Beauty Diaries: I got a Brazilian wax for the very first time—here’s what it’s really like
What does a Brazilian wax actually feel like? Senior Beauty Writer Red walks you through what to expect in this month’s Beauty Diaries column.
To wax or not to wax? That is the question. Or, rather, the real question is: Is it worth waxing? Does the allure of a hairless groin outweigh the pain it’ll take to achieve it? I, Red the Senior Beauty Writer at BURO, am here to answer those questions in the only way I know how—by trial.
Indeed, I went and booked myself in for a Brazilian wax at Lyla Beauty Salon on Jalan U-Thant to see what all the fuss was about. Now, as a general rule, I’m pretty lazy with my body hair. I tend to just let it grow out because, frankly, I don’t have the time or the patience to keep myself hairless. That said, I’ve trimmed my nethers for swimsuit season and both waxed and epilated my body in the past, but I’ve never waxed my pubic area before. Needless to say, getting my very first Brazilian was going to be an interesting experience.
For my session, I actually got a full body wax, with the Brazilian being the last thing on the agenda. I’ll say it—the anticipation nearly killed me. In terms of pain tolerance, I’d say mine is pretty high. That said, it has been a fair few years since I’ve had any waxing or epilation done, so while waxing my armpits and upper lip was a breeze, my legs proved to be a little sorer than I’d expected. If I wasn’t nervous about the Brazilian before this point, I definitely was now.
Once the rest of my body was waxed and tweezed to perfection, my therapist then gently pulled my modesty cloth aside and got prepping. I expected it to feel like a trip to the gynaecologist, but I was wrong. I’d liken it more to feeling like a frog on a dissection table—legs splayed apart, helpless. It has to be said—I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the sensation of someone else trimming my pubes. Apparently, this part was very necessary, though, as the longer the hair, the worse the wax feels. Given that it had been a solid few months since my last trim, my therapist was really just doing me a favour.
Once the trimming was done and dusted, she then wiped down the area with a mild cleanser. Again, it’s not a sensation I can say I enjoyed per se, but I did appreciate her gentle touch. Now, onto the main event…
The main event
Let’s be real—this is what you’re here for. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Getting your snatch waxed for the first time sucks. Every time you think it can’t get worse, it somehow does. Moreover, once you think you’ve pinpointed the most painful spots to wax, your body will throw you a curveball.
For instance, after the first two passes, once on my mons pubis and once on the left labia, I had concluded that the mons pubis was hands-down the absolute winner over the labia pain-wise. As it turns out, however, as your session progresses, it all kind of blurs together in a cesspool of soreness, especially once your therapist starts going over the same patches again.
Overall, I’d say it’s definitely bearable, but if you’re particularly squeamish or averse to pain, I’d probably recommend shaving or trimming instead. Like, I wasn’t quite Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but I wasn’t exactly pacified throughout the process, either. All in all, I’d say my pained laughter singlehandedly ruined the ambience of the salon (sorry to anyone else who was there—I can only cope with pain using the power of a good giggle!).
To wrap up my session, my therapist treated me to a vulva mask—essentially, a sheet mask that soothed, softened, and brightened up my nethers. I actually really appreciated this step after the session. My skin was so irritated from all the waxing and the cold wet sheet provided so much immediate relief. It was also a nice way to wind down the fight-or-flight response that had surfaced during the session.
After it was over, she gave me a few guidelines for aftercare:
- Use loose, breathable clothes for the next few days
- Avoid the gym and any other sweaty activities for at least 24 hours post-wax
- Make sure to keep the area clean (but only use gentle, mild cleansers!)
- Avoid lotions (especially fragranced ones) for at least 24 hours while your skin settles
- Gently exfoliate the area around a week after your appointment to prevent ingrown hairs
- If you plan on returning for another wax, wait at least four to six weeks between appointments
So, what’s it like being smooth as a porpoise down there? Honestly, I feel like a prepubescent Barbie doll. It’s really weird. I do like that there’s nothing left to get caught on my underwear and the sticky side of my period pads, but I do find the look and the feeling very strange. Honestly, as a general, I think I prefer having a bush both aesthetically and practically.
That said, I’d do it again if I had to. It didn’t hurt enough to turn me off Brazilian waxes forever, but I do think it’s a lot of effort and unnecessary discomfort for a result that I’m not particularly fussed about.
I will say, however, that it’s important to go to a salon with well-trained staff. If Lyla Beauty Salon hadn’t been so comfortable and relaxed atmosphere-wise, and if my therapist hadn’t been so efficient, I can definitely see this experience being a lot worse than it was. Further, I have to reiterate that cleanliness is of the utmost importance when it comes to Brazilian waxes—my therapist was changing out the applicators after every single pass. There was no double dipping and thus no risk of infection, which is something you’ll definitely want to make sure of when you’re dealing with such an intimate area.
TL;DR: Here’s a little pros and cons list I’ve put together…
Pros of waxing:
- No itchy grown-out stubble
- Exfoliation and hair removal all in one
- Smooth canvas
- Longer-lasting results
- Ouchie (duh!)
- Redness and discomfort post-appointment
- Arguably more inconvenient than just trimming or shaving
- Potential for ingrown hairs without proper aftercare
- “Dude, where’s my bush?” — me, every day since getting waxed
There you have it—stay tuned for next month’s instalment, where I get laser hair removal for the first time!
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