Thinking of Getting a Butt Wax? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Photo: Stocksy / Lucas Ottone

Waxing is never a comfortable experience (even if you do it regularly), but waxing intimate areas is a new level of discomfort. If you're thinking of venturing into butt waxing as part of a bikini or Brazilian wax—or even if you're thinking of waxing the butt alone—there can be a lot of nerves leading up to the appointment. What parts are being waxed? Will it hurt? What can you do to prepare? What will you and your waxer talk about during the wax? (In our experience: our latest favorite TV shows, vacation plans, and where you got your nails done). 

If you're new to the world of waxing, we've got you covered. We tapped Elizabeth Satterly, a waxer and corporate field trainer at European Wax Center, and Jeannette Graf, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Great Neck, NY,to break down what to expect during a butt wax, the risks, the pain, the aftercare, and whether or not waxing is even right for you. 

Experts In This Article

What is an intimate butt wax? 

A butt wax is like a wax for any other part of your body but includes the entire butt crack and butt cheeks if you want it. Generally, like all hair removal, it's an aesthetic choice to wax your butt. "Because the buttocks are an area that commonly has hair growth, some individuals choose to remove it through waxing," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Graf. "Wax works by using either soft or stripless wax to grab onto the individual hairs once applied, and then using a fast and brisk motion, the wax or strip is pulled to remove the hair from the root, otherwise known as the follicle." 

Is waxing or shaving better for your butt? 

Waxing, shaving, or even laser hair removal primarily depends on preference. Many prefer waxing to shaving because it removes the entire hair. When you shave, you're only cutting the hair where it meets the top layer of skin, so waxing will last significantly longer. It can also make the hair finer and softer over time, Satterly says. However, shaving obviously is the least painful of all hair removal options. 

Laser removal could be an option if you're after longer-term hair removal. "Laser hair removal can be a great option for many people," says Dr. Graf. While it is a larger investment upfront, it lasts significantly longer and doesn't run the risk of experiencing irritation." 

Is a butt wax included in a Brazilian service? 

Waxing services differ between salons, but most Brazillian services will include the butt crack and in between the cheeks, says Satterly. "But if you want the entire butt waxed, it will likely be counted as an extra service," she adds. Again, in some places you should be able to book a separate butt wax, that would all come down to where your service is being done.

Are there risks for butt waxing? 

Butt waxing is among the safer cosmetic or aesthetic procedures you can get at a salon. "The only risk associated with waxing any body part is irritation," says Dr. Graf, who recommends getting the wax done by a professional instead of at-home waxing to avoid further irritation to the skin. "Even with sensitive skin, many people can still wax their desired area." But if you have sensitive skin, Dr. Graf recommends informing the technician who will do your wax so they can prep accordingly. Satterly notes that there is also some risk of ingrown hairs, which can be mitigated with proper aftercare, like regular exfoliation. 

How painful is butt waxing? 

We'll be honest: you're essentially ripping hair out of your skin. There's no getting around the fact that it won't be super comfortable. But many people find the smooth, hairless finish worth any pain. "Waxing can also become less painful the more someone does it, so after 4-5 sessions, you may find it painless," says Dr. Graf. 

Of course, not all waxing is created equally. A brow wax will be less painful than a Brazilian wax because of the thickness and sensitivity of the skin. Surprisingly, a butt wax is generally low on the pain scale. "The first wax of any body part is always the most uncomfortable, but this particular wax is known to be extremely low on the pain list," says Satterly.

What can you expect during butt waxing?

If you're waxing just your butt—or doing a Brazilian or bikini line service in addition—your technician will ask you to undress from the waist down completely. You'll then be positioned on a table based on what is being waxed (on your back with your knees up or on your stomach). Your waxer will then prep your skin (at European Wax Center, they use a pre-wax cleanser and skin oil, says Satterly). Once your skin is clean and ready, there are generally two waxing methods: soft and hard. If your technician uses soft wax, warmed wax will be applied to the area in the direction of hair growth. Then, they'll apply a strip on top of the wax and pull it off in the opposite direction of hair growth to remove the hair. Instead, hard wax doesn't utilize the strip. It will be applied similarly but left to cool and removed directly.

A butt wax will require several wax applications and removals (likely a few per each side of the crack and a few for each cheek). You may also need a few smaller wax applications to clean up any hairs that slipped through the cracks (pun intended). Still, removing these stragglers will be significantly more accessible and less painful than the initial removal. Once you're hairless, the technician will likely follow with a skin-soothing gel (like aloe vera) and potentially a serum to help prevent ingrown hairs. Then you'll be free to get dressed and go. 

How to prepare for a butt wax?

Rule number one: no shaving. The wax needs something to grab onto to remove the entire hair. Satterly recommends growing the hair to about the length of a candy sprinkle or rice grain. "If you can, exfoliate 42 hours before your wax and try not to put any moisturizer on the area the day of," she adds. Before you wax, your service provider will ask you if you need to use the restroom and might provide you with a cleansing wipe beforehand. Otherwise, it's a pretty straightforward experience that should happen fairly quickly in the hands of an experienced waxer.

Aftercare for a butt wax

Aftercare is key to calming irritated skin and avoiding ingrown hairs. Dr. Graf recommends avoiding harsh or abrasive products (like scrubs or chemical exfoliators) in the first 48 hours. After that period, Satterly recommends exfoliating and moisturizing regularly until your next wax, which should be about four to six weeks later (if your goal is maintaining hairless skin). 

Final takeaway 

Anyone can benefit from a butt wax if they're feeling self-conscious about hair growth (Which is totally normal! But, again, hair removal is an aesthetic choice). "You do not have to have a particular hair type for this service. Anyone can get it," adds Satterly. "Also, don't feel nervous and embarrassed. Your waxer is a pro and can't wait for you to experience the results."

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