What Is a Faja?
Faja is a Spanish word, so how do you say ”faja” in English? It’s a tricky question, since there isn’t a great translation, but it’s similar to a girdle or compression garment. Some of the biggest (and best!) manufacturers of post surgery fajas are in Colombia and other Spanish speaking countries. It is also a part of Latin culture to accentuate your curves and control fajas are commonly used by hispanic women daily (not just during lipo and BBL recoveries) to help with slimming and molding their bodies. For all of these reasons, “Faja” is becoming a word commonly recognized in the English speaking cosmetic surgery world.
There are many different types of Faja. You can get a waist trainer, which may or may not have bones (the stiff sticks in the corset), full bodysuit trimmer and butt lifter fajas. They come in differing levels of compression (Stage 1, Stage 2, Daily Use). Some have a full panty while others have an open crotch, a zipper, or a thong. You can get shapewear that incorporates a bra or has an open bust, some are strapless while others have adjustable straps or even sleeves.
What is a faja made of?
Most Stage 1 fajas are made of a fabric known as “powernet.” Powernet is a blended fabric containing Nylon and Spandex. Most good fajas also have a liner, at least in the torso area, which helps with comfort (the nylon can be stiff and itchy). Stage 2 and daily use shapewear often have blends with higher spandex and lower nylon to make them more comfortable. This does have the added effect of less compression however. This is the main reason that it’s important to wear the Stage 1 that your doctor recommends for the full 4-6 weeks before changing over to a Stage 2 garment.
There are other types of faja as well. One popular type is a latex waist trainer. These use latex or rubber to encourage water loss through sweating. It is important to increase your water intake if you are using this type of faja.
What Does a Faja Do?
A Faja is a snug fitting garment that has several uses. The most common and well known use for fajas is as a post surgery garment. In that case, the Faja acts as a compression garment, helping to control bruising and swelling, while at the same time helping to shape and mold your body.
Does wearing a faja help lose belly fat?
Simply wearing shapewear alone will not have a lasting effect on your amount of belly fat. The purpose of shapewear for daily use is to help hold in your tummy, making it appear flatter so that your clothes fit better.
Can wearing a faja reshape your body?
If you have had a recent cosmetic or plastic surgery, wearing a faja can have some effect on the shape of your body. The biggest factor in your new shape will be the skill of your surgeon, but compliance with all post surgery instructions (including the use of compression garments) will definitely have an effect on your results.
What are Some Pros of Wearing a Faja?
Obviously, if you have recently had a liposuction procedure or BBL, wearing a Faja will be a part of your post op recovery. There are other reasons to wear a faja though! Daily use of tummy control shapewear will make your middle section appear slimmer and help your clothes to fit better and give you more confidence.
Because of the tightness in the tummy area, you will also feel full after eating smaller amounts. In this way, Fajas can help with weight loss.
New moms are also fond of post partum shapewear. Your new body that comes with the new baby can be disappointing for first time moms. Wearing a postpartum girdle can help with skin retraction after the big stretch of carrying your baby.
Are There any Risks with Wearing a Faja?
You must always make sure that the faja you wear is the right size for you. Wearing a compression garment that is too small has several risks. Corsets have become popular again as a way to accentuate your hourglass shape through waist training, producing a desired “increase“ in the size of your buttocks. Corsets that are too tight can displace your organs, pushing your liver and stomach up and putting pressure on the diaphragm. This can lessen your lung capacity slightly, so wearing a faja during exertion that requires that lung capacity may be dangerous.
One other concern with wearing tight shapewear is that it can have effects on your blood pressure. The added pressure on your middle section can in a way “help” your heart to pump blood to your upper organs (ie your brain). When you remove the compression, your blood pressure will drop slightly. For patients who have a low baseline blood pressure, this can cause a drop in the blood flow to the brain and you may pass out. This is not uncommon in patients the day after a lipo procedure when we first remove the compression. We recommend that anytime you are removing a compression garment, you should avoid doing anything dangerous for a few minutes while your blood pressure regulates itself. This includes getting in the shower. If you pass out in the shower, that could be life threatening. Take your faja off and wait for 5-10 minutes before you hop in the shower.
If you have a BBL procedure, you will need to discuss your compression choices with your surgeon. While you will definitely need to wear a compression faja after your surgery, there must not be pressure on the newly transplanted fat. Using a butt lifting (levanta cola) faja can be too snug on the new fat and cause you to lose some of the transplanted fat cells. In order to get the most out of your BBL, you should wear a compression garment with open buttocks and avoid the butt lifter shapewear until you are at least 8 weeks out from your procedure (though we would recommend waiting 6 months).
What is the Best Way to Wear a Faja?
Any compression garment or waist trainer corset should be snug fitting, but not so tight as to cause pain or difficulty taking a full breath. A post surgery girdle for liposuction or tummy tuck should be worn 24 hours a day (except when showering) for the first 4-6 weeks or as directed by your surgeon.
Colombian faja sizes tend to run small. Don’t be surprised to find that you are wearing an XL when you would never have worn a plus size even before your procedure. Use caution when purchasing shapewear online, because even using the measurements provided may get you a garment that is too small to wear comfortably.
Your garment should completely cover all of the areas that were treated with liposuction. While a waist cincher may be ok for lipo of the flanks only, it’s not usually the best option for flanks with back. Full body shapers are available that cover everything from your wrists to shoulders and all the way down to the ankles. For most of our lipo 360 patients, we recommend a mid thigh garment. This is because many of the waist cinchers or corsets have the edge right where your incisions may be, which can cause additional discomfort.
You should also wash the garment everyday. You can wash it in the washing machine, but be sure to hang it to dry. The heat from the dryer can have 2 effects on your compression garment. First, it can cause the garment to shrink. Second, repeated use of the dryer will lead to breakdown of the elastic fibers in the garment, causing a loss of compression support.
Where Can I Get a Faja?
We do have an online shop where you can purchase several different styles of faja. Our best sellers are the Full Body Shapewear Bodysuit for Women by Fajas Colombianas MyD and the Arm Compression Sleeves by Contemporary Designs. You can checkout our full selection of compression garments here. Other popular brands of fajas colombianas reductoras include Fajate, Salome and Sonryse. Because all compression garment purchases are final, we do recommend that you come into the office to be sized and make sure that you’re getting the best faja for your specific needs.