What To Know About Getting a Full Brazilian Wax

Here's what to know and how to ask for the style you want.

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First things first: There's no shame in having pubic hair. It's natural and protects your genitals.

Long lists of waxing, shaving, exfoliating, and bleaching services may convey that you need to remove or hide your pubic hair. But grooming yourself down there should be about choosing a style that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

For some women, that means getting a full Brazilian wax. But what does this popular service entail? Read on to learn more.

About the Full Brazilian Wax

While a bikini wax involves removing hair along your underwear line, a full Brazilian wax removes all pubic hair from your entire pubic area, including the perineum—the area between the vulva or scrotum and the anus.

You can also choose to leave a triangle or strip of hair along your pubic bone, although that's not technically a full Brazilian. (Or, you could forgo it altogether and try another method.)

How To Prepare for Your Appointment

Before making an appointment, do your research. It's best to choose a salon or spa that does not "double dip." This means estheticians use a new wooden stick each time they apply the hot wax to your skin (instead of re-dipping the same wooden stick throughout your appointment, which is unsanitary).

Aim to grow pubic hair to between 1/4 inch and 3/4 inch long before your first Brazilian. If you're worried about potential pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever 30 minutes before your appointment.

During Your Appointment

When you get to your appointment, you'll go to a private room or area. You'll remove your underwear and lie on a table. Yes, you may feel awkward, but a great esthetician will make you feel as comfortable as possible.

If you feel embarrassed, remind yourself estheticians do this professionally, and they're there to help you get the look you want, not judge you.

Estheticians will first gently clean your pubic area. They may apply oil or powder to better prep the skin for wax. Then, they will apply hot wax in small strips with a wooden stick. They'll place paper or cloth on each strip of wax that they then pull (quickly!) to remove your hair.

Yes, it will likely hurt. Of course, we all have different pain thresholds, but you should prepare yourself for at least some discomfort.

After removing most of your pubic hair, the esthetician will use tweezers to pluck any remaining hairs. The last step is soothing the area with serum, oil, or cream. Products used in this step are usually specific to the spa or salon.

Your skin may look red and irritated shortly after waxing. Your esthetician should send you home with after-care instructions. Avoid taking a hot shower or bath right after, wear loose clothing and apply moisturizer after waxing.

Are Brazilian Waxes Healthy?

You may like how a full Brazilian wax looks and feels, but understanding why we have pubic hair could help you make educated grooming decisions.

Body hair has a (false) reputation for being unhygienic, but that is an untrue and harmful claim. There is no medical or hygienic reason to remove pubic hair.

"We have pubic hair for a reason," said Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. "It acts as a shield against bacteria, allergens, and other unwanted pathogens."

Stripping away that natural barrier puts you at higher risk of irritation or infection in the vaginal area, Dr. Bowe explained.

What if You Don't Want a Full Brazilian Wax?

What other options do you have if you don't want to remove all of your hair?

You could leave a small triangle of hair instead of removing every single strand. Commonly known as the "triangle trim," this style can maintain pubic hair while keeping your bikini line hair-free.

Pubic Hair Grooming Tips

Follow these grooming tips to make your experience as quick, safe, and painless as possible.

Between Waxes

"Over-waxing can destroy the hair canal, leading to permanent ingrown [hairs]," Dr. Bowe said. Aim to go six weeks between waxes. You can do grooming maintenance in between by shaving. Try an electric razor that combines a hair trimmer and razor in one tiny gadget.

How To Get a Smooth Shave

Stand while you trim to reduce injury, and don't share your grooming tools. That could spread germs.

Run the razor toward hair growth for the closest cut, then against. Stubble will grow in much thinner with this back-and-forth technique. Make sure to rinse the razor after every pass so hairs do not remain stuck between its blades.

How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs and Bumps

If you're prone to ingrown hairs, reach for pads or products with salicylic acid two days after waxing or shaving (but use them too soon, and you may feel your still-sensitive skin start to burn). These gently exfoliate, allowing hair to grow back free of dead skin cells and dirt, so it doesn't loop back on itself and create painful bumps.

Wash Wisely

One of the biggest mistakes people make is over-washing the vaginal area.

Too much scrubbing and using too many products can irritate delicate skin and lead to infection. Your skin may be sensitive after a wax or shave.

Note that the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so you don't need to wash it inside.

However, it's recommended that you wash your vulva daily with a gentle, hypoallergenic liquid and avoid bar soaps, which can be too harsh. Change your underwear daily to avoid infection.

A Quick Review

It's entirely up to you how and if you groom your pubic hair. A full Brazilian wax may or may not be suitable for you, but there's no medical reason to remove pubic hair. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your pubic region's health.

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3 Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 7 ways to prevent injuries while trimming pubic hair.

  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vulvovaginal health.

  3. Chen Y, Bruning E, Rubino J, Eder SE. Role of female intimate hygiene in vulvovaginal health: Global hygiene practices and product usageWomens Health (Lond Engl). 2017;13(3):58-67. doi: 10.1177/1745505717731011

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