Going Brazilian @ Stript
Last week, I had my first-ever waxing experience (of any body part), and I just took the bull by its horns and had a Brazilian done. I went to Stript Wax Bar. Stript is owned by the lovely, puts-you-right-at-comfort Katherine Goldman, a local Bay Area esthetician. Stript is all about waxing, whether it’s brows, legs, or down under for ladies AND gents. They have three locations: San Francisco, Oakland, and Palo Alto. I visited their Palo Alto location near Stanford University for an appointment with Katherine, and I was so impressed by the service, I immediately booked my maintenance appointment for four weeks out!
First up, a quick Q&A session with Katherine on some of those first-time waxer questions I had to get answers on before I went under the… wax. Then, a more detailed rundown of the experience itself–but let me just say getting my upper lip threaded was 10x more painful than getting a Brazilian.
Temptalia: What are the basics that a first-time Brazilian/bikini waxer know?
Katherine: The basics that a first time waxer should know is that first and foremost make sure the hair is long enough. If you are a shaver, wait two weeks to allow enough growth for the waxing. Secondly, know that there is going to be some discomfort but with continued waxing it does get much better and you can take either a pain reliever or apply a topical numbing cream half an hour before your appointment.
T: Are there certain times that are better to have one done than others?
K: Yes, there are certain times when waxing is better. I would avoid right before or during your cycle because this can make you more sensitive.
T: How long will it last?
K: Waxing typically lasts 2-4 weeks. It really depends on the hair growth cycle of the individual. The more you wax, the better the results so most people come every month. This diminishes the amount of hair so it grows in thinner, sparser and finer.
T: How can women feel less embarrassed about their visit?
K: Women can feel more at ease during their appointment just knowing that we are all beauty professionals that undergo extensive training and are licensed through the state we practice in. We understand that this can be uncomfortable but we do our best to distract you and put you at ease. We also offer disposable panties or a towel for you to cover.
T: Are there are pre- or post-rituals that should be done?
K: Before the wax, again make sure hair is long enough and take a pain reliever before the appointment. Afterwards make sure to exfoliate to prevent ingrown hairs. We have a few product such as a scrub (manual exfoliant) or a medicated product such as PFB which is targeted at treating and preventing ingrowns.
Note: I’m not going to be overly graphic, and there are certainly no before-and-afters to be found here, but if you’re squeamish about the human body and hair removal, you may want to skip this post!
I’ve been a habitual shaver for about two years now, and I have always been curious about trying waxing, but all of those horror stories really made me wary. Prior to my appointment, I did take two Advil, just in case. I also made sure not to shave the area for about two and a half weeks (it is recommended that you wait at least one to two weeks and/or at least 1/4″ of growth before waxing). It totally felt like a jungle and was driving me batty. I could not wait to hear the schwizppppp! of the waxing strip for it to be all gone.
Surprisingly, I was not actually nervous. I think I was just finally ready to experience waxing for all its glory, for the good or the bad, and in the name of reporting back to you on a first-timer’s experience with it. I’m so happy to report I don’t have a horror story to add the campfire tales. In fact, I have the complete opposite.
First, Katherine and I chatted about waxing, the store, and the like. She told me how it was important that clients feel comfortable, and this is why Stript is clean, well-decorated, and focused on hair removal. It’s not a secondary procedure here; it is the star of the show. Stript’s service list is extensive and includes depilar, as well as such things as The Vajacial (which I always giggle at, sorry! I swear I’m not 12!). In my area, Stript’s prices are above services done by nail salons but lower than services provided by full-service spas (facials, saunas, wraps, etc.).
Next, Katherine showed me to my room and had me use an antiseptic wipe to prep the area, and then a numbing spray/mist. Though I didn’t feel numb from it, I imagine it did help ease the pain (yes, there is pain; it is not painless!), even by a smidgen. I laid down and used the towel Katherine gave me to cover up my girly bits while I waited for Katherine to return.
Once she returned, she immediately put me at ease. She talked to me about what to expect, the process, what makes Stript different from other salons, and really just kept the conversation moving the whole time that I didn’t even have time to think about being embarrassed. She explained how they are concerned with making their clients comfortable and safe and having a good experience. They never double-dip and use higher quality products so that the wax sticks to the hair and not the skin (which means less pulling on the skin and therefore less pain).
Just to add my two cents and based on my experience at Stript: DON’T BE EMBARRASSED! Don’t let embarrassment stop you from trying it at least once. I’m so thankful that my esthetician kept me talking and made me feel like she was just a professional doing what she did best and never to worry, she had everything handled perfectly.
The wax felt warm without being hot or uncomfortable. Katherine waited several seconds, and then she would ask me to take a deep breath, and then exhale–when I exhaled, she would remove the strip. It really is no worse (probably even less) than a band aid coming off after a few hours. I’ve waxed my upper lip at home, as well as had it threaded, and both of those hurt quite a bit more than the entire Brazilian.
It was a remarkably quick process, too! I thought it would take awhile, but I was in and out in twenty minutes flat! There was no bruising, redness, or tenderness. It was just soft, smooth, and awesomely hair-free. I also liked that nobody pushed products on me, but I did end up buying PFB Vanish, which is a roller ball product that is designed to minimize ingrown hairs (which I, personally, am more prone to in that area).
I’m happy to report that a week later, and I’m still hair-free and ingrown-free! According to Katherine, the wax should last between two and four weeks, with most clients re-booking every three to four weeks, but some going as long as six or seven weeks. She said it really depends on your personal level of comfort–how much regrowth are you willing to tolerate–as much as it does on how quickly your hair grows back.
I was so pleased with the results and completely blown away by how little pain there was involved, I booked my another appointment for four weeks out with Katherine. That’s how awesome it was. I also wanted to tell everyone around me that waxing isn’t scary! It isn’t the worst pain ever! It’s not torture! Not having to shave every few days and then deal with itchiness and/or ingrown hairs? It’s so worth it. So worth it!
If you’re in the Bay Area, I fully recommend Katherine @ Stript. She travels between all three locations, but she works four out of her six days at the San Francisco location. Brazilians are $55, maintenance Brazilians are $50. Check the website for the service list and prices for other waxes!
Have you had a great waxing experience? I’d love to hear yours!
Katherine Goldman, Owner of Stript Wax Bar
* Service was complimentary. Purchased PFB. Will be a normal, paying client going forward!