Bee's Knees and more
What is sugaring?
The chances are great that you have heard of sugaring, but you don't quite know what it's all about. Let me help you with that. Sugaring is a type of hair removal that is done with a paste created from three ingredients: sugar, lemon, and water.
why do I offer sugaring instead of waxing?
When I was in esthetics school, we only learned how to wax, but other hair removal methods had been discussed briefly. The instructors had never experienced any of them except waxing, but they had negative things to say about each one. If you know anything about me, you know that I wanted to look into those disparaged methods. I already knew about electrolysis because I practiced it for about a decade. I had received a laser consultation and know what laser felt like and still wear the hyperpigmented spots from that tiny treatment. My esthetics school allowed us to take courses externally and apply those hours as electives, so I headed to California to learn threading and to Oregon to learn sugaring, becoming certified in both.
When I felt threading on myself, it was certainly tolerable, but I saw the drawbacks of it. I wanted a method of hair removal that was not only relatively comfortable but that was broadly useful. Threading has greatly restricted use. Waxing is broadly useful. My sugaring training taught me that sugaring is more comfortable than waxing, is kinder to the skin than waxing, and is highly effective. We can never lift skin (as can occur with waxing) because sugar only adheres to dead skin cells instead of live ones, which also makes it a great exfoliation method (replaces dermaplaning). Once I experienced sugaring for myself, I knew that I would never wax except at school where we couldn't sugar. I had first-hand knowledge of what if felt like when the practitioner got "stuck" while doing waxing and during sugaring. Neither was a walk in the park (ouch), but sugaring didn't leave me crying. The practitioner just removed the stuck sugar paste and started over. Remember: hair is being extracted from the roots.
How is sugaring done?
I love learning, so I have been trained by several companies, learning all of the methods. The traditional way and the one that requires the most skill is the hand method. I mold the sugar a few times in the correct direction so that it entraps the hairs, and then I flick what I molded, releasing the hair from the follicle. Ta dah! I can also sugar using a spatula, which has its advantages, but who needs extra things to wash and disinfect? Another benefit of hand sugaring is that it is hygienic and produces less waste for the landfill. You might hear people talking about sugar waxing. That is the least skillful method. It was created for those waxers who want to ride the coattails of the sugarists and use sugar as they use wax -- spread the sugar with a stick, place the muslin strip over the sugar, and rip. It's faster than hand sugaring, but hand sugaring is more precise and less wasteful.
what to expect?
First, prepare yourself for a slower service than waxing. You deserve to slow down, breathe, have good
conversation, and be well taken care of. You are more than a transaction; you matter. When you arrive for your sugaring appointment, make sure that you have hair that is long enough to grab. If it is your first appointment after shaving, you'll want the hairs to be 1/4" long because blunt hairs are harder to remove than the naturally tapered hairs. Longer than 1/4" can be less comfortable for you (all about physics), but we can do it. If you look at the photo above of a client's legs, you'll see that the hairy leg has very long hairs. The upper leg is shown after the sugaring but before the cleanup of the strays.
I always explain the process, including the fact that I use a hospital-grade disinfectant to clean after every client. I learn what my client's goals are and let her know when is the best time to extract the hairs. Ideally, we will space appointments so that we are able to get the hairs early in their growth cycle. You should know that if you see hairs emerging within days of your appointment, those are hairs that were in a follicle and below the surface, so they couldn't be extracted. It's kind of like weeding. Right? You spend hours weeding your yard, and the next day, there are new weeds. Did the weeding not work? Yes, it did. You eliminated the weeds that you could see. I can only extract hairs that I can see.
Because your follicles will be open, you'll want to bring a clean pair of undies if a Brazilian is the appointed service. It's essential to keep the sugared areas clean, so no swimming, hot tub, working out, or intimate activity for 24 hours. Homecare procedures are important, too. Your future sugaring experiences will be faster and even more comfortable when you condition the skin, so you will want to exfoliate daily and use a clean lotion (aloe vera-based, no mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances). That is even more important if you are prone to ingrown hairs. Speaking of which, dryer sheets, fabric softener, lacy undies, and tight clothing (yes, yoga pants and leggings) can encourage ingrowns. If you are one who doesn't pay attention to that advice, you're welcome to schedule a Brazacial and to invest in more aftercare products. Do yourself a favor if you do get ingrowns; leave them for the professional to deal with. I have seen too many divots on clients who dug out the pus-filled areas.
getting ready for summer
It's still winter, but it's the right time to get your body summer-ready. Clients know that if they resort to shaving during the winter months, it's almost like starting from square one with their hair removal because the hairs are blunt, there's more hair, the nerves are sensitized again, and the skin is unconditioned. Sugaring clients are ready for summer (and vacations) all year long. It's time for you to get ready. See you soon!