WaxingBeing completely honest, women get the short end of the stick when it comes to the conventions of beauty. Not only are they expected to have expertly coiffed hair and perfectly applied make-up, but they're also expected to be virtually hairless. Well, maybe not completely hairless, but they are expected to have carefully groomed bodies. Meanwhile, men are generally expected to have body hair (though attitudes are changing, requiring men to put in more effort to control and groom their body hair as well).
While some women are content to spend extra time in the bath and shower shaving their legs and underarms, and carefully trimming the bikini area, many women opt to remove the hair without shaving, either through waxing or sugaring (a process similar to waxing but using a sticky substance instead of melted wax). Waxing has the benefit of (generally) causing fewer ingrown hairs, and being better for skin types susceptible to razor burn. On the downside, some women (and men) find the process uncomfortable (or downright painful).
Waxing is excellent for removing hair from large areas of the body, and done properly, can be used for precision hair removal as well. For those who tolerate the process well, waxing is the preferred option for removing unwanted hair.
Waxing as a hair removal process has become so commonly used, that specialized terms have come into use for waxing of specific areas of the body. Generally, these terms are used euphemistically to denote areas considered impolite to discuss openly. Two such terms (which may be confused by some people) are bikini waxing, and Brazilian waxing.
Bikini waxing is simply the removal of excess hair at or around the area normally covered by a bikini bottom - namely, the pubic area and inner thighs. This is the more common of the two terms and is a process most women have done, particularly during the summer months when bathing suits are worn.
Brazilian waxing is a much more intimate process. It involves removing the hair from the areas surrounding the genitalia, the perineum, and in the cleft of the buttocks (around the anus). The term comes from Brazil, the South American country where high-rise thong bathing suits and g-string bottoms are common attire on the beaches and the women tend to be more hirsute, thus necessitating a more thorough hair removal procedure.
The process of hair removal by waxing (and sugaring) is fairly simple. Apply the wax/sugaring product, place a fabric/paper strip over the wax, rub it a few times to smooth it out and press it to the hairs, and pull it off (along with the unwanted hair). But here are a few tips for getting the best results from your waxing process, as well as some advice for avoiding injury:
Always check the temperature of your wax before applying it to the skin. Some heating methods have variable temperatures and some waxes require more heat than others. Always make sure to double and triple check the temperature of the wax before you apply it to the skin, particularly in more sensitive areas like the underarm and bikini area. A heating pot that is accidentally turned up can lead to a nasty burn, and since the product involved is designed to adhere to the skin, it is doubly important to be careful.
Wash the area you will be waxing thoroughly before waxing. Make sure to wash the area where you will apply the wax thoroughly with soap and water before you apply wax. The reason for this is two-fold. One, the wax will adhere better to clean, dry skin, and two, dirt, and dead skin cells can sometimes lead to blemishes if the wax should get into the pores and trap them there.