Updated April 30th, 2024 at 22:01 IST

What Is Sugaring? Myths Around 'Pain-free' Hair Removal Technique Busted

It uses a homemade wax and promises an easier and supposedly pain-free hair removal experience. But is its worth the attention it is getting?

Sugar waxing | Image:Freepik

The allure of sugar waxing, a beauty method that has surged in popularity due to viral TikTok videos, is tempting many to ditch traditional waxing for what is touted as a less painful, all-natural alternative. Known as sugaring, this technique uses a homemade wax concocted from sugar, water, and lemon juice, promising an easier and supposedly pain-free hair removal experience. However, as recent incidents highlight, the risks involved may outweigh the benefits.

Recently, a troubling case involving a 17-year-old teenager from the US, Allison Bowles, shed light on the trends' potential dangers. Bowles suffered second-degree burns and severe skin damage to her hand while trying DIY sugar waxing, an injury that took over a month to heal. Her experience casts a spotlight on the severe repercussions that can result from improper application of homemade sugar wax.


What is sugar waxing?

Sugaring is a centuries-old method revived by social media enthusiasts who share tutorials on making and using the wax. Unlike traditional wax, which adheres to both hair and skin, sugar wax is praised for targeting hair only, which many find less painful. The paste is prepared by boiling its natural ingredients, cooled in a refrigerator, and then slightly warmed for application.


Comparing sugaring with salon waxing

Traditional salon waxes often contain synthetic materials such as resin and beeswax and usually require strips for hair removal. In contrast, sugar wax is stripped back to basics with just three natural ingredients. Despite the appeal of sugaring's simplicity and cost-effectiveness, it requires precise preparation and application techniques, particularly to avoid the risks of burns from overheating the mixture.

Image credit: Freepix

Pertinent risks

The DIY aspect of sugar waxing adds to its danger, as inexperienced users might improperly heat or apply the wax, leading to burns or scars. Additionally, because sugaring does not always effectively target the root of the hair follicle, it can result in ingrown hairs.


For those interested in this trend, experts advise caution. Proper technique and understanding the limitations and risks of sugar waxing are crucial to avoid painful and potentially serious injuries. As with any beauty treatment, especially those performed at home, safety should come first.


Published April 30th, 2024 at 22:01 IST