Shorts and swimsuit season has a lot of us thinking about body hair removal. If you’ve been going au naturel under your jeans and cozy sweaters, the warmer weather may be your signal to bust out the wax strips and razors. Before you go back to your usual hair removal regimen, it’s worth considering other methods — and a brilliant one is sugaring.
Sugaring hair removal may not be as well known as waxing, plucking and shaving, but it should be. (And not just because the technique has been used since ancient times in the Middle East, Greece and parts of Africa.) Not only does sugaring take full advantage of one of our favorite guilty pleasures, it also has many other benefits.
What is Sugaring?
Sugaring is sometimes referred to as sugaring wax or sugared waxing, but make no mistake, sugaring and traditional waxing are very different. Angela Rosen, founder of DAPHNE Studio beauty store and spa in New York City, explains that traditional Egyptian sugaring involves a technique that mixes sugar with water and lemon to create a paste. When this mixture is applied to skin, it is able to remove hair in the direction of hair growth — and it does so without having to use any traditional waxing strips or additional tools.
Benefits of Sugaring Hair Removal
One of the biggest benefits of sugaring is that the technique removes hair from the follicle. Unlike shaving where hair is only trimmed to the surface of skin, sugaring removes the entire thing. This means it takes longer for hair to start growing back. Rosen estimates that you can go three to four weeks without having to deal with regrowth. Can you say that about shaving?
Another interesting thing about sugaring is that it’s bacteria-resistant. Like salt, sugar has been found to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is one of the reasons the ingredient appears in beauty products and makes it great for sugaring spa treatments.
Sugaring vs. Waxing
Surprisingly, sugaring hair removal is less painful than waxing. Despite the fact that sugaring removes hair from the root, it does so without pulling the skin. The secret is that the sugar paste only sticks to hair, as opposed to wax, which adheres to hair and skin cells. A trained sugaring professional should be able to remove fuzz without pain.
Because sugaring doesn’t irritate the skin, you’re also less likely to experience any post-treatment discomfort. This makes it a good option for those with sensitive skin. If you’re frequently leaving a waxing appointment with red, inflamed skin, or razor burn is a constant issue, sugaring could be the solution. Rosen also states that sugaring can help eliminate ingrown hairs.
Before Trying Sugaring
If you’re ready to book a sugaring appointment, there are a few things to consider. First, hair needs to be the correct length. Rosen states it should be as long as a grain of rice, which is about 5.5 to 7.5 millimeters or a quarter of an inch. She also recommends not shaving between sugaring appointments for best results.
Sugaring wax can be used on arms, abdomens, bums and bikini lines. Most of the face can also be sugared, including sideburns, chin and upper lip. And if you’re looking to swap your regular Brazilian wax for something else, you can get a sugared wax down below, too.
Salon or At-Home Sugaring Treatments?
As with any treatment, it’s important to find a reputable salon or spa with trained professionals. Call around to different spas and see what sugaring services they offer. Make sure you ask about the types of ingredients being used and prices. It will vary depending on the salon, but expect to pay similar prices for sugaring hair removal as you would a professional wax.
Beauty DIY lovers should be cautious before attempting to try sugaring at home. Rosen explains that it’s possible, but getting the technique right is key and it’s can be trickier than you’d expect. She cautions, “You can end up with hard candy! It can also be very messy.” Therefore, she states that it’s best to go to a professional who is an expert in the procedure.
Post Sugaring Hair Removal
Whether choosing a salon or attempting at-home sugaring, it’s important to adhere to some guidelines post-treatment. Rosen explains that skin will have open follicles, which can be susceptible to irritation. Therefore, she suggests wearing loose clothing after your appointment. That means saving the skinny jeans and spandex for another day. And workout bunnies will want to postpone their gym session until later. Rosen says, “Refrain from exercising and stay away from doing anything that will work up a sweat (sun exposure, hot tubs, etc.).”