I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
A few weeks ago, with my 24th birthday rapidly approaching, I decided it was time to book my very first Brazilian wax.
I’m not a big fan of the totally hairless look, but in the summer I get really itchy and bothered (especially when I'm biking) if I let things grow out in that area. So I figured, why not?
After a bit of research, I got an appointment at Saul’s Beauty Shop, a new spa near my house. Petrochemical- and SLS-free, this little shop carries some of my favorite cruelty-free brands, like Whish and Pacifica, and the website is pretty awesome and unpretentious.
I selected the “I’m Scared” Brazilian, which is specially tailored for Brazilian wax virgins like me, as well as those who are super sensitive to pain. It's $60, but they give you more time (in case you need breaks to cry and such), more hard wax (less painful than strip wax), and a text 45 minutes before the appointment to remind you to take Advil. The waxer also trims the hair to about the length of a grain of rice--this, in combination with Whish Prelude Serum, which has a numbing effect, makes the removal process less painful.
I was told to avoid booking a week before or after my period, as I’d be more sensitive, or on a hot day, which is sort of impossible during a Toronto summer. As far as prep goes, there really wasn’t much I could do other than talk to my girlfriends and try not to get too anxious. “It’s so painful you will want to leave your body,” one friend told me. Yeah, that sounds awesome.
After a week of dread and anticipation, my imagination was running wild. I once tried to wax down there myself and couldn’t even bare to pull the strip off, so how could I handle an all-over waxing situation?
Thankfully, the staff at Saul’s was insanely friendly, and my waxer Nikki turned out to be the sweetest, cutest girl with tattoos and hot pink lipstick. She told me which areas hurt most (the top “bush” area, where hair is more thick and coarse from shaving), which areas hurt the least (the backside area, surprisingly), and what to expect during and after.
Then she got to work, putting me in various positions, applying, and ripping. There were a few times when I let out a sort of “arghmmgmmg” sound, but for the most part it was pretty easy, and not nearly as painful as I'd imagined.
After the bending, spreading, and yanking was over, I was given strict after-care instructions. No working out or sweating if I could help it, no hot baths or showers, and no tight clothing that doesn’t breathe (leather shorts, for example). The main thing is to try not to sweat, because perspiration is acidic and can increase irritation and the chances of ingrowns and breakouts. I was also told to use my Whish Flawless Serum if any ingrowns or rashes popped up, and Shave Savour to moisturize and slow regrowth.
Overall, the experience changed my terrified mind about bikini area waxing. The pain was bad, but not unbearable, and I’m pretty excited to see my hairs grow in lighter and thinner instead of all itchy and gross like they do when I shave. I was disappointed at how red and bumpy my skin was for a few days afterward, but I was assured that this happens the worst your first time. I might just have to become a regular!
Have you ever had a Brazilian wax? What products do you use to maintain between appointments?