This DIY method for sugaring hair removal has just 3 ingredients

  • Sugaring is a "painless" form of hair removal that uses a paste made of three simple ingredients: water, lemon, and sugar.

  • The process involves using the paste against the grain, unlike typical waxing, to remove hair from the root and eventually weaken the hair growth over time.

  • Although the paste is simple to make and the hair removal is virtually painless, the technique proves to be more difficult than expected.


Following is a transcript of the video.

Nico Reyes: Oh, my God, I see all the hair on the sugar. This is crazy! Hi, Kelly! How are you?

Kelly Vela: Good, how are you?

Nico: I'm doing good. I'm a little bit nervous because today, you're basically gonna teach me how to sugar myself. So, what even is sugaring, for the people who don't know?

Kelly: Yeah. So, sugaring is an all-natural form of hair removal, dating back to actually ancient Egypt, so it's been around for so long, where you remove the hair in the natural direction of growth in a gentle flicking motion, and you're using a paste made from literally only sugar, lemon, and water.


Nico: I have all three of those ingredients, so I feel like we should probably start off with actually making our sugaring paste.

Kelly: Yes! Definitely.

Nico: OK, Kelly. We're in my kitchen. I have my three ingredients. So, we got the water, the sugar, and the lemons. Meanwhile, let's talk about sugaring. I didn't even know that this was something that you could do at home. I'm really shocked.

Kelly: Sugaring is for anybody who has hair. It's great because it's actually hypoallergenic, and it's great for sensitive skin. So since we, of course, use just those three ingredients, it's all natural. So. And it's just very, very gentle on the skin.

Nico: Does this hurt?


Kelly: Everyone's pain tolerance is different, of course. But you have to remember the first time you're removing the hair from the root, that for the first time, and it's anchored in. So if it is gonna be painful, it's really just the first time. First is the worst.

Nico: And how long have you been sugaring other people?

Kelly: Almost four years now.

Nico: Wow! And do you do it to yourself?

Kelly: Yes, I sugar myself.


Nico: Oh, my God. So, here is the sugaring paste I just made. I feel like it looks and feels about right.

Kelly: Perfect. And it's not too hot, right?

Nico: Not too hot. It feels still slightly warm. I don't know if I made enough, but I do have the Sugared and Bronzed sugar paste with me, just in case.

Kelly: Perfect. First we're gonna practice picking up the sugar. You're kind of rotating that thumb clockwise. Even the whole time that I was just sitting here a few minutes, I was just constantly going like this, because if you don't, the sugar's gonna fall down your hand. And then it's gonna go into the palm of your hand.

Nico: Yeah.


Kelly: If it happens though, you can just push it back up with your thumb.

Nico: OK.

Kelly: You kinda wanna always keep it at the tips of your fingers. It's very hard at first.

Nico: It seems so difficult. I'll attempt it. But because it's not soft, I feel like I can't do the hand motion that you're doing 'cause it's, like, getting stuck. Let me just melt it down a little.

Kelly: Oh, perfect, yeah. [laughing]


Nico: I wish I had a warmer like you. That's, like, what'll keep it soft the whole time.

Kelly: Microwave should be fine, though.

Nico: Now we have a way softer piece.

Kelly: Oh, cool. Yeah, you kinda wanna, like, make, kinda like making the claw, if that makes sense, too.

Nico: OK.


Kelly: You have it, and just kind of spinning it with your thumb. Just so they get a better shot. Spinning it in with your thumb, spinning it around, just getting it to the tips of your fingers. And by moving our fingers around a little bit like this, it's gonna keep it there. Yeah, you're doing great. And you're keeping your pinky out, which is awesome.

Nico: [laughs] It's really hard.

Kelly: And it's OK if your ring finger's not in it, 'cause normally we sugar with the three fingers. But since we're doing our legs we do bigger strips, so we use actually the four fingers. But either way, there's no wrong way in that sense. Placing the sugar, we'll do, like, a small strip. I'm just gonna do, like, the top of my arm. If you want, you could do....

Nico: Can I do, like, this little area right here?

Kelly: So, now, starting the strip, you kind of wanna, like, start straight down, kind of like when you were grabbing it.


Nico: OK.

Kelly: Keeping your pinky out and keeping these - I'm just gonna use my three fingers, but it's OK. So, your thumb should be behind the sugar.

Nico: Yes.

Kelly: Three fingers or two fingers, whichever one, should be kind of going straight down.

Nico: 'Kay.


Kelly: This is our starting point.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: When you use the backs of your nails to mold the sugar in, I kind of say it's kind of like scraping. Like, kinda like you're scratching your arm, 'cause it's, like, the best way to describe it. It looks like you're keeping your fingers straight and that the tips are being used, but it's not. You're actually, when you apply it now, use the backs of your nails and scratch it down.

Nico: Oh, I think I'm doing it!

Kelly: Yes! You're off to a great start.


Nico: Oh, my gosh.

Kelly: And then you could stop, if you want, 'cause that's a good amount.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: We're gonna do that again. So, we're gonna pick our sugar up and, like, spindle it, so like - yeah, that messiness, that messy string of sugar goes away.

Nico: 'Kay.


Kelly: Honestly, this is a great start. [laughs]

Nico: Oh, OK! I'm glad to hear it. OK. [laughs]

Kelly: OK, and then you're gonna stop at the end. Now we're gonna straighten our hand out.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: Instead of molding using the backs of our nails, we're actually just gonna move straight back slightly, if that makes sense. We're not molding.


Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: And then we're gonna flick, which is like swatting forward. So.

Nico: [gasps] I did it! [laughs]

Kelly: And you're not even supposed to do the full strip. That's OK that you only did some of it.

Nico: OK.


Kelly: And then we're gonna move back on that progress that we made.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: Swat, kind of. Yeah!

Nico: Like that? OK, I'm getting it. OK! [laughs]

Kelly: I'm just gonna get this little part over here.


Nico: Oh, my God, I see all the hair on the sugar. This is crazy!

Kelly: Yay! So, sugaring, you remove the hair in the same direction of growth rather than the opposite. So with this, you're actually damaging the hair follicle wall, which we want to do. So we're molding it in and we're really getting it out the correct way. With waxing, they actually remove the hair in the opposite direction of the growth. So that actually breaks the hair, so it's not really getting pulled out the right way a lot of the time.

Nico: Are we moving on to legs now?

Kelly: If you're ready. [laughs]

Nico: I think I feel ready. I feel confident at this point. I'm on a high. I think we should keep going.


Kelly: Yes! So, are you able to get, like, a nice, thick line? Remember to use the backs of your nails and, like, scratch it on, if that makes sense.

Nico: How's that?

Kelly: And then we're gonna stop and then go to the beginning again. Mold. 'Cause the more you mold it in, the more it grabs all the hair really, really well.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: And then we're gonna mold - well, we'll try it a third time just to make sure. OK, and then we're gonna stop, and just remember to, like, flatten parallel.


Nico: Flatten parallel.

Kelly: And then flick forward.

Nico: Ooh! It's working.

Kelly: You're doing so good! Flick forward. And sometimes, you see how, like, this little corner is coming out? I'm just gonna go over that corner and flick. It's like you kinda gotta get every bit of sugar, and the smallest little strip will hold you back.

Nico: Oh, my God.


Kelly: You're honestly doing amazing. Like, I'm actually not just saying that.

Nico: Oh, my God, OK. I feel like, on the leg, it kind of feels, I wouldn't say painful, but it definitely feels, like, a little more tender than my arm did.

Kelly: So, just, I'll do, like, a little sample, so, I'm molding it on. So I'm doing my strip.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: And this is really helpful, especially in really sensitive areas, too. So, I'm flicking it off. I'm following up with that hand and putting a lot of pressure on to help with the pain. Flicking it off. Ooh, that was messy. And putting my hand there really quickly to apply pressure. And go up to, like, where the knee starts to begin. We'll do a few. So, you wanna mold the hair in really well, especially with the hair that you didn't get. Flick forward. And then flick forward. Yes!


Nico: OK! Getting it. This was probably the best strip I made so far.

Kelly: Yeah, that's a great strip. [laughs]

Nico: I think now, I might switch to the actual Sugared and Bronzed paste, because it's getting too sticky and a little bit

Kelly: OK, yeah! We'll see if that's easier.

Nico: I think that I can do, like, this area right here now. I do have, like, there's, like, one speck of blood. Does that happen sometimes?


Kelly: If you see any, like, droplets of blood, it's just, you're taking your hair that was anchored in out for the first time. And it depends on coarseness of hair, thickness of hair. Completely normal.

Nico: OK. OK, so we're good to go. I think this area still needs a bit of work, so I'll, like, hold it taut.

Kelly: Hold it taut, perfect.

Nico: Start where the hair is.

Kelly: Perfect. And then remember to straighten out. You're at, like, a little angle, right?


Nico: Yeah.

Kelly: The hair is straight? Perfect. And you're kind of scraping it on.

Nico: Scraping.

Kelly: And then flick completely parallel. Oh, perfect!

Nico: Whoo!


Kelly: We'll try, like, this little tiny flat part of the knee.

Nico: 'Kay.

Kelly: So, we're holding very, very taut, very important. Take two fingers and just do a quick little mold. You don't have to go over the whole knee.

Nico: 'Kay. Is this area good?

Kelly: Yeah. And then flick parallel. I know it's, like, bumpy, but. Got it? Oh, awesome!


Nico: Yep! That came off! OK, it's not that terrible. It is kind of hard 'cause it's so round up here. That was a workout, but my leg looks sufficiently clean! Like, we got all of the hair out mostly. OK, I have some residue left over, so all I do is take, like, a wet towel and just kind of...?

Kelly: And you can just, like, keep constantly going over it.

Nico: So, now we talk about aftercare. What do you do after you're done sugaring?

Kelly: Definitely wait at least 24, sometimes 48 hours, to do any sweating, working out, getting intimate, saunas, steam rooms, anything along those lines, and exfoliating. Exfoliating's very, very important, but you definitely wanna wait 24 or 48 hours. We do have our fractionated coconut oil. That's awesome. It's a great, it's a lightweight moisturizer.

Nico: Kelly, this is my first time. Tell me how I did. Be brutal. Be honest. [laughs]


Kelly: Like I was saying the whole time, you were amazing. I'm really not just saying that. That is totally honest. You were like a pro your first time.

Nico: And I've never done it before. So that just shows that anyone can do it. Probably.

Kelly: Anyone can do it and it's so easy to do at home.