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Sugar away the fuzz? Sweeeeet.

June 5, 2009

Now I am not for one second saying that we should, that we simply must, that we could not possibly live without removing our leg /armpit/ facial  or (ouch) bikini hair BUT I, like many of my friends do opt for the hair free (well, in some places) look and feel.  Why? I don’t know but I do feel better for talking a bit of time out to prune and preen so to speak!

Anyway I will get to the point. Last week during one of my watershed sessions one of the workshop participants mentioned that on a trip around India she had been amazed at the simplicity of peoples personal hygiene  routines. She had observed women using a honey solution and rags to take away unwanted body hair. The honey solution can be just washed away, no problem and the rags can be washed and re-used. That sounded like a plan to me – a low impact, low cost and somewhat fun plan. I had heard of sugaring before but had never really looked into it properly. Until now!

Using a sugary solution to prize hair out of their roots was the method of choice in Egypt and across the middle east. Basically a solution of sugar (from honey originally) in water and lemon juice is heated up until it reduces enough to form a gummy, caramelized solution.  If using granulated sugar the sugar/ water mix must be stirred until all of the sugar crystals are dissolved, with honey mix until the honey becomes thin and homogenous.  I am not sure what the lemon juice is for – lemons are mildly acidic which actually helps to close hair cuticles – in this case I can see no need for that!   Freshly squeezed lemon juice does have some antibacterial properties though so maybe it is added to reduce the infection risk. If this is the case then I would recommend adding the squeeze of fresh lemon in once the sugar solution has cooled down to under 50C. Anything above that and the active part of the lemon will waft away in the breeze!

Basically what you have made is a caramel glue which when cooled down sufficiently can be spread onto the hair area with a paddle pop stick or spatula and then ripped off with a piece of cloth.  I have read that it is best to prepare the area by drying it off and applying corn starch (or possibly talc). I imagine that this is to ensure that the syrup gets a good grip – Ouch again!

Now I haven’t tried this yet as I haven’t yet got long enough leg hair BUT I will put it in my diary to try next week. I have no idea how long to leave the mix on or how much it is going to hurt but I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised, after all century’s of women can’t be wrong.

The reason that I am so excited about this is that it is simple.   Take things from your cupboard, cook them in your kitchen and use them to solve your hair problem – simple, cheap and pretty environmentally friendly. No additional packaging required,  less water intensive than shaving in the shower and pretty cheap.   Also, the sugar solution can be washed down the drain without a problem.

I am going to give it a go but will be sure to keep well away from the dog, sofa or garden while covered in sugar – I don’t want to end up as main course for ants!

If you are keen to give it a go but would rather get a professional in, I don’t blame you! Many salons and therapists offering sugaring as a hair removal method – ask around and if you find a good one, tell us. Sweet!

While doing some research I found this article from a 1994 edition of The Independent written by Sue Webster.  An article that’s great for anyone wanting some girl power affimation for the “no shave” camp!

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