We’ve all heard of waxing, lasering and tweezing, but what about sugaring?
I was having a conversation with my SO the other day about our showering habits. He’s a morning showerer (yes, I know that’s not a word), while I’m a night-time showerer, which, as became apparent after a quick survey of my female friends, seems to be pretty standard for the majority of women.
He couldn’t understand why I opted to do my bathroom routine at the end of the day. In Man World, showering is the perfect wake-up call. But in Girl World, showering equals time-consuming processes, usually centered around hair removal; and I’d much rather reserve that time for getting an extra 20 minutes of shut-eye in the morning.
I guess the shower situation might be different for those women who aren’t part of the shaving club, instead choosing to remove their body hair by waxing, tweezing, or getting laser, or one of the many other hair removal methods out there.
In any case, for those of us who choose to live our lives sans fur, the annoyance of removing body hair is very real, as is the pain of removing it, dealing with subsequent ingrowns from it, and of course, coughing up the cash for it.
Thankfully, there are some much lesser-known methods of hair removal out there which do away with most of the above concerns; ranging from delightfully cheap DIY techniques to moderately priced and practically pain-free treatments. If you’ve ever seriously lamented the time your hair removal approach takes from your life (or argued about it with your boyfriend), you may want to reconsider one of these genius options…
Threading is a natural hair removal technique which was first made popular in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. It’s perfect for removing facial hair because of its precision and the fact it doesn’t aggravate skin in the same way waxing and shaving can, so you won’t have unsightly red skin when you leave the salon.
Threading is achieved by using a silk or cotton thread, which is doubled, twisted and pulled tautly by a beauty therapist, and then rolled over the hair to pluck the follicles out at the roots. It’s not as time-consuming as tweezing or plucking out the hairs individually, as the thread is able to grab onto multiple hairs at once. It works best on small areas, like the eyebrows, upper lip and cheeks.
Depending on your pain threshold, threading can hurt less than waxing, and generally, hair can take up to six weeks to grow out again, so it’s a great low-maintenance alternative to shaving. The hair also gradually grows back weaker than hair which has been waxed.
Sugaring is another Middle Eastern hair removal method which is very similar to waxing, but differs in a few key ways. For starters, instead of wax, it uses a sugar-based solution, and other natural ingredients like water, lemon juice, honey, salt and essentials oils, to remove the hair. The sugar formula typically comes in either a gel or paste, and can be applied against or with the hair, depending on the type of sugar is used.
The sugar formula doesn’t stick to the skin as much as wax does, so even though the method of removal is similar to waxing, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. Hair is still being pulled out from the root though, so it’s definitely not painless. And while it’s preferential to have the treatment performed at a salon that specializes in sugaring, because the ingredients for the formula are all natural and can be found in your pantry, you can make it at home if you’re on a budget (try this recipe).
3. Egg and cornstarch
A nifty DIY hair removal method which uses things you probably already have at home (eggs, sugar and cornstarch), if you’ve got the spare time to make this, it’ll save you a ton in salon visits and disposable razor purchases.
When egg white is left to dry, it turns into a waxy, sticky substance which, as it turns out, is perfect for ridding yourself of unwanted body hair and nourishing dry skin in the process. The cornstarch is added to make the masque-like dry egg formula thicker, and makes it easier to pull out stubborn hairs.
To make the treatment, crack one egg white into a mixing bowl, and stir in half a tablespoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of sugar, whipping together until a thick, smooth paste forms. Apply the paste to the area you wish to remove hair from, such as the legs or underarms, allow to dry for 25 minutes and then peel it off, pulling out the hair as you do. The wait time is tedious, but the solution will actually treat your skin much like a face masque while it gets to work adhering to your hair, so the results are well worth it if you have a little extra time up your sleeve.
4. Hair removal mitts
Hair removal mitts were really popular in the 90s and they actually still exist today. Basically, a hair removal mitt is like an exfoliating mitt made with super fine sandpaper which uses friction to remove hair and exfoliate the skin all at once, leaving you with really silky smooth legs.
People either love them or hate them – if you rub too hard, it can make your skin break out in a raw red rash which itches and burns, and they absolutely can not be used on the face, arms or bikini area. But diehard mitt fans say their leg hair regrowth is softer, and the hair grows back at a rate comparable to shaving. It’s also a relatively inexpensive and fast way of removing hair, and if done correctly, painless.
5. Tumeric mix
This humble yellow spice has been a secret to looking good used by Indian women for centuries. Besides providing a potent antioxidant punch ideal for boosting skin health, turmeric is a surprisingly multi-purpose DIY beauty ingredient; functioning as an at-home tooth whitener and hair remover.
There are compounds in the popular curry ingredient which act to remove hair and inhibit growth, and it’s particularly effective on facial hair.
To harness its hair removal powers, simply add three teaspoons of turmeric powder to one teaspoon of milk in a bowl and mix until a thick paste forms, then apply to the area you’d like to be hairless. The paste adheres to the skin, and, when it’s scrubbed or wiped off, the hair is removed from the roots, like magic! When the hair grows back, it’s generally finer than before, and the process reportedly lessens hair growth over time.
Electrolysis is a form of permanent hair removal which works by destroying the root of the hair at the follicle using an electrical current. And unlike laser hair removal, which doesn’t work for a number of different hair and skin types, it can generally work for any.
Because it destroys each hair individually, electrolysis takes longer than laser, and usually requires around 15 to 30 sessions to permanently remove the hair. The pain factor will vary depending on your personal threshold, but it’s typically described as a short stinging sensation each time a hair is removed. The downside is electrolysis is unfortunately pretty costly because of the amount of sessions needed to see results, but it’s also the only FDA-approved form of permanent hair removal, so if you’re looking for hair-free legs forever, this might be a good option.
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Comment: Have you tried any of these hair removal methods?