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
"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
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.