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Guide to the Brazilian wax job
This bikini area wax treatment originated in Brazil for women who wanted to wear a bikini thong. This hair removal technique gained huge popularity in the late 1990s, partly through celebrity endorsement, and is now used by both sexes worldwide.
The method removes all the hairs around the genitals (front and rear), so it differs radically from the more common bikini wax that only treats the pubic hairs from inside the bikini line. Sometimes a small 'landing strip' (for females) or small triangle of hair (for males) is retained at the front of the pubic area.
Other terms are used interchangeably with Brazil waxing such as a 'Hollywood' and a 'Sphynx'. Hollywood and Sphynx are methods that remove all of the hair, whereas a Brazilian is sometimes only used to refer to a partial removal, leaving a small 'landing strip'. For the purpose of this website we will use the term 'Brazilian waxing' to describe a treatment for the full or partial hair removal from the bikini or pubic area.
Genital or bikini line hair removal by wax has been a common practice in many cultures around the world for centuries, including Arabic regions such as Egypt, Turkey and the great Mediterranean societies of Greece and Rome. Reasons for its popularity then were hygiene and religious norms. The waxes used were often based on sugar and lemon; however current versions include various oils and scents to lessen the discomfort.
Waxing the genital area completely is fairly new to modern Western cultures. It was virtually unheard of to wax or even shave the pubic area before the 1960s in Western societies. The name may have changed but very little has changed in the practice over recent millenia.
Full body waxing, including the genitals and buttocks, has been popular in the homosexual community for some time. It is also practiced by heterosexual males as well, especially in the bodybuilding and fitness community. Men will often leave a triangle-shaped patch of hair above the penis as this area can be exceptionally sensitive to irritation. The male version is sometimes referred to as the 'Boyzilian' or 'eBodyWax' (Entire Body Wax).
To begin a Brazilian session, talcum powder or oil is spread on the skin around the treatment area in order to prevent the wax sticking to the skin. Like any waxing treatment, a soft hot wax is applied to the area and then a cloth is pressed on top. Once the wax has hardened the cloth is pulled away, removing the hair and dead skin cells with it.
The process continues, moving from the genital area to the buttocks and anus. Because pubic hair is more course than normal hair, beeswax is often used as it grips the hairs better. Any stray hairs that are not removed by the cloth are plucked out using tweezers.
The treatment can be extremely painful for some. US actress Lisa Barbuscia said of her first experience of getting a Brazilian: "It was so painful I collapsed. I only fainted, but I was nearly carted off to hospital and I have vowed never to try it again." However, the treatment's growing popularity indicates that such experiences are not the norm. The more experienced practitioners will know how to minimise the discomfort by not over-waxing one area and pulling the cloth in the correct direction.
They will also be more sympathetic to your situation as many patients find the personal nature of a full Brazilian bikini waxing treatment quite embarrassing, as they have to disrobe and expose themselves to the practitioner. However, patients that overcome the embarrassment and have the treatment are typically very pleased with the final results.
For females, the ideal time to have a treatment is about a week after the menstrual period. Sessions before and during a menstrual period should be avoided as the skin is at its most sensitive at this time.
Once the pubic or bikini area has been treated, many patients use a hair inhibitor cream to keep the hairs at bay. As a rough guide, patients typically return for further Brazilian wax jobs every 2 months or so.
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