Brazilian Wax: What You Need to Know

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You might not be sad to see summer end, simply because of the constant work that's required to keep your beach body smooth and hairless. But the next time you want to wear skimpy lingerie, you'll realize there's never a good time to forget about your bikini line. There are a few hair removal techniques, however, that can keep your intimate areas hairless for weeks without upkeep, and the Brazilian wax is one of them.

Named for the country that often evokes images of beautiful beaches and beautiful people, this type of wax gained popularity in the United States after a plug by the TV show "Sex and the City." These days, you can find it on many spas' menu of services. Fans of Brazilian waxing claim it's hygienic and effective. But before you sign up to get one, there are a few things you should know. For one, this specialized treatment removes almost all hair from the genital region. Using the appropriate combination of wax and cloth, a trained aesthetician can remove every stray strand.

But like some other beauty treatments, this one comes at a price. Beyond paying upwards of $75 for the service, you can also expect to experience some physical pain, depending on your skin's sensitivity and the type of wax used [source: Bouchez]. The technique was actually almost banned in some areas, because some women have been seriously hurt during the waxing process [source: MSNBC]. A wrong swipe of wax in such a delicate area can turn into an emergency visit to your gynecologist, or worse. But that doesn't happen in every case. If you're thinking about giving Brazilian waxing a try, take a look at the facts about the process and learn how to protect yourself, and you'll be well on your way to being safely hair free.

Read on to learn why this sometimes painful waxing technique has so many people lining up to get bare.