The practice of sugaring hair removal has been in exercise since 1900 BC, though during those times, honey was used instead of sugar. This ancient middle-eastern technique makes use of natural gel or paste created from food-derived components such as sugar, lemon juice, and water to uproot the hair follicle from the base. Achieving the right consistency may take some amount of practice with most users. The results are known to last for up to five to six weeks. As the solution is predominantly water-soluble and water-based, it can easily be cleaned off with warm water.
The standard recipe for sugaring wax will be as below-
- Sugar: 8 units
- Lemon juice: 1 unit
- Water: 1unit
Heat the ingredients and mix them until they become liquid. Post this; the liquid will change from white to a light-ish, almost gold color (while it is getting heated). Don’t allow the solution to become very dark. You can control the hardness and darkness of the solution, by heating it at a particular temperature. To create a thick paste, you should heat the solution to 118°C and for a gel to 121°C. Now leave the solution to cool down at room temperature.
Lemon juice breaks up sucrose into glucose and fructose; it is basically added for its acidic properties.
Before applying the sugaring solution, the area you wish to epilate should be dusted with commercial or corn starch powder. Now spread the solution using a tongue depressor or spatula. Now apply the sticky paste on your skin: in the opposite direction of your hair growth. Press a porous paper or cloth on it, and rip it off in the exact direction of the growth.
There are two kinds of sugaring- sugaring paste and sugaring gel, and both of them are done differently. Read on-
- Sugaring Paste- The sugaring paste is regarded as a traditional technique. In this, the warm thick mix is first applied in the reverse direction of your hair growth, and later in the same direction as that of your hair growth, by using your hands.
- Sugaring Gel- The sugaring gel is more like waxing. It is applied in the same direction as that of your hair growth and then ripped off in the reverse direction.
The Pros of This Method
1. An experienced person can perform sugaring quickly. Sugaring helps to remove greater quantities of hair, and therefore, finishes faster than waxing. Mostly, during waxing, you apply the wax in a limited portion, remove it and then move forward. While in sugaring you can apply the paste to bigger portion, since it doesn’t dry off even when you rip it off in small areas.
2. Easy to Clean Up- Both the gel and the paste are water-soluble; therefore, any residue remaining on your skin can easily be rinsed off with plain water.
3. Easy Availability- Complete kits of sugaring hair removal are available at stores or can be purchased online. The ingredients are easily found in one’s kitchen pantry, and so, one can create their own paste at home.
4. Can be Re-Applied Over Missed Portions- Since the paste is gentle and does not cause irritation, it can be applied over areas you have missed or where a few hair follicles still remain.
5. Can Generate Permanent Results- Over a period of time, frequent use of the sugaring method damages the hair follicle, resulting in stunted hair-growth.
The Cons of This Method-
1. Difficult to Find Spas and Salons Working with the Paste- In some places, people mix sugar with wax and call it sugaring. This is wrong advertising. Some people may even make use of gel only few places actually use the sugaring paste.
2. Getting the Right Consistency Is Not a Smooth Task- If you plan to make your own paste, getting it right the first time isn’t guaranteed. You’ll have to practice a few times, before you reach the right combination.
3. You Will Need Some Growth- While using the traditional method of sugaring hair removal with the paste, you will need 1/16 inch of hair growth (about two to five days post shaving). With the gel, you will require ¼ inch of it.
4. Lack of Cleanliness or Knowledge Can Cause Harmful Implications- There are certain conditions or circumstances when you shouldn’t opt for sugaring hair removal. If these instructions are ignored, you might end up with extremely red, irritated or scabby skin. Spas and salons, not following safety and sanitary rules, can give one a skin infection or disease.
There are certain points you should keep in mind in terms of hygiene and safety-
1. The technician should be wearing gloves as hair removal may draw some blood (even if it’s a tiny quantity). Your skin is more vulnerable post sugaring or waxing, and can become easily infected.
2. Don’t allow a double dip, i.e., if an applicator has once touched your skin, it needs to be done away with. Don’t put it back in your sugaring paste as it will contaminate your product.
The sugaring hair removal is therefore a great way of removing hair from your skin. It isn’t as painful as waxing, and is far less sticky than wax itself. The upper lip, chest, and bikini areas generally cause maximum pain, and one can make use of this technique to remove unwanted hair in these body parts.