Sugaring is a method of hair removal practiced in Middle East by using a natural paste or gel from food-derived ingredients like sugar, water, and lemon juice to remove hair follicles from the root. The result from this treatment can last up to six weeks. There are many recipes for hair removal, but only natural ingredients are used in real sugaring. It is also called sugar waxing although this is not the correct term, but people tend to call it that because it is done in a similar way to waxing.
There are two types of sugaring, using the paste or the gel. When using a paste, a warmed thick mixture is applied first in the opposite direction of hair growth and then in the direction of hair growth using the hands. It is then scraped off in the direction of hair growth. Using the gel, it is performed similarly to waxing; the gel is applied in the direction of hair growth and removed in the opposite direction.
There are advantages and disadvantages of using the sugaring method. The advantage is that this method can remove a large amount of hair at once, even faster than waxing. Applying wax can only be done in a limited area, while sugaring can work faster by applying paste to a very large area, and it won’t dry out, even if you take it off in smaller sections. Sugaring is also easy to clean up; the paste and gel are water soluble, and you can clean up any residue left on the skin with water, unlike regular wax. You can also do this at home; the ingredients of the paste are available at home, but you should follow the instructions. This treatment can also be applied over an area that was just sugared missing some hairs, without getting much irritation. The results can become permanent with frequent use; the hair follicles can be damaged and stop growing hair.
This treatment also has disadvantages along with the advantages. Some salons and spas use wax mixed with sugar and advertise it as sugaring while actually it is not the same; just a few places use the real method. You may make your own paste at home, but it just holds onto the hair. This treatment also needs some hair growth, at least 1/16th of an inch to perform the traditional sugaring, but if you use sugaring gel, it will need ¼ inch. And the most important is that if you don’t clean your skin well after treatment, it can cause serious irritation and skin infection.
Most people find this treatment less painful than waxing; it does not stick as much as waxing, which means less irritation. The upper lip, chest, bikini and genital areas are the most sensitive areas. If you find someone experienced that uses the traditional sugaring technique using the paste, there is less discomfort because hair is removed in the natural direction of its growth (as opposed to waxing, which removes hair against hair growth). There are still other ways to remove hair painlessly which are very effective, and the results are permanent also. But one should choose the therapy based on their affordability.