Is Brazilian wax still relevant?

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Can we please talk about body hair? I’ve given up on my grooming routine for the past two years, and I wonder what people are doing now regarding waxing. If that’s not too shocking, I specifically ask if Brazilian wax is still a thing. – Just call me shaggy

I’ve been a reporter on this beat since the mid-90s, so any questions about body hair trends wouldn’t shock me. I wrote my first story about Brazilian waxes around 1996, shortly after the J. Sisters salon opened in New York. The seven Brazilian sisters, all whose names begin with the letter J, brought Ipanema Beach’s concept of “everything there” to North America. A little after, sex and the city blasted the news to the north, where the Brazilian was, at the time, a hard-to-find serve.

Cut to 2004 and the trend to shave bonsai-like patterns in pubic hair: car logos! Christmas trees! Initials! Next, let’s move on to the 2012 vajazzling craze, which involved glittering decals near intimate areas. Then came the vajacial, which according to Jessie Frampton, co-founder of Fuzz Wax Bar, is still going strong (more on that later).

I first interviewed Frampton when Fuzz opened in 2012, it was one of the first wax bars to open here in Canada and the industry has been growing ever since. Fuzz now has 16 locations across the country; another cross-country chain, Waxon, also launched in 2012, now has eight sites; and Vancouver’s Foxy Box recently opened its first salon in Toronto.

Brazilian is still the most popular service at Fuzz (although it is now known as “Zillian”). But it seems to me that your question, Shaggy, is really about social expectations of body hair today, and yes, that’s an even more pressing topic since most of us have had to give up outsourced grooming for big chunks of the past two years. . The answer is simple enough, but won’t provide the instant clarity of a definitive trend: “It’s all good,” says Frampton. “The thing is, today people wax for themselves, not according to what their partner might prefer.” That’s why fancy trends and ornamentation of the pubic area are a thing of the past. “We encourage you to wax in the most comfortable way for you,” she adds. “Some people let their armpit hair grow out but shave their lower legs, some just do a Zillian, some take it all over.” Today, even booking a Brazilian doesn’t necessarily mean going completely hairless: “People customize the look.”

The thing is, today people wax for themselves, not what their partner might prefer.

Frampton promises “zero judgement” from staff on how much hair you want to leave or remove and from where. This aligns with the body hair positivity movement, which has now fully taken hold. Remember the fuss around Julia Roberts showing off armpit hair on the red carpet? It was 1999, and she was promoting Notting Hill. Pundits (probably including me) took it as a political statement. Roberts spoke about it years later, saying she had no agenda, just being herself. This, Hirsute, is the big lesson here. For all the times I’ve written “the bush is back”-themed stories, I’ve had to swallow my words when the pendulum gently swings back. The “trend” is now indeed: You do you.

This applies to all genders. This year, Fuzz officially became gender neutral, with services described based on anatomy, not gender identity, and staff trained in sensitive communication. “About 15% of our customers identify as male, and we’ve made it our mission to be an inclusive, safe, and unisex space where everyone is comfortable,” she says. It also means neutral colors and “no flowers in the front”.

The only real rule now is to keep things clean: staying hairy doesn’t have to mean staying unkempt. Think of body hair maintenance like beard care. “Keep it trimmed, keep it tidy around the edges, and keep it clean,” is Frampton’s advice. She says the staff at Fuzz do “a lot of education about hair positivity, promoting the idea that hair is fine, and then changing that conversation to how to maintain that hair and keep it healthy.”

It means proper skin care. The Fuzz Bar V-facial (formerly vajacial) is the ultimate six-step skincare service for your most delicate skin. But it’s something you can do at home: a whole world of products has sprung up to take care of our hair growth areas, whether we keep it smooth or leave it natural. Fuzz’s most popular product is the Skin Perfecting Body Scrub. “It prepares the skin for waxing, then — after a few days, to let irritation set in after waxing — it prevents ingrown hairs during the regrowth period,” Frampton explains. Meanwhile, Gillette Venus launched a full line of pubic area care products, including a two-in-one cleanser and shave gel, exfoliator, serum, and skin and hair softening oil. So whether you choose to go completely naked out there, put things away, or go completely au natural, there are plenty of ways to take care of whatever you decide to leave behind.

As for at-home hair removal, during the pandemic, Fuzz has created at-home hair removal kits, which are still available on its site. “But especially for the bikini area,” says Frampton, “it’s best left to the professionals.”

Buy the tips

Take control of your grooming decisions with these prep and aftercare products and some homemade wax options.

Fuzz Wax Bar Skin Perfecting Body Scrub, $30, fuzzwaxbar.com

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This in-shower scrub prepares your skin for waxing, then helps prevent ingrown hairs. It also hydrates the skin. Use anywhere except the face.

Gillette Venus Hair & Skin Softening Oil, $23, shoppersdrugmart.ca

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This blend of 99.5% vegetable oils, including grapeseed, macadamia, and jojoba, helps moisturize the skin and reduce irritation and friction between skin and clothing. Plus, it’s paraben-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free.

Nair Sensitive Wax Ready Strips for Legs and Body, $19, shoppersdrugmart.ca

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If you opt for at-home waxing, ready-to-use strips make the process easy and mess-free. These Nair strips designed for sensitive skin contain soothing chamomile and do not require warming or rubbing.

Parissa Brazilian Wax Kit, $15, amazon.ca

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This stripless wax is designed for use on thick hair, in sensitive areas. Give it a try if you’re feeling brave and are very good at judging temperatures in microwave wax!

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