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Taking Hair Removal Holistic

Contact Author Michelle Cate, Sugar + Lemon
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Today’s health conscious clients are looking for holistic alternatives to their beauty needs, and hair removal is no exception. When considering which form of hair removal provides a method that works with the whole body, the ancient practice of sugaring is the top choice.

Sugar hair removal uses natural ingredients and works with the body to effectively remove, refine and reduce unwanted hair. Sugar paste is eco-friendly, skin friendly and causes less discomfort for the client than other forms of hair removal. Reducing the pain element drastically improves the heart to heart connection between client and practitioner. In addition to the method of removal, there are many synergistic therapies and treatment room practices that can be incorporated to elevate your client’s experience and capture this growing market.

The Ingredients

Sugar paste is composed of three simple ingredients: sugar, water and lemon juice. Avoid the addition of other ingredients or substitutions, as it does change the paste performance. Depending on the ratio of these ingredients, different textures of paste ranging from firm to very soft are achieved. Firmer paste is necessary for humid and foggy climates, while softer paste is ideal for colder climates and large body parts. Much like a chef, experienced sugar professionals will combine pastes to achieve the perfect consistency. Sugar paste can be used at body temperature or cold; however, slightly warmed paste feels much more comfortable to the client.

The Technique

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Professional sugar hair removal is most definitely an art form that requires consistent practice to master. Investing in quality education and certification will dramatically reduce the learning curve and frustration when learning this technique. Additionally, professional sugar manufactures require certification to purchase their products. The hand paste technique consists of molding the sugar paste against the direction of growth. The first pass is to lift the hair into the paste, and a second mold allows the paste to “sink” into the top of the follicle. A quick flicking motion in the direction of growth effectively removes the entire hair bulb with little to no breakage. Consistently removing unwanted hair in the anagen stage of growth dramatically refines the texture and amount of hair that returns. This process causes significantly less inflammation and trauma to the skin, resulting in reduced discomfort for short and long-term skin health.

Additional Holistic Measures

All hair removal techniques share some common challenges such as ingrown, stubborn and difficult-to-remove hairs and will benefit from adding these easy-to-implement tools.

Dry brushing. Gentle brushing with a body brush provides exfoliation with the added benefit of stimulating lymphatic circulation. This powerful combination is an amazing tool for overall body health. Educate clients by demonstrating 2 to 3 quick strokes, moving towards the heart with very light pressure.

Hydration. Hydrated skin releases hair much easier and hurts less than skin that lacks moisture (visualize pulling weeds from dry hard dirt). Choose pre, post and home-care products that support this goal. Look for products that offer whole plant ingredients that soothe and repair such as chamomile, calendula, comfrey and aloe, just to name a few. Avoid lotions that contain silicones, as they can prevent effective hydration.

Home care. Dry brushing and daily moisturizing are the basis for an effective home-care routine. Clients should avoid using harsh “ingrown” treatment serums and drying soaps that are counterproductive to skin hydration as well as aggressive brushing or scrubbing. Oily, dry skin will benefit from adding an oil-rich sugar scrub a few times a week to support a more balanced lipid barrier.

Water intake. Proper water intake is always important for healthy skin. Remind clients to drink at least half their body weight in ounces the day before their treatment for a less painful service.

Hormonal considerations. Sensitivity is heightened around hormonal fluctuations. Recommend scheduling appointments accordingly to avoid unnecessary discomfort during and after their service. This occurs a few days before menstruation for some women and before ovulation for others. The result is a distinct, longer lasting “sting” upon removal and increased sensitivity post service. Applying immediate pressure helps to calm and provide relief.

The Holistic Treatment Room

The “energy” of the treatment room has the ability to powerfully influence how clients feel while receiving services. Too many positive ions create a “heavy” energy. Nature has provided many negative ion sources to assist us in finding balance, with the ocean, gemstones and plants as a few examples. Create a space that encourages balance and calm during treatments with these energy neutralizing tools:

Sage. Burning (a.k.a smudging) dried sage helps to clear stagnate energy by balancing positive and negative ions; however, it isn’t always possible due to the strong odor. Sage infused hydrosols are a great alternative and can be used in between clients as well.

Black tourmaline. Place these negative energy absorbing gemstones in the corners of the room to keep the balance throughout the day.

Himalayan salt lamp. This effective tool emits negative ions and adds a calming comfortable glow.

Synergistic Additions

Mood mists. Flower essence mists infused with mood enhancing essences can be used to mentally calm and quiet the mind. Mist at the beginning of each service for a memorable sensory experience.

Reiki. This practice is translated from Japanese as “spiritually guided life force energy.” In this practice, a Reiki practitioner transfers life force energy to the client to promote relaxation, stress reduction, happiness and healing. Reiki classes can be found all over the country.

Facial reflexology. A number of tools exist that can be used in facial reflexology, which uses designated facial points to promote qi flow for better overall health and well-being.

Sound therapy. Sound therapy can be integrated into treatments through specialized beds or more traditional methods of singing bowls, tuning forks and percussion instruments for relaxation and less stress.

Gemstones. Gemstones contain nature’s energy, and each color has its own frequency or vibration that can help to energize, stimulate, relax or uplift the spirit.

Go Holistic

Today’s client is more focused on wellness than they ever have been before, and they are looking for more value for their dollar. Consider making your treatment, including hair removal, more holistic to address both of these needs.

Michelle Cate, a.k.a. the sugar professor, is a licensed esthetician and owner of Sugar + Lemon, a sugaring salon in Napa Valley. She also founded the sugaring education programs SugarPro Academy and The Ultimate Sugar Mastery Program.

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