You've doubtless heard of the Brazilian—the bikini waxing technique that originates from the South American nation known for its great jazz, fabulous beaches, soccer star Pele, and Amazon rainforests. But have you heard of the Boyzilian? It’s the men’s equivalent, and it’s available in a spa near you. You might seek it out for any number of reasons: Some prefer the look and feel for themselves, others do it for their partners to enjoy, and still others may choose to get waxed for special occasions, work reasons, or a trip to the Copacabana beaches.
Truth be told, I was nervous about getting one and initially reluctant. I have never been too concerned with having hair south of the border, and I wasn’t sure if I would be keen on the look. I was also fearful about the potential for pain, both during the treatment and after. And what about ingrown hair in the days that followed, or maintenance as the hair grows out?
These were the questions racing in my head as took an Uber to the Federico Salon and Spa near Manhattan's Central Park South, on a mission to see the J Sisters for my very first Boyzilian. Nonetheless, I summoned my courage and, all told, the experience was great. The staff made me feel very comfortable—almost to the point of forgetting what was about to happen. Read on to learn all the pro tips for preparing for and receiving a Boyzilian wax treatment.
Meet the Expert
Benefits of the Boyzilian Wax
Since waxing your body is mainly a cosmetic choice based on individual preferences, the benefits are largely aesthetic and perhaps even psychological. “Men consider getting this service performed primarily for hygienic purposes. It feels extremely clean,” Lulu from J Sisters explains. “Also for beauty: Men these days want to feel confident in themselves.” Enrico Ramirez, a licensed aesthetician and the owner of Face to Face Day Spa, focuses on the sex appeal that one might gain from the experience. In his view, the Boyzilian is “good for anyone who wants to feel sexy and lusty.”
According to Lulu, the men’s Brazilian has become popular “because men realized they want to feel clean too.“ She explains that hair services were heavily segregated by gender until the '90s, when men and women began to have more similar goals and service preferences. Today, the Brazilian is just one example of a previously gendered treatment that's now common for everyone to enjoy. “It is not a service seen with a stigma of being feminine,” she says. “Instead, people see it as a clean and hygienic basic service.”
While the reasons someone might get a Boyzilian treatment may vary, a few of the main benefits are as follows:
- Smoothes skin
- Accentuates one’s private parts
- Can increase the ease of cleaning and moisturizing the skin
- Cools off the area in summer
How to Prepare for a Boyzilian Wax Treatment
In general, our experts tell us minimal preparation is necessary ahead of treatment, but if you normally shave the area being waxed, you do need to wait until there's sufficient regrowth. According to Lulu, three weeks is the recommended minimum. “If the hairs are too short, waxing may not be able to grab the hairs and pull from the root,” she says. “This can lead to unnecessary irritation. The hairs need to be the right length to wax.”
You should also ensure that you've done your best to remove any oils, lotions, or creams from the areas being waxed, as it can sometimes impede the treatment’s effectiveness. “Before waxing, try to remove any lotion. In the event the client does not have a chance to do so prior to arrival, we may remove lotions, creams, and debris using a wax prep product like Pinkini (a product available through spas),” Lulu says. Ramirez, meanwhile, suggests a simpler approach: “Just make sure you're showered and cleaned.”
All of that seems simple enough, though Ramirez says that people using Retin-A or Accutane might have skin that is too sensitive for the treatment. If you're on these medications or have increased sensitivity due to another cause, consider consulting a professional to see what they'd recommend.
What to Expect During a Boyzilian Wax Treatment
First, it's important to communicate exactly what parts of your body you want waxed, as this will help you to pick the right treatment option. “We have our own terminology. We call it 'South of the Border' when it's the pubic hair, shaft, and balls, or 'Backdoor Treatment' when it's the glutes and around the anus,” Ramirez explains. “Every salon has its gimmick. Just be sure to be clear what you want. We are not here to judge; we are here to enhance your own handsome self.”
When I arrived for my treatment, I undressed, laid down on the procedure table, and awaited instructions from the staff on how to position my body, choosing one of several options. “There are three main techniques that rely on body position. They can be laid on the side, on all fours, or our signature position, which is like a baby cradling with the legs up,” Lulu explains. “We find that [the cradling] is the most comfortable and natural. The actual skill in the method is in how we remove the hair and the flick of the wrist as we pull the strips.”
Prior to the hair removal, the staff applied a powder to the areas being waxed to absorb any oils or lotions. The wax itself felt warm and pleasant upon contact, and the pain was minimal and short-lived. Ramirez tells us that he has worked to make his waxing method as painless as possible: “I use an Australian warm wax, which I apply, let dry for a few seconds, then I peel it off. Beforehand, I apply an oil to protect the skin, [so] when I peel the wax off, [it] removes the hair without pulling the skin, which is usually the cause of a painful waxing treatment.”
At Home vs. Professional Treatment
While you can wax certain parts of your body at home, I would not recommend it with the Boyzilian. Beyond the hassle and potential mess of wax on furniture or other surfaces, you're likely to be less successful at removing hair from hard-to-reach areas, and the potential for pain is also higher if you can't see what you're doing. Because of this, it's best to go to a professional for the most thorough, comfortable results.
If you do decide DIY is the best option for you, an at-home Boyzilian is possible with good products and a careful technique. Many wax kits are available on the market, each with different formulations. When attempting to wax at home, be sure to follow the instructions for the specific product in order to avoid painful mistakes or undesirable results.
My Boyzilian wax results were very positive. The procedure itself was quite quick and surprisingly less painful than I anticipated. Most importantly, I enjoyed the smooth appearance and feel of my skin following the treatment. Surprisingly, although I have very sensitive skin, I experienced no breakouts or really any significant reactions at all as days went by.
According to Lulu, the first time you do your wax, “you’ll notice you have none of the irritation or itchiness that you’d have when shaving. Your hair will grow back softer. After the third session, you’ll notice less and less hair growing back.” Results, of course, will vary by person, as will the amount of time they last. “I have clients who come back every month, and some who take two months to return,” Lulu says. “The results depend on your genes and how they express your hair growth.”
“There is often some itchiness once the hair is fully grown as the skin gets used to being smooth, and yes, the hair grows softer and [makes it] easy for follow-up waxing maintenance,” Ramirez says. He says the treatment area “will stay smooth for about two weeks. Then, the hair starts to grow slowly, or fast, depending on your own testosterone level.”
Most importantly, when can you resume your normal routine, including sex? Lulu says there's no necessary downtime at all. “Enjoy life! Have sex! Only if you go to the beach, use sunscreen,” she cautions. Ramirez, however, suggests waiting a bit before resuming certain activities. “Come by at least two to three days prior to any major event, or even a Grindr hookup, just in case you have an unexpected reaction from the wax,” he warns. Duly noted.
Both experts indicate that aftercare is minimal, although a bit of initial precaution is a good idea. Ramirez tells us that it's best to limit certain activity after a wax: “I always recommend no exercise or any rigorous activity to keep the skin dry and cool as best as possible for the first 24 hours. Then afterward, get back to your normal routine.”
According to Lulu, you might consider using A&D ointment around the area “because it will help to form a protective barrier to seal out wetness.” Ramirez echoes this, saying that for the first 24 hours post-wax, he recommends applying “antibiotic ointment or Aquaphor to keep the skin clean and sanitized and avoid any infections, as the pores are wide open to bacteria.”
The average cost for a full Boyzilian will vary depending on where you live. In big cities like New York and Los Angeles, expect to pay around $90 or more. If you attempt to wax at home instead, you'll find options at your local drugstore starting at about $10.
As a beauty and grooming enthusiast who's always looking for new technologies, treatments, and products, I would say that the Boyzilian is something that I would do again. Although I've always been comfortable with body hair below the belt, and in fact even celebrated it in a body-positive way on myself and others, I found the experience of waxing to be refreshing and a nice change from my usual look. If you normally use a razor to remove or reduce unwanted body hair, a wax offers several advantages, including a smoother finish, less irritation, no accidental cuts, and a longer regrowth time. While whatever you do with your body hair is your choice and equally valid, for those who want to give the Boyzilian a try, I would say the treatment is efficient, comfortable, and definitely worth it.