War Stories, the Hair Removal Edition

How bad is a Brazilian, really? Real women tell all

We polled 31 Total Beauty Squad members about their most common hair removal tortures. Find out what hurt the worst, and how to avoid the same mistakes.

By Alexandra Drosu

84 percent have had razor burn It usually happens around the bikini area and thighs. Although skin sensitivity plays a factor, many admit to using a "dull blade" without "water or soap" in the worst cases. That's why it's so important to change blades often, use a soothing shaving lotion (like Gigi Brazilian Shave Gel, $6.95, folica.com ) and apply a toner. Try Kiehl's Simply Mahvelous Legs After-shave Lotion ($20, kiehls.com ). 61 percent have had ingrown hairs According to the Squad, this problem seems to target the bikini area, and although it only happens "occasionally" for some, it's a chronic problem for others. ("My waxer tells me she feels sorry for me," said one.) Treat and prevent ingrown hairs by exfoliating the area before and after waxing and shaving, says Kerry Nicole, owner of Wax Poetic Salon in Burbank, Calif. Or use a product that thwarts ingrown hairs, like The Art of Shaving Ingrown Hair Night Cream ($30, theartofshaving.com ). 42 percent have had raw skin, scabbing or extreme redness Inexperienced technicians are the major culprit. "An aesthetician ripped my skin during a Brazilian," says one respondent. "I had trouble sitting for a week." Always get a referral when choosing a new wax technician and expect mild redness for a few hours after treatment. 26 percent have had wax burns Although it's not as common, a quarter of the Squad have been burned by too-hot wax. "I have a little scar under my brow thanks to a new waxer," says one. The only way to avoid injury? Find a salon that uses low-temperature wax, says Cindy Barshop, founder of Completely Bare Spa. Cirepil, Completely Bare, Aveda and Moujan are just a few salons that use low-temperature wax. 23 percent have had a bad brow shaping Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but your brows are in the hands of your aesthetician. "Choose wisely," say Squad members who have suffered botched brow jobs. "I went to a cheap-y place," explains one. "She took half of one brow off and it never grew back." Get a recommendation from someone with great brows, even if it means stopping a stranger on the street. 19 percent have had nicks, scrapes or deep cuts "Slipping in the shower" is the cause of this occasional mishap. But when it happens, results are bloody: "The tub looked like that scene in 'Godfather 2,'" laments one member. Take your time when shaving and always use a clean blade. Stop bleeding in a flash with No Nix Astringent Styptic Pencil ($6.75/3 pack, amazon.com ). 10 percent have had chemical depilatory burns or rashes While those experiencing chemical burns acknowledge fault ("I left it on too long [and] it burned my skin and took weeks to heal," says one), many people have allergic reactions to depilatory creams, says Miami-based dermatologist Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd. "Always do a patch test." 6 percent have had hair re-growth after laser hair removal Only 16 percent of the Squad has attempted laser hair removal, and a small percentage has found hair re-growth frustrating. "It lasted about six months," said one member. Another experienced a rare side effect: "hair growth where there was no hair before." Several factors, including hair color, texture and hormonal changes (such as menopause) can affect the success of laser treatments, says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Jody A. Levine. Always consult a doctor first: "I discourage anyone from laser whom I believe will not respond," she says. 16 Sneaky Beauty Myths The Right Skin Care for Your Age Your Best Hair Removal Strategy Subject Subject Subject Message Message Message http://www.google.com /content/package/c_eco_brands/
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i am one of those that went for a brazilian and ended up with well... something resembling a brazilian but not quite. i used to wax for years so i thought i can take it - well, no!

by AstridB Friday, April 12, 2013 at 07:45AM Report as inappropriate

Thanks

by EricaF123 Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:54AM Report as inappropriate

I'm terrified to get a brazilian. Skin down there is just so SENSITIVE!

by GingerDrink Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 04:25PM Report as inappropriate

I have never had a brazilian wax the thought of it scares me too much.

by beautybody Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 10:45AM Report as inappropriate

Good tips! I find waxing is only painful the first couple of times you do it (or have it done), then it's not so bad. For home waxing I prefer the kit made by Bliss.

by tallredamanda Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 07:38AM Report as inappropriate

I have never had a wax down there and I never will but I have had a really bad experience with eyebrow waxing. She made my brows look pretty but I broke out in a horrible rash all around my my eyes and looked terrible for a week!

by powerwoman033 Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 09:27PM Report as inappropriate

the ingrown hair tips are great!

by sportimonki13 Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 04:00PM Report as inappropriate

i dont know about waxing...

by andyv1217 Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:10PM Report as inappropriate

I get the brazillian on a regular basis... I feel like my upper lip hurts worse then getting the brazillian done... I call it the hollywood also because I go total no hair... its such a great feeling...

by kelly_ahrman Friday, August 26, 2011 at 09:50PM Report as inappropriate

ouch!

by Bon_Bon Monday, August 15, 2011 at 12:08AM Report as inappropriate

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