Let’s Talk Brazilian

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Article featured in Spa Life magazine.

Written by Annalisa Tavrou


What is it? To keep it simple, it’s the removal of all unwanted hair, front to back, in the pubic and bottom area. Some people like to leave a little “landing strip” or “goatee”, but generally it’s “ALL OFF”!

As the weather gets warmer, the need for waxing increases, so I feel it necessary to express my concern and experience with you before your next Brazilian wax.

Everyone would agree, removing your underwear to reveal your privates to a stranger is not an easy thing to do, let alone having them apply warm wax to the area to remove unwanted hair. This is why it is so important to find an environment in which you feel completely comfortable and a therapist that you know has the training and experience to provide a professional service.

During my 19 years of waxing I have certainly heard my fair share of stories, but have to admit they are getting far more frequent and horrifying. I cannot believe that some business owners put the wellbeing of their clients at risk in an unhygienic environment and in the hands of inexperienced therapists (sometimes hairdressers with no formal training in waxing whatsoever). I’ve had clients who have been prescribed courses of antibiotics to treat tearing of the skin and infections (yes, down there), clients who have been burnt and scarred, skin rashes and bruising, just to name a few. Waxing is a professional service which, if performed incorrectly, can cause all the above mentioned problems and more, not to mention the accompanying stress, discomfort and, in a few reported cases, hospitalisation!

When you call to make an appointment, make it mandatory to ask if the beautician or therapist is qualified, if they had any formal Brazilian training and how much experience they have had. Always ask if hot wax is used; if not, don’t bother. Strip wax is a cheap alternative and in my opinion, is not suitable for Brazilian waxing! Regardles of what the business or manufacturer claims, strip wax is sticky, it doesn’t retain heat to soften and open the hair follicle and does not dry hard, so when applied on thicker hair, such as pubic and underarms, it doesn’t get a good grip, resulting in breakage of the hair, sometimes under the skin surface, causing the hair to become ingrown. Because it’s sticky it also causes much more redness and pain as it pulls on the skin. Some people use strip wax just on the front of the pubic area and use hot wax on the remainder – again, in my opinion, a HUGE no-no!

Make sure the environment you enter is clean and comfortable, the beautician or therapist should provide you with sanitary wipes to freshen up, the waxing bed should be covered with clean disposable paper towel. I’ve heard many say they’ve been asked to lie on sticky unhygenic plastic, with no certainty of it having been sterilised or cleaned after the previous client. Always make sure the therapist is not double-dipping her wooden spatula after an application of wax (STRICTLY NO METAL SPATULAS!) A new wooden spatula should be used with each application. Don’t accept them telling you the heat of the wax in the pot kills all bacteria….NOT TRUE!

The therapist should make the whole experience as comfortble as possible. It is not necessary to have a client on all fours, or with their legs wrapped around their head like a contortionist, or with a spot lamp on the area, this is simply not necessary. If the therapist has the experience and correct training in performing a professional Brazillian wax. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re going for your routine pap smear!