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Pull, pluck, and wax

It’s not everyday that you drop your panties and have a stranger peer at your bikini area. Ok, so maybe that happens to you everyday, but not to most women. After weeks of research and phone calls, Brooke* chose curiosity over modesty and made an appointment for a Brazilian bikini wax.

On a beautiful Friday afternoon, she walked into a cozy, incense-fragranced salon and was directed to a cushy couch where she was asked to wait until the aesthetician finished with her previous client. The gurgle of a small fountain and the faint, meditative music playing somewhere calmed her anxious nerves.

She had done plenty of research and knew for the most part what to expect, but who wouldn’t feel a bit anxious about exposing herself to a complete stranger?

The Brazilian bikini wax, which, according to most, originated in Brazil where the barely-there bikini is the only option, is a hair removal process in which all of the hair in and around the genitalia is removed. While this type of bikini wax is commonly associated with porn stars and strippers, it is becoming gradually more popular with many types of women ranging from stay-at-home moms to executives.

Many people, like Brooke opt to undergo this, sometimes painful, procedure because they like the clean, well-groomed feeling of a hairless bikini area, aesthetician Charis Castellanos of Union St. Apothecary in San Francisco said. Shaving is an almost daily task, while waxing can be maintained every three to four weeks.

With a warm smile, the aesthetician introduced herself then directed Brooke into a room where she would remove her skirt and panties and put on a terry cloth skirt that lay on the beige doctor’s chair. After a few minutes, she knocked lightly on the door and entered the room where Brooke was laying on the chair.

After confirming with Brooke that it was Brooke’s first Brazilian wax, the aesthetician explained what she would be doing in detail, telling her the first time is the most painful but after that, it is fifty percent less painful. After the explanation, she lifted the terry skirt and positioned one leg straight and one bent, relaxed at the knee. She applied powder and then a warm wax to a portion of hair. In a few seconds, the wax hardened and she began to count: ready? One, two, three! With a swift flick of the wrist, the wax, along with the hair beneath it was removed. This was repeated for about an hour until all the hair was removed.

Expecting it to be extremely painful, Brooke was pleasantly surprised when the finished result was simply a slightly pink, but hair-free pubic area. Certain areas were more sensitive than others but the pain was quick and minimal. Overall, the experience was far easier than she had expected.

In order to have as pleasant of an experience as Brooke had, it is recommended to make the appointment with an experienced aesthetician at a clean and reputable salon. A week after your period, when the skin is least sensitive, is the best time to schedule the appointment. Hair should be clean and at least one-eight of an inch long. For the first appointment, you should plan to spend at least an hour. If you are in a rush, the aesthetician will be in a rush and the results will be more painful and less professional.

Brazilian Bikini waxing costs $45 and up. Some locations in San Francisco are Cinta Salon 23 Grant Avenue 2nd Floor 989-1000 Marilyn Jaeger’s Skin Care 415 Spruce St. 751-0647 339-A West Portal Avenue 50-GOSPA Ringolevio Salon and Spa 2660 Gough Suite 102 885-5434 Union Street Apothecary 2185 Union St 771-1207