Everything to know before getting your first Brazilian wax

Much like your first piercing or your first bra, your first Brazilian wax is a memorable milestone (how could you forget something so awkward and painful?). However, while the internet is filled with first Brazilian wax horror stories that will surely make you squirm, this beauty writer decided to take it amongst herself to wax it all off. After all, I survived my first bikini wax last year, so it couldn’t be that bad, right?

Since pain during a Brazilian wax is basically inevitable, there are a couple of things to do to help minimize the anguish and keep you as comfortable as possible. Prior to my appointment, I talked with Melanie Coba, a waxing expert at European Wax Center, who gave me tips on how to prepare for my wax. Below, Coba’s advice for anyone thinking of getting a Brazilian wax.

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1Avoid shaving

“My most crucial tip is to avoid shaving before your Brazilian,” Coba tells HelloGiggles. She says that in order to make your experience as comfortable as possible, you have to make sure your hair is long enough (about the length of a grain of rice is just right). Too long is always better than too short, she added, since your wax specialist can easily trim the hairs if needed.

2Schedule it after your period

Make sure to schedule your appointment after your period, since waxing before and during menstruation can amplify the pain.

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3Exfoliate in the shower

Another helpful piece of pre-wax advice from Coba is to exfoliate and moisturize. Dry hair and dry skin make it easier for your hair to break when removed, she explained, rather than being pulled out from the root. To get the smoothest, longest-lasting results, your skin and hair should be healthy and moisture-rich.

Using some coconut oil and an exfoliating Dove Body Wash (plus a loofah) worked well for me, but of course, feel free to use your favorite products. You’ll also want to wear loose, comfortable clothes too, as your under-area can be a bit sensitive post-waxing.

4Yes, there will be pain

Now I won’t lie to you, Brazilian waxes can be pretty excruciating the first time around. However, your waxing specialist will move pretty quickly and be willing to take breathing breaks if you need them. For me, the most painful area was the lower thighs, which my specialist waxed as I held an awkward butterfly pose.

However, that’s not to say it gets more comfortable once you lift your knees and legs in the air so your waxing specialist can get all those butt hairs you wouldn’t be able to get with a razor. This part is probably the least painful of your entire wax, but I still managed to drop a few F-bombs each time she stripped the hot wax from my skin.

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5The more you do it, the better

Yes, your first Brazilian is painful, but Coba assured me that it prepares you for future waxes. The second time is more comfortable, she says, and the results are smoother and last longer.

Should you get a Brazilian wax?

We want to stress that body hair is a matter of personal taste, and it’s up to each individual whether they want to be happily hairy or go fur-free. But if you’re in the latter group, I recommended giving a Brazilian wax a try. Not only does it remove everything, but it’s longer-lasting than shaving, with results lasting around three to four weeks.

Post-wax tips to remember

Coba listed a few Brazilian wax dos and don’ts to keep in mind. First and foremost, she recommends keeping a waxing schedule because waxing irregularly can make the hair is more susceptible to breaking under the surface of the skin, which can cause ingrown hairs. Exfoliating and moisturizing regularly also make for better results.

Coba suggested avoiding tweezing ingrown hairs between waxing services, no matter how tempting it may be. This usually does more harm than good, she explained, as guests often tear their skin up trying to get the hair out, creating scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Similarly, you won’t want to take a hot shower, exercise, wear tight and sweaty clothes, or have sex right after your Brazilian wax if you are a waxing newbie, since your skin may be very sensitive post-waxing.

And while it may be tempting to tempting to take future Brazilian waxes into your own hands, Coba strongly warned against the DIY approach, which can cause ingrown hairs, bruising, burning, and stuck-on wax. It’s always best to stick to a professional who knows exactly what they are doing.