Does the thought of having a Brazilian or Hollywood bikini wax make you break out into a cold sweat? It can be a scary prospect whether you’re a waxing virgin or just making the leap from a standard bikini wax to a more intimate one. Will it hurt? Will it be embarrassing? What should I wear?
All these questions are very common, and in this two part blog post, I’ll be explaining how best to prepare for an intimate wax, what will happen during the treatment and finally how to get the best results from a treatment.
Not sure what a Brazilian or Hollywood actually is?
See this handy graphic from Lycon Wax (in my opinion the highest quality wax on the market and the only one I use for intimate waxing).
You can click on the picture to enlarge it, and as you can see there are all manner of shape and sizes for a bikini wax! Be sure to check whether an intimate wax also includes between the buttocks as well, or if this is an additional treatment that needs to be booked separately (at Moon and Stars Beauty Therapy it is included as standard whatever your choice of intimate wax).
Hot wax and warm (or strip) wax are quite different. Hot wax is applied to the skin in a thick layer. The wax shrink wraps around the hair and is ‘flicked’ off without the use of a cotton or fabric strip.
Lycon hot wax melts at a much lower temperature than most other hot waxes. It is my belief that it is the heat (as much as the removal of hair itself) that causes redness, sensitivity and discomfort during a waxing treatment.
Strip or warm wax is applied to hair that is finer or where the skin is generally thicker e.g. legs. It is applied using a spatula or roller in a thin layer and is removed using paper or cloth strips.
Preparation for an Brazilian or Hollywood waxing treatment
I always recommend that my clients don’t have their very first intimate wax right before a holiday or a big event. Have a trial run, much as you would do with wedding make up for example. This will give you time to see how your skin and hair respond to the treatment.
It also allows most of you hair to be in the same stage of the growth cycle for your next treatment in 4 – 6 weeks, meaning you will get much longer before regrowth.
In fact it’s a good rule of thumb to always have an intimate wax one to two days before an event, even if you’ve been waxing for years. This gives your skin a chance to settle down.
The week before your appointment
For the 7 – 10 days leading up to a wax, exfoliate the area using a sugar scrub. If possible try and do this every other day in the week before your treatment. Exfoliating will remove any dead skin and help to ‘lift’ the hairs away from the epidermis (the top layer of skin), allowing them to be more easily picked up by the wax.
If you have been shaving, make sure not to shave for at least a week before your intimate wax and longer if possible. Hair should be ¼ – ½ inches long, but don’t worry if it’s longer as it can be trimmed by your therapist.
The day of your appointment
If possible it’s a good idea to bring a clean change of underwear, especially if you’re not going straight home afterwards. Open hair follicles are much more likely to become infected, and the first 24 hours after treatment are critical to avoid this happening.
Before your first treatment, you’ll be asked to fill in a thorough consultation form, so it’s a good idea to bring a list of any medications you are taking. You’d be surprised what can affect your skin’s sensitivity, so it’s best to be as honest as possible.
If you are a little nervous that your Brazilian or Hollywood wax will be uncomfortable, then it might be worth taking 1 – 2 paracetamol half an hour before treatment. If you know your skin is quite sensitive or reactive, another alternative would be to take an anti-histamine to reduce redness.
Also, avoiding caffeine for a few hours before your intimate wax can help reduce discomfort. Caffeine heightens nerve ending sensitivities, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to be doing before a hair removal session!
Does the time of the month make a difference? Sometimes. You’ll be most comfortable on the fertile days of your cycle as this is when your pain threshold is at its highest. It is absolutely fine to have a wax during your period, sometimes it is unavoidable. But it’s worth noting that some women find it more uncomfortable.
One final thing, it’s best to arrange to exercise or swim before your treatment as it should be avoided for 24 hours afterwards. Sweat and chlorine can both increase the likelihood of open follicles becoming infected, so if at all possible workout on the morning of your treatment.
If you’ve ever considered trying a Brazilian or Hollywood hot wax, please don’t let the fear of pain or embarrassment prevent you from trying it! Wax technology and techniques have been advanced and refined, and I can assure you it won’t be as bad as you think. In fact, you might even be persuaded to throw away your razors once and for all!
One word of warning, before I sign off. Please check your therapist has attended an advanced waxing course. As it currently stands in March 2016, Brazilian and Hollywood waxing is not currently part of the NVQ syllabus required to become a beauty therapist and requires further training to be carried out correctly and safely. It is a skilled treatment requiring a very different technique to warm waxing and should only be carried out by an appropriately qualified therapist.
Stay tuned for the second part of this article about intimate waxing. In it, I’ll explain exactly what happens during a treatment so there’ll be no surprises. I’ll also explain the most effective aftercare you’ll need to follow to get the most from your treatment.
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