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Sugar waxing or sugaring is a method of hair removal that originated in the Middle East. The technique involves using a sticky paste to grab and pull out hair at the roots. Unlike traditional resin-based waxes, however, sugar waxes adhere only to the hair, not the skin, explains Susie Galvez, author of “The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Glamour.” The result is a less painful and less irritating method of removal.

After centuries of use in the Middle East, sugaring is rapidly gaining popularity in the West. Numerous salons and spas perform on-site treatments, and commercial sugar pastes are available over the counter. Additionally, homemade sugar waxes offer a cost-effective, natural way to remove unwanted hair.

Sugar Wax Recipe

Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a saucepan, and stir to combine.

Heat the ingredients on low, stirring often. Bring the mixture to a boil, but do not let the temperature rise above 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a candy thermometer if needed.

Monitor the paste for consistency and color. Sufficiently cooked sugar wax is smooth and the color of amber.

Pour the mixture into an airtight container and let cool to room temperature.

Sugar-Waxing Technique

Wash your bikini area with antibacterial soap. Dry thoroughly before dusting with unscented, all-natural baby powder to absorb excess moisture without irritating the skin.

Use your palms to roll a small scoop of sugar wax into a ball. Do not knead the paste excessively; doing so will overheat the wax, making it stickier and less able to grip the hair.

Place the wax over a section of bikini line. Use your fingertips to flatten the paste until it is about 1/4 inch thick.

Remove the wax by pinching one edge and pulling quickly in the direction of hair growth. According to “Milady’s Hair Removal Techniques,” this helps to avoid breakage and follicle damage.

Repeat the process on another section of bikini hair until the area is smooth. Wipe away any residual wax with a damp washcloth.


Sugaring works best on hair that is 1/4 inch to 1 inch long. If necessary, trim hair before treatment.

You can use the same ball of sugar wax multiple times in one sitting. Discard when the wax becomes too sticky or clogged to effectively pull out hair.


Sugaring should be avoided if skin is broken, irritated or inflamed.