beauty

How to avoid a Brazilian waxing disaster.

Images: Thinkstock

If you’re anything like me, lying on your back naked, your knee clutched against your chest, whilst a stranger daubs hot wax across your inner buttock* and then rips it off again, is not something you’d voluntarily submit to without a great deal of prior thought, shower time and perhaps a double vodka.

Yet, glancing through beauty salon brochures offering an array of waxing opportunities, that is in many cases, behind the softly, softly language, exactly what’s being offered.

So, if you’ve never waxed at a salon before, and the idea fills you with dread (are there people for whom it doesn’t?) how do you know where to begin?

5 things every Brazilian waxer wishes you would stop doing

1. Choosing a salon

The first, and most important part of the whole waxing experience, is choosing the right salon. Whilst you might be willing to glance through the yellow pages and randomly pick a business to clean your gutters, choosing someone to perform your Brazilian takes a little more care.

There are two things you want to hold uppermost in your mind when choosing where to get your Brazilian: technique and hygiene.

2. Techniques to trust

Technique is all in the waxing world, and is the difference between “one deep breath and it’s over” discomfort and “run from the room screaming”-type pain. If you’ve never experienced a bad wax you won’t know just how stomach-churningly painful it can be, but take it from a woman who has been through childbirth: a bad Brazilian is right up there with repeated toe stubbing in the pain stakes. So you need to choose the right waxer.

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TIP: The truth is that when it comes to waxing technique experience counts, so try and choose somewhere busy. Salons that specialise in waxing are a fairly safe bet, as are beauty salons that offer a wide range of waxing services.

Not sure where to start? Ask amongst your friends and peers for recommendations, or failing that, Google reviews and online forums offer a more anonymous way of getting the lowdown on your local waxing salons. Once you find a great waxer tip her generously and give her your number so that if she moves salons she can let you know where she goes.

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If the idea of waxing makes your eyes water, fear not - there are other ways to remove unwanted body hair:

3. Hygiene horrors

When it comes to hygiene you would be astonished and terrified at some of the things that go on in waxing salons. Bear in mind that many, many salons are clean and reputable, but you need to know how to spot the ones that aren’t.

"I was vajazzled against my will"

Firstly, guidelines vary in different countries, but I would personally never use a salon where the staff “double dip.” What’s double dipping? The practice of dipping a wooden spatula into hot wax, rubbing over the area to be waxed and then re-dipping into the wax using the same spatula. Many salons use a fresh disposable wooden spatula for each dip, but some don’t, meaning that germs on a client’s skin get transferred into the wax. Maybe I could stomach that for legs, but for genital areas? Notsomuch.

The only exception I’d make to this is where the salon uses a new wax cartridge for each client so no cross contamination can occur- I have no aversion to my own germs, only to other people’s.

That hasn’t scared you off? How about the fact that some salons heat up wax used on one client, strain out the hair with tights or muslin cloths and reuse it?

I was told by a member of staff at one salon that I visited that she had left her last salon as they strained the wax used for Brazilians and reused it without telling clients, to save money. Some countries allow this for legs, but not for bikini waxes.

"I panic at the salon every time"

Given that waxing involves dead skin, and often blood spots too, don’t take a chance on poor hygiene. If in doubt, check with the salon about their hygiene practices and whether they reuse wax before booking so that you feel comfortable.

TIP: Watch carefully what they do with the wax they pull off your skin. If it’s kept separately from other rubbish there is a chance that it’s being saved for later, to be reused. If in doubt ask.

This article originally appeared on Really Ree and has been republished here with full permission. You can find more of Really Ree's work on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

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