Life & Culture

Feeling fuzzy? Give sugar a spin

If excess hair is your problem and the usual treatments don’t work, here’s a sweet solution


Sugar paste for hair removal runs down a wooden spatula. The concept of depilation, waxing and sugaring. Pink background, free space for text.

Being pale skinned and raven haired, I’ve naturally run the gamut of hair removal solutions, from shaving down the centre of my eyebrows aged 11 — not having a clue tweezers even existed — to bleaching my arms with Jolene in my teens.
I then graduated to using microwave pot wax which spilled on to my bedroom carpet and crystallised there for all eternity, before opting for electronic epilator devices on my legs and underarms which is the equivalent to having a pack of angry scorpions let loose on your bare flesh. (There should be a support group for those who have had their armpit trapped in a Braun Silk-épil.)
I’ve recently been getting laser treatment on my legs which is a form of permanent hair removal, where the laser locates and “destroys” the hair follicle, Bond villain-style. I paid around £300 for six sessions and the results were a little underwhelming — despite being told I would be a perfect candidate (given my colouring). Maybe the laser wasn’t strong enough or my stubborn hair follicles simply refused to be zapped into submission, who knows? And so continues my ongoing quest to be fuzz-free. Thanks to my job, I’ve always had a nerdy obsession with this topic and get to write about it a lot, for both women and men. (Think my job is easy? Try writing a guide on “how to shave your beard” when you don’t have one.)
And now sugaring is making a comeback, with sugaring studios popping up all over the land. For the uninitiated, sugaring is a method of hair removal similar to waxing, using a paste made from lemon, water and sugar. (Don’t try to make this at home, unless you want a napalm burn.) As sugaring expert Ejiro Okorodudu explained when I met her at her trendy East London studio EJIRO (, this method is much more effective for those of us with curlier, coarser hair types.
“It’s less likely to result in ingrown hairs,” she told me, “as it removes hair from the roots and doesn’t just ‘snap’ them off like traditional waxing can. Plus, the temperature of the paste is much lower, so you can go over the same area several times — it takes longer but is a lot more thorough. It’s less likely to burn or irritate the skin, so it’s better for sensitive skin types too.”
After our chat, Ejiro sugars my eyebrows (which I normally get waxed), using the paste in a similar way to waxing, rolling it on small areas and quickly whisking it away — minimising the pain factor. I noticed the skin around my brows was less red and sore than with waxing, but the results were just as good. Sugaring is a lot more sustainable too, being completely natural, water-soluble and biodegradable — while not requiring wax strips that end up in a landfill. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me. I’m definitely booking in before my next beach holiday.

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