May 11, 2018 10:10 am
E! Online

I hate having hair on my vagina. In the winter, having hair down there doesn’t bother me. However, I love traveling and being active outside when it’s warm out, and pubic hair doesn’t fit into that equation. Although I did my share of research on Brazilian waxes, I was never convinced that someone ripping the hair out of my vagina was worth it. I decided to stick with shaving because it was easy, cost-efficient, and relatively pain-free (with the exception of razor bumps and ingrown hairs that I learned to combat over the years).

According to some of my friends who religiously got waxes, a Brazilian wax would pretty much tackle all of my chief complaints about shaving. They claimed there would be a longer grow-pack period and an absence of itchy discomfort compared to what you get after a razor session.

My experience:

When a new European Wax Center opened up in my area offering discounted waxes I finally took the plunge and scheduled my first Brazilian. Lo and behold it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. As far as pain goes, it’s definitely no walk in the park but it isn’t unbearable. In my opinion, getting my eyebrows threaded is a much more annoying experience than getting a Brazilian. Of course, it all depends on an individual’s pain threshold.

European Wax Center uses hard wax which is a lot more gentle on the skin when removing the hair compared to other waxes. The waxer also immediately places her hand on the area where the hair is removed which helps to calm down the skin from the sensation of removing the hair. Though it was kind of awkward having a stranger down there going to town, typically your waxer makes random conversation with you to get your mind off of it. Just like that, in 20 to 30 minutes you’re fuzz-free and ready to go your merry way.

The recommended time between waxes is four to six weeks depending on how fast your hair grows back. I didn’t see much growth until the middle of the fourth week following my first wax. I scheduled my second wax on the fifth week after my first initial wax. My hair grew in very thin during the five weeks after having my first wax so the second wax was actually a breeze. Essentially, keeping up with your waxes helps the hair to grow back much thinner over time and makes the waxing more bearable.

The first time around I made sure to be very delicate down there to make sure no irritation or any sort occurred. However after my second session I made a terrible mistake hours later by having sex. I immediately began getting terrible irritation bumps, redness, and sensitivity on my vulva that I only made worse by applying all types of things (i.e., creams, scrubs and serums) on the already-sensitive area thinking they would lessen the pain.

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I learned a big lesson — friction and a fresh wax are a recipe for disaster, along with some other culprits of post-Brazilian irritation such as taking bathes, working out, exfoliating, wearing tight-fitting clothes and pretty much everything that doesn’t allow your sensitive vagina to breathe.

There are things I wish I would’ve known before getting my first wax. Thankfully, UK-based wax expert Kim Lawless, aka”The Wax Queen,” talked to HelloGiggles about post-wax aftercare and things to avoid:

To help you on your journey if you’ve never gotten a Brazilian wax, here are some post-wax no-nos.

1As mentioned before, you’ll want to refrain from having sex after a wax.

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For my first time getting a Brazilian wax, I avoided sex like the plague. But having sex a couple of hours after my second wax left me with irritation bumps and ingrown hairs for weeks to come. Thank god the weather was decent outside because the only way I could get through the pain was by wearing loose-fitting maxi dresses. Don’t make the silly mistake that I did.

According to wax expert and esthetician Rena Rubin of Haven Spa in NYC:

After getting a fresh wax, your precious flower is delicate. Any unnecessary friction may lead to bumps from the irritation. You should wait at least 24 hours before having sex after a wax.

2Taking a bath can cause infections.

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I personally don’t take baths often — my preferred method of washing is long hot showers (another no-no that I’ll get to). However, Rena says there is a specific reason why we should avoid being submerged in water after a wax:

Rena adds, “Hot temperatures can make already-sensitive skin more sensitive.” The same may apply to public pools and beaches. As fresh as you may feel, you are more susceptible to infections post-wax. Avoid pools, beaches, and being submerged in water for a few days following your wax.

3Don’t have an intense workout right after.

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According to Rena, the salt present in your sweat may irritate freshly-waxed skin and lead to infection. Waxing your vagina may actually be a good excuse to take a day or two off from the gym. The friction and sweat from working out, especially from doing cardio exercises such as running and cycling, may cause too much unwanted friction on your vagina.

4Avoid exfoliating.

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Pre-wax exfoliating is your best friend. It makes helps keep ingrown hairs at bay and makes waxing an overall more tolerable experience. On the contrary, exfoliating after a wax, specifically with grainy scrubs, may irritate the sensitive skin. Rena explains, “Honey wax exfoliates the skin on its own, so extra exfoliation could irritate the skin leading to small irritation bumps present on the vulva.”

5Try to not overheat.

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Heat will simply aggravate the skin. As mentioned before, avoid hot showers, saunas, and excessively hot environments in general. Your vagina will thank you in the long run. Hot temperatures near your kitty will cause irritation.

6Stay away from artificial fragrances and colored soaps, lotions, and sprays.

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I am also guilty of doing this. I don’t think the irritation that I experienced was directly related to soaps but it definitely didn’t help at all. According to Rena, these should be used sparingly regardless. However, when your vagina is freshly-waxed you have to be extra mindful of these products. Avoid these irritants by all means.

7Avoid wearing tight clothes.

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If you haven’t picked it up yet, friction is not your friend after a wax. Rena tells us, “Tight-fitting garments don’t allow the skin to breathe or to heal after waxing.” Aim to wear loosely-fitting clothing such as maxi dresses and loose pants (think loose cotton joggers or harem pants). You may also consider ditching underwear for a few days.

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Getting a Brazilian has been life-changing for me. However, I learned the hard way that aftercare is the most important part. Enjoy being bare, but make sure proper aftercare is on your radar.