Brazilian Vs. Bikini Wax: The Difference Between The Spa Treatments

It seems not many people choose waxing over shaving. Especially when it comes to one particular area: the bikini line. Instead of waxing, they opt to shave weekly or even daily, often leaving irritated, bumpy skin behind and ingrown hairs unchecked. Because yes, waxing is painful and shaving is definitely easier. But are the results the same? The answer is no. Waxing is undoubtedly the choice that will leave you with better, more long-lasting results. 

But if you are reading this article, that can only mean you know all this already and are interested enough in getting your bits waxed despite the pain. Now, all you want are the details. If this is true, proceed with caution anyway. Because, as the old adage goes, beauty is pain. And you gotta suck it up if you want smooth skin and no hair in sight next time you go to the beach (or meet up with your next hookup).

What are the key differences?

A bikini wax, as the name suggests, removes the hair around the bikini area. It takes off only what is necessary for a moderate-coverage bikini bottom, and nothing more. Since not all hair is removed with this approach, you can typically get away with wearing underwear throughout the session. But if you want to comfortably wear a bathing suit without hair poking out, we recommend wearing the type of underwear that best represents the type of bikini bottom you expect to wear. That way, the professional knows exactly where to wax.

As for the alternative — a Brazilian wax done right will leave practically no hair behind. This wax treatment removes the hair all around the public bone, the upper thighs, the vulva, and the perineum (via Healthline). For this one, it is typically advised to take off all layers (including underwear) for easier access.

Which one is right for you?

If you're considering either a bikini or a Brazilian wax and have no previous experience with either, choosing can be hard. Should you wax it all? Or should you hold back and only do the important bits? It can be intimidating, but in our experience, it only takes a couple of tries to lose all the fear. 

A bikini wax is a great option for those who want to wear bathing suits without the fear of hair sticking out in unflattering ways. While some people embrace the hair, the look is not for everyone. Bikini waxes are also great for beginners. If you're not too confident in your pain resistance, start with the bikini area and work up to the rest.

A Brazilian wax is the right choice for people who wear cheekier bikini bottoms. Not only will you be getting cuter tan lines, but you won't have to worry about hair getting in the way of the sun. 

How long does the hair need to be?

The hair length required for a proper wax job is often debated. Should you let it grow, or trim it down? Can you let it grow out for months and show up au naturel? Can you shave between wax appointments?

These are all valid questions, especially if you have no previous experience with waxing your genital area. The truth is that the only thing you should worry about is your pubic hair being too short for the wax to grab onto, but it certainly helps to keep it trimmed between appointments. The ideal length for waxing is between one-quarter of an inch and three-quarters of an inch (via WebMD). On the other hand, if your hair is on the longer end of the spectrum, the process can be more painful and unnecessarily extended. Stop shaving around a week before a wax appointment and you're golden!

Prepping for your wax appointment

Before showing up to your wax appointment, there are certain necessary steps to prepare. As mentioned, hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long. Though it can be longer, you may want to trim a little for your own comfort. Long pubic hair tends to take longer to wax and can sometimes be more painful.

Another thing to keep in check before a waxing appointment is personal hygiene. For everyone's comfort, it is always a good idea to shower before and after a wax appointment. Before showing up, take care to rinse well down there and exfoliate properly (via WebMD). Waxing professionals will also always warn against wearing lotion on the parts of your body you want waxed, because wax sticks better to dry skin. If you want to lotion, wait until your post-appointment shower.

Picking the right place to get waxed

But how to pick from the countless waxing parlors? When it comes to getting waxed, you can't be too careful when choosing the right place. Some people will tell horror stories about their experiences getting waxed, and you want to prevent your own story from fitting that narrative. Wax so hot it caused first-degree burns? Pain so bad they had to take an ibuprofen after? Inexperienced waxer prolonged the appointment and time of pain? No thanks, we'll do our research first.

The main thing to do when looking for a place to get waxed is look at online reviews. The more detailed, the better. If you notice a particular professional being praised in said reviews more than others, request them for your appointment. This will heighten your chances of a good experience. You can also ask around your friend group about their favorite places to go to get waxed. Sometimes, word of mouth is the most reliable source.

What should you expect from the experience?

Expect nothing out of the ordinary. If you've had your legs or armpits done before, getting a bikini or Brazilian wax shouldn't be too intimidating. Once you're bottomless and on the bed and ready to be waxed, the technician will confirm what you want. Here is where you can clarify your preferences, or back out of a full Brazilian if you wish. They then will ask you to either move your underwear around or take it off completely, depending on the amount of hair you want removed. You'll receive a little pre-wax cleansing and powdering to ensure the area is clean and dry enough for the wax to go on smoothly and for the hair to come off cleanly (via Healthline). 

Then comes the wax, and a quick succession of strips being placed on the skin, pulled back, placed, pulled, and so on. Once the waxing part is done, any leftover hairs will get tweezed. You'll then typically get another quick wipe down and a complimentary soothing oil, which you can rub in yourself for comfort.


Once you've been waxed, aftercare is crucial to prolonging the smoothness. Here are some steps that will ease the journey until your next waxing appointment. Although you will be given the opportunity to wipe off any remaining wax at the beauty parlor, it's rare that you'll be able to walk out of the place with no wax left. Wax is, by nature, a sticky mess. This is why a post-wax shower is important. 

Once you get home, take a quick shower, preferably with no exfoliation to the affected area, as the skin is already sensitive and plenty exfoliated from the waxing appointment. After, you'll want to apply a gentle oil or moisturizer to the area. Healthline also recommends avoiding sexual activity for one whole day. Waxing can cause microtears to the skin, and giving those time to heal is best before engaging in intimate contact with someone else.

How long do the results last?

As far as results go — smoothness, ingrowns or no ingrowns, period of time before the hair grows back, irritation — it all varies. Typically, waxing results will last three to six weeks, meaning you'll notice hair growing in somewhere within that timeframe. Whether you're on the shorter or longer end of that range will depend on how quickly your pubic hair tends to grow back. Think of how fast you notice stubble coming in after a fresh shave. One or two days? Or, for those of us truly unfortunate, just a few hours? That should give you a good idea of how long you should wait between booking appointments.

The good thing? A good wax job will always last longer than shaving will. Other benefits to waxing include fewer ingrowns, less irritation, and overall smoother results than other hair removal approaches will leave you with.