It's bikini weather and the world cup is happening in Brazil. How could I resist? Here's ten things you need to know before you get a Brazillian.
1. In 1987, the Padilha sisters -Jocely, Jonice, Janea, Joyce, Jussara, Juracy, and Judseia - introduced the "Brazillian Wax" at their at their J. Sisters Salon in Midtown, Manhattan. By 2000, celebrity fans like Naomi Campbell, and a starring role in an episode of "Sex and the City" had propelled the Brazillian sisters and their eponymous wax to international fame.
2. In 2011, Debby Herbenick and Vanessa Schick of Indiana University researched the phenomenon of pubic grooming and found that nearly 60 percent of women aged 18 to 24 and just under half of women aged 25-29 were "sometimes, or always, completely bare" in the pubic area.
3. Although there has been an attempt to radicalise pubic grooming because of it's association with porn, the practice of hair removal dates back to the early Egyptians. They considered a smooth and hairless body to be the standard of beauty and in their art, they depict pubic hair as simple black triangles. This style, which is known as the pyramid, is still popular in grooming salons
4. A traditional Brazilian removes everything from the labia right back to the anus, although sometimes a thin "runway" strip of hair is left on the mons pubis. It is primarily appreciated by lovers of oral sex.
5. No one is entirely sure what purpose pubic hair serves, but the apocrine glands which are found in "hairy" areas of the body (the arms and the genitals) produce pheromones and it is thought that these are trapped by the hair in order to entice the opposite sex and encourage reproduction.
6. As women age, hormonal changes affect hair growth and some women find that their pubic hair thins and even falls out. When a full bush begins to look less lush, pubic grooming can actually make the hair look neater, thicker and healthier.
7. One thing many women don't realize is that before you can have a Brazillian you have to let your pubic hair grow long enough for the wax to adhere to it. That means not shaving for up to a week beforehand, or waiting until your hair is about a quarter of an inch long.
8. An experienced waxer will trim your hair with a scissors so that the wax can reach the follicles. Then, using a wooden stick, she will spread hot wax over the area a little bit at a time. While the wax is hot and wet, she will lay cloth strips over it and after it hardens, she will rip them away from the skin and if there are any stray hairs left, she may remove them with a a tweezers. It will make your eyes water, but the anticipation is often worse than the actual experience. The first wax takes the longest - up to 45 minutes and after that it should only take 20 minutes or so, but you will need to get your Brazillian redone every four to six weeks to keep it looking its best.
9. Think carefully before you go the whole way. The completely naked pubis can be a bit of a shocker if you haven't seen yourself like that since you were eight years old. A runway or a neat triangles can look less harsh. V shapes are also popular but an arrow pointing to your vagina? Alternatively, you can opt or something novel like a heart shape and have your hair dyed pink to match. And then there is vajazzling. Enough already.
10. Although waxing can predispose women to certain bacterial and vulval infections, research from the Department of Genitourinary Medicine at Leeds General Infirmary suggests that Brazilian waxing may have actually reduced the incidence of pubic lice. The study, which was carried out by Dr N. Armstrong found that between 1997 and 2003 there was a significant increase in cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia, but there was a reduction in the rate of pubic lice. Interestingly, the most dramatic decrease in the incidence of pubic lice coincided with the release of that infamous 'Sex in The City' Episode in 2000 and the contiguous increase in the popularity in Brazillian Waxing. That's a statistic that Sarah Jessica Parker should be proud of.