I thought it would be fun to research the history of “Brazilians,” since this month’s issue focuses on women in history and so many women get waxed nowadays. I have made a career of performing Brazilian Bikini Waxes on tens of thousands of women in the Rochester area and am fascinated with how far back this ritual dates. Brazilian waxing became popular in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it is not a new trend. On the contrary, this practices dates as far back as 4,000 years ago.

In case you are unfamiliar, a “Brazilian” refers to the removal of the entire pubic and rectal hair on an individual. Currently, it is a routine salon service worldwide. Yes, both men and women are waxing it all off around the world and have been for centuries. The desire to be hair-free isn’t just about sex, although most people claim that sex is better when that part of their body is bare. “Brazilians” also have proven health benefits. This service has become so popular in the past twenty years that pubic lice, aka crabs, have become virtually extinct. Who would think that the simple act of waxing a particular body part could eradicate a disease? I like to tease my clients and suggest that I should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for helping eliminate this pesky problem. Crabs are no longer a threat to our sexual health. With the absence of pubic hair, those little buggers don’t have a place to call home anymore. What a shame.

In ancient Egypt, the removal of all body hair was customary before a ceremony such as a wedding. They would use sharp flints, pumice stones, and even a type of mixture that acted similar to the kind of waxes we use today. The level of sophistication in their culture never ceases to amaze me. As a woman who waxes for a living, I’m tickled by the fact that people have been removing their pubic hair for centuries.

Some of my research found that hair removal originated in the Middle East as a response to combatting lice, fleas, and other parasites that could get trapped in the hair. Being hair-free also helped regulate body odor that was prevalent in hot climates. In many Middle Eastern societies, the removal of body hair was considered proper hygiene. Inhabitants all over the world made it a part of their culture; there is even evidence that it was customary in Ancient India. Historians believe that this practice dates as far back as 4000 BC in that part of the world. If you thought “Brazilians” started in the year 2000 after the popular Sex in the City episode, think again. Societies have been donning the bald look for centuries.

For those of you who haven’t gotten this provocative sounding service, you should consider giving it a try.  Getting a “Brazilian” elicits a feeling of liberation and sensuality that is difficult to describe. That is not simply my opinion.  That is exactly the sentiment I hear from my clients on a daily basis. There is a feeling of eroticism and empowerment that accompanies a thorough “Brazilian” that would surprise and enlighten you.

There is documentation that describes how women in Ancient Turkey made depilatory creams to help remove their body hair. There are still products today that do the same thing. Nair, for example, is one of the more popular depilatory creams. Be careful with these creams, however. I’ve had several clients end up in the emergency room with burnt genitalia. That kind of reaction will most definitely dampen the pleasure you were hoping to experience from removing the hair in that delicate area.

Ancient Greeks were known to pluck out or even burn off pubic hair because they believed it was uncivilized to have hair anywhere but on the head. It is unclear whether all women removed their pubic hair or just the courtesans. Even though I enjoy removing all of my hair, I’d prefer to not pluck it out or burn it off, especially between my legs.

There are women of all ages, ethnicities, and religious affiliations that come to me to receive this ancient custom of removing all of their pubic hair. There is documentation that some religions made hair removal part of their rituals to promote cleanliness and purification. Countless women have told me that they feel much cleaner when all of their hair is removed. It makes sense since it is such a hot and moist area. I have read numerous articles on this subject over the years and I applaud the creativity that our ancestors used to rid their bodies of unwanted hair. Their ingenuity fascinates me. Some of their methods also terrify me.

History or no history, if you’ve never had it done, you probably think women are crazy for subjecting themselves to such a seemingly barbaric ritual. You’d be surprised how many different reasons women have for making this a routine salon service. My physically fit women find it a necessary preparation to enjoying their sport. Women who run, bike, and swim, for example, find their sport much more comfortable to perform when the hair is removed by wax. Shaving the area can make the skin irritated, especially when they work out. Overweight women find that “Brazilians” make them feel cleaner and sexier, since the area can be hot and sweaty. Logistically, it is easier for me to access the area on any sized woman. And, most importantly, countless women get “Brazilians” because it makes them feel sexier. I can’t think of a better reason than that.

If something as simple as removing pubic hair can make a woman feel empowered and sexier, then I will continue to champion this salon service that I have dedicated my life to. The women in history who have made an impact in society have been strong and confident. There is something about a Brazilian wax that makes a woman feel exactly that way. I believe every woman is important, not just the women that made the history books. We should feel gratitude for all the women who preceded us. Women rock and I am proud to be one.