“Sugar. Hair removal. Try it once, you’ll never wax anything again.”
I was chatting with my girlfriend Darcy*, an actress, and she was telling me about a role she was up for that required she show “a whole lotta leg”. She never liked showing her legs she told me, because she felt her coarse dark hair against her pale skin was unattractive. Shaving was only good for a few hours, and waxing irritated her skin. My solution for her was to get sugared. Which of course was followed by the question “what the heck does that involve?” Read on lovely ladies so you can benefit just like Darcy.
I first discovered sugaring while looking for a more natural alternative to waxing. Learning to wax in esthetician school, I was appalled at how wasteful the whole process was. Not to mention, if it goes wrong, it can go very wrong. Sugar hair removal is sorta kinda like waxing, in that a viscous substance is applied to your skin, sticks to hair and removes it from the hair follicle when it is pulled off, but that’s where the similarities end.
For example, wax is a resin based substance that has the possibility to stick to skin. If the esthetician is not careful, she can remove skin as well as hair. The wax must be heated to make it pliable enough to work with, which can sometimes burn skin. A wooden stick is used to apply the wax to skin in the direction of hair growth. A strip of muslin or other material is applied to the wax. Each application requires a new stick and a new strip, making it very wasteful. After the wax cools slightly, the strip is quickly removed in the opposite direction of hair growth, using this momentum to pull the hair from the follicle. With this method there is a likelihood of breaking the hair in the shaft, rather than removing it completely. This can cause ingrown hairs.
When done perfectly, the results of waxing can be some super smooth skin, since rather than shearing the hair at the surface like shaving, you are removing the hair from the root. This gives longer results than shaving can. But sugaring can do even better.
For starters, sugaring can remove hair at almost any length above the skin surface, whereas with waxing you have to wait until it is at least ½ an inch. Also, the sugar used for hair removal is so natural, it’s edible. It’s nothing but cooked sugar, water, and lemon juice, so it’s 100% biodegradable. It is applied with nothing more than a gloved hand, and one small ball of sugar can do an entire leg. With no sticks and no strips, it’s much more eco friendly. The sugar is only slightly warmed, as it works best when it’s about the same temperature as your skin – so no burning. Because it is water based, it does not adhere to live skin. It does, however, exfoliate dead skin and can leave your skin more hydrated. A ball of the gooey sugar is applied against the direction of hair growth, and it seeps into the hair follicle. This is how it can grab those really short hairs. With the flick of a trained hand it is removed with the direction of hair growth, meaning less breakage, and usually less discomfort (but let’s be honest, you’re still ripping hair out from the root, so it can still be uncomfortable.) Check out the video below for a demonstration.
I was so sold on the process that I took sugar hair removal training. The woman who trained me told me she had successfully sugared every part of the body except for eyelashes and the deep inner ear, so you really can get any hair removed this way. I’ve sugared my own legs, under arms, belly, my one oddly hairy big toe and my lady area. I currently do not provide sugaring services, but my fella has let me sugar his back, and I’ve sugared plenty of friends’ arms and legs as well. I’ll never wax anything on myself or anyone else again.
So where can you get this done? Sugaring is picking up popularity and now you can find spas and salons in most larger cities that offer the service. A quick Google search should help you out. You can attempt it yourself at home – but be prepared for it to be messy and probably uncomfortable the first several times. Good news is, it’s just sugar, so whether you get it stuck on your skin, your floor or your walls, it will rinse off with just water.
As for Darcy, I was convincing enough for her to give it a try. And she’s been thanking me ever since. “Never have my legs been so smooth and pretty!” Oh, and another benefit, if you do it often enough, it can lead to permanent hair removal – great for those of use with light colored hair that aren’t candidates for laser removal.
How about you, have you ever tried sugaring? Would you? Let me know in the comments below, and happy hair removal!
– Brianne 😉
* Darcy would kill me if I used her real name while discussing her hairy legs. Love you Darcy!