Thought by some to have originated in Ancient Egypt, sugaring hair removal is still widely practiced throughout the world today. But how exactly does this ancient hair removal technique work? How does it compare to other modern hair removal methods like professional waxing and laser hair removal? Is sugaring hair removal right for me? Read on to learn more about the hair removal treatment said to have been used by Cleopatra herself!
First off, sugaring hair removal is available in two forms, sugar wax and sugaring paste. The sugar wax method is very similar to standard hair removal waxing in its composition and application. The sugar paste is the original method of sugaring hair removal, and is comprised of three main natural ingredients: water, sugar and lemon juice.
Both sugaring methods involve applying the sugar mixture to unwanted hair and then, after the mixture has dried and attached to hair, the mixture is removed along with the unwanted hair. In terms of the sugar wax and sugar paste consistencies, application methods, risks and costs, there are some differences to be aware of.
Sugar wax is similar to the resin wax used in professional waxing, in terms of both its use and its benefits. Both the sugaring kits sold at retailers and the sugaring hair removal performed at spas and cosmetic clinics tend to be the sugar wax variety. The availability of sugar wax makes this form of sugaring very convenient if you enjoy getting professional hair removal treatments.
Compared to homemade sugaring paste, sugar wax is more costly and is rumored to have a higher pain factor. At-home sugar wax kits can cost anywhere from $10-$45, and professional sugar waxing can cost over $100, depending on the chosen treatment area. The reason that wax is typically the more painful of the two sugaring treatments is because resin-based waxes are more prone to attaching to the skin; thus they can pull at the skin when the wax is being removed. Occasionally, this can cause bleeding, swelling, and even infection if the skin is broken.
The sugar paste variety is a very affordable and safe at-home method of hair removal. Since the sugaring paste is made up of just water, sugar and lemon juice, it can be mixed together at home for just a couple of dollars—but be sure to correctly mix your proportions, as the consistency might be tricky to get right.
The actual consistency of sugar paste is thicker and less sticky than the sugar wax. Traditionally, users would apply talc powder to treated areas before applying a layer of sugar paste, to further lessen the chances of having the paste stick to the skin. Warmed sugaring paste is first smoothed on in the opposite direction of hair growth, and then applied in the direction of hair growth as well before being removed with the unwanted hair. Sugaring paste hair removal can be done using the fingertips and doesn't require any special applicators or gloves.
Both the wax and the paste forms of sugaring are easy to clean off as they're both water soluble. Another benefit of sugaring hair removal over traditional waxing is that the sugar mixture remains pliable and easy to manipulate for a longer period of time. By comparison, traditional wax becomes very hard and stiff as it starts to cool or shortly after it's left sitting out.
Before using either the sugar wax or the sugaring paste, make sure skin is exfoliated, clean and dry. As mentioned above, a little talc powder on treated areas will also help facilitate easy hair removal without snagging the skin. Some sugaring consumers say that this method also can remove hair for shorter hair lengths than is possible with standard waxing. The length of results will differ from patient to patient, but the average consumer can expect to be hair-free for 2-3 weeks with sugaring hair removal.
Shaving has been, and still is, the trusted standby for fool-proof, convenient hair removal—but results only last a day or two. Depilatory creams can reportedly last 1-2 weeks, but they can be messy, smelly and inconvenient. Electrolysis and laser hair removal offer the most permanent means of removing unwanted hair today. The cost of laser hair removal and electrolysis per treatment session is more expensive, but the length and quality of results often makes the cost worth it.
If you have more questions about modern, professional hair removal treatments, or would like to learn whether sugaring hair removal or laser hair removal is right for you, we recommend meeting with an accredited hair removal provider in your area. By meeting with an experienced cosmetic provider, you can find out more details about these various hair removal treatments, and make an informed decision about which procedure is right for you. A hair removal professional can also help you reach a treatment decision based on their knowledge of treatment risks, hair removal costs and your individual treatment goals.