Style & Beauty

What The Heck Is Sugaring, And Is The Hair Removal Treatment Better Than Waxing?

07/01/2015 11:06am ET | Updated December 6, 2017

"Beauty Glossary" is a HuffPost series that breaks down beauty product techniques, treatments and ingredients so you know exactly what you're putting onto and into your body.

sugaring
Photo Credit: Maskot via Getty Images

When it comes to getting rid of unwanted hair on your body, shaving and waxing are probably the first two treatments that come to mind. They're both less expensive and less painful compared to laser hair removal. But there is another possibility that's a way sweeter deal -- literally.

A gel made from sugar, lemon and hot water is used to pull hair out of the roots. According to salon founder and brow expert Hibba Kapil, it is by far one of the most gentle and ancient techniques that's a natural alternative to lasers, and one that lasts longer than traditional waxing.

"[Sugaring] does not stick to skin but only to the hair. Therefore, it really gets the hair out of the roots," said Kapil. "So rather than a wax that adheres to your skin and pulls your skin when you are removing the hair, sugar just binds to your hair and only pulls the hair."

While Kapil believes sugaring is suitable for removing fine hair all over the body -- with the exception of eyebrows, as that area is highly sensitive and threading would hurt less -- she thinks it's especially great for individuals with sensitive skin and blonde peach fuzz as it's less likely to cause irritation.

To be a candidate for sugaring, your hair must be at least a quarter of an inch long so that the gel is able to bind to the hair and pull it out at the root. Kapil says to make sure the area you plan on removing hair is well exfoliated and not oily. You can easily clean up any residue from sugaring with water since all of the ingredients in the mix are natural.

Post-sugaring, Kapil urges people to avoid hot water, exfoliation, gym activity and the sauna for 48 hours. "Your skin is sensitive! Treat it nicely," she says. After that time period, you are in the clear to exfoliate to prevent in-growns hairs. Apply a gentle bikini balm like Hibba's No Bumps or hydrocortisone 1 percent cream to soothe any skin sensitivity. If any issues arise or persist after 48 hours, see a dermatologist immediately.

Keep in mind that it may take a few sugaring sessions before your hair is completely removed. However, a trained aesthetician will be able to tweeze or thread to target any stubborn hairs.

Have you tried sugaring? Share your hair removal experiences in the comments section.

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