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Is sugaring better than waxing?

Hair removal can be a complicated, time consuming and sometimes expensive process. Sugaring and waxing are two of the most popular hair removal methods. They can be done professionally in a salon or using at-home products. 

While sugaring mixture is made from natural ingredients and used at room temperature, waxing ingredients often contain additives and the wax must be heated during use.


Sugaring is a hair removal method in which sugar, lemon juice, water and glycerin are heated together to create a candy-like paste. Once the paste cools, it is applied to the skin in the opposite direction of the hair’s growth. Without using any strips, the paste is then removed in the same direction as hair growth.

While many salons use the sugaring method, you can also create the mixture and perform the method at home. Buying the basic ingredients is very inexpensive, but you can also buy ready-made sugaring mixtures ranging from $20-$40. 

Sugaring pros

Many people report that sugaring is less painful than waxing due to the way hair is pulled in the direction of growth rather than against it. 

Sugaring is also far more gentle on the skin than waxing. The skin is pulled less and the paste is used at room temperature, resulting in less redness, irritation and ingrown hairs. Since the paste is all-natural, sugaring is more suitable for skin that is sensitive to artificial ingredients or for people with allergies. 

You can also use the sugaring method on shorter hair. While you have to wait for a quarter- to a half-inch hair length for waxing, sugaring works on hair as short as six hundredths of an inch. Results can last anywhere from two to four weeks.

Sugaring cons

For those with thicker hair or hair that has grown out too long, sugaring may be less effective. The mixture may not achieve a strong enough hold to pull thick hair from the root. Sugaring can also take a lot longer than waxing because, since the mixture doesn’t stick as tightly to the hairs, you may need to go over the same area multiple times.

Best at-home sugaring products

Luxury Pro Sugaring Paste

Luxury Pro Sugaring Paste

This professional-grade paste is suitable for all skin types and hair types. It’s also suitable for use anywhere on the body and can provide up to four weeks of hair-free skin.

Sold by Amazon 

Moom Organic Hair Remover

Moom Organic Hair Remover

If you have extra-sensitive skin, this contains chamomile and tea tree oil to soothe and moisturize. 

Sold by Amazon


Waxing is a hair removal method that uses either soft or hard wax (typically made from products such as beeswax and resin) applied directly to the skin to remove hair from the root. Depending on the type of wax, it can be used on its own or removed with strips laid on top of the wax.

Warm wax is laid onto the skin in the direction of hair growth. Once the wax cools enough, it is then removed in the opposite direction of hair growth. 

Waxing pros

Waxing is overall more effective for hair removal, particularly if your hair is thick or has grown long before removal. Since the wax is stickier than sugaring paste, it is better able to grab onto hairs and pull them from the skin.

Depending on your skill level with either method, waxing is often much faster than sugaring. 

Waxing cons

While wax grips onto hairs more effectively, this can also cause hair breakage and result in a less smooth finish. Hair breaking during waxing also increases the chances of ingrown hairs.

Wax is also more likely to cause irritation on the skin, such as redness and bumps. This is especially true of at-home waxing kits, since professionals use specific techniques to minimize these effects.

Best at-home waxing products

Kolua Waxing Kit

KoluaWax Waxing Kit

This handy kit contains everything you need for at-home waxing, including wax balls, a wax warmer and wax applicators. You even get a guidebook on professional tips for effective waxing.

Sold by Amazon

Bliss At-Home Waxing Kit

Bliss At-Home Waxing Kit

The wax in this kit works at a low temperature to help you avoid accidental burns. The wax does not need strips, making it easy to apply and remove, and it contains chamomile oil to soothe the skin.

Sold by Amazon

Should you use sugaring or waxing?

Both sugaring and waxing are effective hair removal methods with long lasting results. If you’re removing hair from a large area and want to do it faster, waxing is preferable. Similarly, waxing is more effective for thick and stubborn hair. 

But if you’re removing fine to moderately strong hair or have sensitive skin and a low pain tolerance, sugaring is the hair removal treatment for you. 


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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money

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