Sugaring is an ancient Egyptian 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 with the natural direction of growth, one can achieve optimal results with silky smooth skin, significant, long-term hair reduction and far less pain, irritation, and fewer ingrown hairs than one would experience with other methods.
Sugar paste is eco-friendly, gentle and is not tested on animals, and it only needs to be heated to just above room temperature. And it has other advantages over waxing, as it sticks only to the hair, not the skin, making it safe for 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 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 your personal rate of regrowth, results usually last for about a week to a week and a half, but they can potentially last up to or even over 2 weeks. And sugaring also exfoliates your skin, leaving it not only hairless but silky smooth.
Now that you are aware of the most important benefits of sugaring, let’s get into how it 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. This hand technique is challenging and often takes 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, I would not have been able to do it. 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 inclination to DIY, try an experienced sugarist.
If you are interested in DIY sugaring, there are commercial sugar pastes 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 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 hand technique, making your own sugar paste can be challenging. If you want to DIY, I suggest buying ready made paste first until you get the technique down and then learning how to make your own paste, that way you’re less likely to get discouraged. To learn sugaring technique, you can take a course run by a professional sugarist, or if you don’t have the time/money, checkout YouTube for video tutorials. I will be posting a link to a sugaring how to video in the near future, as well as a recipe for sugar paste that actually works.
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 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 is also 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 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.