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If your TikTok feed has been inundated with sugaring hair removal videos (same) and you are thisclose to pouring sugar on your body and giving it a try at home (same), then hi, welcome. Although this method of hair removal might be new to you, sugaring actually originated in ancient Egypt and has been consistently and popularly used ever since. Basically, it existed long before your TikTok.

Still, if you don’t know much about sugaring but kinda, sorta, most definitely wanna try it, I’ve got you. I turned to Daria Nartova, founder of Sugaring NYC, for all the best DIY sugar wax advice and answers to the millions of questions I know you have, because I most definitely had them, too.

Is waxing or sugaring better?

I’ll present you with the facts and let you decide. First of all, sugaring is known to be the gentler option. Waxing is notoriously ouchy, and that’s because not only is it removing the hair straight from the follicle, but it’s also taking off the top layer of skin with it. Nartova explains that sugaring, on the other hand, doesn’t stick to the skin, so you’re only getting the pain from removing the hair. Even still, neither waxing hair-removal method should be used on area where you use retinoids(or if you’re taking Accutane), since they can make your skin ultra-sensitive and fragile.

Secondly, wax needs to be warm or hot to work, which means you run the risk of burning yourself if you’re trying to do an at-home wax (it’s not a super-high risk, but still a very possible one). With sugaring, however, the paste works best at room temperature and with the warmth from your skin, so there’s no burn risk.

And lastly, the direction the hair is pulled makes a big difference. When you wax, you apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth, then rip it off in the opposite direction. With sugaring, you apply it in the opposite direction and then flick it in the natural direction of the hair growth.

We try to mimic the direction of the hair growth so the follicle on the inside of the skin is not disturbed,” says Nartova. “This helps reduce the risk of inflammation and any post-treatment bumps.” So you tell me, which sounds like the better option? If we’re talkin’ about Brazilian waxes and bikini lines, I would much rather go with the less painful one, but again, it’s up to you.

Can you sugar wax at home?

Can you? Yes. Will it be as quick and easy as an experience at the salon? No. “It’s definitely going to take you a little bit longer, and it might be a little bit more painful when you flick it off if you do it yourself,” Nartova explains. The reason, she says, is because there’s a special flick to to the removal—something that, obviously, professionals learn over time.

“A lot of people when they try sugaring at home try flicking the sugar up, instead of parallel to the skin, which is more irritating,” says Nartova. Once you get the hang of it, sugaring at home is doable, but she always recommends those with sensitive skin see a professional if possible. “Some people have irritation right away, and that’s why they really need to make sure every single hair is removed in the natural direction of the hair growth,” she says.

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