Get Ready for Summer | Homemade Sugar Wax Recipe for Hair Removal

by Beth Montgomery on March 27, 2013

in Frugal Cooking, Recipes

I grow hair better than any man. In fact, if I shave in the morning, by evening I’m sporting a 5 o’clock shadow on my legs.

It always makes summer fun. Shaving daily does some damage to my legs, but not shaving daily means I’m a hairy mess. Plus, quick trips to the pool are nearly impossible and my kids never want to wait for me to shave.

I have an epilator, which I love, but it’s about as quick as plucking my leg hairs and when it it comes to the more sensitive parts of my body, like underarms and ankles, it’s more effective as a form of painful torture. For summer time, I wax and use the epilator just use it for touch ups.

I’ll be upfront. If you want to wax your legs, you have to be committed. At first, your legs won’t have that smooth, just shaved feel, because smaller hairs will be too short to grab. However, if you keep it up and stay committed, your hair will become lighter, softer, and grow back more slowly. Plus, eventually, you will get smooth feel when you finally get every little hair.

You can buy wax at the store, but it can be expensive and messy. For me, it never seems to work, but homemade sugar wax, when made right, does the job perfectly.

Sugar Wax Recipe for Hair Removal


  • 2 Cups White Cane Sugar
  • 4 TBSP Lemon Juice OR Vinegar
  • 4 TBSP Cup Water
  • Baby Powder


Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (1 of 7)

In a saucepan, mix all ingredients, except the baby powder. The baby powder is for when you actually wax, so save that for later.

You can squeeze fresh lemons or use lemon juice concentrate for your lemon juice. Or, if you’re like me, and never have lemons on hand, vinegar works too. It just doesn’t smell as pleasant.

Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (2 of 7)

Stir the ingredients over high heat, until the mixture reaches a rapid boil. Once you reach a rapid boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer.

Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (3 of 7)

Depending on the sugar’s moisture level, your pan, and your stove, heating your sugar mixture can take anywhere from 6-25 minutes. However, you don’t want it to heat to quickly, so you want it to stop boiling and may even need to lower the heat to low. Just allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Now you have a decision to make. If you prefer to use strips to remove hair, you’re aiming for a darker honey-color mixture. However, if you prefer to have sugar gel, which doesn’t require strips, you’re aiming for a dark amber color, so your mixture won’t be too sticky to use.

Before Waxing

You need to have hair to wax, so don’t shave for about 1-2 weeks before you wax. I know, it’s difficult, but it’s worth it.

To get your skin ready for waxing, scrub lightly with warm soapy water to open pours and remove dead skin. Otherwise you’ll end up doing more exfoliating, then actual waxing. You also want to get rid of any lotions or other products that might be on your skin.

Next, dry off, then dust your skin lightly with baby powder or corn starch to make sure your skin is nice and dry.

Once your’e ready, pop in your favorite movie, lay a towel on the floor and get ready for your husband to give you that, “Why in the world are you doing that to yourself?” look, because men never seem to understand.

Sugar Waxing with Cloth Strips

Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (5 of 7)

I prefer to wax with strips but it can be kind of messy, so it’s not for everyone.

You’ll need your mixture to be slightly warm to use cloth strips, but you don’t want it to burn you! If it’s been stored, you can warm it up a bit in the microwave. Typically about 45-60 seconds will be enough. It should be easy to stir, but not watery.

For your strips, you can often use scrap material. I cut up a scarf that was handed to me free at Race for the Cure. You don’t want to use stretchy cotton or towels, but an old pair of pants or button-down shirt would work perfectly. Denim works great and can be washed to be reused.

Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (7 of 7) I added a bit too much, but you get the idea. It should be a thin layer.

Use a popsicle stick to apply the wax to your leg. You’ll want to brush the a light coat on your skin in the same direction as the hair growth. Now take a strip, and rub in the same direction you applied the wax. Make sure to leave room at the end to grab. Rub your hand over the strip in the direction of hair growth a few times to make sure it’s firmly attached.

Now for the hard part. Hold your skin taut, because it will hurt less and be quicker! Now grab the end of the strip tightly and pull quickly in the opposite direction of hair growth. The motion is more like peeling it back, then pulling up. You want to pull very fast and close to the skin. Pulling straight up or going slowly is more painful and less effective.

Repeat until you’re done. You can redo areas, but your skin will become more sensitive each time, so don’t over do it.

Sugar Waxing without Cloth Strips

Sugar Hair Wax on In Good Cents (6 of 7)

Keep in mind, because I prefer to use cloth strips, the image above is a bit too light to be effective. You want to make sure you achieve a dark amber color. As you can see, it’s just a tiny bit too hard.

Using sugar wax without strips can get shorter hairs, but can be a bit more difficult. However, it’s also less messy.

To get started, you’ll need your wax to be slightly warm. If it’s been stored, heat it for about 5-10 minutes until soft. It should be about the texture soft taffy.

Get a blob of the sugar wax in your hand and roll it into a ball. Work it a bit in your hands to warm it up a bit more with your body.

Using the tip of your fingers, spread the wax on your hair in the opposite direction of hair growth. While you apply it, you should slightly pull the wax with your finger tips creating the feeling of pressure. It should feel like the paste is pressing against your skin. It’s not just laying on top of your hair. It should be sticking to your finger tips.

Like with cloth strips, pull your skin taut. Now use a very fast motion to pull the wax stuck to your finger tips in the opposite direction, the same direction as hair growth. You want to stay close to the skin and not pull straight up.

Repeat. One section of sugar wax may be used a few times. Just work it into a ball again. You can often use one peice about 2-4 times, depending on the size and consistency. Once a piece has been used completely, throw it away and get a new one.


Store any left over wax in an air-tight glass container. You may easily reheat to use later. You may need to add a little water, if your mixture is too hard.

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