what's the difference between sugaring and waxing?
We get asked all the time what the benefits are of sugaring over traditional waxing. This post will give you both the short and the long answer. Let’s start with the short answer:
Pros for Sugaring
- Clients who prefer sugaring say that sugaring hurts a lot less than waxing.
- Sugaring is more gentle on the skin - only the dead skin cells are removed.
- The technique can be more effective at removing the hair at the bulb (or root) - which can reduce the chance of getting ingrown hairs.
pros for waxing
- If this is your first time getting waxed or sugared, your aesthetician may decide to wax you. If your hair is longer, is very thick, or if you have coarse hair, the sugaring process can take longer and as a result, may be more painful. Consult your aesthetician in the room for the best process moving forward. Once you wax once, if you wanted to try sugaring the next month, this would be far less painful.
- Waxing techniques tend to be faster on large surface areas (i.e. legs, back, arms).
- Waxing is more cost effective ($10 less for any service over $25).
Now for the long answer:
Let’s take a deeper dive into understanding the sugaring technique and the science behind the benefits of sugaring:
Whether you’re waxing or sugaring, the goal is always to remove hair at the bulb (or root). That’s the sweet spot - the magic spot that retards hair growth, kills the hair follicles, and creates the least painful hair removal process for consistent waxers (or sugarers).
With waxing, the hair is removed opposite the hair growth pattern. A good aesthetician will apply the right amount of pressure when applying the wax and knows how to remove the wax with one quick motion in order to avoid leaving hair or causing breakage of the hair under the skin.
A great aesthetician can masterfully remove hair with wax with minimal hair breakage, but the wax does not naturally lend itself to efficiently pulling the hair from the root like sugaring does. The waxing process requires removing the hair in the same direction as hair growth - think of shaving your legs in the opposite direction as you’re supposed to - the skin isn’t as smooth and it creates stubble because of the angle of the hair in relation to the angle of the razor… Now waxing obviously doesn’t leave any hair above the surface, but this metaphor applies for hair beneath the surface as well… removing the hair with wax lends itself to more hairs breaking before removing the hair from the root - leading to an increased tendency towards ingrowns and skin irritation.
If you consistently get a Brazilian wax and have no issues with skin irritation, ingrowns, or pain then maybe waxing is right for you. However, if you’re allergic to the wax or find that you have skin irritation, a sugar Brazilian may be a better option.
The sugaring technique applies the sugar in the opposite direction of waxing. The result is that you’re removing the hair against the grain. This direction allows the sugar to adhere more efficiently to the hair and pulls cleaner from the root when removing the hair. The sugar is applied slowly and the sugar seeps slowly into the pores of the hair follicle and envelops the hair even below the surface, allowing for a clean break from the root of the hair.
I want to be very clear here: we are not saying that waxing will not pull hair from the root. We are saying that the sugaring technique lends itself to more effectively pull the hair from the root and thus is more efficient at pulling every hair from below the surface from the root. The result is that many clients who sugar experience less skin irritation and feel that sugaring is less painful than waxing.
Hard wax is applied hot and must cool on the skin before being removed. if the aesthetician does not check the temperature first on her own skin, the wax has the potential to burn you. This is rare and easily prevented if the aesthetician checks the wax first. However, sugaring is applied at about room temperature and has no possibility of burning the client.
There are many purist salons out there that preach either only wax or only sugar. We invite you to try both and figure out what is best for your particular hair removal needs.