Why Brazilian Wax?
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There are plenty of reasons why you might want to get a Brazilian wax. Maybe you’ve got an upcoming beach vacation and you don’t want to worry about shaving. Or possibly you experience razor burn every time you shave your bikini area. Maybe you just want a different down-there look to surprise your significant other. Or maybe you just really, really hate body hair. Whatever your reason, there has never been a better time to skip that expensive and time-consuming day spa trip and plan your own DIY Brazilian wax at home. All it takes is a simple list of supplies, a minimal amount of time, and these seven quick steps. The best part of all? No one will think twice about you drinking a glass of wine (or two) while you do it.
1) Gather Your DIY Brazilian Wax Supplies
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Before you begin, you’ll want to purchase or collect the following list of supplies to make sure your DIY Brazilian wax experience is as easy and pain-free as possible. Read through the descriptions and decide which supplies are right for you.
There are plenty of different options for types of wax that you can purchase. Soft? Sugar? Hard? Which one should you go with? In general, hard wax is the best to use anytime you’ll be doing a Brazilian or bikini wax (soft wax is better for finer hairs, like those in your eyebrows). Most drug stores and online retailers sell hard wax kits that contain the wax and cloth strips, along with other products and tools you might find handy. If you'd rather skip the kit, you can also buy the wax, strips, and any related products or tools separately. If you’re looking for the full DIY Brazilian experience or you’re just trying to save money, you can search online for the best wax recipes to make at home, using ingredients commonly found around the house. You can even make a simple sugaring wax with this simple recipe: 2 cups of white sugar, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and ¼ cup of water. Combine in a saucepan. Heat until boiling, then reduce heat to medium. Stir. Remove from heat when golden brown in color.
If your wax kit does not come with strips, or you made your own wax using a recipe and don't have all the pieces that would come with a kit, you can make your own strips by cutting cloth from an old cotton t-shirt or other fabric. Just make sure whatever fabric you use is capable of soaking up the wax. Otherwise, it won't stick and you'll be left with a sticky, hard mess. If you use something other than cotton, it's recommended that you do a test run prior to application.
The best kits should come with everything you need to finish your wax. Use popsicle sticks to stir your wax supply and then apply it evenly to your bikini area. And if you need additional sticks, you can get large boxes of popsicle or other wooden sticks from online retailers and most craft stores.
Unless you’re a yogi and can bend yourself in all sorts of ways, you’ll want a mirror to help see yourself from all different angles. This will help ensure you apply wax evenly across the entire area for a Brazilian wax. If you don't, there's a big risk that you'll end missing patches of hair. If you’ve got options, a compact mirror is a better choice than a hand mirror. With the compact, you can set it on a counter or floor and angle it however you need. If you can find one, a large stand-up mirror provides the easiest hands-free experience, as long as you can move it to your preferred waxing location.
Scissors will be used for both cutting your wax strips to size, as well as trimming any hair that might be too long (yes, your hair can be too long to wax. Read on to find out the optimal length for your DIY Brazilian wax). Make sure they're sharp enough to cut hair and be careful if you've chosen pointy ended scissors over those with a round end.
Consider purchasing baby or talcum powder to use. Applied just prior to waxing, either of these powders will help the wax stick to your hair and not your skin. This will make the whole process a little less painful, and any time you can do that with a Brazilian, it's a major plus.
Don’t be surprised at how messy this DIY Brazilian wax project might be! Make sure you have plenty of cloth and paper towels on hand to make your post-wax clean up a breeze. If you are not waxing near a sink or shower, consider having a bowl of warm water ready nearby as well to help clean up any spilled wax or residue.
If you do decide to go with a hard wax, have plenty of baby oil on hand. Applying the oil after you're done will go a long way to help to loosen any wax that gets where it shouldn’t be (such as on your hands).
Even if you’re the most thorough person in the world, you’ll still inevitably end up with a stray hair or two. Tweezers will make short work of any strays and will save you the pain of trying to wax an area again.
2) Prep Yourself
Check Your Hair Length
This preparation step starts weeks in advance; you’ll want to grow out your hair and avoid trimming or shaving it for an appropriate amount of time. If your hair is too short, the wax won’t be able to grab your hair, and you’ll be left with patches of unwaxed hair. If you’ve been growing your hair out for longer than a week or two, your hair might actually be too long, and you might need to give yourself a quick trim. If the hair is too long, the wax won’t cling to it near the roots. When it’s time to tear the strips off, the wax will pull at the hair awkwardly, making the process will be extra painful. Make sure your hair is at the optimal length (between ¼ to ½ inch) prior to waxing. This is also a good time to decide whether you’re removing all your hair (the full Brazilian), if you’ll be doing the areas just around the edges of your swimsuit, or if you’ll leave any hair strips. If you’ve had waxing experience before, you might tackle it all. If this is your first time ever getting waxed, it might be best just to do the edges until you decide on whether you like the waxing experience. Remember, you can always take off more hair, but you can’t put it back.
At least 24 hours before, exfoliate your bikini area to remove all dead skin cells. This will help the wax cling to the hair only and will help you reduce the risk of bumps and irritation during your DIY Brazilian waxing process.
Make sure you take a quick shower or clean up off just before waxing. Your hair should be clean and free from any lotions or oils. Any product on your hair will make it slippery and more difficult for the wax to cling to the hairs. The result to this is a patchy looking Brazilian, something nobody wants.
Applying baby or talcum powder to your bikini area will help the wax cling to the hair and not the skin. Not only will this greatly reduce your chance of redness and irritation after your DIY Brazilian wax, but it will be less painful when you remove the strips.
3) Prep Your DIY Brazilian Supplies
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Now that you’ve gathered all your Brazilian wax supplies and prepared yourself, you’ll want to get everything ready so that the waxing process goes smoothly. If you're attempting a DIY recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand before you start.
Learn About Your Kit
If you’re using a pre-bought wax kit or a single jar of commercial wax, you’ll obviously want to refer to the instructions on the package for any specific information on heating and applying the wax. The instructions might suggest you heat it up using either the stove or microwave. Make sure you know what method is best to heat your type of wax and you have what you need to do it, like an extra saucepan. If you’re making your own wax, you’ll want to boil the ingredients in a saucepan on the stovetop.
Heat the Wax
Heat the wax to the appropriate temperature. For most waxes, this is warm, but not hot. You don’t want to burn yourself, especially in such a sensitive area. Test the temperature of your wax on a small area prior to applying. If you're using the suggested recipe, bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Stir. Once the mixture is golden brown and a waxy thickness, remove from heat.
Get Your Strips Ready
Cut your wax strips to the size you need, especially if you’re making them yourself from old cloth or a t-shirt. Strips that are very long are hard to apply and hard to handle, especially when you are trying to remove them. Strips that are too short are difficult to get a good grip on, making it difficult to pull off when the time comes. When you’re considering how many strips you need, a good rule of thumb is to have plenty of extras lying around. Make sure you have more wax strips than you think you need, since you don’t want to get halfway through the Brazilian wax process and realize you’re out of strips and that you need to make or buy more. If you do need to pause, remember to reheat your wax prior to starting again to ensure it’s at the perfect waxing thickness.
4) Apply the Wax
Now it’s time; you’re all ready to go forth and conquer your DIY Brazilian wax. All that remains is to actually apply the wax and strips and remove them. Read on below for some tips on making these steps happen quickly and easily.
Use a popsicle stick or other tool that came in your kit to make sure the wax is thoroughly stirred before you begin to apply, to ensure ingredients have not separated while sitting around (this can affect how well the wax clings). Remember to stir it occasionally throughout the process to ensure the ingredients don’t begin to separate. This will also allow you to test how thick the wax is. Wax will get thicker as it begins to cool down and might need to be reheated, depending on how long the waxing process is and whether it will still cling to the hair and the strips.
Pull Skin Taut
Choose the area you want to wax and use one hand to pull the skin tight. You don’t want to apply wax over skin folds, as it will pull at any loose skin and hurt.
Spread the Wax
Using your other hand, use your tool to apply the wax in the same direction that your hair is growing. Do not apply wax too thick or too thin; the area should be coated enough that you can apply a cloth strip fully but not so saturated that the wax runs.
5) Apply Strip
After applying a thin layer of wax, apply the cloth strip in the same direction. Press down on the strip to ensure it is evenly stuck to the wax. Be sure to leave a clean, wax-free section at the end for you to grab on to.
6) Pull Hard
The hardest step of all! Grabbing the clean section of the strip, take a breath and as you let it out, pull firmly in the opposite direction you applied the wax and strip (in the opposite direction of your hair growth). Do not hesitate and do not pause! Just pull until the strip and wax are completely free from your skin.
7) Put the Finishing Touches on your Brazilian Wax
Continue to apply wax and strips and remove them until your bikini area is free of unwanted hair. Then take a deep breath, the hard part is over! You might see some leftover wax residue on your bikini area after you are done. You can remove most hard waxes by showering, or applying baby oil and gently wiping with a warm, wet towel. Make sure not to scrub as you will further irritate the skin. If needed, let the baby oil sit on the wax for several minutes to soften it and make removal easier.
Remove Leftover Hairs
Check yourself in the mirror and by feel to verify you are hair free and did not miss any patches. If you have unwaxed sections of hair, apply wax and strips and remove. If you have single hairs or fine hairs that did not get removed during the waxing process, the best option is to tidy up with your tweezers. Do not re-wax any areas if possible; this will be painful and cause unwanted skin irritation.
Redness is fairly typical after a waxing session, but you'll want to take care of your skin to prevent any further irritation or skin issues after your wax. You can apply the soothing product that came in your kit. If you did not purchase an at-home waxing kit, you can apply lotion, oil, or any number of over the counter products designed for after waxing or shaving. The best types of products will contain aloe or other ingredients known to reduce redness and irritation.
After Care of Your DIY Brazilian
To avoid further irritation from rubbing and chaffing, wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid tight underwear (or better yet, avoid all underwear) for about 48 hours after your DIY Brazilian wax. If you’re waxing in preparation for an afternoon at the beach, make sure you wax a few days in advance. You’ll want to avoid the sun for about 24 hours after you’re done.
After your Brazilian wax is complete and you’ve cleaned up, you can enjoy all the benefits of a smooth, hair-free bikini area. Every three weeks is an ideal period between waxing sessions; you will want to allow the hair to grow a bit prior to your next one. Over time you might notice your hair become thinner and grow less frequently, an added benefit of consistently waxing.
Plan For Your Next DIY Brazilian Wax
Congratulations! If you’ve completed these steps, you’re on your way to perfecting your own DIY Brazilian wax routine. Make sure to take note of what worked and what did not for next time, such as what brand of kit you bought and whether the wax was suitable, or if you'd like to try a different wax recipe next time. You might also keep in mind such details such as how long you heated your wax, what type of strips you used, and whether there were any additional supplies you wished you had to make the clean-up easier. Happy waxing!