brazilian wax vs. french wax

These Brazilian waxing tips will help you prepare your skin, take the pain factor down, get an idea of what to expect and minimize bumps and irritation afterwards. A lot of women opt for this service because they like the feeling of the entire bikini area being totally, or almost hair-free. While you need to be cautious any time you remove hair, because of its specialty nature, it should be treated with extra care.

Prep:

  • Timing. Your skin is often more sensitive the time near your your period, and waxing can be more painful than normal. So your appointment shouldn’t be any closer than a couple of days before or after your period.
  • Cleanliness. Shower and lightly exfoliate your entire bikini area right before your appointment using warm, not hot water. This helps to open the pores which makes hair removal easier and less painful.
  • Skip this step. Don’t use any lotions or oils in bikini area.
  • Length. You need some hair growth for the wax to hold onto, but not too long which can make the waxing hurt more than it needs to. For hair to successfully be removed by waxing, the rule of thumb is that the growth needs to be about ¼”. If it’s shorter than that the wax may not be able to grasp on the hair to remove it. But don’t think the longer the better. If it’s much longer than ¼” then you could risk other issues like missed hair, breakage and more pain. We recommend trimming to around ¼” the day of your appointment.

 

Pain preventers:

Dull the nerves

Prior to waxing apply something to numb the skin like No Scream Cream. Take an aspirin or ibuprofen about 30 – 45 minutes before your wax. This is especially helpful when getting waxed above the lip, chest, bikini and genital areas- which top the list as the most pain-provoking areas. Insider tip: handheld massagers can work wonders with numbing nerve endings and relieving tension in sensitive areas prior to waxing!

Reduce acidity

Smoking and regular caffeine and alcohol consumption creates a lot of acid in the body’s system. You might benefit from taking something like Tums 20 minutes before your service to reduce acidity and therefore reduce skin’s sensitivity.

Use a body scrub

While the skin on the face is generally exfoliated enough in terms of waxing, the body needs a little extra help. A somewhat gritty body scrub will help rid dead cells around skin pores and hair follicle, providing an easier exit. Made for use before waxing, try Relax and Wax Scrub Me Luscious Lemon Drop which won’t leave the skin greasy or oily and helps prevent ingrown hair.

Don’t apply astringent or toner

These tighten the pores and can make a firmer hold on the hair follicle. So hold off right before waxing.

Don’t use ice for numbing

You might think that ice would be great to numb skin and reduce waxing pain. But applying anything cold to the skin tightens pores. It’s the same principle as above, we want pores nice and relaxed.

Don’t drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol

While having a couple glass of wine or beer before getting waxed sounds like a great idea, stimulants in the system can cause skin to be extra sensitive to waxing. Give yourself a couple hours after drinking coffee or alcohol before getting waxed. Instead, drink a lot of water to hydrate your body and skin.

 

During:

Know exactly what you want. This service often removes hair from the behind and between your legs. Sometimes a strip of hair or triangle is left in the front. Don’t be afraid to communicate exactly how much hair you want gone and remain to your technician. Remember, you can always create your own. See Bikini Wax Styles.
Be prepared. If you’ve never had this service, you may not know that you might be asked to help. There are many bikini waxing techniques an Esthetician may use for your service. Most will ask you to assist and some will ask you to move around. An Esthetician may have their own style of doing things. So don’t be shocked if the service varies a bit as long as it’s sanitary, you’re comfortable, they’re professional and the hair is removed without any adverse side effects. Here are a few things that may happen during your service:

You may be enlisted for help. Don’t be alarmed if you’re asked to place your hand in the bikini zone to hold the skin as the Esthetician holds the opposite area to ensure it’s taut. It’s a very common practice and simply allows the wax to be pulled off correctly.

Reason: If the skin is not taut, there’s a greater chance of pain, bruising, breaking off hair, irritation, and even removing skin.

You may be asked to move into different positions. Depending on what type of bikini wax you’re having, ‘Bend legs up’ or ‘Bend legs out’ may be a request. For a Brazilian or any bikini wax where they’re removing alot of hair, you may even be asked to get on your hands and knees or do various yoga style postures.

Reason: So you’re comfortable as possible and your Esthetician can get into those hard to reach areas without having you bend into a pretzel.

Small areas are removed. Your Esthetician may be working in somewhat small strips. And you’re probably screaming in your head ‘Do it faster or at least take bigger sections’. Unlike the legs and arms, the bikini area is very delicate and the hair can grow many different ways. It seems like we’re torturing you but we’re not. If you stick with it the pain will become less and less with each waxing.

Reason: The hair needs to be removed against the hair growth to be uplifted from the root. Working in smaller sections, especially when removing a lot or most of the bikini hair, allows the Esthetician to change directions as needed and obtain the best possible results.

Multiple waxes might be used. You might see a line-up of waxes all heated up and used during the same service. Some use soft wax for certain areas and hard in others.

Reason: Most of time each wax is chosen for a particular reason. Sometimes the Esthetician has a preference, but there are specific areas in the bikini zone that require the use of a certain wax.

Hard wax might be used alot. Hard wax, also called stripless wax, is used at a lower temperature than soft or strip wax. It hardens on the skin, shrink wraps the hair and is pulled off with the fingers, using the help of a special tab or another hard wax strip that has been removed from your body.

Reasons: Hard wax is especially made for removing coarse hair in small sections. Missing a few hairs on the first pull is common because of the frequent changes in the direction of hair growth. Unless the skin is extremely sensitive, hard wax can technically be used over the same area twice without causing the damage (overly red, removed skin) that a hotter soft wax might. Since the hard wax does not require a muslin or pellon strip to remove it, it’s easier to see where the wax was placed and how it will come off.

It’s not the same wax as last time. You might also remember a red colored wax used for the majority of the service on your last visit and now it’s green. And to come to think of it- this wax smells different too.

Reason: The beauty industry is always coming out with new products, including wax. Often they’re based off a certain ingredient, like aloe or cherry and have somewhat different properties. Therefore, it may be a different color and scent.

Keep in mind that there are many techniques that Esthetician use to remove unwanted hair. Do not be shocked if each Esthetician (even at the same salon or spa) does things a little bit different. If you do not like something that’s being done, please tell them. If you have great communication, the hair removal will go smoothly. No pun intended.

 

 

Post Care:

  • Watch your fashion choices. Don’t wear tight pants or panties for the next few days.
  • Hands off. Keep hands away from touching freshly waxed skin, as this can encourage irritation or small pimples
  • Opt for a shower. Don’t take a hot bath for the rest of the day.
  • Too hot. No tanning beds, saunas or steam rooms for the next two days.
  • Exfoliate. Two full days later, if there isn’t any redness use a mild exfoliator. This helps prevent ingrown hair. Our pick, an Ayate washcloth, gently exfoliates skin alone wet, or can be used with your favorite body wash, but is more mold-resistant than loofahs.
  • Fight the bumps. If you get any ingrown hairs try Tend Skin, a huge favorite for getting rid of pesky ingrowns.