What Your Brazilian Bikini Waxer Knows About You, Just From One Appointment
Getting a Brazilian bikini wax can be a nerve-wracking experience. You lie naked with your most vulnerable body parts not only exposed but inviting pain, and wondering whether the waxer can tell that you’d rather be waiting in line at the DMV, or if they know exactly how you like it in the bedroom.
During a Brazilian wax, the technician removes hair from the front all the way to the back, plus a strip for the butt. As the name implies, the service started in Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s before popping up in the United States in the ’90s thanks to the Padilha sisters Jocely, Jonice, Joyce, Janea, Jussara, Juracy and Judsela, better known as the J Sisters, who ran a salon offering Brazilian waxes in New York City.
The trend took off because it lasts longer than shaving and removes the entire hair follicle versus just cutting it like during shaving. Still, it can cause discomfort and a severe level of awkwardness between clients and their waxers.
We talked to professional waxers to figure out exactly what they can tell about clients during a session — and what they learn about clients’ hygiene habits and sex lives.
They can tell how nervous you are.
Skin Studio Arizona’s Rachel Berg said the top question she receives from clients pertains to the level of pain they can expect. “The biggest question is, ‘Does it hurt?’” she said. “When somebody asks that, right off the bat, they’re nervous.”
Questions about before and aftercare show “they are eager, because they want to be prepared,” Berg said. “A lot of people dismiss the before and aftercare, which is very unfortunate, because that’s probably one of the most important parts of waxing [to get] optimal results.”
Berg looks at body language for some cues. “They’re kind of gripping onto what they’re bringing in, like a purse or something. That body language [shows] they’re nervous,” she said.
Jamie Conner, a senior field trainer at European Wax Center, said another non-verbal clue indicates a client’s hesitancy.
“How many folds of the pants tells me how nervous someone is to be waxed,” Conner said. “Someone who doesn’t really have a fear, they’re undressed before you can tell them to get undressed. Someone who’s a little bit more hesitant has folded the underwear, has folded the shirt, has folded the pants and socks, tied the shoes back up — anything they can do to delay the process.”
They can tell how much it hurts, even if you try to hide it.
Before Waxxpot head trainer Mallori McGuire even applies a strip, she sees the jitters come out.
“When you go and wipe them, sometimes people will be jumpy even then,” McGuire said. “I try to be good about announcing what I’m doing as I’m doing it. I don’t like to startle people.”
Once the service really gets going, a client doesn’t need to yell or scream to indicate their pain level.
“When somebody’s clenching their hands or if their eyes are closed, also just not talking a lot,” McGuire said. “Or you’ll be asking them a question and then you’ll go to pull and the conversation’s going to stop for like 30 seconds. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, sorry, I just had to breathe for a second.’ That’s obviously a sign that it probably didn’t feel the best.”
They can tell when your last shower was and whether you’ve cleaned up beforehand.
“We can tell if they have showered or not that day. We can definitely tell how long it has been,” Purele Waxing’s Purnima Relekar said. “We have this big poster in our salon that tells them step by step what to do and the No. 1 point in that poster is shower the day of. You will be surprised how many people don’t.”
Relekar knows this because of “the way the skin looks” and “how much dead skin they have.” She said the wax works differently with “unwashed, dirty skin.”
Conner can even tell what kind of products her clients use down there. Irritation, redness and hyperpigmentation usually mean a client applies scented products in their nether regions. “Usually it looks angry; it’s just very red,” she said. “A lot of products are not meant to hit our inner labia or to get [near] the vagina at all.”
What's left behind on a used wax strip can say a lot about how much you prepped before your wax.
When the waxer goes around back, they’ll know who followed directions at the top of the appointment. “Before our clients sit down, we leave wipes out for them. We tell them, go ahead and take it from front to back,” McGuire said. “I can tell when somebody has not done that.”
The evidence shows up in the form of a brown waxing strip. “That does happen sometimes,” McGuire said. “I’ve never had it that it was so horrible that I don’t just ignore it. Normally, I’m moving on with my day.”
Same goes for when a client starts menstruating on the table. “I’m just going to kind of go around it. I’m also not going to embarrass them,” Berg said. “I always tell people, ‘You might have started your period,’ and the amount of times that people are so embarrassed by it, it’s honestly kind of sad. It’s a totally normal thing.”
When it comes to business around back, “you’ll be surprised how many people have hemorrhoids,” Relekar said. “You can definitely tell. There’s a lot of pressure going on there.”
Here’s what they know about your sex life.
“The only thing I can tell is that you actively had sex and then came in,” Conner revealed.
But providers can’t deduce how often a client does the deed. “If they have sex a lot or if they don’t, there’s nothing that you can tell by,” Berg said.
How a client decides to style the hair down there can also be a sign of how they approach their intimate life. “It tells me how conservative someone is,” Conner said. “Some people are very bashful about removing all of the hair. Some people say, ‘I hear the people are out here doing landing strips. I hear you can color it. I hear you can do a stencil.’ They want to get creative.”
Relekar claims to know when a female client is pregnant, which should be disclosed ahead of the service, because of how the waxed area swells up. “I have asked a couple of girls, ‘Are you pregnant?’” she said. “You can definitely tell a pregnant woman from a non-pregnant woman.”
The good news: They’re not paying too much attention to your anatomy.
At the end of the day, the pros consider removing hair from the body’s most sensitive areas all in a day’s work.
“As a professional, I’m not looking at what your anatomy is,” Conner said. “I’m looking at the hair that needs to be removed. I think most of us don’t care. And I don’t care what you’re doing with it afterward. I’m just going to tell you to keep it clean, because you’re more susceptible to bacteria because you waxed today.”
McGuire agrees. “Once you’ve been a waxer for at least a year, you become pretty immune to anything that the average person might think is crazy or weird,” she said. “Everyone always asks me if I have any stories and I’m like, honestly, it doesn’t really surprise you anymore. Your waxer is going to forget about what your vagina looks like as soon as you leave the building. So it’s nothing to be shy or anxious about.”
Want to try waxing at home? It’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be done. Get some tips and then check out the products below.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
A bottle of baby powder
Professional waxers use baby powder before waxing for a reason. Not only does it prevent the wax from sticking to your skin and reduce the pain, but it also dries up the area if you happen to be sweaty. Keep this handy bottle of Johnson's baby powder nearby and apply liberally on your skin before you apply wax. It's worth the mess.
Get a two-pack from Amazon for $13.99.
A wax warmer
There's a reason the GiGi wax warmer is so popular and highly rated. It perfectly regulates the temperature of the wax, melting it quickly and then maintaining the correct temperature for as long as you are using it. The simple settings make it easy to control so you never have to worry about burning yourself.
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
Professional-grade hard wax
After some trial and error, I landed on using Cirepil Blue's hard wax. It is the best at snagging those baby-fine hairs that are easy to miss, plus it's made of high-quality ingredients, doesn't irritate the skin and is easy to work with. The refillable bags make it a breeze to stock up when you run out.
Always make sure you test the temperature of the wax before you apply a large amount to a sensitive area. Once you are ready and powdered, hold the skin taut as you apply the wax going against the direction of hair growth. Let it stiffen until it becomes tacky, then use your fingers to pull the wax in the direction of the grain. I find that a quick exhale at the exact moment of the pull helps to mitigate potential discomfort.
Get it from Amazon starting at $40.99.
A large bag of craft sticks
Six-inch craft sticks, like these from Pandaspa, are perfect for applying wax. It helps you cover a large-ish surface area and makes it easier to wield the hot wax. Stock up, because you're going to be going through them quickly.
Get them from Amazon for $5.99.
A thick yoga mat
You're going to be spending a lot of time sitting square on your bum, especially in the beginning. I found that having a spare Amazon Basics yoga mat to catch the baby powder and provide a gentle cushion makes a huge difference in my ability to get in all the positions I need to in order to get the job done. I have a designated waxing mat exclusively for this activity, but you can always use one you already have and put down a towel or even paper towels to help with clean-up.
Get it from Amazon for $19.99.
A full-length mirror
You likely already have one in your home, but I recommend picking up a mirror like this one from NeuType that you can prop up against the wall and move around as needed. Natural light is definitely preferable to artificial lamplight, so having the ability to move the mirror around as the light changes is a big bonus.
If you are only waxing your legs or the sides of your bikini line, you don't really need the mirror. However, if you are venturing into Brazilian or G-string-style wax territory, having a mirror is crucial. You need to be able to get into whatever positions necessary and have a clear view of what you are doing. Don't be afraid to get up close and personal. Think of it as an exercise in body acceptance.
Get it from Amazon for $98.34.
A fresh set of tweezers
Sometimes the wax might miss some of the finer, fuzzy hairs. They either just don't seem to stick to the wax, the angle is off or your skin is too sweaty. It happens! A sharp, angled Tweezerman tweezer can help clean up any leftovers and gently coax out stubborn ingrowns. I know you have a decades-old, dull tweezer at home. Do not use that one. You'll waste precious time trying to grasp those hard-to-reach hairs.
Get it from Amazon starting at $11.50.
A cult-fave skin solution
Soothe your post-wax skin with Tend Skin. It’s a popular toner that helps to prevent redness and ingrown hairs while soothing the affected area. It’s been around forever and is the gold standard for waxing and shaving aftercare. It can be a bit tingly, but it works significantly better than aloe-based solutions that can clog pores and actually cause ingrown hairs.
Get it from Amazon for $24.99.
A box of sterilizing prep pads
The last thing anyone wants is to get an infection as a result of digging around for ingrown hairs. Make sure you wipe down your tweezers with these Clever Health alcohol prep pads before and after each session to keep things nice and clean.