Sugaring

May 22, 2018

Sugaring is an ancient hair removal technique that has been practiced since the reign of Cleopatra. Sugarists apply a biodegradable paste of sugar, lemon and water against hair growth and remove the paste with the direction of growth by a flick of the wrist. By working in the natural direction of growth, one can achieve optimal results with silky smooth skin, significant, longer-term hair reduction and far less discomfort, irritation, breakage and fewer ingrown hairs than one would experience with other methods.

Sugar paste is natural, gentle, is not tested on animals and never has to be heated to more than slightly above room temperature. And it has other key advantages over waxing, for example, it sticks only to the hair, not the skin, making it safe for use on people with diabetes, varicose veins, psoriasis, eczema, moles and other delicate conditions/areas that are unsafe to wax. Sugar is also antimicrobial and therefore has a long shelf life. But the most important benefit of sugaring is that you can remove hair in the anagen stage (less than 1/4″ in length) when the follicle is connected to the dermal papilla, which weakens the follicle wall, slows regrowth and ultimately leads to more permanent results. In my opinion, this is the most profound advantage that sugaring has over waxing. Depending on what part of the body has been sugared and on your personal rate of regrowth, results can last up to or even over 2 weeks. And last but not least, sugaring also exfoliates your skin, leaving it not only hairless but also silky smooth.

Now that you are aware of the most important benefits of sugaring, let’s get into the details of how it actually works. The sugar paste is formed into a ball, and is then applied to the skin against hair growth forming a mold, and after 2 or more passes against growth, the practitioner lowers her wrist and quickly flicks the sugar off in the direction of growth in a motion parallel to the body. It can take 2 or 3 flicks to get all the sugar off of the skin, but for experienced sugarists, it usually only takes one. This hand technique is challenging and often takes training and considerable practice to master, and this is why so many DIYers give up. It is easy to get stuck + end up a hot mess! If I hadn’t taken a course run by a professional sugarist with her own chain of successful salons, I would not have been able to do it properly.  But the beauty of sugaring is that once you master it, it is truly a superior method of hair removal and it’s also a lot of fun. And if you don’t have the time/inclination to learn how to DIY, try an experienced sugarist, chances are you’ll be glad you did.

If you are interested in DIY sugaring, there are commercial sugar paste products available at the retail level, and I’ve seen several in the Toronto area. Two of the most common are Persian Cold Wax and Wax a Way, and I found both at my local grocery store, and I’ve also seen them at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart. Please do not be mislead by the word ‘wax’ in the name of these products, I’ve tried both and they are definitely sugar paste. A 400 gram jar will cost you approximately $15.00. You can also make your own sugar paste at home using sugar, water and lemon. Just be aware that like the technique, making your own sugar paste can be very challenging, it is not easy for most people. If you insist on DIY, I suggest buying ready made paste first until you get the technique down and then learning to make your own paste, that way it won’t be so overwhelming and you’re less likely to get discouraged. To learn sugaring technique,  I highly recommend a reputable course run by a professional.  But if you don’t have the time for a professional course, checkout YouTube for video tutorials.

As amazing as it is, there are some downsides when it comes to sugaring. Accessibility can be an issue as it can be a challenge to find sugarists as there are fewer of them than waxers as sugaring is much more difficult to learn. Keep in mind also that sugaring sessions take longer than waxing, so always factor that in when making your appointments. Sugar paste is also sensitive to temperature and humidity, and becomes softer and harder to manage in the heat. However, this can be addressed by using a firmer paste in hot, humid weather/climates. Sugaring can also be more expensive than waxing up front, but  devotees find that the higher initial cost is offset by the longer-lasting, superior results. In the end, most people who try sugaring find that the benefits make the cost more than worth it.

So if your goal is to achieve hairless, silky smooth skin, and significant long-term hair reduction in a healthy, natural way that doesn’t hurt you or the environment, then sugaring is definitely for you.

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