Many people think that a Brazilian hair removal is the same as a bikini line procedure. Although they both are in the same general location, you need to know the difference if you’re thinking of having any of these treatments done on you. Because the topic can be a bit embarrassing to discuss out loud, we’ve prepared a guide to help you decide on the type of hair removal procedure that you can do “down there.”
In this article, we focus on the key differences between two of the most popular hair removal treatments for this sensitive area: waxing and laser.
But, first, let’s talk about how a bikini line is different from a Brazilian.
Brazilian vs Bikini Line: What’s the Difference?
The bikini line is that area just outside of your underwear line, and the hair removal procedure will usually go slightly higher beyond this border to produce a smooth finish when you wear a bikini. It can also include some areas that the underwear covers, like the top of the pubic region
A Brazilian, meanwhile, covers more than a bikini treatment as it seeks to remove all pubic hair, including the labia and perineal areas. The goal of this process is to have flawless skin and a totally hair-free finish.
Choosing between going for either bikini or Brazilian hair removal methods depends entirely on you. Your beauty therapist might also have some insight into the best option depending on your skin type and sensitivity, which will be discussed during the consultation period.
There are other hair removal methods that can be applied for this sensitive location, such as shaving, using depilatory creams, sugaring, and electrolysis, but for this discussion, we will focus on waxing and laser treatments.
What does Brazilian waxing involve?
Brazilian waxing might not be for everyone, as it can be quite painful, especially for first-timers. Similar to how waxing is done on other parts of the body, it removes several hairs at the same time by taking them out from the root using wax.
If you haven’t tried the procedure before, expect some discomfort during and some sensitivity for a few hours after the procedure, though this wears off pretty quickly. Those who’ve been getting Brazilian wax treatments regularly find that their pain tolerance builds up over time, and the process no longer feels as painful as the first one.
Preparing for a Brazilian Wax
Here are some of the things you should do before getting a Brazilian wax:
- Avoid tanning for at least a day prior to your session, as this might make the skin in the area extra sensitive.
- Cut down (or avoid) caffeine and alcohol on the day, as these might cause your pores to constrict and make waxing extra painful.
- Wear loose bottoms and comfortable cotton underwear on the day for added comfort.
- Ensure that your pubic hairs are at least a few centimetres long. If it’s longer than half an inch, your therapist might first trim the area a bit to reduce discomfort.
- Depending on your therapist’s advice, you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever 30 minutes before your schedule to help ease the pain.
During a Brazilian Wax
Your first Brazilian waxing appointment might take about 40 minutes to one hour, depending on how much hair you want removed and your general reaction to the process as you go. First timers tend to take short breaks in between strips to recover from the pain, but trust us when we tell you that you’ll get better at handling the pain over time. Here are the things you can expect during your session.
- You will be asked to remove your clothes from the waist down and lie down on the waxing table.
- Prior to the procedure, your therapist will ask if you want a full hair removal (or a Hollywood!) or if you’d like a strip of hair left. This is the time when you decide if to remove everything or have a triangle, square, or any shape left.
- The technician will apply a pre-waxing treatment, usually powder or oil, to protect the skin.
- The therapist will likely use a “hot” wax that goes on liquid and then sets after a while, without needing to use a cloth strip. If the technician misses any hairs, these will be removed using tweezers.
- When the process is done, the technician will apply a soothing cream or serum to ease the discomfort, address irritation, and prevent ingrown hairs for the next time.
Brazilian Wax Aftercare
You need to closely monitor the area after the treatment, especially if it’s your first session, giving it a little more TLC than usual. Here are some things you should remember after a Brazilian wax.
- Avoid tanning at least 24 hours after.
- Avoid any strenuous activity and soaking in water for at least 24 hours. You can take a shower, of course, but a full bath might lead to irritation.
- Avoid intimate activities for at least 24 hours. The area needs some time to heal before engaging in any skin to skin contact.
- If you feel any tenderness in the area, you may apply cool compress. Don’t shave if any stubborn hairs pop up, as shaving can cause ingrown hairs. It’s best to use a tweezer.
Now that we’ve discussed the waxing process, let’s move on to laser hair removal treatments.
What Does Brazilian Laser Hair Removal Involve?
The Brazilian laser hair removal is a non-invasive way to reducing or totally removing unwanted hair. It involves using a specialised machine with a handpiece that emits concentrated wavelengths of light to reduce hair growth permanently. Here are some things to expect before, during, and after your appointment.
Preparing for a Brazilian Laser Procedure
Here are some tips to prepare for a laser hair removal treatment down there.
- Avoid tanning for at least 2 weeks before your appointment as laser hair removal should not be done on tanned skin to prevent the risk for burns, as laser is attracted to pigment.
- Avoid plucking, waxing, or doing anything that might irritate the treatment area. If hairs are plucked, there’s nothing for the laser to target. The procedure needs hairs that are in an active growing phase to be successful.
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory medications (like aspirin, but Panadol is ok) at least 24 hours before the session as these might predispose you to bruising.
- Do not undergo the procedure if you have an active infection, like a bacterial skin irritation or cold sore. Have the infection treated first before undergoing a laser procedure.
During a Laser Procedure
You will need to undergo a consultation period with your clinician before undergoing any type of laser hair removal treatment. This is so that your therapist can assess the area and identify risks or anything that might hamper a positive outcome.
Once you’re on the treatment bed, your therapist will then cleanse the area first and then may apply gel, depending on the type of laser being used.
During the procedure, everybody in the room will need to wear protective eyewear to avoid any damage that using a laser might cause. The time it takes will depend on the size of the area to be treated, but the whole process typically takes no longer than 30 minutes.
Some patients say that they feel like there’s a rubber band snapping against their skin during the procedure. In addition, as the hairs get zapped out by the laser, it might smell like something is burning. But don’t worry, that’s just the hairs vaporised by laser light.
Brazilian Laser Aftercare
Brazilian laser hair removal has little downtime and patients often can go back to their day-to-day activities immediately after. It’s also normal for the area to feel sensitive for a few hours after, so wearing loose clothing and avoiding strenuous activities are recommended. If the discomfort persists, you may apply cool compresses.
Note that this removal process does not eliminate hair growth in one go. You will need to come for several more sessions before it really thins out and disappears. In addition, you might notice that hairs will increase in growth about two to eight weeks after your first session. This is because not all follicles respond the same way to lasers. Hairs have multiple growth cycles, too, and this is why they must be in the active growth phase for the laser treatment to work.
However, most patients report as much as a 25 percent reduction in growth after one or two sessions. To permanently eliminate hair, it might take eight to 12 sessions, depending on your skin type. You may also need to have a touch-up session annually just to ensure that the hairs stay away down there.
Should You Get a Brazilian Wax or a Laser Treatment?
A Brazilian wax typically lasts two to three weeks before the fine hairs will start to show. Once the hairs reach about a few centimetres inches long, you may schedule another appointment for a wax, normally every 4-5 weeks.
We recommend that you stick to your waxing schedule to align with your hair growth cycle. If you don’t keep up, you run the risk of disrupting the cycle and then you’ll have to start from scratch again, which can be, once again, as painful as the first time. Meanwhile, it could take as many as 12 laser appointments before you can declare the area permanently hair-free.
If you’re only looking for temporary solutions and don’t really want your hair down there to be totally eliminated, then a Brazilian wax might be for you. However, if you are looking for permanence, then a laser treatment is your best choice. Skin colour also plays a role here. Some people will not be suitable for laser if their skin is very dark because laser light is attracted to pigmentation.
More importantly, it depends on how much pain you can take. Brazilian waxing can be painful but, as mentioned, the sensation wears off as you get used to the procedure. Laser also has some discomfort but once the hair is gone, it requires very little maintenance!
Finding the Right Provider
Whether you’re considering waxing or getting a laser treatment, it’s important to have yours performed by certified hair removal specialists who have the experience and expertise in handling waxing and laser hair removal procedures safely.
Our staff at Lovoir Skin Body and Beauty are highly trained in all manners of waxing and laser procedures, with a particular focus on the bikini and Brazilian areas. Contact us today to learn more about our Brazilian waxing and Brazilian laser hair removal treatments.