Waxing, Shaving, Au Naturel: Plus Size Hair Removal Tips

Instead of a travel guide on Brazil, we’re talking about Brazilian waxes today! As a fat woman, it wasn’t something I thought I had access to until I started advocating for myself. When discussing hair removal in the nether regions waxing can be a sensitive subject. It’s an intimate experience for everyone involved, luckily one is a professional and as the client, you should always feel as such.

Simple acts of self-care can be difficult for those living in bigger bodies and those with accessibility issues. These types of “beauty treatments” are a delicate topic that’s not often discussed in fat spaces, but should be. Fat clients oftentimes need a larger waxing table. Or might need to assist the aesthetician by holding a roll here or some skin there.

One way you can advocate for yourself is by calling the spa to make an appointment. Inform them that you may need a larger massage table if available. You can also ask if they’ve worked with customers of size previously. These responses will help you decide if you should book at this spa or find another that can better accommodate you.

We asked our Facebook Community members “Are you Team: Wax, Shave, or Au Natural?”. They shared their preferences, suggestions, and experiences. Along with some fat-friendly or not-so-fat-friendly waxing stories.

“I am completely au natural all over. I used to shave but I am disabled now and unable, and absolutely could not care less if someone judges me for having hair. It’s natural, they can deal with it.” – Chrisy

“Au natural 100%.” – Elizabeth

“I’m team natural because I’m allergic to so many scented products. Even the hypoallergenic waxes give me hives so I have to be very careful not to throw anything in there that’s gonna cause a lava fire.” – Jessica

“I realized traditional body hair removal is a misogynistic scam a couple years ago and have never looked back. Examining (and challenging) traditional beauty standards is something I’m still constantly working on within myself.” – Marlena

“I am yeti, hear me roar.” – Brittany

Is this an age thing? I’m in my 50’s and none of my friends wax or even shave their lady parts. I’m an anomaly in that I occasionally use a trimmer. Maybe it’s a where and when you grew up thing? I admire the courage and fortitude some of you have! – Lisa-Anne

“I’m in my late 60’s here and I’ve tried it all. Mostly shave these days and trim or use hair removers which work well. I used to be quite hairy and the natural way wasn’t or isn’t my aesthetic in general. Lots less to shave and trim and I don’t go to the pool or beach as much anymore. If you’re fair or have soft or little body hair it’s likely not such an issue. I love being silky smooth after a waxing, don’t love the growing back period or the pain. It’s been a few years since I did a full Brazilian and I only go to one trusted aesthetician.” – responded Priscilla

I ALWAYS get awful ingrown hairs when I do bikini waxes and nothing seems to help. Would love tips. Otherwise just shaving arms/legs and trimming instead of the bikini wax. I did go to European Wax Center a few times and agree that I felt really comfortable there.” – Laura

“I’m 58 and have never waxed or shaved, just some trimming around what someone called the “bikini line.” At my age I prefer a suit that covers that area anyway. But it was definitely not common when I was younger among my age group in the central Midwest.” – Andrea

“To each their own. Believe it or not, the hair is there for a purpose. That being said nothing wrong with keeping it neat.” – Ashley

“I am currently trimming but would much prefer to go full Brazilian. I’ve never tried sugaring, but it sounds like it would work for me. Sadly there are no good places near me I would feel comfortable in.” – Giselle


Have you heard of an epilator? It’s an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out.

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

“Epilator here! When I do remove body hair my hubby helps me epilate but doing the back of my legs, the bikini line I can’t see or holds my rolls. He also has no problem with me being au naturale either but I think he kind of enjoys helping me with the epilation. I’m very lucky to have him.” – Siân

I used to wax but after a bad chemical reaction, I switched to epilating. My waxer was always great about just asking me to hold this or that but I love the convenience of epilating at home and I save money, too. – Bethany

How to Minimize Ingrown Hairs

“Get the exfoliation scrub and ingrown hair minimized from European Wax Center – they work great! – Kristie

I strongly prefer sugaring over everything else (and waxing is hell on my sensitive skin; sugaring doesn’t irritate or inflame it at all.) For me, it’s about comfort. I get fewer ingrowns and acne (from sweat) when I’m sugaring/have a good exfoliation routine than when I’m au naturel (including legs and underarms) and definitely over shaving. I use the following: Supracor Body Mitt to scrub in the shower Serious Serum a couple times per week, SKLEER as a spot treatment if ingrowns or inflamed spots appear, Fur Oil once or twice a week, and lotion nightly on legs.” – Kari

“I found that mechanical exfoliation didn’t do the trick, but using this beard balm (with mild chemical exfoliants) really helped that for me! – Annie

“It takes a few waxes for my skin to get used to it. I’ve gone through phases of waxing then not. When I start it back up again I always get more & ugly ingrowns the first 3 or 4 times. After that, it gets much better. Still get a few here and there but not as ugly. I use either a sugar scrub every few days or a chemical exfoliate in between waxes and that helps too. – Jessica


I like to think of my body hair as another style choice. Sometimes an outfit or occasion calls for a pony, braid, or updo. Just like some outfits or occasions call for shaved legs, armpits, or…et cetera. I’ve never gone to a waxer but I do sometimes wax at home, especially facial hair, going to a waxer sounds like a new level of trust I would not have with a stranger. LOL!” – Kristine

“I shave my pits about two times a week and legs maybe every other week. My leg hair is sparse and blonde so not too visible unless the sun hits it. I use a beard trimmer without a guard for my bikini area. I still get horrible ingrown hairs but it never dawned on me that I needed to try exfoliating. I’m thankful for this group, post, and tips.” – Jennifer

“I have never waxed. I shave my legs and armpits every now and then, but I’m happy au natural in between times. For my bikini area, my husband does it for me with his beard trimmer.” – Lucy

“I’ve tried shaving and just cannot stand the way my body feels that way, sweat, pokey hairs, itchiness… I don’t know how people do it or if it’s just me! Also, don’t understand how people comfortably shave or wax themselves because I just cannot reach. I stick to shaving my legs and underarms when it starts to get noticeable, my skin is super reactive otherwise.” – Samantha

I trim the bits. Shave everything else once in a “when I feel like it” (which ain’t often, unless I’ve got a date I’m particularly optimistic about). – Shannon

“Natural af other than armpits which I shave maybe two times a week for personal preference.” – Chelsea

“I only shave my underarms and legs but mainly just during warm weather because I sweat more with body hair. I’m pretty lazy with it though and only do it maybe every week and a half. In the winter I just let it grow for months with occasional “maintenance” shaves when it starts getting a bit too long so that it’s not a total pain to shave when the warm weather comes back. I never shave my bikini area because I end up covered in ingrown hairs and I also just think it looks better natural. I’ve never waxed in my life but I sometimes think about doing it to my upper lip.” – Cheyenne

“I shave my legs and pits, wax my brows. Bikini area is left alone, but also too self-conscious to get anything done.” – Genevieve


“I go through phases of natural and Brazilians. Shaving leaves me with terrible razor burn. Currently, I get regular Brazilian waxes. I’ve found that for ingrows, consistency is key for me in addition to exfoliating in between waxes. If I take a break from waxing for a few months and then pick it back up I know the first 3/4 waxes are going to cause several ingrowns. But once I’m past that hump and keep up with a wax every 5-6 weeks the ingrowns lessen drastically. I want to try sugaring but I love my waxer so much. She makes me feel so comfortable and the entire shop, in general, is great.” – Jessica

Kimberly shared: “I go to European Wax Center locations for Brazilians. Their tables are sturdy and wide and the girls make me feel completely comfortable. I do hold my apron belly “up” for her. Highly recommend their locations.” “Yes, and consistent technique!” – Char added.

“Wax. Always. Specifically hard wax. I actually look forward to my appointments, is that weird? My waxer is definitely fat-friendly. She’s never made me feel uncomfortable and when you’re lying down on a wax table, naked from the waist down, that’s important!” – Gabrielle

“I get them throughout the year but I also plan them anytime if go on any trip. It has made a huge difference for me in reducing the heat rash/red irritation regardless of weather or climate.” – Leslie

“I like to get a Brazilian wax monthly, but for my legs, I just shave. I found having my legs waxed was more painful than the Brazilian, and I still got stubble two days after.” – Rebecca

When I was younger I did a full Brazilian for years, but I’ve since backed off to a deep bikini wax as I am active in my swimsuits and would be flashing pubes at people without some form of a hair removal. – Blake

Sugar Waxing

After years of hot wax, cold wax, and hard wax bikini waxes I tried Sugar Waxing. Sugaring is actually an ancient hair removal process that dates back to 1900 BC.  Like waxing it removes body hair by quickly pulling the hair from the root. The name for this method comes from the wax paste, which consists of lemon, water, and sugar. Personally, I prefer sugaring as it tends to hurt less than waxing.

Tip: I like to use a gentle sugar scrub 3-4 days after my wax to help keep my bikini area exfoliated. This Exfoliating Brush is an affordable, chemical-free way to treat and prevent ingrown hairs.  

“I get sugared at a local place. I, too, prefer sugaring because it seems more gentle than waxing.” – Jill

“I get a Brazilian sugaring once a month.” – Krissy

“I do sugar waxing and I love it!!” – Carissa

“I get Brazilian waxes occasionally and I love the results, but I hate the growing back period. I get terrible bumps/ingrown hairs. I’ve wondered if maybe sugar wax would help. I exfoliate, I do everything right, I just can’t avoid that period of like 5 days where It’s just so bad.” – Samantha

“I like to remove hair in the hotter months—makes me feel less swampy. I went to a great waxed for a while, tried sugaring last year, and preferred it. Went to a new sugaring place last month which advertised itself as body-inclusive. The facility and staff were lovely, but I had a newly qualified technician, and HOLY HELL. By the time she called in a more senior waxer, I couldn’t take any more. Trying to gather the courage to find a new place.” – Sheila

Comfortable Waxing Positions

“When getting the Brazilian I find it SO MUCH easier to go doggy and have them do it that way than trying to hold my legs up when they wax the butt! LOL! – Julie

“My waxer has me turn on my side and draw my knees up and lift a cheek. I’ve never positioned myself in doggy. I wonder how different it is waxing wise.” – Leslie

“I always hold my rolls to help minimize pain. I do a salt tank float regularly and find when I do it the night before, that seems to help. Honestly, what’s most important for me is a kind aesthetician w/ a good sense of humor. And I take a breath before uber-sensitive spots and let it out when they pull the strip.” – Julie


“Team Laser Hair Removal!” – Angela

“I (bought laser sessions) on Groupon years ago and did my armpits, upper lip, and chin. The upper lip and chin didn’t work, but the armpits was MAGIC. 10 years later I have like 2 hairs that grow every once in a while there.” – Leila

“I’m a laser girl!” – Cheyanne

I had my armpits lasered and have zero hair. I’m planning on doing my whole legs next. Maybe I’ll get brave enough to do a Brazilian laser session.” – Kristi

Annette Richmond

Annette Richmond is an award-winning content creator, travel writer, public speaker and advocate. Richmond is an immigrant that splits her time between Mexico and the United States. The creator of the fat positive travel community Fat Girls Traveling is a native Californian. Annette got her start in the fashion industry working in trend forecasting and public relations. Her love for travel inspired her to start Fat Girls Traveling in 2017 which is where she and Amanda met. When she's not creating diverse travel, fashion, and beauty content for The Fat Girls Guide she is hosting Fat Camp retreats and fat positive tours. In her spare time you can find her speaking publicly and writing articles promoting diversity and inclusivity, recording her new podcast, or sipping a margarita on the beach. Richmond hopes to continue to inspire other marginalized people to see the world and be seen.

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