Full Bikini vs. Brazilian

by Barbie Carpenter ; Updated September 28, 2017

Before your waxing appointment, decide how much hair you want to remove. A little beforehand research will help you determine whether a bikini or Brazilian wax is right for you. A Brazilian wax removes more hair -- and hair in more intimate areas -- than the full bikini wax.


  • Choose a clean salon that is staffed by licensed estheticians. Ensure the salon uses disposable sheets, disposable gloves and disposable sptaulas or sterilized metal ones. Your esthetician should never "double dip" into the wax and must use a disposable spatula for more than one wax application.

Full Bikini Wax

As its name implies, the bikini wax focuses on removing hair from those areas that are seen when you slip into a bathing suit. In essence, pubic hair is removed along the sides and top of the bikini area. A full bikini wax, also known as a deep bikini wax, removes more hair than your basic bikini wax. From the bikini line working inward, the esthetician will remove about 1 1/2 inches of hair on each side as well as at the top of your pubic hair line. Your technician may also remove some hair along the sides of the vaginal lips. The full bikini wax leaves pubic hair in the middle, just above your vagina, but eliminates hair on the sides and top.


  • If you're slipping into skimpy bikini bottoms or barely there panties, the full bikini wax ensures your hair is removed from all visible areas of skin.


A full bikini wax allows you to thoroughly remove hair that may be exposed along your bikini line, without having to bare all to your technician. You can usually keep your panties on during this wax, which makes it preferable for modest ladies. Plus, since full bikini waxes require less work, they are typically more efficient and less expensive than Brazilian waxes.

Brazilian Wax

The Brazilian wax picks up where the full bikini wax leaves off. In addition to removing hair along the sides and top of your bikini line, the Brazilian wax also includes hair removal in more intimate areas. All hair is removed from the front of the bikini area, the vaginal lips, labia and buttocks. Some women may choose to keep a thin strip of hair in the center, although many opt to go completely hairless during a Brazilian wax.


  • Make sure your hair is at least 1/4 inch long before scheduling a Brazilian wax. Your technician needs at least that much hair so that the wax sticks to the hair -- not your skin.


A Brazilian wax can give you confidence when you wear a bathing suit, as you don't have to worry about any unruly hairs peeking out from under your bikini bottoms. If a hair-free bikini area is your preference, a Brazilian wax can be supremely convenient, helping you avoid shaving for weeks at a time. Finally, you may enjoy the cleanliness that a hair-free bikini area brings, especially during your period.

Disadvantages to Waxing

Bikini area waxing -- both a full bikini wax and a Brazilian -- present a few concerns.

  • Skin tenderness: Immediately following a full bikini or Brazilian wax, your skin may be red, inflamed and tender for a couple of days.

  • Ingrown hairs: Freshly waxed skin exposes pores once covered by hair. These pores can get clogged, resulting in an uncomfortable ingrown hair.

  • Infection risks: Attending a poorly sterilized salon or using a technician who does not adhere to hygienic practices may lead to infection.


  • Irritation and itching may be signs of an infection, so see your doctor if these symptoms arise.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.