An anonymous reader has sent in the following detailed instructions on the art of sugaring, an ancient hair removal technique that is an alternative to waxing.
“Both My husband and I Sugar at home, and here is how!
Sugar hair removal has been around since ancient times. The first documentation is from Pharonic Egypt. The recipe is simple…sugar, water and lemon juice. No chemicals, no dyes, no strips.”
First how to prepare the Sugar:
• Granulated (regular) sugar 3 cups
• Water 2 cup
• Lemon juice 2 teaspoons
• Ice 2-3 trays
• Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and put it over medium heat on the stove.
• At first when the sugar, water and lemon juice is mixed and stirred it will appear milky in color but as it heats up it will transform into a clear liquid (make sure your heat isn’t too high as sugar tends to cook and change color very rapidly once it is hot)
• Stir the mixture occasionally (with a wooden stick or spoon preferably) the clear mixture will start to boil and form big foamy bubbles
• Now if you have a candy thermometer life will be much easier for you as once the mixture hits 250 F the sugar paste is ready.
• If you do not have a candy thermometer (like me) than keep an eye on the mixture and keep checking the color. Due to the bubbles you won’t be able to see the color directly so you’d have to take it off the heat to let the bubbles settle down and than check the color ( or take it out on a spoon and check it)
• From a clear liquid it will change color in to translucent gold and once it starts getting close to brown the paste is ready. If it becomes brown than it may have reached candy stage (higher than needed) so when it cools down it won’t be pasty but will be like a hard candy.
• I use a Pyrex low baking dish.
I have played with the above recipe quite a bit and found that you can NOT increase the temp but you can play with the amount of sugar to thicken or reduce the hardness once it is cool.
To soften the mixture add a bit more sugar (1/4 cup) or to make it harder reduce it by 1/8 at time.
As the sugar is at a very high temp when it comes off the stove, it is essential that you get it cool ASAP! To do this, decant the sugar mixture into the Pyrex dish and then put it in an Ice Water bath until it sets.
Make sure the area to be sugared is freshly washed. Do not use moisturizer on the area before it is sugared. I recommend using an anti-bacterial soap to minimize infection of ingrown hairs. This bit takes a bit of practice so be warned that your first go round may not have the most fantastic results but with some time the results are better than a wax job or shaving!
• First spritz the area with water and then pat dry. This causes the pours to contract.
• Second, apply some corn starch to the area. This makes it possible for the hair to grab hold of the hair and not your skin…IMPORTANT!
• To apply the paste you first form it into a ball at the tips of your fingers. Wear gloves as this makes it easier to change off when your ball is full of fur!
• Next, applying against the grain press the ball into the skin and pause
• After a few seconds, draw the paste up against the grain of the hair in a smooth motion for about a 2 inch strip. As you get better you can “cowboy” and get longer but one step at a time.
• Then when your strip is applied pause just like you did at the beginning of the strip. This will terminate the strip and give you a full clean line.
• The removal process is actually a flick of the wrist as much as a pull. You may do many flicks as this is the fastest way to remove the hair.
It is important to keep the skin taunt through this process and so the person being waxed is responsible for helping out when required.
PLEASE TRIM DOWN DO 1/8 INCH BEFORE DOING THIS! IF YOU TRY WITH A FULL THATCH, IT WILL ONLY BE NASTY!