Difference between Sugaring and Waxing

By: | Updated: Dec-16, 2017
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Unwanted body hair can be removed in several ways. Two of the procedures used to remove body hair are sugaring and waxing. Both methods are very effective in terms of hair removal, but they also differ in a lot of ways. Read on and this article will inform you about the differences between sugaring and waxing.

Summary Table

Sugaring Waxing
Made up of natural ingredients (sugar, water and lemon) Resin, beeswax, paraffin
Heated up to body temp and does not burn the skin Heated up to a higher temperature, more chance of burning and scarring the skin
Just a ball of sugar applied and removed with the hand Wax is applied with a stick and removed with cloth or paper
Applied in the opposite direction of hair growth Applied in the same direction as the hair growth
Removed in the same direction as the hair growth Removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth
Removes small areas at a time Can remove large areas in one go


Sugaring method
Sugaring method for hair removal

Sugaring is a natural and effective approach to remove hair. The ingredients used in preparing what is needed for the procedure are basically sugar, water and lemon. After the specific area is prepped and cleaned, a certain amount of the sugar paste is rolled up into a ball using the hands. Then it is applied to the needed area, in the opposite direction of the hair growth and is heated at body temperature. This procedure is preferred since it does not burn the skin. Removal of the sugar paste is usually done with the hands, in the same direction as the hair growth. Hair is removed intact and extracted from the roots, at small areas at a time. The body appears hair free for 3-6 weeks, depending on how fast the person’s hair grows.

Sugaring also removes dead skin cells and exfoliates the treated area. The residual sugar paste is easily cleaned with water and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling. Since sugar is a natural preservative, it controls microbial growth and prevents the breeding of bacteria in the tub of sugar paste. This makes it safer to use on repeated occasions. Successful extraction of hair requires at least 5-7 days of hair growth after shaving or at least around 1/16 inch length of hair.

Waxing method
Waxing method for hair removal

In waxing, the wax used is usually made of resin, beeswax or paraffin. The wax contains chemicals and should be used with caution, especially by those with sensitive skin. Prior to applying the wax, the specific area which needs hair removal is cleaned. Wax is scooped from a small tub using a wooden wax applicator or popsicle stick. The wax is applied in the same direction as the hair growth. It is usually heated at a high temperature to liquefy, thus there is a high chance of burning or scarring the skin when immediately applied. There is a need to let the wax cool a little prior to applying to the body. In removing the wax, a piece of cloth or paper is applied on top of it and peeled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. The wax cannot be applied in the same area more than twice so as to prevent skin irritation and blistering. Through this procedure hair is removed from the roots, although there are times when hair breakage happens, hence regrowth occurs faster. Removal of hair can be done in large areas at a time.

For residue, solvents with chemicals are required to remove the wax since it contains resin. If hygienic practices are not followed, a tub of wax may be contaminated as bacteria can easily breed, especially when the same wooden wax applicators are used for different people. In undergoing the waxing procedure, a person must wait for around 2-3 weeks for the hair to grow after shaving, or the hair must be at least 1/3 inch long.

Sugaring vs Waxing

What is the difference between sugaring and waxing?

In the sugaring method, you use something that is made of natural ingredients such as sugar, water and lemon. Waxing makes use of wax made from resin, beeswax or paraffin. Sugaring does not burn the skin as the sugar is heated up just to body temperature while in waxing there are more chances of burning the skin since the wax has to be heated up to a higher temperature. In sugaring, application and removal of the sugar paste is usually done with the hand. It is applied in the opposite direction of the hair growth, then removed in the same direction as the hair growth. Waxing, on the other hand, uses a wooden stick for application of the wax, then uses cloth or paper for removal. The wax is applied in the same direction as the hair growth and removed in the opposite direction of hair growth. Sugaring removes hair in small areas at a time whereas in waxing you can remove large areas of hair in one go.


Watch this video to discover the difference between sugaring and waxing.

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