Bikini Wax Vs. Brazilian Wax: What Are The Differences?

Get ready for your next beach vacay with a tidy trim or a smooth, hairless style.

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Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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Waxing down there is a daunting task, and it is always best to have a clear idea about it before deciding on which type of wax to opt for. Brazilian waxing and bikini waxing are two common methods of waxing your intimate area. This article on bikini wax vs. Brazilian wax will highlight the differences that set them apart. Keep reading to find out how a bikini wax is different from a Brazilian wax, and decide which one you should pick.

What Is The Difference Between A Brazilian And A Bikini Wax?

Bikini waxing removes hair that falls outside the panty line.
Image: Shutterstock

Bikini waxing removes hair that falls outside the panty line. Any hair that peeks out when you wear a bikini bottom is removed. For women who want well-trimmed hair down there, a bikini wax is a quick solution with great results.

On the other hand, Brazilian waxing is a more intimate procedure. All the hair from the front, back, and between the butt cheeks is removed to create a smooth look. You can further customize a Brazilian wax by getting a neat triangle, square, or strip at the front.

protip_icon Trivia
Brazilian sisters Jocely, Joyce, Jonice, Janea, Juracy, Jussara, and Judsela (the J sisters) introduced Brazilian wax in the US during the late 80s when they opened a waxing studio in New York.

A cross-sectional survey study involving 1560 participants highlights the reasons people opt for pubic hair grooming. 72.8% of females reported grooming their pubic hair, of which 36.5% claimed to get pubic hair removal done more than once a month, while 63.5% said they got it done at least once a month. The adjusted odds ratios for reasons for the grooming in women were associated with religion (9.01), desiring a neat and clean pubic area (3.90), comfort levels with certain clothing (3.85), and before visiting a healthcare professional (4.79).

Deciding between a bikini and Brazilian wax depends on your budget and preference. Here are some other differences to keep in mind.

Bikini Wax Vs. Brazilian Wax

A Brazilian wax removes hair from intimate parts like the front, back, and between the butt cheeks.
Image: Shutterstock
Bikini WaxBrazilian Wax
Hair on the sides and top of the pubic triangle is removed to give your vajayjay a neat look.Leaves the intimate area – from the front up to the buttocks – completely hairless. You can have a different shape on top of the pubic area, such as a triangle, a landing strip, or a heart as per your preference.
This is a good option if you do not like being naked waist down in front of strangers.Go for this method if you want your pubic area to be smooth and hairless and are not bothered being naked waist down.
Your esthetician will ask you to lie down on the salon bed or couch and work around your panties. However, they may have to touch your labia to keep the skin taut.The esthetician may ask you to keep your legs open or bend in a weird position to reach all the places.
This is less painful because bikini hair is softer than pubic hair.This is more painful because the hair down there is coarse and thick.

Note: If you are on your period, wait until it is over before going for either of these waxing procedures. Also, once you wax your bikini line or pubic region, the skin down there will be very sensitive. Therefore, it is recommended to wait a good time before your next waxing session. You should also apply a soothing, alcohol-free, and fragrance-free cream, moisturizer, or ointment to keep the skin smooth and less irritated.

There are various types of waxes that most estheticians use while performing these procedures. Let’s check out what they are in the next section.

Types Of Bikini Wax

  • Standard Bikini Wax: This basic option focuses on tidying up the bikini line and removing the hair that may otherwise peek out of swimsuit bottoms.
  • Brazilian Wax: This style removes nearly all hair from the front and back, but may leave only a narrow strip or triangle (landing strip) in the front, if desired.
  • Hollywood Wax: The Hollywood wax removes all pubic hair and leaves you completely bare.
  • French Wax: This style features a neat landing strip in the front but removes hair from the back and the labia.
  • High Cut Bikini Wax: This style is ideal for high-cut swimsuits and it leaves a narrow strip of hair at the front and trims hair on the sides.

Choosing the right Bikini wax type depends on your personal preference, comfort level, and the desired aesthetic. In the following section, we have discussed the textures of wax commonly used for bikini and Brazilian waxing.

Types Of Wax Used

Hard wax is thick in consistency
Image: Shutterstock

There are mainly two types of wax – hard and soft. Hard wax has a thick gel-like consistency and looks like slime. It is generously applied to the skin in a thick, warm layer and pulled without a strip once it cools and hardens. Hard wax is better and safer for sensitive skin as it is said to be less painful.

On the other hand, soft wax has a thinner consistency than hard wax. It is applied in a thin layer to the skin and removed with a strip of cloth or paper.

  • For Bikini Waxing: The type of wax used in bikini waxing depends on the thickness of the hair in your intimate area. However, most estheticians use hard wax. This enables them to remove the coarse hair cleanly and precisely. Hard wax also acts as an exfoliator that reduces the chance of an irritated intimate area after the procedure.
  • For Brazilian Waxing: Both hard and soft wax can be used for Brazilian waxing. Hard wax is used on coarse hairs and reachable areas. Since soft wax is more malleable, it is better for less accessible areas. Soft wax also provides quick results and involves minimal tugging when done by an experienced esthetician.

protip_icon Trivia
Rosin and beeswax are the primary ingredients used in hard wax for bikini and Brazilian waxing.

The costs of bikini and Brazilian waxing are different and vary based on the salon, wax type, and the area waxed.

How Much Does Each Method Cost?

While the exact prices will depend on the salon, the products used, and the expertise level of the esthetician, the cost of bikini wax ranges from $30-$40, while Brazilian wax costs around $45-$130.

Note: Some salons may offer cheap rates for these procedures, but it is important to check their sanitary conditions and hygiene before opting for it. Remember to follow the ‘no double dipping’ rule if you are using soft wax. A new stick should be used every time it is dipped in the wax pot.

Heading out for a bikini or Brazilian wax may be daunting, but here are some tips that can help you prep.

How To Prep For A Bikini Or Brazilian Wax

Take pain relief medication like an Advil before your appointment
Image: Shutterstock
  • Make sure your hair down there is long enough for waxing. If you have recently undergone these waxing procedures, wait a few weeks before your next session. A good rule of thumb is to wait until hair is ¼-inch long — about the length of a sprinkle to head in for a bikini or Brazilian wax.
  • Avoid aspirin or heavy exfoliants a day before waxing as they may leave the skin extra sensitive.
  • Use a gentle scrub a day before the waxing procedure. This helps remove dead cells, oils, impurities, and dirt from the skin.
  • Wear loose clothing to prevent rubbing and irritation on the waxed area.
  • Take an Advil around 30-60 minutes before the appointment to deal with the pain during waxing.

Since both processes are performed in an intimate and sensitive area, they can be painful.

How Painful Are These Procedures?

Straight up, both waxing methods are going to be painful. Since you are removing hair from an intimate and sensitive area, it will hurt. But bikini waxing causes lesser pain than Brazilian waxing. Since it only removes hair from the sides or top of the bikini line, it takes lesser time and causes less pain.

Brazilian waxing is a time-consuming hair removal method and more painful. You can check with the esthetician at the salon for any OTC painkillers to reduce the pain. However, with more regular sessions, the pain decreases over time. The hair typically grows softer and finer after every waxing session, making it easier for the esthetician to rip it.

Joyce, a blogger, shared her Brazilian wax experiences in her blog. She said, “The first time really does hurt. If you wish to maintain it, less hair means less pain (i).” Describing her encounters at different salons, she mentioned the excruciating yet satisfying process, emphasizing the importance of timely peeling to avoid unbearable pain. She said, “The whole waxing came with so many ‘ahhs,’ ‘ouches,’ and whatnots but the good thing was I survived them after about an hour.”

Here are some aftercare tips to prevent irritation, chafing, redness, inflammation, or other adverse effects of waxing.

Aftercare Tips

Refrain from swimming swim after getting a bikini or Brazilian wax to prevent irritation
Image: Shutterstock
  • Try a cold compress to relieve irritation, redness, bumps, and swelling down there. Some people also recommend applying aloe vera, but ensure you consult the esthetician before using any ingredient on your waxed skin.
  • Wear loose clothing to prevent chafing and further irritation.
  • Do not use any deodorants, perfumes, or dyes down there. They contain alcohol and harsh chemicals that may cause itchiness and irritation.
  • Avoid the gym, pools, and bathing in the ocean for a few days. Working out will strain your groin, leading to irritation and pain. Also, sweat can further irritate your skin. Pools contain chlorine, which may aggravate the irritation, and salty ocean water may burn and irritate the skin.

Both the waxing procedures leave their mark and come with some pain and side effects.

Side Effects

  • Redness or temporary change in skin color
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Ingrown hair
  • Bruises or burning sensation
  • Pimples and bumps

Note: If your skin becomes red and itchy right after you apply the wax, let the esthetician know, as this may be an allergic reaction to the wax. However, the sensitive area should be fine in a few days with the right care.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly – Stories To Learn From

Situation: I used a hair removal cream to remove hair from my private area. It caused a burning sensation worse than carpet burns, and the hair roots can still be felt. Not only that, but once the hair grew back, it was so itchy and uncomfortable.

Solution: Use aloe vera gel to soothe the burns. You can also use a cold compress, a cloth dipped in cold water, or an ice-filled bag to relieve burning sensation.

If you are wondering about the amount of time it takes for the hair to grow back, scroll down to the next section.

How Long Will It Take For My Hair To Grow Back?

Everyone’s growth cycle is different, but most people can go anywhere from three to five weeks before they need to book another appointment. Regular waxing will reduce the amount of hair that comes back, so think of it as short-term pain for long-term gain. The next waxing session depends on how quick the growth cycle of the pubic hair is. It may take a few weeks for the hair to become long enough for the wax to grasp and pull out.

In this article on bikini wax vs. Brazilian wax, understanding the difference between the two is key to helping you choose the right procedure for a smooth look. Bikini wax focuses on removing the hair that falls outside your panty line, while bikini wax removes all the hair in the front, back, and between your butt cheeks. Both procedures are painful and may result in redness, itching, or bumps down there. That is why it is important to go to a salon with proper hygiene and an experienced esthetician for safe hair removal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I trim before a Brazilian wax?

Yes, you can trim down slightly long hair before your Brazilian wax to make your experience more comfortable.

Is getting a Brazilian wax awkward?

It is natural to feel awkward if you are getting a Brazilian wax done for the first time. However, there is nothing wrong with getting a Brazilian wax done. It is recommended that you speak to a professional and understand the procedure better before going for it.

Does bikini hair get thinner after waxing?

With waxing, hair is pulled from the roots, which reduces hair growth. The hair in the bikini area may appear to become thinner over time as it grows back softer and more sparse; however, even this result varies from person to person.

Key Takeaways

  • Bikini wax removes hair that falls outside the panty line, while all the hair in intimate areas is removed in
  • Brazilian wax
  • You may choose one or the other as per your budget, preference, and level of pain tolerance.
  • However, you should avoid waxing on periods to prevent extra pain and discomfort.

Learn how to do Brazilian waxing with this step-by-step tutorial. Watch the video for expert tips on the best bikini waxing techniques and products to use.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Schwarzburg is a leading authority in the field of minimally invasive cosmetic and laser medicine in New York City. He is an Ivy League school graduate with 7 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology and regenerative medicine
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