A lot of women would prefer getting their pubes waxed – in a process popularly known as the Brazilian wax – than have the hairs shaved off. Some women swear that this process is the best, which is why Brazilian wax has become popular in recent years.
People might easily assume that Brazilian wax originated from Brazil. However, it didn’t – it’s actually a concept that started in New York. More interestingly, the treatment was a method pioneered by illegal immigrants.
Brazilian wax was started by the J Sisters salon in Manhattan in the early ‘90s.
The J Sisters are composed of seven sisters with names beginning with a J.
It’s hard for people to remember each of the Padilha sister’s name so they were collectively called as the J Sisters. They came from the small coastal town of Vitoria, in Brazil, according to BBC and grew up with a strict father, who wouldn’t allow them to go out unchaperoned.
However, when the Padilha patriarch went bankrupt, the ladies started helping with the finances by bringing in money through their backyard beauty treatments. Eventually, the girls took their skills to town and they became the family’s main breadwinners.
Growing up in a traditional household, it only means that the ladies need to marry so they can leave home. However, fourth sister Jocely wanted to do more – she wanted to travel. She saved up and visited an old neighbor who’s in New York. In a matter of days, she ran out of money.
Jocely had two options: to go home or get a job.
It was challenging for her since there was the stigma that Brazilian women in New York were prostitutes. She didn’t speak English but she somehow landed a job at a salon, owned by a Portuguese woman. She works as a nail care expert and her reputation made her earn well. Soon enough, the other sisters joined Jocely.
The sisters opened their first nail salon in 1987.
Sometime in the 90's, they started offering the Brazilian bikini wax.
Bikini waxing has different styles and the Brazilian wax was invented by Janea. The process is described as removing all pubic hair, including those found underneath and the anus. Sometimes, some hair can be left at the front as a “decoration.”
Since introducing the method in New York, Brazilian wax has become popular. Celebrities and fashion magazine editors are among their customers. The beginnings of the J Sisters are told in a book titled, Wax and the City by Laura Malin.