How would you compare sugaring to...?
I am asked to explain the difference of sugaring and other common hair removal method quite often. I believe the subject requires its own page instead of trying to be answer this in the FAQ's section.
Granted, this is THE SECOND most asked question I have received on the subject of sugaring (1st? Does it hurt?)
I will give you many comparisons, mostly because of the fact that the comparisons have to do with how we have been taught in the U. S. as acceptable methods of hair removal.
I will show you examples that may be hard for some of you to see. Be warned. No. Seriously, this is crazy.
Watch the bold in the text, y'all.
According to WebMD, (one of the most trusted go-to sites for information, right?), the following are our only options for hair removal.
Hair Removal Options
Hot Waxing | Laser | Depilatory Creams |
Threading | Shaving | Plucking | Electrolysis | Medication
"Many people have unwanted hair. It is common on the upper lip, chin, cheeks, back, legs, fingers, feet, and toes. It can have many causes, including genetics, certain medications such as steroids, higher levels of certain hormones, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. There are several ways to remove unwanted hair. With most methods, at least some of the hair will eventually grow back."
WebMD: Shaving is best for the leg, arm, and facial hair. It can cause ingrown hairs, however, especially in the pubic region.
FDA's Report on Shaving
Shaving hair only when it is wet, and shaving in the direction in which the hairs lie can help lessen skin irritation and cuts. It is important to use a clean razor with a sharp blade. Contrary to popular belief, shaving does not change the texture, color, or growth rate of hair. Razors and electric shavers are under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
WebMD: Plucking or tweezing can be painful, but it may be a good option if you only have a few hairs you want to remove.
Times when you might want to pluck include when you're reshaping your eyebrows or pulling out a few stray hairs that appear on your face. You should not, however, use this hair removal method for large areas. It can cause ingrown hairs or scarring.
FDA's Report Plucking/Tweezing is not mentioned.
WebMD: Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, are available without a prescription.
The chemicals in these products dissolve the hair shaft. Using a cream improperly -- for instance, leaving it on too long -- can burn your skin. If you have a history of allergic reactions, you should first test a little bit of the cream on a small area on your arm to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to it. Be sure to follow the directions on the cream.
FDA's Report: Available in gel, cream, lotion, aerosol, and roll-on forms, depilatories are highly alkaline (or, in some cases, acidic) formulations that affect the protein structure of the hair, causing it to dissolve into a jellylike mass that the user can easily wipe from the skin. Consumers should carefully follow instructions and heed all warnings on the product label.
WebMD: You can do this at home or you can have it done by a professional in a salon. Hot waxing can be messy and painful and may leave some hairs behind because they can break off. Infection is one side effect to watch for. If the wax is too hot, you may get a burn. You should not use this method if you also use certain types of prescription acne creams (such as Retin-A) or take isotretinoin. If you do, the wax will pull your skin off. Many women use this hair removal method in the bikini area and to remove hair on the upper lip.
FDA's Report: Labeling of waxes may caution that these products should not be used by people with diabetes and circulatory problems. Waxes should not be used over varicose veins, moles, or warts. Waxes also shouldn't be used on eyelashes, the nose, ears, or on nipples, genital areas, or on irritated, chapped, or sunburned skin. As with chemical depilatories, it can be a good idea to do a preliminary test on a small area for allergic reaction or irritation.
WebMD: Threading is a traditional Indian method of hair removal that some salons offer. The professionals who do threading use strings they twist in a pattern and use to extract unwanted hair.
(No bold here.)
FDA's Report: Threading is an ancient technique in which a loop of thread is rotated across the skin to pluck the hair. May cause skin irritation and infection.
Laser Hair Removal
WebMD: This is one of the longest-lasting methods, but it generally requires four or more treatments 4-6 weeks apart. It can only be effective on dark hair. The laser beam or a light pulse works to destroy the hair bulb. The treatment can be expensive and sometimes painful, but it can be used on many parts of the body where unwanted hair appears. Be sure you select a doctor or technician who is highly trained and knowledgeable.
FDA's Report: In this method, a laser destroys hair follicles with heat. Sometimes it is recommended that a topical anesthetic product be used before a laser hair removal procedure, to minimize pain. Those who decide to use a skin-numbing product should follow the directions of a health care provider and consider using a product that contains the lowest amount of anesthetic drugs possible. FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has received reports of serious and life-threatening side effects after use of large amounts of skin-numbing products for laser hair removal. Side effects of laser hair removal can include blistering, discoloration after treatment, swelling, redness, and scarring. Sunlight should be avoided during healing after the procedure.
WebMD: Electrolysis is done by a professional who places a tiny needle with an electric current in the hair follicle. There are two primary hair removal methods with electrolysis: galvanic and thermolytic.
Galvanic hair removal chemically destroys the hair follicle.
Thermolytic removal uses heat to destroy the follicle.
In either case, be sure to find a professional who is highly trained and knowledgeable. You can get electrolysis on any part of the body.
FDA's Report: Medical electrolysis devices destroy hair growth with a shortwave radio frequency after a thin probe is placed in the hair follicle. Risks from these methods include infection from an unsterile needle and scarring from improper technique. Electrolysis is considered a permanent hair removal method, since it destroys the hair follicle. It requires a series of appointments over a period of time.
WebMD: If none of these hair removal methods help, you may want to ask your doctor's advice. Spironolactone is a pill that may slow or reduce hair growth in areas that you do not want hair. It will not get rid of the hair on your scalp and may actually stimulate growth there. There is a prescription cream called Vaniqa that is approved by the FDA for slowing facial hair growth in women. This cream slows growth, but it will not remove the hair. You apply it to the area twice a day. Once you stop using the cream, the hair will regrow.
FDA's Report: Does not mention medications
OK...remember how I said "I will show you examples that may be hard for some of you to see. Be warned. No. Seriously, this is crazy." earlier?
View this gallery at your own risk. Some of these images make my tummy turn but I feel they should be shared. They really show us how far we would go for "beauty's sake" so to speak.
30+ reasons to look at sugaring more seriously.
When I was a teenager and I was going through puberty, I was taught that the only way to remove my now growing leg hair was to shave. I hated shaving from the very beginning. From the nicks, cuts, irritated skin, dry skin, ingrown hairs, the itchies, the stubble, and the fact I had to shave EVERY SINGLE DAY, I hated shaving my whole life. I am just about as positive as I could be in saying that if you've shaved at any time in your life...you know what I'm talking about and can relate on some level.
In my twenties, I learned about waxing. "You mean you spread hot as heck wax on my skin and then rip the hairs out?" Okay, honestly, I have been waxed three times in my whole life and only once have had a bikini wax. I was never brave enough to go full Brazilian (until now with sugaring...).
I am 41 now, have had 3 wonderful sons, two marriages and just learned four years ago that there is a much better alternative.
PopSugar, HuffPost Women, and many other journalists have been getting to know sugaring as well. Just over the past five years, the popularity of this all-natural hair removal alternative has grown.
Sugaring was not introduced into the United States until the 80's, but it has been around for MANY MANY years, dating all the way back to when Cleopatra ruled Egypt.
- 100% natural
- No resin or chemicals
- Water soluble - you will never ruin your clothes or towels
- Will never adhere to live skin cells
- Will never bum skin, as it is barely lukewarm
- Bacteria does not breed or survive in sugar
- Natural healer to skin
- Will not damage delicate facial skin tissue from long-term use
- Removes hair in direction of natural growth
- Very little (if any) discomfort
- Superior end results
- Becomes definitive
- Removes hair after 2 to 3 days growth (about an 1/8")
- Will assist in diminishment of ingrown hairs
- Can sugar areas with spider veins and varicose veins or diabetics and dry itch eczema
- Skin is left feeling soft and clean, even before aftercare
- Never hardens, even if left on skin
- No chemical additives or preservatives, therefore no allergic reactions or breakouts
- Less redness or damage to connective tissues, especially around the mouth area
- Sugaring removes hair from the roots (epilating), thus hair is unseen from 2-4 weeks
This video from Refinery29 has 1.2M views on YouTube in just four months. The movie goes over all of the reasons why I fell in love with sugaring and the reason I am so passionate about spreading the word.
The owner of Sugaring LA talks about sugaring in detail and you get to see sugaring in action close up. This is the same kind of sugaring I make for my shop on Etsy and here on this website, though I make my sugaring paste in small batches each week for your home use.
"On this episode of Macro Beauty we get up close with the hair removal technique known as Sugaring. This organic formula removes hair in the direction of growth while exfoliating. Watch this week's episode to see the zoomed in details of Sugaring!"