It’s painful, uncomfortable and many women won’t go more than four weeks without it. It’s the infamous Brazilian bikini wax, the service that leaves no crevice unexplored and, if the influx of waxing-centric boutiques from coast to coast are any indication, it’s here to stay.
The Brazilian is a specialized bikini wax originating, of course, in Brazil, the land of teeny tiny bikinis. It leaves nothing to the imagination, removing all the hair below the belt.
In Las Vegas—another land of tiny bikinis—a flurry of pool parties and scantily clad ladies have made the Brazilian an essential part of summer, and Tricia Hetherington has found a captive audience for her specialized waxing boutique, the Pretty Kitty.
Hetherington started the Pretty Kitty in 2006 in San Diego. She had been working as an aesthetician when she took note of the growing number of women asking to be stripped of all the hair in their nether regions. It turns out that Brazilian waxing was a part of a larger trend for women to be completely hairless, which Hetherington insists is more hygienic and eliminates the hassle of shaving.
“It’s interesting,” she says, “the way women feel now about pubic hair is they have a lot of disdain for it.”
Her shop’s name was her light-bulb moment. It gave her a catchy theme that would grab people’s attention. It did, however, cause some confusion at first: “We’ve actually had people bring their cats in,” she says. As it turns out, the Pretty Kitty’s first location in Henderson (2510 St. Rose Parkway, 228-7877) became so popular a second was added to serve the Valley’s west side (8995 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 110, 221-7877). She also owns two salons in San Diego, with plans to open two in Orange County, Calif., in the next year.
Hetherington, who charges $55 per wax job, attributes much of the Pretty Kitty’s success to a unique and top-secret technique she has developed. The only thing she will divulge is that a Brazilian at one of her salons takes only 10 to 15 minutes—most salons require a half-hour.
The secrecy stems from the competitive nature of waxing in a city where your private parts are serious business. This is Vegas, after all, where waxing, spray tans, miniskirts and barely-there bikinis are all in a day’s work.
3 More Wax Shops
The Pretty Kitty is just one of several options for waxing in the city. Here is our mini guide:
BOX. Locals Bree and Jason Goldwater are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their chic waxing boutique. BOX only has one location here in Las Vegas, and if you can get an appointment with Bree, take it; they’re hard to come by. They recently added two treatment rooms to their homey space. Plus, they offer wine to take the edge off while you wait. BOX also performs the elusive Sac & Crack wax just for the boys, the name of which they trademarked. That’s $85. The Brazilian for women is $65. 4750 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 28; 893-9993.
Modern Body Wax. From the people behind Massage Envy, Modern Body specializes in affordable and easy waxing. They offer the whole range of body waxing, including legs, arms and brows in addition to the all-important bikini. Your first service at Modern Body is also $15 off, putting your Brazilian at an affordable $24. 9484 W. Flamingo Road, Suite 160; 309-2929.
European Wax Center. With more than 200 locations nationwide, the European Wax Center is bringing the Brazilian to the masses. Its first location in Las Vegas offers all the perks of its sister boutiques, including an unlimited wax pass that’s good for a full year of waxing. Perfect for the Las Vegas bikini season that lasts from March to October. It’s $19.50 for your first visit and $39 thereafter. 7210 W. Lake Mead Blvd.; 240-7929.
Bikini—Removal of hair from the bikini line.
Brazilian wax—Complete removal of hair below the belt.
French wax—Leaving a small strip of hair after a Brazilian.
Landing strip—The strip of hair left during a French wax.
Hard wax—Wax that is applied, let dry and then peeled off. No cloth strips required.
Hot wax—Traditional wax applied with a stick and peeled off with a strip.
Male Brazilian—Think Brazilian for boys. Yes, they take it all off, too.