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What's up with Brazilians?

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Brazilian waxing used to refer only to women's services, but these days there are a growing number of men who appreciate the benefits of a Brazilian, too. Among men, Brazilian waxing comes in second only to back waxing as the most commonly requested service. With only a few exceptions, everything I say here about women's waxing can be translated for men.

The term "Brazilian wax" has so many meanings from one region to another that it's hard to know what someone is really talking about when they say it. Waxers have even started giving their own names to the service. Some waxers refer to "French" or "Hollywood" style Brazilians, for example. To tell you the truth, I get confused myself and I should know what they are talking about.

So, let's first get some of the terminology defined.

One thing everyone seems to agree on is that Brazilian waxing removes all the the hair from the genital area. For a woman this would be the hair on the labia, and for a man this would be the scrotum and penis.

Brazilian waxing also also includes removing hair from between the butt cheeks, which is quite easy and relatively painless to remove. I have heard random stories of waxers charging extra for this. I don't think it's right to charge extra because it should be part of the basic Brazilian hair removal process. Why would anyone want to keep the hair between their butt cheeks if the rest of the area is bare?

Even with all the regional variations of the term, the one thing we can agree on is that a Brazilian wax removes the hair from the genitals and from between the butt cheeks. This is what sets a Brazilian apart from a bikini wax. A bikini wax basically takes away all of the hair from outside the elastic line of your underwear, while the Brazilian wax takes away hair from inside the elastic line.

brazilian waxingWhen you get a traditional bikini wax, taking off your underwear is not necessary because we are only removing hair outside of the underwear line. (That being said, don't wear your fancy underwear to your bikini waxing appointment. You don't want to ruin them if wax gets on them.)

Taking off your underwear is mandatory for getting a Brazilian because the hair we want to remove is underneath your underwear. We can't just push your underwear aside as we work. You need to be exposed.

Being exposed may seem awkward at first, but it passes quickly once the work gets started. You may be given a towel to cover yourself when you first lay down on the table. It will soon have to come off, but it helps you feel more relaxed as you get started.

Professional waxers are very comfortable with your nudity and will be very casual about it. Don't worry that they are judging you in any way. They aren't. They want to look at the direction your hair is growing, not your goodies.

how much does it hurt?

There is a great myth surrounding Brazilian waxing that it is so painful that people scream. Not true. That's something you see in comedy sketches and YouTube videos, but not what happens in the waxing studio. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt a little at the instant the hair is removed, but it is short-lived and fairly minor in the big scheme of things. If waxing is the biggest pain you ever experience, consider yourself lucky.

When an experienced waxer does the job it doesn't hurt that much. A good waxer will keep you talking throughout the entire appointment to distract you from the minor and temporary discomfort. Any pain you feel will only be momentary. By the time you put your clothes back on, you will feel completely normal.

but what if I don't want it ALL gone?

Originally, a Brazilian wax for a woman took away all of her pubic hair except for a thin rectangle in front on the abdomen that many call the "landing strip." As time passed, people started getting more adventurous and began taking way all the hair, even that in front. The porn industry did a lot to promote this look, and it's not a style that suits everyone.

Today our definition of a Brazilian wax is a bit of a hybrid. It can mean either taking 100% of the hair away, or leaving some of the hair in front in a variety of shapes. It always means taking away all the hair between the legs, however.

About 70% of the requests for Brazilians are for all the hair to be removed, and the rest are for some hair in front to remain. There are many variations of how much hair is left behind, and that's where the different names start coming in.

The "modified" Brazilian wax is becoming increasingly popular for both men and women. Many people like the clean feeiing between their legs, but don't like the full frontal look that taking away all the hair gives them. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as it is a personal style choice that each person must make.

your first lesson ~ be specific!

Your first lesson, then, is to be specific about what you want when you ask for a Brazilian. If you ask for a Brazilian wax and assume that you will retain a "landing strip" and then your waxer takes it all off, you may be disappointed. It will grow back, but it takes time. To grow back to full density, it can take up to 12 weeks.

If you tell a waxer that you want a "full Brazilian," most will assume that you want all the hair removed, including all the hair your abdomen. If you tell a waxer that you want a "partial" or "modified" Brazilian, most will assume you want some of the hair on the abdomen left behind and they will ask you what hair you want to keep.

How much hair you leave behind and what shape it's in is totally up to you. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Some women are more comfortable with their frontal view if they aren't completely exposed, so they keep a patch of hair on their abdomen that extends down to where the labia begin, and then everything else is removed. This gives them all the hygienic properties of a Brazilian without the complete nudity look.

modified brazilian options

The most common shapes for the pubic hair that women leave behind are a rectangular "landing strip" or a triangular delta. The size and shape of this area is determined by your preference, your hair growth patterns and your body shape. Some people just naturally look better with one shape over another.

If you want something fancy, hearts are fairly easy to carve into the remaining hair, which is fun at Valentines Day. Lightning bolts, teardrops and other designs can sometimes be done by expert waxers. But there are definitely limitations to how much carving you can do in pubic hair and still maintain a shape. Not everyone grows thick enough hair to support a carved design. Expect to pay more for fancy patterns because it definitely takes more time and skill than just waxing someone.

your second lesson ~ schedule the right appointment

And speaking of time, here's another tip -- don't make an appointment for a bikini wax when what you really want is a modified or partial Brazilian wax. It takes a lot more time to do a Brazilian wax, even a partial one, than it does to complete a bikini wax. Sometimes people will say bikini wax because they are trying to be discrete, but they have two very different time requirements. A busy waxer will have a hard time adjusting their schedule to switch a bikini wax to a Brazilian wax at the last minute. Be a smart consumer and use the right words when you make your appointment. You don't have to go into any more detail than, "I'd like to schedule for a partial (or modified) Brazilian."

advantages of a modified Brazilian

Getting a modified Brazilian has some definite advantages over getting a full Brazilian. The first advantage is that a modified Brazilian stays away from some of the most sensitive and difficult hair in that area. Hair on the lower abdomen, or the "pubic mound," is coarser, deeper and more difficult to remove than any of the hair on the genitals. Most people think it would be the opposite, and that the genitals would hurt more. But this is not the case. The most difficult and painful hair is usually not on the genitals but on the abdomen, just above the genitals. A modified Brazilian will usually leave the majority of this hair, thus eliminating the extra discomfort.

The second advantage of a modified Brazilian is that it reduces some of the opportunity for ingrown hairs and skin irritation. It is the area of the pubic mound where most people have trouble with ingrown hair and pimples. Not everyone has trouble with it ingrown hair, but for those who do it is always the pubic mound area where it happens. Ingrown hairs are virtually unheard of on the genitals, because it is a different kind of hair that grows there.

You can get a modified Brazilian that leaves almost all the hair in front (thus avoiding the extra pain and risk of inflammation) yet still takes away all the hair on the genitals. You will still get all the hygenic advantages of a Brazilian but you won't get the skin issues or discomfort associated with removing 100% of the hair. For many people, a modified Brazilian is a good way to start.

what about men?

Just like women, when a man gets a Brazilian wax he can also choose how much or how little hair remains. There are no "right" or "wrong" choices. It varies from one man to another. In my experience, what matters most to men is that all the hair is removed from the scrotum and base of the penis, along with everything between the butt cheeks.

For a man, the decision of whether to remove the hair from their abdomen or pubic mound will depend on how their stomach hair grows. If the stomach hair grows fairly vigorously down towards the pubic area, then it will look strange to suddenly have the hair disappear on the lower abdomen. It looks much more natural on this type of man to do a modified Brazilian and take away only the hair from the base of the penis and back. The remaining hair can be cleaned up around the edges, or it can be left natural.

When a man's stomach naturally has a fairly sparse growth of hair, then removing that 100% of the hair will probably look better than leaving it behind. In the end, it all depends on personal preference.

Men will sometimes also choose to have the hair removed from their glutes, or butt cheeks. Expect to pay a small extra charge for this service because the outer glutes are not considered part of the standard Brazilian. You should know that removing hair from the glutes and from between the cheeks is about the most pain-free area of the entire body for hair removal. Don't give it a second of worry.

The Brazilian is definitely a hands-on experience for men. The male client is usually responsible for helping to position his parts so the skin is stretched as tightly as possible. Waxers want the skin to be pulled as tight as possible, especially around the scrotum. The tighter your skin is, the less it will hurt.

Sometimes men are nervous because they are afraid they will get an erection. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens. A mature and experienced waxer won't be flustered at all and will work around it. We understand that this is an involuntary response, and do not interpret it as anything other than that.

Likewise, you should not entertain any ideas that there is anything sexual about getting waxed. Do not expect a "happy ending" to your Brazilian. Your waxer cares about your comfort, but not in that way. If you insinuate that you want one, you may get kicked out of the salon. A professional waxer is who you should be going to, and a professional doesn't do that. It would destroy their reputation.

what am I supposed to do?

For both women and men, you will be asked to raise your legs in positions that seem awkward at first. Your waxer needs you to do this so they can reach certain areas and keep the skin stretched as tightly as possible. Don't worry if you don't know what to do. Your waxer will give you instructions as they work. You can always ask, "Is there anything you want me to do to help keep the skin tight?" After all, it is in your best interest to keep the skin as tight as possible.

why do people do it?

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to get a Brazilian wax done. It helps control odors, it allows you to keep yourself cleaner after using the toilet, and it elminates friction against clothing. It is sometimes done to enhance the sexual experience, but more often it is done for yourself rather than for another person.

The beauty of a Brazilian wax for both women and men is how clean you feel down there. It is shocking, but nice. The quality of the skin down there is very good once the hair is removed. It definitely feels softer.

As the hair grows back, it feels soft and not stubbly. It also grows in much thinner after waxing. The first time you wax you should expect that a few hairs will start growing back as soon as two weeks. By four weeks there won't be as many hairs as what you started with, but they will be long enough that you will want to remove them again.

The process of removing hair becomes easier the more you do it. If you wax on a regular basis, which is usually about every 4 to 6 weeks, there will be less and less hair to remove and the process becomes quite easy. This is one area where you can just about guarantee that repeated waxing will result in less dense hair growth.

I would not recommend that you get a Brazilian wax just to make someone else happy. But if it makes YOU happy, then I'm all for it!

copyright 2014, JUDY ZIFKA, waxer extraordinaire


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Getting a Brazilian wax is much easier than you may think.


Don't believe those videos you have seen on YouTube where people are crying out in pain.


If that's how bad it hurt, we would never have any repeat business.


You will have no problems if you choose an experienced waxer.