The Brazilian Saga: Epilogue

I went back today for my second-ever Brazilian.

It was soooooooooo much better this time.

About three days ago I started to feel it: the trepidation, the anticipation of great pain. I made a few passive-aggressive self-piteous comments to Sean. This morning, while sitting on the john reading Kentucky Alumni magazine, I suddenly had to fight down a particularly nasty onslaught of bile.

Obviously, I was nervous.

I headed up to downtown early and perused a “2006 Style Preview” hair magazine, sipping water and admiring the ambience of La Dolce Vita. If you have to have hair yanked out of your most private places, it’s nice to do it in a place that makes you feel about ten times cooler just because you’re there.

M came and fetched me and guided me out of the hip salon side, filled with dance beats and guys with thick black belts studded with metal and a row of black chairs facing mirrors and blue lights, into a room on the more soothing spa side, with its calming trance-y New Age music, its low lights, its extraordinarily comfortable ergonomic bed.

I settled in and hosed myself down with numbing spray. I don’t know if I put more or less on than last time, but I do know that I used quite a bit. Then I lay there waiting, letting the soothing music and comforting cradle of the bed help to calm me.

When M returned, she started on the opposite side from last time. I wondered if she kept notes and alternated on purpose, or if it was just a coincidence. I didn’t ask. My insides were churning at the thought of the first rip.

It came and went with hardly a jump.

I concentrated hard on our conversation. This time we talked about Christmas, and home-buying. She has a house up for sale off Fury’s Ferry, and wants to build in North Augusta. I tried to talk whenever she was about to tear the wax off, to distract myself, and for the most part it really worked.

But it was also just less painful in general than I remembered, and it seemed like it was over very quickly.

“That didn’t hurt near as much as last time,” I said in wonderment as M cleaned up.

“Oh, yeah. The first time is always the worst. Eventually your body builds up a tolerance, and the hair starts to grow in thinner too.”

“It seemed like it was already softer, just after the first time.”

“Yeah…you’re lucky, your hair is blond. It’s nice and thin. It takes people with dark hair years to get to the point you’re at.”

I left feeling very smug about being a blonde (hell, grow up hearing blonde jokes all your life and you take what you can get), but most importantly, I left with no residual pain. In fact, I felt absolutely fantastic, and still do.

It’s true what I told M about the hair feeling softer after the first time. The wax left my skin far less irritated than shaving. Given that and the fact that the pain has diminished so much, I see no reason not to keep the Brazilian as a permanent part of my life.


If you haven’t already, do check out the other chapters of the Brazilian Saga.

Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!
Part Two: I totally caved
Part Four: The Day After

The Brazilian Saga, Part Four: The Day After

I am covered with little red dots.

It would seem that every pore either bled or was very unhappy about the hair-tearing experience, so I have inflamed areas and scabs everywhere.

However, it doesn’t hurt at all. It’s a little uncomfortable to brush across those bumpy sores, but that irritation isn’t really even enough to mention. What is annoying is how it looks. I imagine that will go away eventually.

Soon would be good.

So: would I recommend this experience to a friend? Yes, and not (just) because I’m a sadist. I think it’s good to experience different things in life, and I also think women should look into every hair removal option they possibly can. Some people are going to like it and some aren’t, but they should at least try it out and see what they think.

I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a permanent solution for me. If it is, it will mean that I use three different hair removal methods: Nair on the face, wax on the bikini area, and shaving on the legs and underarms. I don’t really like having to fuss a lot about my appearance; I prefer to be as low-maintenance as possible. We’ll have to see how I feel about doing this for the rest of my life.


Read the other chapters in the Brazilian Saga! (If you haven’t already.)

Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!
Part Two: I totally caved

The Brazilian Saga, Part Three: OW OW OW OW OW OMGWTF OW

Okay, let me back up.

Yesterday, Sean said, “When are you getting your wax?”

“I dunno.”

“Go do it now.”

But I was on my way out the door for bicycling with Brooke (not that I could have gotten an appointment right then anyway), so instead I called and made an appointment for this morning.

My appointment was at 11:30, and I arrived at La Dolce Vita right on time. My first surprise, when I checked in at the front counter, was when they asked me if I wanted something to drink.

“What do you have?”

“Well, there’s coffee right there; you can serve yourself. Or we have water, red wine, white wine, or juice.”


Alcoholism runs in my family, so I have avoided drinking to the point that I have only had a handful of sips of alcohol in my entire life. I’m not particularly proud of my “restraint”, because avoiding something out of fear doesn’t really make you a hero. I’ve been thinking lately that I’d feel better about myself if I faced alcohol directly, allowed myself to drink “socially”. Just one drink every now and then. I feel like I need to get over my fear by proving to myself that I can be strong.

So I was tempted to have some wine, but I chose water instead. After all, I had to drive home. Not being a drinker, who knows how inebriated just one glass might make me?

In retrospect, the wine might have helped with the pain a little. C’est la vie.

I sipped my water and a woman named M guided me out of the salon into the spa area, where a little room with soft yellow lighting and a long ergonomic bed was waiting for me.

“So what are you getting done?” she asked. “Brows?”

Uh. Shit. Do my eyebrows look that terrible? I don’t do much with them because they’re so pale…

“No, the Brazilian,” I said. “This is my first time.”

“Oh, okay. Well, don’t worry. I’ve been doing these for a long time,” M said. “What you do is take off everything from the waist down, and lie on this towel. Then spray yourself good with this numbing spray, and cover up with this other towel. The spray needs to sink in for about three minutes, and then we’ll start.”

The numbing spray was my second surprise. Somehow, I hadn’t known/had forgotten that existed. This made me feel a little better. Maybe the spray would mean the experience would be uncomfortable rather than outright painful. I’m pretty good at living with discomfort.

She left me alone in the little room. I undressed, clambered onto the bed, and sprayed like mad. Curious about what exactly numbing spray was, I checked the can. Active ingredient: 4% lidocaine.

Well, that’s a numbing agent, all right.

I believe I’ve had lidocaine used on me before, but I can’t remember when. They gave me a numbing agent that had to be injected locally when I had the bone marrow biopsies and the spinal tap; I can distinctly remember the pricking sensation, and then how weird it felt to have something moving around inside my skin and bones and to not feel anything but a dull kind of aching pressure. Whatever that numbing agent was, it was powerful.

This stuff? Not so much.

It seemed like a long time had passed after I’d finished spraying and covered up. Finally, concerned that the lidocaine might be wearing off, I hosed myself down with it again. Not fifteen seconds later, M came back into the room.

The wax seemed a little hot at first, but then it just started to feel nice. Having the hot wax spread and then the paper smoothed over my skin was very comfortable and relaxing.

Then, of course, she held my skin taut and ripped.

The first spot was surprising and it stung a little, but really only enough to be mildly irritating. But some places hurt, enough that I jerked and gasped and tears came to my eyes.

“I’m sorry,” M would say whenever that happened. One time she remarked, “Sometimes there’s some bleeding after the first time. The root is really thick, and there are usually two hairs in each pore, so it’s only natural that ripping them out might cause some bleeding. It shouldn’t happen again after the first time.”

Between apologies and hair removal explanations, M engaged me in discussions of our lives. She learned that I had an English degree, had had leukemia, had moved to Augusta when I got married, am currently doing freelance web design, and that our apartment had recently burned down. I learned that she has two sons, one of whom is named after the villain in Legend of Zelda, and that a guy she used to date is the deputy at Springhouse. I also learned that M may be the only person who does Brazilian waxes in all of Augusta.

The conversation was helpful, and I really tried to concentrate on it. Going in, I’d decided to treat this like a necessary medical procedure: best to just grit my teeth and get it over with quickly. Lying there helpless, letting some woman rip apart my most sensitive and private areas, I wondered that I had been so naive. Sure, I’ve endured pain, but this…this was ridiculous.

By the time it was over, I wasn’t sure it had been worth it. M finished up, tweezing a few stray hairs, and I flinched and just wanted to die.

“If you feel a lot of discomfort, I suggest hydrocortisone cream,” she said. “But really, you should feel better by tonight, and you’ll be fine tomorrow.”

That was encouraging. And now that she was done, I felt a lot better–relieved. I glanced down at myself before she turned off her fluorescent light. The skin was red and puffy.

“If you want to make another appointment, people usually have it done every six weeks,” M said. “Have a good weekend!”

“Thank you. You too!” I said, and she left the room so I could get dressed. Once the door closed behind her, I hesitantly felt around my inflamed skin to see if it felt smooth.

There was still hair there!

Granted, there wasn’t much, but there was hair. M had said she had trouble seeing my hair because it’s blond. She’d also said that it was growing in several different directions, which made it more difficult. So I suppose I can understand how she missed some…I was just hoping the results would be better than what I can achieve myself through shaving.

I dressed. Oddly, I didn’t feel much pain…just a slight discomfort, and a swelling that was not altogether unpleasant (after all, that kind of swelling usually portends good things). The whole thing had taken less than half an hour. It was over, and while there was a little hair left there wasn’t much, and anyway I wouldn’t have to shave it now.

I picked up my water glass and headed back out to the counter. Walking didn’t hurt, either.

“Thank you,” the lady at the register said, handing me back my debit card. “Would you like to make an appointment for anything else?”

Why not? Getting it over with was the hard part. It’s supposed to get better every time you do it. And you don’t have to do it but every six weeks.

“Yeah,” I said, and got myself set up for my next Brazilian.


Read the other chapters in the Brazilian Saga! (The more you know…)

Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!
Part Two: I totally caved
Part Four: The Day After

The Brazilian Saga, Part Two: I totally caved

I have a confession to make.

I just couldn’t take it anymore!

So this morning, in the shower, I did it.


Before you freak out on me, let me assure you that I did not shave the happy place. The Brazilian is still on. No, I just shaved everything else…my legs, and my underarms.

And boy does it feel good!

I can wear shorts again! (And skirts, like I did today.)

It had been so long that shaving wasn’t even all that bad.

For now, since we’re scrounging for money to buy a house and I just blew quite a wad of cash on a bicycle, I’ve decided to stick to shaving the usual places…but I made a commitment, to you my readers and to my husband, that I would get the Brazilian, and by gum I’m going to do it.

Hopefully sometime next week!


Read the other chapters in the Brazilian Saga! (You know you want to.)

Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!
Part Four: The Day After

The Brazilian Saga, Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!

A normal Brazilian wax covers (well, uncovers) the so-called “bikini” area. You know. The hoo-hah zone. The procedure apparently involves leaving a “landing strip” leading to the area in question, but I’m going to opt out of that if at all possible. I am accustomed to being completely bare, and prefer to stay that way.

I have decided that it’s not worth it to only wax the unmentionables. I’m going to have my legs done, too. It’s only fair. I hate shaving. How annoying would it be to have to shave one place and wax another? (My underarms are still under debate.)

In order to have one’s unwanted hair ripped off, one must first allow one’s unwanted hair to grow.

I have been, and believe me, it isn’t pretty.

My hair isn’t uberlong. It’s not Planet of the Apes over here. But it’s longer than I’d like. I have been very tempted to just shave it already for days now, and I hate shaving. But in the interest of science and the blog post I’m going to write about this experience and my sex life (paradoxically), I haven’t given in. I’ve let it grow.

And I’m just going to keep letting it grow, because I have to wait until either 1) I get paid for one of my freelance projects, which will hopefully happen tomorrow but you never know; or 2) Sean gets paid, which will be at the end of the month. In the meantime, I’ve been psyching myself up for and educating myself about the experience.

For example, I’ve read that a loofah may be employed to ward off the bane of my existence, the ingrown hair. Yesterday, at something like 11 at night, I slunk into the Evans Super Wal-Mart (wearing shorts–my hairy legs exposed–the horror!) and nicked one. After using it this morning, I have to say that I really have no idea why people think loofahs are evil. It was such a great, invigorating feeling to scrub myself with it. Yes, even you-know-where. Sheesh, people are such wussies!

(I may feel differently when my skin is red and raw from waxing, but for now…wussies!)


Read the other chapters in the Brazilian Saga! (They’re high in fiber.)

Part Two: I totally caved
Part Four: The Day After


I’m going to have something done.

Something that promises to be quite painful.

Something that will improve my life.

Something that is completely vain and unnecessary.

And to top it all off, it won’t even last. In a couple of months I’ll have to have it done again.

So, a question: when it happens for the first time, should I blog about it?

Because I will. In detail.

You have been warned.


Read the other chapters in the Brazilian Saga! (Yes. Yes, I did say Brazilian.)

Part One: Oh the Hair, the Hair!
Part Two: I totally caved
Part Four: The Day After