Hamlet said it best “to wax or not to wax, that is the question?” Whether you overheard a conversation in the grocery line about the best Brazilian in town or societal standards have eaten their way into your mainstream and have you questioning the proper pruning of your pussy, we are here to give you more information on this age old question.
For many humans with vulvas, rocking a full bush is empowering. It is the most natural expression of our freedom. But believe it or not, this passive act has been scorned as an aberration of the angry feminist and a riot against the patriarchy. While shaving (in general) for women has ZERO biological benefits and is a result of conditioning by the patriarchy, some people prefer their pubic areas free of hair. So let’s get into it.
There are a number of different ways to wax, from the landing strip to full Hollywood. But the most popular styles are a bikini and Brazilian wax. In a bikini wax, any areas that would escape a bikini are cleared of hair. So this usually includes the crease between your vagina and thighs and also above your panty line and the path leading to your navel. If you want more fuller coverage, or lack thereof, the Brazilian is your jam.
The Brazilian bikini wax is one of the most painful experiences you have ever endured. Have you had an IUD put in? Torn your ACL? There are moments when it is on-par with that. (Note: the author has never given birth, which, based on television recreations, seems like it would surpass a bikini wax.) With a Brazilian, you are cleared of all hair from front to back. So get ready to roll over and spread them to get to the hard to reach places.
Remember, just like any other appointment where someone is attending to your body, you have all the say. If you want a little hair there, or less hair here, let your waxer know. They’ve seen and heard it all, so speak up and leave a lightning bolt if Hairy Potter is your vibe.
Ok, so you decided to go full Brazilian. The most painful areas come the closer you get to your vagina. Clearing the lips is...engaging, to say the least. Getting into your butt crack is typically done last and rarely hurts at all. Something important to remember for all of you commitment-hesitant people out there: Once the wax is applied, there is only one way to remove it. So prepare yourself accordingly.
Regardless of how much hair you decide to remove, if you do go to a waxer, there are a few things you will want to know. First, how long have they been working for? Most waxers will include their years in school in this number. As we all know, there is a lot more to school than academics, so count those years as “gaining experience” rather than “years of mastery.” You’ll want to find a waxer who has been in the business for more than three years, ie. has been practicing outside of school.
Next, ask if they use hard wax or strip wax. Strip wax is applied as a warm wax, but then is immediately ripped off by a strip placed over the top. Oftentimes, this breaks the hair rather than removing it from the root and can cause heinous ingrowns and will result in the hair growing back more quickly. Hard wax is also a warm wax, but the wax that is applied is the same material that rips the hair from your pores. With hard wax, the temperature is super important and you have to wait for the wax to harden before removing it. This gives you some real quality time to get to know your waxer, which can be an incredibly special bond that you will cherish forever. On days when you need some efficiency in your life, a wax and impromptu legs-spread therapy/dish sesh is the ultimate boss babe move.
To sum this all up, when you are looking for a waxer, you want someone who has been in the business for over three years and uses hard wax. Be sure that when you do go in, you have at least ¼ in of hair in your zones you are keen to wax. Anything less won’t yield much result. If you have a trimmer and your hair is longer, you can mitigate some of the inevitable pain if you do a little bit of maintenance before going in.
Now, for the bravest and slightly masochistic among you, there is always the cheaper and more readily available DIY option. Amazon has some great kits that come with wax and a warmer. Similar to if you are going into a salon, remember Newton’s famous words on gravity “what goes on, must come off.” Or something like that. So get comfortable, heat up your wax and channel your inner Mr. Miyagi.
The best tips we can provide for DIY waxing are:
- Invest in a wax warmer (skip the microwave—no one needs burns down there).
- Follow the heating instructions.
- Wax in sections. Aim for a spread the consistency of cream cheese on a bagel and about an inch wide and three inches long. Most kits include a popsicle stick for application which is super helpful.
- Let the wax fully cool before removing. It will feel hard and takes about 30 seconds.
- Apply wax in the direction of the hair and pull off in the opposite direction as close to parallel with the skin as possible. Before each pull, stretch the adjacent skin to give you a taught surface and then apply pressure immediately after each pull to the newly hairless section.