Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Waxing and Sugaring
MP EDITION 045
The second blog post in our hair removal series is all about waxing and sugaring. Both processes involve removing hair straight from the root but each technique is very different and here's why.
Types of waxing
Soft wax: Also known as strip wax, is liquid wax that is used warmed up. A thin layer of wax is applied on the specific hair area in the same direction as hair growth. A piece of cloth is place over it and it is very quickly removed pulling in the opposite direction of hair growth. You do not have to use as much to cover an area but you cannot go over the same area more than once. This method is suited for those with thinner hair.
Hard wax: This type of wax comes in the form of beads and is heated up to get a liquified texture. The wax is applied in a thick layer and hardens as it cools down. It is also applied in the same direction has hair growth and removed in the opposite direction of hair growth by quickly peeling it directly off the skin, no cloth strip required. Soft wax can irritate the skin when it’s pulled off so if you have sensitive skin, opt for hard wax.
Waxing vs. Sugaring
Now there’s a third option: sugaring. Also known as sugaring wax or sugared waxing. The primary difference between waxing and sugaring is that sugaring is made of the simple but effective all-natural trifecta of sugar, lemon juice, and water. Because of its natural ingredients, sugaring paste is water soluble, which means you can wash it off with plain ol’ water whereas wax requires something oil-based.
The sugaring paste is of a thick consistency and applied by hand in the opposite direction of hair growth and then removed in the same direction of hair growth. If you’re wondering if sugaring is less painful, the answer is yes. The fact that sugar paste only adheres to the hair and not skin means there’s less pulling of the skin, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or lower pain thresholds. Plus, sugaring wax is applied at room temperature, rather than hot which is how soft and hard wax is applied.
As for which is better, both traditional waxing and sugaring are super effective at removing hair and keeping you hairless for longer than shaving. It ultimately comes down to your individual skin and preference. For those with uber sensitive skin or have known allergies to waxes, sugaring is a great option.
There are a couple of styles you can get when it comes to waxing down there.
- A regular bikini wax will take off any hair outside the bikini line.
- A full bikini wax takes off a bit more on the sides and the top than your regular bikini wax.
- A French bikini wax takes off all the hair in the front, apart from a small strip.
Typically, everything comes off with a Brazilian. And when we say everything, we mean EVERYTHANG - the top, sides, front, back, and everything in between. If you’d prefer to leave a little somethin’ somethin’ behind, you can opt for a small landing strip or triangle.
10 tips for a smooth waxing session
Whether you’re going with waxing or sugaring, these 10 tips will help ensure your experience is as smooth as your skin after.
- Grow it out. Let your hair grow out for at least 4 weeks before you book an appointment - that’s right, 4 weeks! You want the hair to be at least a quarter of an inch long because the shorter the hair, the harder the pull as short hair is denser. Because the hair doesn’t necessarily have to be longer to be removed, sugaring can be done every 8-10 days.
- Pop an Advil. We won’t lie to you, it’s not going to be a walk in the park but everyone’s pain tolerance is different. If you have a lower pain threshold, no biggie. Just take a couple Advils before your appointment to dull the pain (a glass of red wine will do the trick too).
- Don’t go when Aunt Flow is in town. If possible, avoid waxing during your period as everything is more sensitive around that time. But if it can’t be avoided, wear a tampon and make sure to let your aesthetician know that you’re on your period.
- Exfoliate, baby! To make things easier, use a sugar scrub the night before to help get a cleaner wax. Hair can get trapped under dead skin, and by exfoliating, you get fewer ingrown hairs (yay!) But while it’s good to exfoliate before your appointment, avoid doing it for at least 1-2 weeks after. The rough scrub could irritate your skin. Instead, try using a trio of feminine wash, spray, and moisturizer to keep your skin feeling silky smooth for as long as possible.
- Sweat before, not after. Schedule your spin class before your appointment. Excessive sweat post-waxing can cause friction and irritation when there’s no hair to absorb the sweat.
- Wax a few days before vacay. While you might think waxing right before you go on vacation is optimal, it could take a couple days for the redness to go down if you have sensitive skin. And if you’re going somewhere tropical, the salt water and chlorine may irritate your freshly waxed skin even further.
- Dress accordingly. The day of your wax, wear loose, airy clothing as the last thing you want to do is constrict air flow down there. That will encourage chafing and sometimes produce an odor.
- Give your skin some extra loving. After waxing, your skin may be red, sore, and bumpy. Your aesthetician will put some aloe vera or a soothing lotion on you but you can continue the wax aftercare at home with a toner that contains witch hazel and tea tree oil and also a moisturizing lotion to prevent redness and ingrown hairs.
- Breathe. It helps in yoga, and it’ll help you here too. Take a deep breath when the wax is being applied, and exhale when they rip - you’ll be baby smooth in no time.
- Take it all off! Strip your lower half down to your birthday suit and hop on the table. Some places may provide paper underwear for you to wear, but it’s easier for your aesthetician if you bare it all.
If you’re a waxing virgin, take note that your first time will be the most painful but the pain will ease with each waxing session. This is because if you’ve never been waxed before, the bulb hair is larger than your pore. Good news is that frequent waxes make the hair finer and thinner, and the process, ultimately less painful. Next thing you know, 4 weeks will fly by, and it’ll be time for your next appointment!