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Sugar is the New Wax

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Photo by fossilmike | Flickr

Let me start with this: there is no pain-free way to get your pubic hair ripped out by the roots. So don’t get your hopes too far up. But there is a way, recently publicized by a briefly considered ban on bikini waxing in New Jersey, to rip it out a touch more easily.

Sugaring is an age-old hair removal technique that Lina Kennedy, owner of Alexandria Professional products, will be bringing to Los Angeles this summer. Similar to waxing in that it yanks hair out, sugaring uses natural ingredients and purports to be less painful.

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“Sugar paste is soft and pliable,” says Kennedy. “It molds to the shape of the hair follicle.” By seeping into the follicle and gripping the hair by the root, she explained, sugar paste allows the hair to slide out gently.

Sounds fun, right? So I decided to try it.

As I disrobed from the waist down (long live Gonzo), Kennedy churned something that looked like caramel around in a pot and then rolled it into a ball with her fingers.

“You can actually eat this,” she told me, smiling as she glided the paste over my bikini line (more on that later).

What follows will be nothing new to the legions of women who have likewise sought independence from their black curlies. The instruction to breathe, the sound of a rip, the shock, the aftershock. And while I’ll reiterate that there’s no pain-free way to go hairless, I was surprised to find that sugaring does, as promised, hurt less.

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It’s also not as hot, which is refreshing, and it only uses that one original ball, rather than strip after strip of cotton for wax. Pube removal: gone green.

In regards to my earlier point, the sugar paste is also edible. No, not the piece she used on me, don’t be gross. A fresh ball was procured for my epicurean delight, and it tasted sweet and sort of reward-ish, like a post-dentist lollipop.

According to Kennedy, sugaring is great for exfoliation, and the reduction in pain is the result of the hair being yanked in the direction of growth, rather than in the opposite direction, like waxing.

It’s now been about three weeks since my tasty trial, and the aftereffects are highly agreeable. No razor bumps. Hair is growing back more sparsely. Slightly itchy regrowth, but nothing compared to the poison-ivy type shit that waxing can tend to cause. I'd post a picture, but...I'm not going to.

It should also be noted for you hair-removal aficionados that sugaring allows you to go back to the salon with as little as 1/16 of an inch of regrowth. No more waiting until you once again resemble a nude sketch in Our Bodies, Our Selves* (nothing but love for that book, but scope the pubes and you will see only triangle).

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Kennedy’s salon, Studio Alexandria LA, will open in July.

*Let the record show that I’m not anti-70’s bush - to every woman, her own choice of pubic stylee. But those reading this will likely not be sporting 70's bush...