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What's the difference?

Waxing and sugaring both involve removing hair from the root thus having longer lasting effects than shaving, but truth be told they're two very different techniques. Hard wax is applied in the same direction as your natural hair growth and removed in the opposite direction of your follicle's growth pattern. With sugaring, the paste is molded onto the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth, then removed in the natural direction of your follicle's growth pattern. Wax also tends to be hotter than sugaring, which is normally room temperature. Because of this, the results can differ greatly.

The level of pain depends on the pain threshold of the individual. Neither technique is completely painless, however some tolerate one better than the other. Results really depend on each individual and their specific skin type.



Sugaring hair removal uses an all natural gel-like paste to remove hair which is great for those who have allergies to certain ingredients or just want only natural substances on their body. The sugar paste can be applied to any area and is removed in the direction of the hair growth.


The paste itself adheres solely to the dead skin skin cells, rather than live skin cells (unlike waxing, which breaks the hair at the surface). Instead, sugaring removes the hair from the root. This makes it preferable for more sensitive, hard-to-reach areas like the bikini line and underarms. It is also able to remove shorter hair than waxing can so you don't need to wait as long in between sessions.


The sugar technician will start by cleaning the area to remove any excess oils and apply a powder to make the hair stand out. The next step is to slowly apply the sugar paste directly to the skin - against the grain of hair growth -  then lightly tug in the same direction of hair growth to remove it. Because of the nature of sugar wax, it can be reapplied to the same area several times to get more precise removal. Unlike wax, sugaring doesn’t stick to the skin so the cleanup is fairly simple. Any residue will come off the skin with water.


Hard wax works by literally hardening onto your skin in the natural direction of hair growth. Once it hardens, it is then removed in the opposite direction by hand - so there is no need to use waxing strips. This makes the process more environmentally friendly and much less painful. Hard wax is best suited for use on areas with thicker hair and less sensitive skin. For example, some people prefer using hard wax on their legs as it tends to be a faster process compared to sugaring which might require going over an area more than once. If your skin isn't particularly sensitive in general then opting for hard wax may be the best choice for you.


The technician will begin by cleaning the area and follow with a pre-wax treatment, typically an oil or powder, to protect the skin from irritation. Next up, the technician will spread a thin layer of the wax in the same direction as hair growth. To remove, they’ll either use paper or cloth (for soft waxes) or remove the entire strip of wax itself (for hard waxes), going against the grain of hair growth. Because of this method, hair is more prone to breakage. Since wax adheres to skin, it’s only applied to a single area once or twice to avoid further irritation. Once all the hair is removed, they’ll soothe the area with a serum or lotion. This also prevents ingrown hairs. If there’s any leftover wax residue, they’ll remove it with an oil-based cleanser.




Everyone’s experience will be different, but it may be uncomfortable if it’s your first hair removal. Whether you choose to sugar or wax, you can take some steps to minimize pain before. We recommend exfoliating the night before and taking ibuprofen to help with any discomfort.


As with any removal treatment, there will be some irritation after. “Slight temporary redness that will disappear in a few hours however, there should be no major irritation as sugaring is all-natural and particularly great for sensitive skin,” says Huang. From staying out of the sun to wearing looser clothing for the first few days, aftercare is key to making sure you can enjoy your smooth skin without the stress.

What should you keep in mind immediately after your appointment?

For 24 hours after sugaring or waxing, keep in mind that your skin might be more sensitive. Avoid direct contact with the sun, such as tanning. And avoid hot baths, further exfoliation, and working out. All of these could aggravate the skin.

What can you do to minimize ingrown hairs and other bumps?

You can return to exfoliating about 48 hours after your appointment. Aim to exfoliate two to three times a week to help prevent ingrown hairs between appointments. Some people prefer sugaring because the method cleans out hair follicles, removing dead skin cells and dirt which can lead to ingrown hairs.

How long will the results last?

On average, results from both sugaring and waxing last around the same time. It ultimately comes down to how fast your hair grows and how dark your hair is, but usually each session will last around 3 to 4 weeks. If you keep up a regular hair removal schedule, the removal process should become less painful and easier overtime. Some people even report less hair growth overtime, though this isn’t true for everyone.


The bottom line: Both sugaring and waxing can be great forms of hair removal if you're looking for lasting results. There's no clear “winner” between the two because it's ultimately down to preference, however there are some common contraindications you should know about prior to booking an appointment: 


  • Areas of skin that are sunburned, irritated, or have open wounds are not suitable for any form of hair removal.

  • Must wait a minimum of seven (7) days after getting a light chemical peel or Microdermabrasion before hair removal service can be preformed.

  • Must wait a minimum of one (1) year after laser skin resurfacing before hair removal service can be preformed.

  • Cannot receive hair removal service if a peel has been administered by a physician within the past two (2) years.

The following is a list of some of the medications that are known to cause an adverse reaction in combination with waxing or sugaring treatments. Consult a dermatologist before seeking treatment if you are currently, or have recently used, any medications or topical creams listed:


  • Accutane (Acne medication)

  • Adapalene (Acne medication)

  • Alustra (Retin A)

  • Avage (See Tazorac - Acne medication)

  • Avita (See Retin A)

  • Differin (Acne medication)

  • Isotretinoin (See Accutane)

  • Renova (See Retin A)

  • Retin A (Acne and Anti-aging medication)

  • Tazorac (Acne medication)

  • Tazarotene (See Tazorac)

  • Tretinoin (See Retin A)

  • Bleaching agents for hair (used mostly for upper lip)

  • Bleaching agents for pigmentation of skin

  • Previous chemical depilatories such as Nair

  • Benzoyl Peroxide (ProActive)

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic, Lactic)

  •  Oral Antibiotics

  • Topical Antibiotics

  • Retinol

  • Salicylic Acid

  • Other exfoliants



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