People

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Beauty

We Tried It Earth Day Edition: Sugaring Hair Removal

Updated

What It Is: A sustainable hair removal method involving food-based sugar, lemon juice and water

Who Tried It: Sarah Kinonen, Style & Beauty Editorial Assistant

Why I Tried It: I can’t believe I’m admitting this, especially as someone who works in the beauty industry, but here it goes: I’ve never been waxed. Aside from the occasional brow grooming sesh, I can honestly say I’ve never had my limbs, bikini line or you-know-what waxed (don’t even get me started on the Brazilian!) So, in honor of Earth Day, I figured I’d give hair removal a try, but using a process that is safe for me and the environment.

Level of Difficulty: 2. There really is no difficulty involved in sugaring (as a client), but the process involves laying down for about an hour during the treatment, you might get a little bored. So come prepared and bring a book!

Sarah Kinonen We Tried It: Sugaring
David Carr

For my first-ever sugaring experience, I headed to N.Y.C.-based nail salon Hortus Nailworks, where I met the owner, Jane Maccolla, for an after-work appointment to get my legs sugared.

If you’ve been waxed before, you’re probably well-aware that hair removal processes generally require hair to grow about 1/8-inch out of the root, which averages about a week to two weeks without shaving. So this meant leaving my razor out of my daily shower routine, which, in all honesty, was probably the hardest part of whole the process. (I’m a little — okay, very — OCD about shaving my legs every day.)

RELATED PHOTOS: Earth Day: The Best Eco Beauty Buys

Once I arrived and got seated in the back sugaring station, we got started. The first step is to clean the area where you’ll be getting hair removed. Using a simple cleanser, my technician wiped away dirt and oil, creating a clean canvas for the sugar. Then it was time to get started!

Wearing bio-degradable gloves, my sugar-er grabbed a handful of the golden-hued, sticky, sugary concoction, which was warmed to room temperature in a container, and applied a glob to my leg. “You could eat it, basically,” Maccolla said, half-joking.

RELATED VIDEO: 5 Ways to Make Your Eyes Look Bigger and Brighter

After smoothing out the formula, my technician ripped it up and away from my leg, pulling hair directly out of the root. And because sugaring is done in the same direction as hair growth, full hair particles were pulled out. So, does it hurt? I’m not going to lie, the hair-pulling was slightly uncomfortable at first, but after a few tries, you hardly notice the pain.

Sarah Kinonen We Tried It: Sugaring
David Carr

The entire process went on for about an hour, as hair was removed from both legs from the knee down to the ankle. As more hair was removed, my skin began turning bright red, which was normal and would return back to its normal shade after about an hour, Maccolla assured me. And as the sugaring process continued, the amber-colored concoction changed from a golden hue to a yellow-y, almost-creamy shade, as dead skin cells and hair were rolled into the sugar formula. (Gross, I know, but kinda cool.)

The Verdict: I was impressed! Sugaring is a safe and sustainable alternative to waxing and, according to Maccolla, will lighten and thin out hair over time. Plus, there’s very virtually no mess and all material used is biodegradable and safe to throw away.

Would you ever under go the sugaring process? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen