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Brazilian bikini wax

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Brazilian bikini wax

By Pamela Sitt - The Seattle Times

To find a brazilian bikini wax salon in Florida, Click Here

For bringing the Brazilian bikini wax to Seattle, Anne Uhlir credits actress Demi Moore.

Uhlir, who waxes everything from eyebrows to panty lines, had been called to the Four Seasons Hotel to give the visiting Moore a standard bikini wax - only it wasn't.

"She was like, 'I want the full monty' (translation: everything off)," Uhlir recalls, "and I said, 'Are you sure?' "

That brief 1999 encounter launched Uhlir's Wax On Spa in Seattle, specializing in "the full monty" - commonly known as the Brazilian bikini wax. Wax On - the self-proclaimed "Home of the Brazilian Bikini Wax" - is one of a growing number of salons to offer the Brazilian, which is a very thorough removal of one's pubic hair.

The procedure is not new - it was introduced to New York in 1987 by seven Brazilian-born sisters, who today wax celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow at their J. Sisters Salon in midtown Manhattan.

But who was getting a Brazilian bikini wax in 1987? (Who even knew what it was?)

Certainly not anyone in Seattle, where some folks still don't know. (Those people clearly do not watch HBO's "Sex and the City.") While the definition varies slightly depending on where you go, most aestheticians agree that a Brazilian wax involves removing pubic hair from the front, back and everyplace in between. (A regular bikini wax removes hair around the front of the bikini line only.)

"What makes a Brazilian a Brazilian is when I 'clean the basement,' " said Pegi Carnahan, who does at least five a day at ARIA Salon in Seattle. "It's Brazilian (thong-style) swimwear that requires that kind of intense wax, which is why they call it a Brazilian."

Contrary to popular belief, the Brazilian wax is less about what's left in front and more about what's left everywhere else - which is nothing. The common misconception is that a Brazilian means everything off. But the real difference is that a Brazilian extends to the back - it doesn't really matter what you leave in the front, whether it's a "landing strip," triangle shape or nothing at all.

"When everything's removed except a tiny little strip in front, that's a Brazilian," Carnahan said, "or all of it, that's also a Brazilian."



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Up until a few years ago, Seattle women who wanted a Brazilian were hard-pressed to find an aesthetician who would do it. Even today, it's not standard at all waxing locales.

"I know it's big in L.A. and New York, and I can't believe more people don't do it (in Seattle)," said Cathy Murphy, 25, who got her first Brazilian a year and a half ago. "It's cleaner, it's neater, and it's become part of my personal hygiene routine, like getting my hair done."

Once relegated to the land of strippers and Playboy models, the Brazilian bikini wax has gone mainstream in recent years, appearing in magazines and on television and popping up in conversation at cocktail parties.

"Whenever I was at a party, every guy I met, that's the first question they'd ask: 'So what's the deal with the Brazilian bikini wax?' " said Angela Bern, a waxer in Fremont, Wash. "It actually got to be pretty annoying."

Todd Larson doesn't claim to be an expert on the Brazilian bikini wax, but he is a fan. His theory: It's kind of like a fashion accessory - women want it because everyone else has it.

"I think 99 percent of the time, men are oblivious to most things women do to their bodies, and only in the case where it's obvious does a man really take notice," said Larson, 39. "Like the before and after of a Brazilian is like, wow."

Sure, men like it, but women like it more.

"Usually, (clients) just want to try it because their girlfriends have done it," said Carnahan, of ARIA. "I've heard more girlfriend influence than boyfriend influence."

Waxers say the procedure is most popular with twenty- and thirtysomethings - among whom thong underwear is most popular - but they also see teenagers and senior citizens. Carnahan said that about 25 percent of her clients opt for "everything off."

The procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes and can cost up to $75; regular bikini waxes range from $30 to $50.

Of course, the Brazilian - particularly the "everything off" version - is not for everyone.

"I don't want to look like a 12-year-old," said Margaret Miller, 37. "I mean, I'm a woman, not a little girl."

But as a younger generation gets turned on to the Brazilian, it seems less about sexuality and more an issue of practicality: Thongs are in and hair is out.

"I actually now am experiencing young girls kind of thinking it's the norm," Bern said. "They don't really seem embarrassed about it."

Waxing in general - brows, lip, back, legs - has become routine. Even guys don't want to be hairy anymore - Wax On Spa does about 10 male Brazilians a week.



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