Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.... This is the song that immediately comes to mind when I step back into the moment of my first Brazilian wax.
It was our second unit in esthetics school and the moment we had grown our hair out for. As students we were each other's models, or sometimes the only model, as 16 other eyes watched as the teacher gave the service while instructing. Today's lesson, the one service everyone has heard of, but treated almost like taboo, the Brazilian wax. In fact, our school had to get special permission just to teach and do a hands on lesson for this kind of wax. (To clarify, this is still sort of considered a taboo service. A Brazilian Wax complete removal of hair from your vaginal area, front to back! Yep, naked as the day you were born!)
Being of Armenian descent, guess who was hairiest of them all? Why me, of course! Yep, EVERYONE voted for me to be the model. Maybe it was the amount of hair or maybe just the fact that everyone else was too chicken! I, on the other hand, I had NEVER been waxed before on any part of my body. Ever. Yes, in that moment, I was picturing Steve Carell from the movie "The 40 Year Old Virgin," yelling, "Kelly Clarkson," while the whole class is watching!
The teacher hands me a robe, tiny disposable paper "underwear" and says "we'll all (all 15 other students) meet you back in the training room." "Ok... you can do this... no big deal." So...here I go sweaty palms, weak knees and arms so heavy they felt like they were dragging the floor as I came back into the room. On the bed I laid with shining bright lights pointed down south and the waxing began. First, cleanser to prep my skin, next oil to help the wax adhere, then the very warm wax. It was about to get real!
The first pull was insane! Not what I had hoped, imagined or cared to feel the second, third or fourth time as each strip was laid and pulled off! My eyes were watery, ok, teary, no wait almost full cry! This wasn't what I had in mind at all for my first Brazilian wax and in that moment I swore I'd never let any client of mine feel the anxiety or pain I felt in that bright, sterile cold room!
Now, would all the waxed ladies please stand up, please stand up? What you don't like Eminem? The song seemed appropriate, but really, how many of you have had a similar experience to mine? How many times of having a painfully bad wax that left you bruised, hair left behind or even burned from a bad pull or the wax being too hot? How many times did you go back because you thought "it's not supposed to be painless" or "this esthetician has been trained so this must be right?" or my all time favorite "what do you mean it shouldn't take at least an hour?"
Ladies (or gentlemen - yep some men attempt this type of wax as well, just NOT at Spa Lux), this is where I get a little clinical on ya... let's break this down, ok? Waxing of any kind, doesn't have to be so painful you want to cry. It shouldn't feel like you're questioning the person you chose to go to, and it should NEVER, ever take more than 20 - 30 minutes (for a newbie esthetician) or 15 - 20 minutes with a seasoned professional! Pulling out hair from a sensitive area such as your nether region will hurt, yes. However, with the proper technique and pull can help hold the tears back. Pro tip - take an ibuprofen before your service if you know you do have a lower pain tolerance. Like I mentioned earlier, our school had to get special permission to even train us in this type of wax. ALL of my actual experience has come from hands on training AFTER school. Lots of classes attended, trade shows, you tube videos (Oh Em Gee, I won't do that again) and asking other professionals for how-to's. With that said some estheticians may never even see a Brazilian wax or know how to do one early in their career. That doesn't mean they aren't good!! Just do your research on their training, ask questions and if it doesn't look right or FEEL right, you don't have to continue! Wax CAN be removed without pulling (although that is super uncomfortable too...). Lastly, is the idea of someone seeing you naked a little intimidating? Yes! But if you have gotten a referral for your esthetician, or read some reviews, you'll hopefully find that your choice esthetician will talk you through and go at your speed to make you feel comfortable! This is YOUR experience and to make it good so you have lasting results - you have to feel comfortable.
Recently, a client of mine, whom I had not seen in years, came in for a Brazilian wax. She was in town for a friend's wedding. We reminisced about her time before she moved and all the new sights and living experiences she's had in her new "hometown." I asked if she was able to find a new waxer there, she said "yes, but it's just not like it is with you" (Insert blushing emoji here). She explained that I engage in conversation and don't make it hurt as bad! High-five!
The purpose of this story was not to toot my own horn, but rather to demonstrate how much weight the personal relationship with your esthetcian can carry. Find someone that allows you to feel comfortable enough to ask the hard questions, do your research and know that walking out with a box of tissues to wipe your tears is not the norm. As painful as my first wax experience was, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat to know what not to do with my clients. Finding the right esthetician will allow you to enjoy your experience and yield effective results.