First is the Worst: Brazilian Waxing

Written by Shelly Steadman

At this point, you can probably spot a first-time Brazilian client the moment you head to the waiting area to greet them. She’s going to have at least one person with her for support, she’s laughing nervously and glancing around trying to figure out what everyone else is getting, and, as you walk her back (without her friend), she’s already asking questions. “How many of these have you done?,” “do you do your own?,” “has anyone every passed out?,” “is it as bad as child birth or a kidney stone?,” “I know I can’t have sex, that’s what Google said.,” “should I have worn underwear?,” “am I going to be naked?” I answer any and all questions a client asks about their service, no matter how insane they might be to me. If it relaxes them, then it is worth the time and effort to be patient.

The moment we enter the treatment room, I start giving instructions on undressing and body positioning on the table and then leave them to it. Nine times out of 10, they do exactly what I say, but that tenth one is always upside down on the table, still fully dressed, wearing the wipe as a DIY vaginal drape, or they’ve pulled back the mat and shimmied under the blankets, which they now have pulled up to their ears. After they are put to rights, I snap on gloves, explain the process as I am cleaning, and begin. From that moment on, it is all movement and conversation. Talking gives the first-timer something to concentrate on besides the pain and moving quickly gives them less opportunity to be dramatic – grabbing at your waxing hand, screaming, yelling, closing their legs, the usual. Before they know it, we are headed back to the desk, hair-free, and maybe walking a little funny.

But, it wasn’t always so easy for me. Just like clients have their first time, so do we. I will be perfectly honest with you. The first Brazilian wax I did as a licensed aesthetician did not go well. I am pretty sure I killed the 70-year-old client who was just trying to add some spice to her 50th wedding anniversary with a bit of hair removal. I am exaggerating, for effect, but, essentially, I drizzled hard wax on the top of her pubic mound and then yanked the dried wax like I was trying to start a lawn mower. Did you just visualize that process? Trust me, it was much worse to be there. What makes it even more cringeworthy is that it was her first wax of any sort, ever.

When I was teaching, I told this story to every single group of students I taught. The look of horror on their faces as I mimed yanking a strip while standing front and center of the class was worth the nickname: the drizzler. But, mostly, I wanted them to appreciate the amazing wax training they received from my co-teacher. When I was a student, our training consisted of the instructor lying down a single strip, rubbing the muslin until wax oozed through, ripping it with all her might and, then, shouting, “Go practice! You know everything you need to wax.” I know an elderly woman who would vehemently disagree with that statement. Thank goodness wax education has improved.

Shelly Steadman 2019Shelly Steadman is a licensed aesthetician and educator with over 11 years’ experience in the skin care industry. After spending the last six years of her career behind a teacher’s podium training new aestheticians, she transitioned back into a treatment room. Steadman is currently working as an aesthetician at artistrySPASALON in the beautiful city of Franklin, Tennessee.

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