Friends, I’m here to talk to you about something few women runners like to talk about: your hairy lady parts. More specifically, let’s chat about Brazilian waxes.
Are you skeptical of Brazilians (the waxes, silly) or wondering whether they’re compatible with your hardcore running lifestyle? Are you wondering what happens during a Brazilian wax? Why you might consider getting one? Or what to expect after a wax? Read on!
Don’t we have pubes for a reason?
While some argue pubic hair is there to prevent bacteria from entering your orifices or to protect your sensitive skin from chaffing, neither claim is substantiated. The only thing we’re clear on, is that from an evolutionary standpoint, pubes are there to capture your scent to attract a mate.
Who knew bars and Tinder made pubes obsolete? For me, having already attracted a mate, and being fine not having the scent available to attract another one, I felt satisfied that I didn’t need mine. Pubes: the appendix of the lady parts.
Are there any practical benefits to Brazilians?
62% of American women admit to complete removal of their pubic hair. Most of these women are going bare for cosmetic purposes. I did not start waxing because I thought it looked hot. Instead, I began my love affair with Brazilian waxes in the summer of 2013 to stop painful crotch chafing. I was marathon training through the hot Texas summer and I experienced levels of sweatiness unlike any I’d ever experienced. I learned the hard way that running for hours in soaking wet clothes resulted in chafing in places that Body Glide couldn’t reach. Some quick research eventually led me to my local spa where I disrobed from the waist down and placed my trust in the hands of a very friendly esthetician. I’ve been chafe-free down below ever since. An added benefit for me is that it’s also enhanced my sex-life!
Won’t a Brazilian hurt like a mofo?
The first wax is the most painful, sort of like the first run back after a long time off. But each wax gets less and less painful, and now that I’ve been going regularly I’m able to chat with my esthetician while she does my wax, casually covering my clitoris so she doesn’t inadvertently wax it off. Like with most procedures, a Brazilian wax is made less painful in the hands of a skilled technician.
Um, isn’t it kinda … awkward?
Well, yes. It’s totally awkward, especially if you’re like me and tend to try to use humor to diffuse awkward situations, thereby making them more awkward. But the estheticians are professionals and aren’t phased; as one told me, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. To alleviate any more discomfort, I’m going to walk you through a procedure so you know exactly what to expect.
If I were to get a Brazilian, what should I expect?
First, you disrobe from the waist down and use a wipe to clean yourself off. The esthetician will usually then apply powder to your skin and wipe everything down one more time. She typically starts with the mons pubis [NSFW], which is the most painful, so do not panic after the first rip. She’ll apply small amounts of wax and either let it dry and pull it off (hard wax) or put a fabric strip on and pull it off (soft wax). She’ll immediately apply pressure to the area to help with the pain.
The majority of the hair that causes chafing and irritation is just around the bikini line and around the outer labia [NSFW], so some runners will leave some hair on the pubic mons (my esthetician calls this a landing strip). She’ll continue this procedure for your inner and outer labia.
After the front and sides are done comes the most awkward (but least painful) part of the experience: the “back strip” or simply the hair between your butt cheeks and around your anus. You can skip this part, but I generally get it done. The “back strip” is made awkward by the position that you need to get yourself into in order for the esthetician to reach the hairs.
In my experience and from what I’ve read, there are four common positions:
- Lifting your butt up off the table while lying on your back and holding your cheeks apart with your hands while the esthetician does her thing;
- Naked child’s pose, where you stick your naked bum into the air;
- Lying on your side and holding one butt cheek up (I did this once and my esthetician said “don’t let go or you’ll never be able to go to the bathroom again!” No pressure!);
- Lying on your stomach.
The salon that I go to prefers the lying-on-your-stomach method, which I’m told is more work for the esthetician but far more comfortable for the guests. The same procedure will occur: she’ll apply wax in small areas, wait for it to dry or use a piece of fabric to rip it off. All in all, the procedure takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
What can I expect after the wax?
The results last four to six weeks, though the speed your hair grows does vary and regrowth for some can start much faster. One of the oft-cited downsides of Brazilians is the need to regrow the hair a bit before you can wax again. One thing to consider is the more frequently you wax, the finer the hair that grows back will be.
The biggest complaint about Brazlians are ingrown hairs or otherwise irritated skin afterwards. To prevent ingrown hairs, regularly use a gentle exfoliant. I use a sugar scrub on my parts to keep ingrown hairs at bay between waxes. For irritated skin, a little moisturizer with aloe may soothe it.
I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your pubic hair. But if you’re tired of the post-long run cowboy waddle and trying to contort into a pretzel to put on your Body Glide, give Brazilian waxes a try!
What’s your personal pube policy? Ever had a Brazilian? What’s your experience been?