Honeymooning or just
finally headed for a tropical paradise to focus on the important things in life? Starting with carefree surf romps uninterrupted by thoughts of potential bikini-line overgrowth. Why not treat yourself to a Brazilian bikini-wax and set yourself free? No hair will dare stray outside your bikini bottom again. (At least until your next waxing.)

This method of waxing originated in the place where beach thongs abound - and although torturous - is claimed as "completely worth it" by devotees. The Brazilian wax basically takes it ALL away, leaving just a tiny strip of closely-shorn hair in the front (referred to by some regulars as an "airstrip", a "thong wax" or a "Playboy wax").

Things that Brazilian waxing virgins need to know first:

  • Not a "yellow page" referral task, the best way to find out about a good waxer is word of mouth. Ask around first! A lot of waxers still refuse to do this type of waxing, as it is so highly personal. A bad Brazilian waxer will leave you with nasty ingrowns --- that can turn the already daunting experience into to a very, very bad one. The J Sisters in New York City (seven Brazilian sisters whose names all begin with J) pioneered and perfected the Brazilian method in the US and have a long celebrity (Gwyneth, Naomi) client list. According to Jonice, "In Brazil, with bikinis so small, waxing is part of our culture. When we first introduced our signature Brazilian bikini wax in 1994, we had no idea how it would be received. " To their credit and perseverance, the procedure caught on and is the J. Sisters second most popular offering after nail care.

  • Your Brazilian waxer will know you at least as intimately as your gynecologist. You will be asked to strip down to nothing and spread your legs into all kinds of very embarrassing positions. Your best defense is to appear as though you think it's as normal as your waxer does.

  • Do not expect a picnic. It hurts and there's no way around this! The best practitioners are the quickest, most effective ones. The ones who have to keep going over and over a spot are the worst - and simply prolong the agony. The Elizabeth Arden Salon, also extremely reputable for the procedure, uses wax that is more gentle on the skin, but it does take some repeat action, which is no fun. The J Sisters seem slightly less hygienic (no gloves!), but it really is over in a flash.

  • The torture is not everlasting. A Brazilian bikini (no legs, no underarms, just the bikini) should not take longer than a half hour. A couple of the J Sisters time in at lightening speed and can do a waxing in about 15 minutes.

  • Expect to pay at least 45.00 for a good Brazilian wax by a pro.

  • Pack a tweezer (for safety) in the vacation bag to grab any new single hairs that may attempt to grow in. Unfortunately, unlike some pro-leg waxing salons, most Brazilian specialists are not as fastidious about picking out in-growns or stubborn hairs as regular waxers are.

  • Post procedure relief is available. All pro salons use some type of antiseptic soothing lotion (usually with a witch hazel base) when it's all over. A self brewed mixture of Aloe Vera and Calamine Lotion can be applied at home to the sore hairless areas to soothe itching. Many Brazilian shorn women swear by a product called Tend Skin, available at Rescue, to prevent in-growns from sprouting later.

    There is good news for fashion conscious bikini bearers, who may be too squeamish to "go Brazil". As with all trends, the pendulum always eventually swings in the other direction. According to some "adult film" industry and "men's magazine" insiders, "au natural" is coming back into vogue, not just in terms of cleavage consciousness, but as the bikini-line grooming wave of the future.

    İFashion Icon
    Summer 2002