(No, I didn't buy a fancy gadget)
I'm astonished that waxing is still so popular when there's a much better option available, with less irritation, no risk of burns, more effective, and requires shorter growth. And no, it's not a No-No, a Yes, or some other laser gadget that costs hundreds of dollars and is impossible to return when it doesn't work.
Sugar paste has been used to remove hair since 1900 B.C. in East Africa. A caramel-esque paste is rolled onto the skin in the opposite direction as hair growth and pulled off in the same direction as growth.
More Effective, Less Pain, Less Irritation, No Ingrowns
Sugar paste can be applied to the same area more than once, making stray hairs much easier to pick up without compromising the skin. Follicles aren't becoming inflamed, trapping bacteria, meaning a much lower risk for ingrown hairs.
Sugar doesn't adhere to skin, only hair, and it's pulled off in the same direction as hair growth, meaning it's much less painful than waxing, close to the point of no pain. The skin is less red, less sensitive, and recovers much more quickly. While I was first practicing on myself, with sensitive skin, I had a "goo-out" on my ankle and tried to pull about 15-20 times (my stubborn nature wouldn't let me give up and rinse it off). This tiny area was the only piece of skin on my whole legs that had even slight irritation. If I would have gone over a similar area with wax 15-20 times, I wouldn't have any skin left.
No Burn Risk
Sugar paste is used from room temperature to body temperature, meaning there's zero risk of burns, unlike hot wax. Even normal waxing temperatures can cause irritation on certain skin types. A good Esthetician will always test the temperature of wax before using it, but sugar completely eliminates all heat risks.
Less Growth Needed
Sugaring requires only 1/8 of an inch (3-4mm) of hair, which is basically stubble. Waxing needs at least 1/4 of an inch (6-7mm) to be effective. Waiting for longer growth will yield better results, but many people, including myself, really don't like the waiting period for growing hair long enough to wax. Sugar can be used on any color and any texture hair, from coarse body hair to fine vellus hair.
Slows Hair Growth
Just like wax, removing the hairs right from the roots means that hair will grow back a little thinner, a little lighter, and a little slower each time. Establishing a routine at the best point in the growth cycle will mean permanent effects over time. Unlike laser hair removal, it's just as effective on light hair as dark hair.
Organic, Biodegradable, Greener
Jessa's SugarLove paste, the company I decided to buy my sugar paste from, makes their sugars organically. It dissolves in water. Wax strips, or pellon, aren't needed for many types of applications. The paste is rolled and re-rolled onto large areas, minimizing the use of wooden sticks. Timing is faster since there's no need to throw away, pick up, and dip a new stick or grab a fresh sheet of pellon. This results in a lot less paper waste than traditional waxing applications.
I'm definitely a new fan!