Lesson 4: Hair Growth Direction
Your Goal: Figure out which way the wind blows – err – your hair grows.
The final thing to keep in mind before you start practicing with actual sugar paste is which way your hair grows. Everyone’s body hair is slightly different, so you’ll want to examine yourself and make sure you’re clear about your own unique patterns.
Apply Against, Remove With
It’s a bit of a golden rule in sugaring: Apply against the growth of hair, remove with the growth of hair. This prevents the hair from having to do a “backbend” as you’re extracting it, thereby minimizing breakage underneath the surface of the skin.
Having trouble figuring out which way is which?
Sometimes, long hair on your body (over 1/4″) can get a little curly, and it can be difficult to tell which way it’s actually growing. If this is the case for you, grab some electric trimmers with a guard on them and trim your hair down so it’s short enough to see how it naturally lays.
Trimming your long hair is actually a good way to prep for sugaring, too, because if it’s too long you’ll experience a tug during application that feels like pinching. It’s not fun.
Some guidelines on hair growth direction:
- On your torso, hair tends to grow toward the center of your body. Right around your nipples gets swirly, though, so keep an eye on that area.
- Extremity hair (arms and legs) generally grows toward your hands and feet.
- The backs of your thighs are usually in a swirly, milky way pattern, and the backs of your calves are more candy-cane patterned.
- Be patient with your arm hair. It grows in all different directions. The most consistent pattern is your forearm, though, which wraps around the outside of your arm.
- Face hair is different for everyone. Use a well-lit space and examine your face carefully prior to trying to sugar yourself.
Be your own sugarist.
I have faith in you. You can totally become a pro in your own home. Remember to keep your swoop parallel to your skin AND to remove the sugar with the natural growth direction. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you ever considered getting waxed and sugared by someone else.
I’d love to hear from you: how would an illustration be most helpful? What did you discover when you examined your hair growth directions? Did you find cowlicks in unexpected places? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my list of ideas for an infographic on this topic. Thanks for the help!