What is a Brazilian bikini

Like most twenty-something American women, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time since puberty self-grooming. And for me, that meant shaving my legs, armpits, and lady bits. Why would I dish out money to experience the unnecessary pain of waxing when I could just pay $10 at CVS for a handy dandy razor? And thanks to my northeast location with a lack of viable beach days, I was looking at the need to groom just a handful of times a year at most.

That is, until boyfriends and later my fiancé came into the picture. This meant upping my grooming game to shaving once a day—or at least several times a week. Ugh! The upkeep, the razor burn, the precision, the whole shebang was exhausting. That’s when the concept of waxing my pubic hair started to sound like a really, really good idea. I had friends who swore by Brazilian waxes—they booked them religiously and wouldn’t go back to shaving if you paid them.

So, I figured “What the hell?” and embarked on a journey to align myself with the other brave, bold, and empowering females who’ve trekked along the path of least resistance when it came to grooming their hoo-ha. I booked my first Brazilian wax.

First off: What is a Brazilian wax?

Most of us are more familiar with the concept of a bikini wax. It's when an esthetician uses hot wax to get rid of the hair that would be visible if one were to wear a bikini bottom. The Brazilian is basically the same deal—just removing more hair*.* A Brazilian includes the strands along the vagina lips and in your behind. You can opt to leave a triangle or landing strip of hair on top. Or, you can go fully bare. Introduced back in 1987 by a group of Brazilian sisters (yes, really), the Brazilian has remained the most popular hair removal method in the U.S. today.

The prep: You gotta let it grow.

For someone who’s been shaving down there for the better part of my life, I was very uncomfortable with the concept of having to grow it out. The ideal length for waxing pubic hair is a quarter-inch, which meant I couldn’t use the razor for nearly three weeks. Luckily, I had just that amount of time until my hubby-to-be returned and my cats are thankfully not judgmental.

The first few days weren’t bad at all. It was just like any other time I got lazy. But after about a full week, it started to get super uncomfortable. I’m talking itchy, irritated, and even painful. How do the women of the world rocking the bush wear leggings? Or, dare I ask, tights? Even my jeans rubbed my crotch the wrong way. I did my best to ignore it, but found myself readjusting nearly every time I sat down.

Word on the street: Ask everyone you know.

To make sure I was properly prepared for my Brazilian experience, I polled my friends. Had they ever done it? How badly did it hurt? Would I get through it? And to my surprise, nearly all of them had been waxed. And the consensus: “Hell, yes, it will hurt.”