Everything you need to know about sugaring

Sugaring wax is a sticky, golden substance that removes body hair effectively.

This curious-looking product contains all-natural ingredients like honey, lemon, water, and, surprise, surprise, sugar!

In this article:

  1. What is sugaring?

  2. Advantage of Sugaring

  3. What areas can you sugar?

  4. Treatment process

  5. Sugaring health & safety

What is Sugaring

Sugaring removes unwanted body hair using a gloopy, sticky paste. When put on the skin, sugar paste sticks to the hairs and removes them from the root.

Sugaring is an ancient hair removal method that has existed since 1900 BC. It is less painful than waxing, and this article will explain why. [2]

Advantages of sugaring

A study found that sugaring effectively removes hair and reduces hair thickness. The study showed that people who did hard waxing had more skin dryness, redness, and pore irritation compared to others. [3]

The study discovered that waxing with sugar paste is more effective than hard waxing. However, it is crucial to adhere to aftercare instructions to prevent issues such as ingrown hairs or folliculitis.

Cross-section hair grows faster than sugar waxing, and it also becomes thicker. This suggests that hard waxing did not remove the hair as effectively as sugaring, hence the post-sugar issues. This raises the question, is hard waxing removing the hair from its root or breaking it?

Beauty therapist sugaring a woman's leg hair

Are you a sensitive Suzie?

Sugaring is an excellent option for sensitive skin because it doesn’t harm the outer layers as waxing does.

Feel free to repeat.

Like traditional waxing, you can repeat the process after ten days of hair growth instead of waiting 3-4 weeks.

Residual wax? Not an issue

You can remove residual wax from sugar wax paste without using oil and remove it with warm water.

What a smoothie!

Apply paste against hair growth on the skin, then remove the sugar paste in the direction of hair growth. Using this method causes less pressure on the hair. This leads to less damage and smoother skin. It is a better option than regular wax or sugar wax hair removal.

Burns and scalds? Impossible

Regular waxing requires heating, leading to scalding or burning a client.

Wax therapists worry, but there is little need because sugaring hair removal doesn’t need heat.

At room temperature, sugaring achieves a state where the gloopy paste quickly becomes malleable at 37.5 degrees Celsius.

Wax strips? Who needs ”em

You don’t need paper wax strips when sugaring; you tug the resin to remove the hair. This will save you time and money!

close-up of the application of sugar paste on the model's hand, the master applies the paste with a special spatula

What areas can you sugar?

Sugaring wax is ideal for the following because it is designed for sensitive areas.

Beards a no go 

Hair usually grows at a 90° angle, but Gillette says beard hairs grow at a lower angle, especially on the neck. This increases the risk of hairs becoming ‘’trapped or ‘’ingrown into the skin. [4]

Pitting can occur in the face, too, if you sugar beards. This is because the hair follicle has a larger diameter at the root than at the end. Opt for electrolysis instead.

Treatment process

  1. Wash your hands and wear a fresh set of disposable gloves
  2. Lay a clean towel and couch roll down for your client
  3. Hair should be at least 0.3 inches (5-6 mm) long.
  4. Use a professional pre-sugar cleanser and wipe the area with a muslin cloth.
  5. People usually apply a commercial drying powder or cornstarch before sugar waxing.
  6. You can apply the sugar by hand or with a large wooden spatula.
  7. Apply a ball of sugar thickly and then smooth it out 2-3 times before pulling.
  8. Apply the sugar against the direction of hair growth and remove it in the natural direction.
  9. Hold the skin area as tight as possible when pulling the resin off the skin to avoid bruising.
  10. Pull the paste off in a straight line, not up or diagonally, as this will cause hair breakage. The sugar should fold back on itself.
  11. You can remove any residual sugaring paste with warm water.
  12. Finish with a soothing after-sugar lotion.



Sugaring Health & Safety

This section is for beauty therapists.

Dangers

Removal of epidermal tissue and bruising

Precautions

  1. Always use entirely new sugar on each client to prevent the spread of infection.
  2. Due to the risk of blood spots, the therapist should always wear rubber gloves for hair-removal treatments.
  3. Do not take the treatment immediately after a solarium/sunbed or heat treatment, making the skin more susceptible to lifting.
  4. Try not to carry out treatment before or during a menstrual period. Skin is more sensitive at this time and may have an adverse reaction. The client’s pain is also lower at this time, making the treatment more unpleasant.
  5. It is best to avoid the sensitive area below the eyebrows. Reactions, e.g. severe swelling and inflammation, are common.
  6. We must reschedule the session if the client’s skin peels off during the treatment. You should also give first aid to the affected area.
  7. Firmly stretch and support the skin in fleshy areas, e.g. the bikini line and the underarm regions; otherwise, bruising may occur.
  8. Apply a cold compress to the bikini line, underarm and top lip areas immediately after the treatment to alleviate discomfort.
  9. Use an after-wax lotion to prevent infection and soothe skin irritation after the treatment.



Cautions

The contraindications which could prevent you or your client from receiving a sugaring treatment are the following:

Pregnancy & sugaring 

You can perform sugaring if you are pregnant, but like every beauty treatment, you cannot complete it in the first trimester.

The first trimester of pregnancy is the first three months of gestation.

The first trimester is crucial for your baby’s development. During this time, the baby’s body is growing and forming organs. Individuals should avoid performing beauty treatments during this period as most miscarriages and congenital disabilities occur.

Beauty treatments are unlikely to harm children during this time. However, it is still best to be cautious because there hasn’t been much research on their effects.

How to dispose of sugar wax

Sugar is a natural product that will not require particular chemical waste disposal. However, authorities will classify it as biological waste. This is because the sugar will contain skin cells, hair and potentially blood.

Sugaring wax is made from water, sugar and lemon, so it is entirely biodegradable, meaning you can dissolve it in a sink with hot water. Used sugar wax will still contain skin cells, hair and potentially blood, so you must wear gloves whilst dissolving it and ensure you disinfect the sink afterwards.

Dispose of your gloves and any after-wax wipes in biological waste in orange waste bags. Your local environmental health team will be able to point you toward how to dispose of this type of waste.