Like waxing, sugaring is a popular method of hair removal because it allows clients to avoid daily shaving or plucking of hair. Sugaring is a hair removal technique that has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently become popular in the States as a relatively pain-free way of removing unwanted hair.
Waxing, of course, is the widely known process that involves heating wax and applying it to the area where hair removal is desired. Because it removes hair down to the root, this process allows treatments to last for one – two weeks. Sugaring works in much the same way, but it has become popular among clients because it’s made from all-natural ingredients, making it the preferred method for anybody with dermal sensitivity and an aversion to harsh chemicals.
This means sugaring can be used as a gentler alternative to waxing when removing unwanted hair from virtually any part of the body: legs, arms, torso, face, or the bikini area.
Using Sugar to Remove Unwanted Hair
There are two types of sugaring methods in common use: a paste that is flicked off of the skin and a gel that is pulled off with a cloth just like a waxing strip.
Sugaring pastes and gels are made from three all-natural ingredients: sugar, lemon, and water. They leave the skin moisturized and soft, and your clients won’t have to worry about fragrances, dyes, or other components reacting with their skin.
Unlike waxing, sugaring can be very quickly performed on large areas of the body. For this reason, it is often used for legs, arms, and torso hair removal. However, sugaring isn’t very effective on eyebrows—it’s best left for larger, less sensitive areas.
Sugaring will need to be applied in at least two treatments in order to completely remove the hair from the desired area, and you may need to go over the area with a threading or plucking technique in order to remove any stray hairs that you missed the first time around.
Over time, the hair will grow more and more thinly in areas where the paste was applied, because sugaring damages the hair follicle. Sugaring is really meant to be a regular treatment rather than a one-time removal.
One of the only downsides to sugaring is that your client will need to have hair at least a quarter of an inch long, so they’ll need to ditch the razor for a few days.
Before beginning the hair removal process, make sure that your client’s skin is exfoliated. They can either exfoliate at home with a scrub, or you can apply a scrub to the area and remove it along with dead skin cells in quick circular motions. You’ll need to make sure to apply enough pressure to remove the dead skin cells on the surface.
If you don’t exfoliate beforehand, the sugaring paste will not be able to adhere to the hair as well, and there might be residual cells or oil on the skin that make the procedure less effective.
For sugaring paste to adhere to the skin, the hair must be at least 1/16 of an inch long.
Next, you’ll layer the paste thickly onto the desired area. You’ll apply the paste in the direction of the hair growth and wait about a minute to let it harden slightly and adhere to the hair. Using plastic gloves, you’ll hold the skin taut with one hand and quickly flick the paste off of the skin in the direction of the hair growth. Because the hair is removed in the same direction as it grows, this is the most painless method of sugaring.
For gel sugaring, the hair must be at least ¼ of an inch long.
Just as you’ll need to exfoliate before performing the sugaring paste method, when using sugaring gel, you’ll also need to exfoliate the skin to remove dirt, dead skin cells, and oils.
The sugaring gel is made with the same ingredients as the paste, but it is heated to a higher temperature, making it more liquefied.
You’ll apply the gel to the desired area and use a cotton or muslin strip to adhere to the gel. Then, similar to a waxing technique, you’ll pull off the strip in the opposite direction of the hair growth, removing the hair.
Benefits of Sugaring – How Sweet it Can Be
Sugaring isn’t as painful as waxing because the sugar paste or gel only adheres to the hair and not the skin. Waxing, on the other hand, adheres to the hair and the skin, which causes pain and redness during the process.
Especially for clients with sensitive skin or low pain tolerance, sugaring is a much more pleasant process.
Some clients with sensitive skin may also have reactions to the wax itself as well as the process of removing the hair. However, because sugaring paste and gel is made with all natural ingredients, even sensitive skin is usually reaction-free.
The hair doesn’t need to be as long for sugaring as it needs to be during waxing. It also lasts for a longer period of time:
- Arms need to be repeated every 8-10 weeks
- Stomach needs to be repeated every 3-5 weeks
- Back area needs to be repeated every 4-6 weeks
- Leg area needs to be repeated every 6-8 weeks
- Bikini area needs to be repeated every 3-5 weeks
Another perk of sugaring is that, unlike wax, the paste is water-soluble, so it will easily wash off of skin without leaving oily residue behind.
For clients who are tired of the shaving routine and looking to pamper their skin, getting sugaring treatments is a wonderful, almost painless alternative.
Keep Your Client’s Skin Happy
Although sugaring is a very safe, chemical-free, nearly painless process, make sure your clients know how to care for their skin after the procedure.
For the next two days after sugaring, they should avoid any kind of skin stress, such as hot water, heavy sweating, saunas, exfoliation, or shaving. Any of these things can cause the skin to become red and painful, as it will be sensitive after the hair removal process.
If your client has extremely sensitive skin that is irritated by the sugaring process, you can use an aloe based solution or a moisturizing solution made from a natural moisturizer such as coconut oil to soothe the oil and minimize redness and irritation.
You should also ask your clients about their skincare regimen. If they have recently shaved, had a microdermabrasion treatment, have varicose veins, or have sunburned skin,
Advanced Training and Certification Courses in Sugaring
With your esthetician’s license you can offer sugaring as a hair removal alternative for clients that prefer it to waxing. Some basic esthetics programs cover sugaring, but even if yours didn’t, you’ll find that much of what you learned about waxing would be relevant to sugaring.
Although sugaring falls within the scope of your esthetician’s license, it is a more specialized technique, and you may have to take additional classes in order to perfect it.
One of the reasons that clients will seek your expertise in sugaring is because although sugaring paste is relatively easy and inexpensive to make and apply at home, mastering the technique is tricky. You’ll likely need to shadow experienced estheticians and practice the technique before getting it right.
Through an advanced training course in sugaring, you’ll learn:
- Hair removal theory
- Practicing sugaring technique on a model
- How to sugar different areas of the body
Salons and beauty schools throughout the country offer sugaring classes—you might check with beauty salons located near you. Generally, you’ll be required to possess your esthetician’s license before registering for an advanced sugaring class.