How it works
Unlike hot wax, the sugar paste doesn’t stick to your skin, but clings to each hair individually. This means that when the hair is pulled from the root, it doesn’t bruise the skin and is often considered less painful than waxing. Also, because the sugaring paste is only slightly warm, there is less chance of skin irritation and redness, plus the paste is totally soluble in water, which means any sugary stickiness can easily be removed with soap and water.
Sugaring can be performed at home DIY-style, or by a qualified beautician or therapist in a salon. Likewise you can buy a ready-made mix or make your own sugar paste, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. A simple concoction of sugar, lemon and water heated together until caramelised, the most crucial part of the process is making sure your paste has the right consistency. Not too thick or too thin, the mixture needs to drop off the spatula in the same way cake mix would. The syrupy blend can then be rolled into a ball or left as a paste, ready to be applied in strips.
Dictated only by your personal preference, the strips entail smoothing on a thin layer of paste with a spatula, firmly applying a paper or fabric strip, and then quickly removing it in the opposite direction of your hair growth. The alternative method involves rolling the ball of sugar wax upwards from your ankles to your knees, which lifts the hair as it goes. It also means you can repeatedly go over areas that need a more stubborn plucking.
Depending on how fast your hair re-sprouts, results can last up to three weeks and with time, hair should become finer and softer. There might be some initial redness and bumps immediately afterwards, but these should subside after an hour or two and can be minimised by applying cold flannels to the skin.
Is it for me?
If you’re sick of shaving but waxing scares you senseless, sugaring could provide you with a happy medium. Like any form of hair elimination, there’s always the possibility of pain but as long as your chosen hairs are at least an eighth of an inch long, you should be saved from too much discomfort. It also means you don’t have to save sugaring for forests of fuzz and you can use it to remove hair from your face and bikini line, as well as the legs, arms, chest and back.
Good to know
Formulated thousands of years ago, sugaring has been linked back to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Indian civilisations. It was also a Middle East tradition to remove all bodily hair from the bride before her wedding day.