What is Sugaring Hair Removal?
Updated: Apr 9
So what is sugaring hair removal? Why get sugaring over waxing? Does it hurt less? Is it more sustainable? It’s time we talk all things sugaring and dispel the myths from the truth.
What is Sugaring Hair Removal?
Sugaring, like waxing is a non-permanent form of hair removal for body hair. It is actually an ancient technique that has been used for much longer than waxing.
Unlike wax which is generally made up of a synthetic formula applied either hot or cold using sticks and strips, sugaring is a substance made up entirely of natural ingredients including sugar, water and lemon (or apple cider vinegar). It is essentially like caramel which is spread on the body in the opposite direction of the hair and then pulled in the same direction of the hair. This is different from wax which is pulled in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Unlike wax which oftentimes requires strips and sticks, sugaring can be applied directly to the skin with the hand. This makes it much less wasteful than traditional wax. Like wax, sugaring is typically done every 4-6 weeks depending on hair growth cycle.
1) It is better for your body
Given that sugaring formulas are made from natural, plant-based ingredients the substance itself is much better for the body than the synthetics in wax. It is also water soluble so any residue can easily be removed with water.
2) It is better for the planet
Since sugaring formulas are applied directly to the skin and don’t require strips or dipping spatulas the process is much less wasteful than other forms of hair removal.
The Pros and Cons of Sugaring Hair Removal
The pros of sugaring:
1) Like waxing, sugaring is safe to do all over your body.
2) It is less painful than waxing…kind of. Let me clear: it is not NOT painful. Any method of pulling out your body hair hurts but so long as your practitioner is competent it is generally less painful.
3) It tends to be faster than waxing. Because sugar can be applied to a larger area and does not require strips, the process is generally faster.
4) It can decrease hair growth over time. Because hair is pulled in the same direction of growth, sugaring can fully remove hair follicle from the root, leading to less hair growth. I’ve definitely noticed my own hair growth slow and soften.
5) There is less breakage of the hair in the removal process so you’re less likely to develop ingrown hairs.
6) Hair only needs to be an 1/8th an inch long to get sugaring done, unlike wax which requires hair to be at least a 1/4 inch long.
The cons of sugaring:
It can be slightly more expensive than waxing and not widely available. Otherwise it tends to be faster, less painful and far more sustainable than waxing.
Like waxing, sugaring requires some aftercare to maintain health of skin and prevent ingrown hairs (though this is less likely than with waxing!).
Generally right after getting sugared and for the next 48 hours you should avoid touching, scrubbing or providing any kind of friction to sugared area. After 48 hours you should exfoliate every few days using a physical exfoliant or natural loofa. Always keep the area moisturized, making sure to apply body oil or cream after bathing.
DO NOT shave in between sessions. Not only will this lead to ingrown hairs, but it will also defeat the purpose of the long-term benefits of sugaring which includes decreased hair growth. Let hair grow to at least a 1/8th an inch before going in for your next appointment.