Sugaring Versus Waxing Versus Laser Hair Removal: What’s Right For You?

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One survey found that potentially over 80 percent of women groom or remove their pubic hair. The study found that many do this because it’s what their sexual partner prefers, and that younger women (ages 18 to 24) are more likely than older women to groom down there. According to market research, the global waxing industry is skyrocketing and will continue to grow rapidly for the next five years. The research shows that 90 percent of waxers are women, but men partake in this grooming routine, too. The laser hair removal industry has been growing quite fast as well, as seen on a chart reported here (you’ll notice a dip in 2020 when spas and salons had to shut down for the pandemic). Then there is sugaring aka sugar waxing, which seems like a new trend, but has actually been around for centuries – it’s just re-gaining steam now. Whether you want to invest in a sugaring franchise or go hairless yourself, take note of the hair removal industry because one thing is for certain: it doesn’t look like society is moving back towards full bushes, any time soon.

 

The many options for hair removal can be a bit overwhelming. If you have decided you’re done with razors, you might be dizzy figuring out which new hair removal process is right for you – both for your body and your budget. So we break down the pros and cons of sugaring versus waxing versus laser hair removal, here.

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Sugaring

The materials and process

If you try to use the gentlest of products on your body, as well as stick to products that are easy on the environment, then you may like sugaring. The sugaring solution is made simply with a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, and water. It’s so natural, you could even eat it (though you may not want to do that after it’s been rolled over your skin). It doesn’t require any strips or popsicle sticks the way waxing does, making it easier on the environment. Your sugaring specialist will rub this solution (which is warm, but not hot like wax) on your skin in the opposite direction of the hair growth, and then remove it in the direction of the hair growth. This specific process is meant to eliminate the risk of hair breakage.

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Sugaring

Your experience

Because the sugary paste adheres to only dead skin cells and hair, it doesn’t hurt as much as waxing. It also doesn’t require a resin like wax does, which can hurt when being pulled off the skin. Because the mixture is made with all-natural ingredients, it is water-soluble and easy to wash off after treatment. The choice to run the product over the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth also reduces the chances of ingrown hairs, which can be quite uncomfortable when they occur. But you still need an experienced sugarist to ensure this does not happen. Sugaring also gently exfoliates the skin, which is a bonus.

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Sugaring

Cons

Some cons to consider with sugaring include the fact that it can be a bit messier than waxing. With waxing, the product is entirely removed during the hair removal process. With sugaring, you will feel a little sticky after until you shower. Oddly enough, one con is considered a perk in some cases, and it’s this: you can go in for successful sugaring when you have just 1/8th an inch of hair growth. Waxing requires a 1/4th an inch of hair for the service, so some individuals like that they can go in for sugaring more often. However, this also means that, if you do sugar as often as possible, you’ll pay more for this service (which is on average a bit more per session than waxing).

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Waxing

The materials and process

There are several types of wax, but the most common one you’ll find – particularly for a sensitive area like the bikini line – consists of a combination of beeswax and rosin, which is a type of resin. It’s the same stuff used to make plastic, so it’s not the most eco-friendly of options. Waxing can be gentler on the skin than hair removal creams and foams, which often have long lists of chemicals known to cause irritation, but harsher than sugaring. Compared to shaving, it’s also more effective because it grabs hair at the roots. It is different from sugaring, however, in that the wax is applied in the same direction of hair growth, and removed in the opposite. It must be removed very fast, in order to ensure the full hair follicle is pulled out. When this doesn’t occur, there can be breakage and ingrowns.

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Waxing

Your experience

Waxing is notoriously one of the more painful of the hair removal processes. The wax can interact with live skin cells which, when pulled off, can cause an extreme burning and stinging sensation, and even a rash. However, many women report that waxing results in hair that grows back finer and lighter over time. And, compared to shaving, it eliminates the risk of nicks and cuts. It also eliminates the need to buy razors, which can be pricey, and are bad for the environment since they wind up in landfills. Because 1/4th an inch of hair is required for waxing, and it’s only done roughly very four weeks, it can be more affordable than sugaring.

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Waxing

Cons

As stated before, waxing can be very painful, but the pain can extend beyond the moment your salon professional rips the strip off of your body. Waxing can lead to extreme sun sensitivity, as well as some allergic reactions. The wax itself is very hot, which some find uncomfortable, and for many, using oil to moisturize the area in the days following the appointment can cause pores to clog. Because waxing does require paper sticks and popsicle sticks for the application and removal, it is not entirely environmentally friendly. Those with sensitive skin, or environmental sympathies, may not like this option.

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Lasering

The materials and process

During lasering, your salon professional will use a laser that emits a light that’s picked up by the pigmentation in your hair. The laser essentially kills the hair follicle. This won’t happen all at once, but rather in stages, through several sessions. The reason for this is that your hair follicle has three stages: growth, rest, and shedding. It takes several laser sessions to get on schedule with your hair growth, and kill the follicles at every stage. Hair should begin to fall out 10 to 14 days after your session, but it can take eight to 12 weeks to see full results.

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Lasering

Your experience

Having laser hair removal done will be a bit more hands-on for the client. The area to be lasered must be shaved within 24 hours of the appointment, and must not have experienced sun exposure for four weeks leading up to the appointment. Forget any of this prep, and you may have to cancel your appointment without getting your deposit back. It’s also essential to stay on top of the schedule your professional gives you, since she’s working to laser at a very specific pace, falling in line with your hair growth cycle. So going too long without an appointment can mean starting from square one. It is important for those with darker skin tones to make sure the proper laser is used. The original technology was problematic for clients with darker skin, because it relied on the contrast between dark hair and lighter skin to accurately target follicles. Fortunately, the added option of a laser called the Nd:YAG has made lasering a viable option for clients of all skin tones.

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Lasering

Cons

Though people talk about laser hair removal as the end all, be all, for hair removal, it is not technically permanent. Hair will still continue to grow in the lasered area, but it will most likely come back much finer with time. Laser treatments are not budget-friendly, and cost somewhere in the $250 to $600 range, depending on where you go. Keeping in mind that several appointments are required to see full results, you should make sure you are prepared to pay for these sessions, on the timeline they must occur. Women have said the laser hurts somewhat intensely, but it’s also very brief.

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Overview

Most budget-friendly: waxing. Waxing sessions are rather affordable, hovering around $30 to $35, and will be spaced out rather far apart, so you won’t go in often. This is, however, the most painful choice, and the least environmentally-friendly, as well as the harshest on sensitive skin.

Gentle and affordable: sugaring. Sugaring sessions can be similar to waxing, but because you can go in more frequently for sugaring than for waxing, you may find yourself spending more on sugaring over your lifetime. Thanks to its all-natural solution, it’s gentle on sensitive skin, as well as the environment.

Most effective: laser hair removal. If you’re serious about fighting back thick, rough, aggressive hair growth, laser removal is the way to go. It, for all intents and purposes, destroys hair follicles, resulting in a lifetime of lighter, thinner hair. It is not a budget-friendly choice up front, but because far fewer laser hair removal sessions will be required over your lifetime compared to the other choices, it may be the most cost-effective in the long run.

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