Sugaring Hair Removal – What is it? Does it Hurt? Can You Do it at Home?

Every one of us has his favorite hair removal method. For some, that is waxing. Others prefer shaving. Those are the two most popular and common hair removal methods. But there are many more.

Among the sea of hair removal techniques, we also have the sugaring hair removal method. Truth be told, there is no perfect way to remove hair. But sugaring is damn close to that. What is the sugaring hair removal method? Stay with us and we will explain everything.

What is sugaring

One way to describe sugaring is “a really safe and organic alternative to waxing”. Think about this for a second. The sugaring paste is made of just lemon, water, and sugar. Those are all organic ingredients. And the paste is actually edible, tasting like citrusy cotton.

Sugaring has a long and rich history. It originated in the Middle East during ancient times. Back then, women cooked the same three ingredients, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Unlike waxing, the sweet substance removes hair from the root without sticking to or pulling at live skin cells.

Sugaring can be done on any part of your body. That includes bikini area, legs, or even your eyebrows and mustaches. How does it work? A professional, or yourself, spread warm sugar paste onto the skin, lets it harden for a few seconds, and then pulls it off. You can use the same ball of sugar paste for several times until it is no longer grabbing the hair.

The result is smooth and hairless skin that can last between three and five weeks.

Benefits of sugaring

Some would say the dilemma between sugaring and waxing is a matter of personal preferences. True, but you have to consider the positives and negatives of both techniques.

When it comes to sugaring, here are some of the benefits.

  • Sugaring can be done faster than waxing since the sugar can be applied to a large area. Experienced estheticians, or when you yourself get some experience, can do it in a few minutes
  • Sugar is water soluble, and you can easily clean off any residue left on your skin, no pain included. And you can clean it with just water. Wax, on the other hand, requires an oil-based remover
  • Sugar paste can be put on the area that was just sugared without fear of irritation since it is gentler than wax. With sugaring, you can go over an area easily where hair was missed
  • Frequent sugaring can reduce hair growth over time, as the method causes the hair follicle to become damaged

Downsides of sugaring

Everything in life has its pros and cons. There are good sides to the story, and then there are some negatives.

Here are the downsides, or the side effects of sugaring, if you like.

  • It can be difficult to find a salon that offers sugaring. Unlike waxing, it is not as widespread, and not every salon offers it
  • Getting the right consistency can be tricky at home, and you might miss it a few times
  • Your hair has to be a tad longer for sugaring than for waxing. You need a quarter of an inch of hair growth in order to get it done. Basically, you have to be OK with some hair
  • If you are using vitamin C products on your skin, you should avoid sugaring. The same applies to retinol products
  • Sugaring cannot be done on areas with bruises, swelling, rashes, cold sores, or open sores

Difference between sugaring and waxing

With so much talk which hair removal method is better, we have to talk about the main difference. And it is very simple.

The main difference between sugaring and waxing is the direction in which the paste is applied. Sugaring is applied opposite the direction of hair growth. And then it is pulled in the direction of hair growth. This allows you to get nice and easy hair removal, without any breakage.

Does sugaring hurt?

One of the most frequently asked questions about hair removal is, “does it hurt”. And that goes for all hair removal methods, be it waxing, epilating, or sugaring. The answer is not simple.

Generally speaking, sugaring is less painful than waxing. Unlike waxing, the paste does not stick live sin cells, meaning there is less irritation and less pain.

The problem with sugaring is the first time. If you are coming from shaving or waxing, it will hurt more. If you go to sugaring after frequently waxing or shaving, your hair will be more difficult to grab the first time. Over time, however, the pain will be less and less and less. The more you sugar, the thinner your hair grows, and the less painful the experience is.

Other factors that can contribute to pain is your period. If you are expecting your period, your hormone levels are high, and the bikini area is more sensitive. As a general rule of thumb, go for sugaring five days after your period has ended.

How often should you remove hair?

As mentioned previously, sugaring requires some hair to be visible. If not, you cannot pull it off. One way to know how long your hair should be is to think of it “long enough to pinch it, but not long enough that you can braid it”.

Generally speaking, once every three to five weeks is the ideal time for sugaring. One month is great, but if your hair grows faster, you do not have to wait for a full month.

What is the aftercare?

After sugaring, you should treat your skin the same way you do after waxing. The goal here is to prevent ingrown hairs. To do that, exfoliate every three days and get a cold shower to close up your pores.

One downside of sugaring, you cannot have sex for 24 to 48 hours after a session. After the sugaring treatment, your pores are open, and you should restrain from sweating. And we all know sex = sweat.

So, with that in mind, after the sugaring treatment, avoid sex, workout, and anything else that can result in sweating. You should also avoid wearing tight clothes, as they do not allow your skin to breathe.

How much does it cost?

The price of sugaring can be different from one beauty salon/spa to another. Generally speaking, however, prices go up to $100 for full legs and $15 for the upper lip.

You have to remember, it is a bit more expensive than waxing. One, because it is less common, and two, because you are using natural ingredients. The good news is you can make it at home.

How to DIY sugaring?

sugaring waxing

Because most women are not ready to spend hundreds of dollars on hair removal every month at a salon, many opt for DIY hair removal. Yes, a lot of women do waxing at home. Sugaring can be done at home as well.

We always recommend that you leave sugaring to a professional, at least for the first session. But if you like DIY recipes, here is how to make the paste and do the whole treatment at home.

  1. Start by making the paste. You need two cups of organic cane sugar, one-quarter cup of water, and a quarter cup of lemon juice. Add them to a pot or saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent the paste from burning
  2. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, and then let the paste simmer for 25 more minutes
  3. When the color is dark amber, remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to an airtight and heat-safe container. Let the paste cool down to room temperature
  4. Wash your hands. With clean hands, take a handful of the paste and warm it up between your hands
  5. Spread the paste on the area you want to remove hair, in the opposite direction of hair growth
  6. Let the paste harden for a few seconds, and then quickly pull it off in the direction of hair growth. Repeat until you remove hair from the area. You can go over an area again
  7. If you notice redness or irritation, stop and try again in a few weeks

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