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What is Sugar Waxing?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated May 21, 2024
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Sugar waxing is a type of hair removal that involves using a thick gel on the skin. Sugar wax can either be in the form of a gel or wax resin. The thick, sugary adhesive resembles caramel, and is spread on body hair and quickly removed to eliminate hair.

Like regular waxing, sugar waxing requires at least a quarter inch (6.35 millimeters) of hair growth prior to being used. The product is applied with a stick in the direction of the hair growth. After the hair is fully immersed within the gel or wax, a paper strip or clean cloth is applied directly over the product. The covering is then quickly pulled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth, removing the body hair directly from its follicles.

There are many benefits to removing unwanted hair with sugar wax rather than traditional waxing. The method allows hairs to be gently lifted rather than painfully removed. Some claim that the process is an entirely pain-free removal of hair. Gel sugar wax is also made of all natural ingredients, such as sugar, lemon juice, and water. Using all natural ingredients can help prevent skin irritation.

Clean up is also considered to be simpler with sugar waxing. Gel sugar wax is water soluble, and can be cleaned off the skin using water alone. Wax resin is stronger and leaves a sticky residue if not removed with both water and soap.

Some drawbacks to regular waxing are still present with sugar waxing. Hair breakage, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation can all still occur. Sugar pasting, is considered a safer, more effective method of hair removal. Though very similar to sugar waxing; it is known as sugaring.

Used in salons and spas, sugar pasting is different from sugar waxing. This method includes using a thicker paste applied directly with the hands rather than a stick. The sugar paste is molded into a ball and rolled in the direction of hair growth. Salon professionals can also remove shorter hair with sugar paste; body hair as short as a sixteenth of an inch (1.59 millimeters) can be removed with this product.

Homemade sugar paste can be easily created using household ingredients. Granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice combined and cooked over high heat will yield a similar product to the one used in professional salons. The mixture should be simmered and constantly stirred until the sugar is melted and golden brown. The product should be cooled completely prior to using.

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Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt , Writer
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for BeautyAnswered, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.

Discussion Comments

By anon320481 — On Feb 18, 2013

Seriously, this sugar waxing sounds cool, but does it hurt?

By burcidi — On Dec 30, 2011

I might have to start doing sugar waxing at home too. My sister just tried a sugar wax kit that she picked up from the pharmacy and says that it works great.

I went to college in Texas and there was a spa that offered sugar waxing there so that's where I would go. But I'm back in Iowa now and cannot find a single spa that does sugar waxing.

I don't know why spas aren't using sugar waxing more with the whole natural and organic trend. I think sugar waxing is way more natural than other waxing methods since it doesn't have chemicals and additives in it. And if it really works so well and costs less, why aren't we seeing it in more places?

By serenesurface — On Dec 30, 2011

@ysmina-- That sounds great! I bet it saves a lot of money too! The cost of sugar and lemon is like nothing compared to the price of hot wax or a Brazilian wax at the salon.

What are the exact proportions for this sugar paste wax? I'm sure it's important to get the consistency right. And is it better or worse than other types of wax pain wise?

I actually don't like waxing myself. It takes too long and I feel like I hurt myself more than a professional does. I wonder if I could make my own sugar wax at home and then take it to the salon I usually go to for application? Has anyone tried this? I think it would save me money and it wouldn't take too much of my time.

By ysmina — On Dec 29, 2011

My family is from the Middle East and sugar paste waxing is how women in the Middle East have been removing hair for centuries. Now there are pre-prepared sugar paste waxes on the market. I've used it for sugar waxing at home when I went to visit extended family in Egypt. You just heat the wax container in hot water, remove the wax and roll it between your fingers until it's flexible enough to be applied.

My mom says that when she was young, the pre-prepared ones weren't available and they would make the paste at home. It's the exact recipe the article mentioned. You just boil sugar and water until it's thick and add some lemon juice in it. I tried this once just to see how it works but I didn't like it as much as the ones from the store.

It's still an option though if I'm ever in a situation where I can't find wax. I can make my own which is nice.

Sara Schmidt

Sara Schmidt

Writer

With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for BeautyAnswered, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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