Summer and swimsuits are just around the corner, bringing with them an increased opportunity to gain loyal clients by offering a full array of bikini sugaring services, especially Brazilian or full bikini. Savvy consumers are seeking out professional sugaring for hair removal that, when performed properly, provides an experience that is less painful, longer lasting, eco-friendly and less inflammatory for the long-term health of the skin than other methods.
Brazilian sugaring is not always covered in detail during basic sugaring certification classes, as most students are focused on learning the components of the basic technique. Mastering the art of intimate sugaring takes a commitment to fine-tuning your skills with practice, practice, practice.
Prep for Success
Preparing yourself and your client for a successful service ideally begins with a quick consultation before your client walks through the door. This can be done through a phone call, text message or e-mail. During this consultation, obtain the “You Need To Know” checklist. A follow-up e-mail with directions, your cancellation policy and the “Client’s Need to Know” further ensures a win-win service.
Ready, Set, Sugar (How-to)
Before starting the sugaring process, make sure you have the tools you need (see Tools Checklist).
Step 1. Clear communication helps to put your client at ease and manage expectations. Explain how you need them to prepare for the service. It’s far easier if underwear is removed completely, especially for partial or full bikini. Confirm how much or how little hair you’ll be removing.
Step 2. Position your client so the bikini area is close to your back bar and in the best light. The buttocks should be about one quarter of the way from the end of the treatment table with legs in a “butterfly” position, knees out and soles of the feet touching. Depending on client flexibility, this position may need to be adjusted. For clients that have limited flexibility or can’t lie flat on their back, position them on their side with one leg in the “four” position and the other leg with the knee up, foot flat on the treatment table, switching sides as needed.
Step 3. Put gloves on both hands and proceed with prepping the skin, observing the different directions of hair growth and planning the “grid” or pattern you’re going to follow based on your observation. Work smarter not harder by developing an organized plan of removal. Start from the outside of the body working your way in towards the midline. For example, start with the right top of the inner thigh, and move to the lower abdomen, pubis mound, lower inner thigh and labia. Then, repeat on the left side, and finish with the back side.
Step 4. Thoroughly cleanse the area to be sugared using a four by four with a low sudsing, antimicrobial or micellar cleanser. Failing to remove lotions or oils can cause challenges with the sugar paste removing hair effectively.
Step 5. Lightly powder. Too much powder can cause the paste to get gummy or sticky. To manage excessive perspiration, blot with a four by four immediately before you’re ready to sugar the area. Then, lightly powder and begin your mold. Repeat as necessary.
Step 6. Apply a new clean glove on your sugaring hand, over the top of the existing glove. This will allow you to easily change gloves and paste if needed. Grab the amount of paste needed for the service you are providing, about the size of small lemon for a basic bikini, a medium lemon for a full Brazilian and a large lemon for extending to the inner or back of the thigh.
Step 7. Begin sugaring the first quadrant or area, holding the skin taught and flat with your support hand to prevent bruising. Use the thumb, pointer and/or middle finger to control and stretch the skin you’re sugaring. Think the shape of an alligator mouth. Start with smaller, manageable sections as you’re perfecting your technique and when you have a client that is new to hair removal or has a low pain threshold. Make sure your fingertips are straight up and down, at a 90-degree angle, when molding the sugar paste. Even the slightest flattening of the fingertips causes a pulling sensation and discomfort to the client.
Step 8. Immediately after flicking the sugar and hair, apply firm, comforting pressure with your support hand to significantly ease any discomfort. Remember to slow down to allow the sugar to seep into the follicle as well as prevent unnecessary pulling on longer hair. If you get stuck, grab a warm washcloth from the towel cabbie, remove the sugar and start over.
Step 9. Continue sugaring the next area in your grid, moving more delicate skin, like that found on the crease of the inner thigh, up, down or to the side with your support hand to prevent bruising. Get new paste when necessary. Too firm, too soft or congested paste can also be uncomfortable for your client.
Step 10. When you’re ready to remove the hair from the labia, it’s especially important to hold the skin in such a way that you have a flat secure surface to sugar. Refer to the techniques described in Step 7 above.
Step 11. After you’ve finished both sides, there are several positions to make the backside easily accessible depending on body structure and flexibility. The yoga pose “happy baby,” legs up with knees out and feet touching, is ideal for removing the hair from the lower labia and anus. This position is also a great stretch for the lower back. Another option is one leg at a time, straight up. For the area between the buttocks, have your client lie on their side with the bottom leg straight and top leg bent with the knee towards the chest. Instruct them to assist you by holding their top buttock if needed. Turn to other side, if needed.
Step 12. Once finished, close your fingers around the used paste, remove that glove and discard. Use a warm washcloth to easily remove any residual sugar paste. This is also the time to apply your preferred post sugar soothing mist or serum.
Step 13. Double check for and remove any missed or ingrown hairs.
Step 14. Finish with a hydrating lotion or balm.
Step 15. Educate your client on proper home care. New clients should be given a quick tutorial on dry brushing and hydration during their first visit. Troubleshoot with returning clients that are experiencing ingrown hairs due to sluggish or dehydrated skin.
Sugar With Success
Regularly examine the removed hairs in the paste for the stage of growth. You’ll usually see every stage of growth with a first-time client. The goal is mainly anagen after the initial two to four treatments spaced three to four weeks apart. If you’re seeing blunt edged hairs, the hair is breaking, which will lead to ingrown hairs. This could possibly be due to technique, the skin being dehydrated or a combination of both.
Don’t forget to sugar with confidence. Your client will feel your apprehension, so be confident. Investing in additional education with a skilled educator can help shorten the learning curve and prevent unnecessary discomfort to your clients. Mastering the art of Brazilian sugaring does take practice; however, the return on investment is both rewarding and lucrative.