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Sugaring, waxing, threading: What's the best body hair removal method?

There's a scene in the movie Sex and The City where a bathing suit-clad Miranda Hobbes is berated by the girls for her lack of hair removal prowess in the bikini area. Shortly after, her marriage crumbles and her life falls apart.

Coincidence?

Just in case, here's the scoop on hair removal methods beyond the old razor.

Sugaring

It may last a lifetime on your hips, but applied to your calves and thighs, sugar may just be a sweet way to remove hair. Sugaring is an ancient middle-eastern method that is gaining popularity in Tampa Bay.

This hair-removal process typically uses a paste or gel crafted of natural ingredients such as sugar, water, and lemon juice. Similar to waxing, hair is removed from the root with results lasting up to six weeks. Unlike waxing, the sugaring process can be done on larger areas of hair at a time, purportedly making hair removal faster.

Whether you opt for a salon treatment or you're brave enough to try the treatment at home, you'll need about five days of hair growth to make the process a success. At Belmora Spa and Salon (1213 W Fletcher Ave., Tampa) the Brazilian ($65) is the most popular sugaring treatment on the menu, says esthetician Heidi Arington. "It's less painful than traditional wax and it doesn't rip the skin," she said.

Prefer to do it yourself? Head to shobha.com and pick up their signature sugaring kit for $30.

Waxing

The gold standard of hair removal is waxing, which can last up to eight weeks and can be used on most any part of the body that sports unwanted hair. Loyalists swear that with repeated waxing treatments, hair growth is visibly reduced.

While some say that waxing may be uncomfortable, fans say it's no sweat. South Tampa's Awa Spa and Wellness Sanctuary (5820 South MacDill Ave., Tampa) is popular for its Brazilian waxes ($45 to $55). At Kennedy Salon and Day Spa (220 N Howard Ave., Tampa), both women and men go for waxing.

Threading

Another age-old treatment experiencing new popularity is threading, most often used to remove unwanted hair on the brows, upper lip or chin area. The process involves the use of a thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over the hairline, removing unwanted hair at the follicle level.

Threading is ideal for those with very fine hair or those with sensitive skin because the top layer of skin is not traumatized. In fact, many salons and spas recommend threading to clients on certain medications or skin care regimes that include the use of alpha hydroxy acids.

And it's affordable. At Paris Salon and Day Spa (3115 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa), threading is on the menu for $18. If you prefer to do-it-yourself (and like pain) try the Lindo Twist-n-Roll Tweezers ($12.99 at facialwork.com).

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at carolyn@prettycity.com.

Sugaring, waxing, threading: What's the best body hair removal method? 05/21/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:58pm]

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