From Our Editors
Both waxing styles involve using warm wax to remove hair from the area below the waist, but the distinction lies in the degree of hair being removed. During a basic bikini wax, an aesthetician removes hair from any area exposed by a typical bathing suit made of fig leaves. This includes the top and sides of the bikini line as well as the inner thighs, if necessary. The Brazilian wax takes it a step further, removing hair from the entire region, front to back. Since many clients prefer to leave a small, trimmed swath of hair in a strip or triangle just below the panty line, some aestheticians may use the term "full Brazilian" to refer to a session in which no hair is left behind.
Naturally, due to the sensitivity of the areas involved, Brazilians tend to be more intimidating than basic bikini waxes, and most aestheticians will take care to avoid causing pain during the procedure. There are also several steps you can take to minimize discomfort. Experts recommend avoiding any appointment within a week of menstruation, when the skin is most sensitive, and taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen 30 minutes beforehand can help reduce any swelling that results.