TRIED AND TESTED: I had my pubes 'sugared' off to see if it really hurts less than waxing.


Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series drops every Monday and is your weekly review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Senior Lifestyle Writer Amy Clark road tested Brazilian sugaring.

A few months ago, I asked 52 women to draw what their pubes look like.

No, not for my private perusing, sicko. It was for a Mamamia story aimed at normalising all kinds of pubic hair, from all there to all gone. The results were fascinating, but one submission was particularly curious.

You see, one woman said she gets her pubes ‘sugared’.

“I get sugaring. I hadn’t heard of it before moving interstate, but I would never go back to waxing. It’s far less painful and I don’t get ingrowns – it is slightly more expensive, but this pubic hair removal is actually a relaxing experience and a good option for me as I am too fair for laser,” said woman wrote.

Naturally, I needed to know more and try it for myself.

So off I went to my nearest experienced sugaring aesthetician for a full Brazilian sugaring treatment to report back to you good folks. My pubes and I had no idea what to expect.

Before we get stuck in (geddit?), here’s a rundown of women’s pubic hair through the ages. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

What is sugaring?

Sugaring is an ancient Middle Eastern form of hair removal Cleopatra herself is said to have used to tend to her bush.

It uses a natural, sticky concoction of sugar (yep, actual sugar), lemon juice and water to remove hairs from the root, and some claim it to be a completely painless alternative to waxing.

Sugaring is natural, organic, sustainable and hypoallergenic, and can be done anywhere you can get waxed – eyebrows,upper lip, face, armpits, legs, bikini line or, as I experienced, all over.

How does sugaring work?

An aesthetician will chuck a glove on and scoop out a big glob of the sugar mixture, working it into a ball between their fingers.

Then, they’ll spread the sugar ball over your bits in the opposite direction to your hair growth before letting it set slightly and pulling it up and off in the same direction your hairs grow.

If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s like slime or a very stretchy piece of chewed up bubble gum.

This is what the sugar looks like. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.
Not pictured - my face when I realised this space-looking glob would be going around my vagina. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

How is sugaring different to waxing?

Sugaring is pretty similar to waxing in that something warm and sticky is applied to your skin and hairs come out when it's pulled off. The sugar wax also feels exactly like regular hot wax on your skin.

The way sugaring removes hair is different because, instead of ripping hairs out in the opposite direction like waxing does, the sugar ball pulls them out with quick, fast movements in the same direction they grow. It also pulls hair out from the root without taking skin cells off with it, making it gentler than waxing.

Another key difference is the way sugaring exfoliates the skin as well as removing hair. This = a smoother finish and less chances of getting pesky ingrown hairs in the days and weeks afterwards. And as a bonus, any leftover bits of the sugar wax can be washed off with water, so no sticking to your undies like with waxing.

Side note – Leigh Campbell discussed how to avoid ingrown hairs from hair removal on the You Beauty podcast. Post continues after audio.


Does sugaring hurt?

Some people claim sugaring is painless. I'm sure those people haven't had their pubes sugared off.

I still felt a pinch in some areas (right on top of the pubic mound wasn't particularly enjoyable), but I will say it's less painful than a traditional Brazilian wax because, as mentioned above, it feels more like a pulling and pinching sensation as opposed to ripping.

If you've never had sugaring done before, they'll likely spread the sugar wax all over the area and then go in with the ball. I was told it would hurt like a motherf*cker otherwise.

How much does sugaring cost?

Not all places do sugaring, but you can expect to pay a bit more compared to waxing. If you're used to pay $60 for a XXX wax, sugaring will seem quite expensive.

For example, I paid $85 for the Brazilian sugaring treatment and the same salon charged $71 for a Brazilian wax.

My sugaring experience.

This is the face of a woman who's about to have sugar rubbed around her bits. Image: Supplied/Amy Clark.

Now, for a few things pamphlets and Instagram won't tell you about getting your pubes sugared off.

  • You know how you wear a little modesty paper G-string when you go to get a wax? There was none of that. It was just me, full spread eagle.
  • The lack of G-string combined with the wax being applied directly onto the skin with a gloved hand makes the experience feel more, erm, intimate, than when wax is applied with a wooden waxing spatula thingy.
  • For sugaring, the length of your pubes needs to be not too short, not too long, but just right.
  • Same as with a Brazilian wax, you'll be given the option of having your 'back' done (i.e. your bumhole).
  • The result is SO SMOOTH. As smooth as the day you were born. Honestly, I couldn't stop marvelling at the smoothness.
  • It's been over a week since my treatment and can confirm: no redness, irritation or ingrown hairs.
  • Don't try sugaring at home. Just don't.

Brazilian sugaring final verdict...

I'm not really one for Brazilians, but if I was, I'd 100 per cent switch to sugaring.

Once you get over the whole 'putting sugar around your vag' thing, it really doesn't seem weird at all. And for slightly less pain and a smoother result, I'd happily pay the extra $$$.

So, to the mystery woman who brought sugaring into my life, thank you friend.

You're the sweetest.

Have you tried sugaring? Tell us what you thought below!

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