What's the 'Fuzz'? Learning the Difference between Sugaring and Waxing at Barenaked Salon

Not all hair-removal procedures are created equal. Although all aim to (literally) pull your hair out, some won’t require you to (figuratively) tear your hair out.

That was our main takeaway from our first session at Barenaked, a new body sugaring salon located in Glorietta 5.

Established in 2011, Barenaked Body Sugaring Salon is owned by sisters Cecilia and Sugar (how apt!) Garcia. Another set of sisters: Irene Pajaro, Tsin Inocian, and Gingay Pajaro, owns several franchises in different parts of the metro, including the Makati branch. Tsin relates that it was Ces who first got to try sugaring in Singapore. After a generally positive experience (less-painful than waxing and slower hair growth), she saw the need to open something similar in the Philippines. Ces and Sugar went to the United States to study sugaring and look for the best sugar paste supplier. When ready, they opened Barenaked’s first branch in SM Taytay.

What is Body Sugaring?

Body sugaring is a hair removal method which uses a sticky paste made of natural ingredients: sugar, lemon and water to remove the entire hair, including the part below the skin’s surface. The technique isn’t new. Experts are at odds as to where the practice originated (some say it’s from Middle East, while others point to Papua New Guinea), but all agree that the method dates back to the B.C. epoch.


Internet can teach you how to make your own sugar paste, but who has time for that?

Since the sugar paste is made from 100% natural ingredients, anyone with white sugar, lemon juice, water, and salt can easily create his or her own mixture and perform sugaring. But as Tsin puts it, “sugaring is so affordable that people would rather have hair removed in salons rather doing it at home. It’s so much more convenient.” And besides, it will take one several attempts before he or she can come close to the consistency of Barenaked Salon’s sugar paste. “It is imported, a trade secret. Even us, who are franchisees, can’t make it. It’s sticky enough that we can use it for eyebrows,” Tsin added.

Sugaring vs. Waxing

Although at first we thought that they were just splitting hairs, the girls from Barenaked Salon convinced us that sugaring is a different ball of wax. Below are the basic differences between waxing and sugaring:

Get sugared, and eat it, too! A quick look at a sugar paste and cold wax will tell you that they are different by just a hair’s breadth. They are both glossy and sticky but cold wax is often caramel-hued, while Barenaked’s sugar paste is much lighter, more like a translucent pale amber.

A closer look (and taste) will demonstrate how far apart the two are. For one, you cannot and should not taste cold wax as it is inedible, laden with modified resins and other add-on chemicals.  Sugar paste, on the other hand, is 100% natural so you can eat it. In fact, your therapist will insist that you taste it. And if you’re as big as a sweet tooth as we are, we guarantee you’ll love the sample, which is just like chewy honey candy. Because sugar is a natural preservative, they guarantee that the wax is clean and will not breed bacteria.


I'd buy if they sell this in candy form.

This said, sugaring is hypoallergenic, so it’s good for those with sensitive skin. Sugaring is safe even to kids (believe it or not, they get customers as young as 12!) and pregnant women.


So as not to miss a strand!

Swish and flick! Sugaring uses an easy-peasy technique akin to performing Wingardium Leviosa (that’s for making things fly, you muggle): swish and flick! Doing this removes the hair on its natural direction, as opposed to waxing in which you remove against the flow. It causes less stress on the follicles, hence, less probability of breakage and ingrown hair. Unlike waxing, the sugar paste also doesn’t adhere to live skin cells. Instead of lifting the skin (and traumatizing it) like what happens during waxing, sugaring exfoliate only the dead cells.

Going, going, gone! Another main difference is unlike waxing, which requires half an inch of hair, sugaring can be done even when the strand is just 1/16 of an inch. Tsin says, “you don’t have to wait too long for your hair to grow before having it removed. It’s actually better to sugar it when it’s just a little short. We ask our customers to come every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how fast their hair growth is.” Eventually, when you keep on removing it, it closes up. “Parts of my leg don’t grow hair anymore because of the frequent sugaring,” she added.

Barenaked Body Salon also offers scrubs because they think that those go hand in hand with hair removal. After a couple of days, when your hair starts to grow out, you need to exfoliate your skin. Barenaked has three kinds of scrubs available: soft glow to exfoliate, glutathione to whiten, and coffee to tighten. Body scrub will take 15 minutes of application. Afterwards, you are to take a shower. Ultimately, you will be soaked in honey for around 30 minutes before finally rinsing off. For total relaxation, body massage services are also offered in Katipunan, SM Fairview and SM Taytay branches.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Sugaring

There’s not much guidelines prior to your appointment other than just don’t come in sunburnt or chemically peeled.

As for after care, you’re not supposed to put the following on the area for 4 to 6 hours: perfumes, scented creams and lotions, and deodorant. You are also advised against heat (steam bath) and direct sunlight to avoid irritation.

Barenaked Body Sugaring Salon is open at the following locations: Basement 1, SM City Taytay, Lower Ground Floor, SM City Fairview, Xandland Place Katipunan, Glorietta 5, Eastwood, and in Harbor Point, Subic. Visit www.barenaked-sugaring.com or https://www.facebook.com/barenaked for more information.

​Additional photos from Barenaked's Facebook Page.

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