length of your hair to make sure it’s the correct length, and ask you how much you want off. A waxing expert knows all there is to know about your skin-type, how to apply the wax, and how to remove the hair effectively.”

Here’s How You Can Prepare Yourself For Your First Brazilian Wax

“Do not exfoliate on the day of your appointment—as exfoliating can leave the skin more sensitive to pain. Try exfoliating one or two days prior to get rid of dead cells (this can reduce pain as exfoliating helps the wax to attach to the hair, and not your skin), and let the hair break through the surface. Be careful to not over-exfoliate since this can weaken the barrier of the skin. Work out before your wax—but not after. Avoid scheduling an appointment three days prior to your menstrual cycle as your skin is sensitive during this time.”

“A bikini wax might hurt at first, but as it becomes a part of your routine, you’ll notice a reduced level of pain with each visit. Avoid alcohol as it increases blood-flow, as does caffeine, so it might make you more sensitive. Consider avoiding both an hour or two before getting waxed. Take deep breaths while you’re being waxed. This will help you clear your mind, and reduce any tension. It might also help to keep yourself distracted.”

If your threshold for pain is less, you can opt for a pain-killer forty-five minutes prior to the session as per the physician’s suggestion. Make sure you’re washing, cleaning and drying your skin thoroughly before starting the service. Ensure your hair is at least 0.5 cm long before scheduling an appointment.

How Long Do Results Last?

“It’s different for different individuals, but it should last for around 3 to 4 weeks. Once the hair is at least ¼-inch long, you can go in for another wax,” explains Kanchan.

And, No—Don’t Attempt A Brazilian Wax At Home

Kanchan warns us against attempting a Brazilian wax at home—for many obvious reasons, This includes the risk of a severe burn. Your hair needs to be the ideal length before waxing. If your hair is too long, trim it down to about 1⁄4 inch. If your hair is too short, the wax may not be as effective as it cannot uproot hair from the follicle effectively. “I suggest stopping shaving or using a depilatory cream at least 2 weeks before your appointment—shaving creates sharper and thick/coarser hair; while depilatory cream can cause rashes or allergies.

Why Not Just Shave? It’s Painless And Cost-Free.

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This is a question that continued gnawing at me, but Kanchan explained it like this, “Shaving may be the easiest option, but keep in mind that it causes the most damage. It makes your skin prone to ingrowth, darkening, and irritation, and your hair grows back very quickly. The process cuts the hair at the skin’s surface—trimming the hair to deliver a silky-smooth finish.

Meanwhile, waxing completely removes the root and follicle of the hair. This requires the hair to regrow from scratch. But shaving does have a set of perks—it’s time-saving, and absolutely painless. Waxing is a good option because it helps remove unwanted hair, and is effective as it removes hair by lifting them by their roots. It leaves your skin smooth and soft, and the results last for up to 3 to 4 weeks. Once you start waxing regularly (removing shaving from your regimen), your hair growth gets thinner—making for a far less painful experience thereafter.

You Might Benefit From These Post-Waxing Tips

According to Kanchan, you must keep in mind a couple of post-waxing tips, “Avoid exfoliating too soon after a session. Avoid wearing tight clothes for the first 48 hours [after waxing] as they can encourage breakouts and ingrowth. Avoid working out, gymming, swimming, and sunbathing. Avoid touching or scratching the area.”

She continues, “When it comes to your post-wax outfit, make sure to change into a soft cotton-brief and loose clothes for the rest of the day. I suggest clients skip their fitness-routine and any activities that can lead to friction, irritation, sweat, and bacteria for a minimum of 48 hours following waxing. Stay away from direct sunlight as sun-sensitivity can result in dark spots. Avoid hitting the gym since the skin will be a little inflamed and sensitive—sweat from working out can transfer bacteria into lesions that are left behind from waxing. If bacteria gets into these lesions, you put yourself at risk of developing folliculitis and pimples. It’s best to wait 24 to 48 hours post-wax before indulging in a hot shower; but if you do decide to shower before that time, use lukewarm water, and skip a steam-bath or sauna. Hydration is also key—especially in winter when your hair is dry, and prone to breakage while waxing. Moisturising after waxing will help keep your skin hydrated, soft and glowing.”

“Don’t apply talcum-powder right after waxing as it might clog your pores, and cause ingrowth. Aloe Vera gel will help soothe the sensitivity. You can use it as a mask post-waxing. A body-lotion or body-butter helps hydrate and moisturise the skin. For best results, keep the waxed area clean and clear of harsh chemicals and fragrances. Use an oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturiser, and gently apply it to the skin. Wear loose clothes after your waxing session. If you don’t want to run the risk of burns and scarring, do not expose yourself to the sun for at least 48 hours post-waxing. Do not schedule a chemical-peel appointment as waxing has already removed the superficial layer of skin cells.”

And that’s it on Brazilian waxing. Remember that you don’t have to go through with this process—or even have to go hairless down there. Your body hair is absolutely natural, and removing it or not is a personal choice.

Featured Image: Pexels

20 May 2022

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