Waxing Vs. Sugaring: How To Choose The Best Hair-Removal Option For You

October 5, 2020 Stephanie Montes

Lulu

Between shaving, epilating, lasering, and countless other methods, navigating the dizzying world of hair removal can feel impossible. Our suggestion is to start with the tried-and-true techniques that have been around the longest. We're, of course, talking about sugaring and waxing. — While you may have just recently heard of sugaring, it's an ancient form of hair removal that originated in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Similarly, waxing originated in Egypt and is said to date back to 1150 BC. — The two are often grouped together because they both lift hair from the root, but the difference is in the ingredients and application. Allow us to explain. Ahead, the pros and cons of waxing and sugaring, and how to find the best hair-removal option for you.

The Formulations

Sugaring Paste: The golden honey-hued sugaring paste is made up of only three ingredients — lemon juice, sugar, and water — making it completely chemical- and guilt-free. With a formulation you could cook up right in your kitchen, sugar wax is so clean, you could technically eat it. Note: Some technicians may put essential oils or honey in their sugars, too, so if you have any allergy concerns, ask before your treatment.

Waxing: Wax comes in two forms: Soft wax (applied with a spatula and removed with fabric strips) and hard wax (which is applied to the skin and peeled off in a single motion after cooling). There are also super convenient pre-lined wax strips, usually found at your local drugstore for quicker, cleaner at-home hair removal. Hard and soft waxes are usually made from a mixture of beeswax, rosin, oils, and other additives.

The Application

Sugaring: Sugar paste is applied in the opposite direction of hair growth and then removed the same direction as the hair's natural growth in quick, small pulls, which results in less breakage. Sugaring is also a lot less sticky than traditional wax and is applied at room temperature.

Waxing: Wax is applied in the same direction of hair growth and removed with a strip in the opposite direction once the substance cools and slightly hardens. Because it is removed against the hair grain, you are more susceptible to breakage, which means the root stays intact. Furthermore, wax also tends to be hotter, so if any part of your body is particularly heat-sensitive, stick with sugaring.

The Hair Removal

Sugaring: Since sugar paste is less sticky, it doesn't stick to the skin at all — it only grabs your hair. Not only do some avid hair removers report less pain because of this, but there's also less risk of hair breakage and skin irritation. On the other hand, you might have to go over an area more than once because it's less sticky and if your hair is very thick or coarse, it may not be as effective.

Waxing: Due to how it's removed (in the opposite direction of natural hair growth), waxing can be harsh on the skin and break shorter hairs instead of removing them from the root, which can result in ingrowns. However, because it boasts a better grip, waxing tends to be faster and works for thicker hair types.

The Verdict

Both sugaring and waxing can be great forms of hair removal and provide lasting results. Since both techniques remove hair at the follicle, you can expect to remain stubble-free for three to four weeks at a time. Those with sensitive skin types might prefer sugaring because of its gentler removal and natural formulation. However, wax enthusiasts sing its praises for the efficiency, ability to remove thicker hair, and at-home options. There's no clear winner between the two because, ultimately, it comes down to preference, so be sure to evaluate your skin type and hair-removal goals before settling. 

Between shaving, epilating, lasering, and countless other methods, navigating the dizzying world of hair removal can feel impossible. Our suggestion is to start with the tried-and-true techniques that have been around the longest. We're, of course, talking about sugaring and waxing. — While you may have just recently heard of sugaring, it's an ancient form of hair removal that originated in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Similarly, waxing originated in Egypt and is said to date back to 1150 BC. — The two are often grouped together because they both lift hair from the root, but the difference is in the ingredients and application. Allow us to explain. Ahead, the pros and cons of waxing and sugaring, and how to find the best hair-removal option for you. 

The Formulations

Sugaring Paste: The golden honey-hued sugaring paste is made up of only three ingredients — lemon juice, sugar, and water — making it completely chemical- and guilt-free. With a formulation you could cook up right in your kitchen, sugar wax is so clean, you could technically eat it. Note: Some technicians may put essential oils or honey in their sugars, too, so if you have any allergy concerns, ask before your treatment.

Waxing: Wax comes in two forms: Soft wax (applied with a spatula and removed with fabric strips) and hard wax (which is applied to the skin and peeled off in a single motion after cooling). There are also super convenient pre-lined wax strips, usually found at your local drugstore for quicker, cleaner at-home hair removal. Hard and soft waxes are usually made from a mixture of beeswax, rosin, oils, and other additives.

The Application

Sugaring: Sugar paste is applied in the opposite direction of hair growth and then removed the same direction as the hair's natural growth in quick, small pulls, which results in less breakage. Sugaring is also a lot less sticky than traditional wax and is applied at room temperature.

Waxing: Wax is applied in the same direction of hair growth and removed with a strip in the opposite direction once the substance cools and slightly hardens. Because it is removed against the hair grain, you are more susceptible to breakage, which means the root stays intact. Furthermore, wax also tends to be hotter, so if any part of your body is particularly heat-sensitive, stick with sugaring.

The Hair Removal

Sugaring: Since sugar paste is less sticky, it doesn't stick to the skin at all — it only grabs your hair. Not only do some avid hair removers report less pain because of this, but there's also less risk of hair breakage and skin irritation. On the other hand, you might have to go over an area more than once because it's less sticky and if your hair is very thick or coarse, it may not be as effective.

Waxing: Due to how it's removed (in the opposite direction of natural hair growth), waxing can be harsh on the skin and break shorter hairs instead of removing them from the root, which can result in ingrowns. However, because it boasts a better grip, waxing tends to be faster and works for thicker hair types.

The Verdict

Both sugaring and waxing can be great forms of hair removal and provide lasting results. Since both techniques remove hair at the follicle, you can expect to remain stubble-free for three to four weeks at a time. Those with sensitive skin types might prefer sugaring because of its gentler removal and natural formulation. However, wax enthusiasts sing its praises for the efficiency, ability to remove thicker hair, and at-home options. There's no clear winner between the two because, ultimately, it comes down to preference, so be sure to evaluate your skin type and hair-removal goals before settling.
 

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