Today I had my under arm hair removed by the ancient Arabic method of sugaring; which removes the entire hair and hair bulb from the skin in a less painful and more effective way that waxing. I have shaved my armpits, legs and private area daily for as long as I can remember as I simply cannot stand hair. I hate how dark, sharp and coarse my hair looks and feels as it regrows and how my skin is always left with a grey shadow from shaving where my hair constantly lurks just below the surface.
At the age of thirteen I had my one and only experience of waxing when my mother, who was an avid waxing fan for years, kindly offered to wax my lower legs for me before going on a family holiday as she assured me they would remain smooth and hair free like hers for the entire two weeks that we were away. Having only ever shaved, which is literally pain free, I was a little nervous at the thought of pulling hair from my legs but I bit the bullet and gave it ago for the greater good. Sitting on the edge of the bath my mother smoothed a tub of heated wax from the sink onto my legs, I swallowed hard as the heat immediately pinked my skin, my heart was literally in my throat as she pressed down a strip of fabric over the wax; my palms were dripping with moisture as I clinged to the bath and she advised I face the wall whilst she counted down from three before wrenched the wax off against the grain of my hair leaving me screaming, my leg raw, skin throbbing and the rest of the splodge of wax still needing to be removed. I was traumatised, crying and begging her to leave the remainder stuck to my leg because I couldn’t take the pain. My nerves were shattered and my leg looked and felt as though it had been burnt. Needless to say it was never a procedure I cared to repeat and I have shaved daily ever since. So arriving for my sugaring appointment today left me with a sour taste from the pit of my stomach and practitioner Suzanne a heck of a lot to live up to!
Arriving at Smooth As Silk in Park Street, Thame, I was pleasantly greeted by sugaring practitioner and technician Suzanne. Leading me downstairs to a beautiful white chocolate box treatment room I was put at ease by the soft music, candles and fluffy white towels. Pots of creams, natural lotions and posters of procedures adorned the walls. Pretty poppies complimented the red furnishings and sumptuous sofa which Suzanne advised she had purposely provided so that children could come along to appointments, as being a mother herself she knows how difficult it can be to find childcare.
My heartbeat and nerves began to soften as Suzanne sat me down and explained the procedure of sugaring. Sugaring is an ancient Arabic method of hair removal which involves massaging a ball of smooth sweet paste, made from sugar, water and lemon, across the skin with the direction of the hair to remove it in one complete piece along with the bulb of the hair intact. As a result of this sugaring is far less painful that waxing, which commonly involves pulling against the grain of the hair causing breakage. Sugaring is therefore more effective at removing all of the hair and keeping it away for longer. Because the hair is removed from the root there is no stubbly re-growth and the sugaring gently exfoliates the skin leaving it silky smooth. As it is so gentle, it is suitable for those with eczema and psoriasis and can be performed on all areas of the body.
After each treatment the hair re-growth is much finer, gradually diminishing until the area of skin is completely free from hair and no matter how dense the hair is to start with the treatment is still effective. I loved the sweet smell of the honey-textured Sugaring which Suzanne showed me in her hand, advising that it is completely natural and not tested on animals. After answering all of my questions and putting me at ease, Suzanne laid me back on the bed offering me a drink, magazine, radio or television of my choice whilst the procedure was being performed, but being the curious cat that I am I decided the watch it all.
Removing my jumper and covering myself with a towel, I laid with my arms above my head on the bed as Suzanne started by cleansing my skin with antibacterial wipes and then applied talcum powder to ensure my under arms were properly dried. She smoothed and massaged the warm ball of sugaring onto my skin against the grain of the hair a couple of times so that all of the hairs stood up on end, before quickly flicking back the sugar paste which pulled out each entire hair as she repeated the process. As the sugaring was pleasantly warm and with the soothing massaging of the skin used to apply it, when it came to removing the hair I hardly noticed it come out and it certainly wasn’t a scratch on the torture of waxing. With sugaring the hair is removed in the direction of it’s growth in order to take the entire hair and hair bulb away in one complete piece. This is less painful as it’s the opposite of waxing which is done against the grain of the hair in order to damage the follicle but can easily break leaving stubble similar to shaving during regrowth and defeating the object of removing all of the hair. Sugaring also only removes dead skin from the surface as opposed to stripping back layers of skin like wax, which can leave you red, raw and uncomfortable as if from a burn if too many layers are removed.
We chatted away for around half an hour and the time totally flew past. I’d been psyching myself up for the pain and rawness all morning but it was such a relief to finally realise how gentle and stress-free the process was compared to waxing. After all of the hair was removed Suzanne applied antibacterial lotion to clean off any remaining sugar paste and to close the pores so that they remained free of germs. She advised any redness would subside after two to three hours and that I should avoid sunbeds, sweaty activities or hot bubble baths for the first twelve hours to allow the pores to close properly and avoid any chemicals irritating the skin. She then applied a healing moisturising cream and the treatment was complete.
Suzanne advised I should exfoliate my skin at home between sugaring in order to remove dead skin and make hair removal more effective, it will also help to prevent ingrowing hairs and keep my skin healthy. Depending on how long it takes for my hair to re-grow I shouldn’t have to return for another four or five weeks, and after three to four treatments once all hair cycles have been caught my re-growth will be far lighter, sparser and fine, eventually leading to naturally hair free skin!
Both half leg’s with under arm’s are available for just £25.00 and children are welcome to come along and watch TV or read a magazine on the sofa so there’s no need to find childcare during an appointment. Sugaring can be performed on all ages, genders, body parts and skin types as it is completely natural, gentle and effective. As soon as children are concerned with hair removal sugaring can be used as long lasting results are achieved more quickly on hair that hasn’t been shaved. Gift vouchers are available to treat a loved one, for a special occasion or holiday; and for those of you who have tried waxing and screamed like a baby, you’ll be amazed by the results of sugaring. I’ve shaved daily for the past twenty-five years and have been converted in just a single afternoon.
You can visit Smooth As Silk’s website here and watch me having sugaring hair removal on my under arms in this video: