What Is a "Hollywood" Wax?

plus how it differs from a Brazilian wax.

Tan, hairless woman in a white bikini
IvanMikhaylov/Getty Images

The Hollywood bikini wax is controversial—almost to the point it's regarded as something that requires a certain amount of nerve to get. Odds are, though, you're not clear on the differences between it and a Brazilian or bikini line wax. This is because, annoyingly, salons and spas sometimes have different names for the same type of bikini wax. Even if you get your nether regions frequently waxed, the place you visit might not call it a Hollywood. 

A regular bikini wax—often called an American—just removes the hair outside a basic underwear line. It's basically just a clean-up for your nether regions. From there, the styles start increasing in amount of hair they remove, going deeper into that line and more on top of the natural triangle shape into what's usually called a "full" bikini wax. The, there are some that are even more invasive like the Brazilian and French—better known as the landing strip. Even these usually leave some amount of hair in the front or by the backside. But the Hollywood wax isn't like this. The Hollywood wax is full bald. It removes all of the hair in your bikini zone, and everywhere else downstairs. Every last hair is waxed away from the front, in the middle, all the way to the back by your bum. You won’t have any genital hair left when it's done.

Nobody knows how this style came to be called "Hollywood," but you can probably take a guess. Not all salons use the term, (and some call it a Sphinx,) but the tech will probably know what you mean if you ask for one. Finding a tech that's experienced and crafty is important for any type of wax, but it becomes more important when working here. Because the Hollywood wax includes the removal of all genital hair and working on extremely delicate areas, who you choose becomes crucial to getting a good and safe service. You shouldn’t leave it to just anyone, even if they're credibly licensed. This wax is risky; skin can bruise, or become overly red and inflamed, or even be removed. The technician has to know know exactly what they're doing.

Do not wear tight pants or underwear for the first few days after your wax appointment to avoid skin irritation.

Ask around for referrals and check online for reviews. A good place to start is waxing-only salons for obvious reasons—that's their specialty. When you find a highly recommended salon or spa, it's a good idea to go for a brow, lip, or underarm wax first before trusting them with your bikini zone.

Waxing all of this area can be hard to reach. While the tech will try to keep you covered as possible, at times, you might just end up fully exposed from the waist down. Depending on the tech, you'll probably be asked to lift your legs and possibly get on your knees, so they can reach absolutely every nook and cranny. True professionals will make you feel relaxed, work quickly, and keep you as comfortable as possible during the process.

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