Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Getting a Brazilian

Tips for before, after, and everything in between.

By Caitlin Clark

I’ve often found the best way to soothe anxiety before a stressful experience is to arm yourself with knowledge about what to expect. And since not a soul on Earth is immune to feeling dread before a particularly intimate kind of beauty event, I’ve worked with the experts to break down everything you need to know about how to prep for a Brazilian wax, how to brace yourself during it, and what to do post-treatment.

Our two experts, Courtney Claghorn and Jodi Shays, founders of popular salons Sugar + Bronzed and Queen Bee, respectively, are well-versed in the art of the Brazilian. (Claghorn’s salons remove hair through sugaring, while Shays’ uses traditional wax.) Heed their advice and proceed with confidence.

Image above from our interview with Kori Meloy

Terracotta-colored bathtub.
Image by Michelle Nash

How to Prep for a Brazilian Wax

It’s helpful (for current and future Brazilians) to get in the habit of moisturizing and exfoliating regularly to help prevent ingrown hairs (more on that below). Pubic hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long.

Consider popping an Advil or two 20 minutes before your appointment and be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing.

Should you exfoliate?

Yes! But be thoughtful about when.

“Don’t exfoliate 24 hours prior to your treatment,” Claghorn explains. “Arrive to your appointment with clean skin, sans any lotion or oils. Wait 48 hours after your appointment to begin exfoliating as well.”

Should you trim before a Brazilian wax or sugaring? How long should your hair be ideally?

Hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long so the wax and sugar paste is able to extract it from the skin. Don’t worry about trimming, but if you must, do it carefully with baby scissors.

How is sugaring different from waxing? 

Like threading for eyebrows, sugaring doesn’t tug on the skin quite as much as waxing. It may also be better for those with sensitive skin. “It has just three organic ingredients: sugar, lemon, and water,” Claghorn notes. “It’s applied at lukewarm temperatures and avoids burning the skin.”

What’s the difference between a Brazilian and a bikini wax?

“A bikini wax removes all of the hair that would ‘stick out’ from your bathing suit or underwear,” Shays explains. “A Brazilian wax removes all hair—from the top to the bottom to the back.”

Brunette woman wearing summer loungewear sitting on chair next to pool.
Image by Michelle Nash

During Your Brazilian

Is there anything you can do to help you relax during the appointment? 

In addition to the Advil you can pop 20 minutes before your appointment, breathing techniques are clutch.

“Great yoga breaths help, as does having an esthetician who has an amazing bedside manner,” Shays shares. “It’s really weird when you are getting a wax and it’s silent in the room. We love to put some good music on and just have a good time in the room.”

How much should you tip for a Brazilian Sugaring? 

Between 18% and 20%.

Summer clothing laid out on white bedsheets.
Image by Michelle Nash

After Your Brazilian

What should you apply after a Brazilian wax?

Though your technician will apply something immediately post-wax experience, the goal at home is to keep things calm and cool to avoid bumps and ingrown hairs. You’ll want to use ultra-hydrating balms or oils that have inflammation-soothing ingredients (Sugar + Bronzed offers a coconut and jojoba oil-infused oil). And be sure to wait at least 48 hours before exfoliating.

Can you shave or tweeze between Brazilians?

Trim if you must, but definitely avoid tweezing or shaving.

“It will create different hair growth cycles and prevent future sugaring sessions from leaving skin smooth for the maximum time,” Claghorn adds.

How long should a Brazilian wax or sugaring last?

Though it depends on your hair growth cycle, both experts agree it should last about three to four weeks. It should continue to last longer if you’re going for regular waxings.