Following the wild success of our article on Persian sugar wax (and how to do it briefly), Green Prophet follows up with a step by step how-to: Now imagine that you didn’t need to call your local salon or spa to schedule a wax appointment – you could do the deed yourself. Well, the idea is actually not that far-fetched, as long as you have some basic ingredients in your kitchen.
If the ancient Persians had the ability, then so can you. They developed a simple hair removal technique based on sugar. As you might know already, Green Prophet introduced this beauty secret in a recent article, and this summer, I decided to give it a try.
1. First thing’s first: get your ingredients together. I used these measurements: 2 cups sugar, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup water. I’ve since read that honey can be substituted for the water.
2. In a Teflon pan, I combined the goods and left the mixture on low heat, stirring occasionally. (Warning: you will be tempted to eat what you’re making. I didn’t include the pictures of me sneaking spoonfuls of lemony sugar water for fear of sending the wrong message to readers. This is a beauty regimen recipe, not one for the palate! I should have just made sugar-lemon crepes while I had all the right ingredients out!)
I was expecting the concoction to take on some sort of lustrous golden-brown hue almost immediately and, throwing patience out the kitchen window, I added some brown sugar to expedite the color transformation process. I should have started off with medium heat and then moved to low heat once there was a little boiling action (without letting the sugar burn). Then, there shouldn’t have been that aesthetic issue; the color would have turned more easily.
3. When the sugar was no longer grainy and the mixture seemed even, I turned the stove off and emptied the contents of the pan into a bowl. Luckily, my spontaneous addition of the brown sugar didn’t leave the mixture too thick; there was no need to add more liquid for balance.
4. Gone are the days of Play-Doh and Silly Putty for me, but the wax looked so fun to play with. I extracted a wad and examined it against the light. If you have children, I would suggest preventing them from getting their hands on the wax. My smart adult self knew to rinse the sticky stuff off with warm water, but little ones might not be so keen, or willing.
5. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. I returned when it had cooled off a bit but was not yet cold or rock-solid. Simply leaving it out on the counter is also an option; it just takes longer. If the wax does need to soften, you can pop it in the microwave for a bit. My wax was smooth and malleable but still held its shape when I rolled a small portion into a ball.
6. Don’t do this!
I should have started waxing right right then – but instead, took a misstep by adding water to the bowl. This is the big no-no of homemade Persian sugar waxing.
The addition of the water, which I thought would make the substance just a little more pliable, threw the chemistry and proportions out of whack. When I pressed the wax down onto my leg and grasped the bottom to pull up (and away from the hair growth, as is the routine), it ripped, and I could feel the excess water on my fingers and leg.
If I were to try this again and encounter the need for more moisture, I know to wet my fingers a little bit, if anything – not the whole mixture.
Some leg hair was removed, but not in great quantities. I started to lose interest after the water mistake. Still, I soothed the newly waxed areas with ice on a cloth.
For me, Persian waxing is about trial and error. I think it’s definitely worth attempting again. It’s a smart choice for those who are determined to wax.
There’s no doubt that it saves money. It saves the environment, too; no harsh chemicals are found in this hair-removal “product.” And you can compost the hairy results.
One could argue either way for saving time, as the preparation is a pretty time-consuming process of cooking and waiting, and then the actual waxing could be tedious. Nevertheless, a successful attempt could be well worth the effort. It also teaches you something about home-made candy making. Never a bad thing. Good luck!