What Is Brazilian Waxing?

by Barbie Carpenter

Hot melted wax and applicators.

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Brazilian waxing uses a hot wax to remove your pubic hair. While most Brazilian waxes result in the complete removal of your hair, some women opt to keep a narrow strip of hair down the center. When scheduling a Brazilian wax, choose a well-sanitized salon, and ensure your waxer wears gloves.

Brazilian Wax Basics

A Brazilian wax offers longer-lasting pubic hair removal. Many women opt for Brazilian waxes in lieu of shaving their bikini area to avoid cuts, nicks and razor burn. Plus, since waxing removes the hair from the root, it does not grow back as quickly, when compared to shaving.

During a Brazilian wax, an aesthetician will apply hot wax, using a wooden spatula, to your pubic hair. Then she will use a cloth to remove the wax and your hair. Once the waxing is complete, stray hairs may be eliminated with a tweezer.

What to Expect

Getting a Brazilian wax might create some anxiety, especially if you're going for your first wax. Knowing what to expect can ease your fears.

  • Be prepared to go bare. You will have to undress completely from the waist down for the aesthetician to remove your hair.
  • Expect some discomfort. Hot wax on such a sensitive area isn't going to always be removed comfortably, so expect a short, stinging sensation as each cloth strip is removed.
  • Prepare for a slight reaction. Your skin may be red and even slightly swollen after a Brazilian wax, which is normal.

Tips and Tricks

Maximize the success of your Brazilian wax with these tips.

  • Don't trim your hair. Your hair needs to be at least a quarter-inch long for a Brazilian wax, so avoid trimming or shaving for a few weeks before your appointment.
  • Take a pain reliever before your appointment. A pain reliever can help dull the discomfort associated with a Brazilian wax. Take it about an hour before your appointment.
  • Be gentle on the area. Avoid tight clothing and wash the area gently with soap and warm, but not hot, water in the days following your waxing.

Brazilian or Bikini?

While similar in how they are performed, Brazilian waxes and bikini waxes differ in the amount of hair removed. Bikini waxes remove hair that can be seen outside your underwear or bikini bottoms -- that is, the hair along your bikini line.

As a result, bikini waxes remove less hair than Brazilian waxes. A bikini wax may be a preferred option for the modest, as you can wear a pair of disposable underwear during a bikini wax.

Photo Credits

  • Pierphotographer/iStock/Getty Images

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.