Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugar Waxing Instructions

Sugar wax, finished cooking
When I was a kid, we had a neighbor, who, according to legend, removed body hair using sugar, lemon, and water. I never believed such a ridiculous sounding assertion until I was much older and read up about sugar waxing- the traditional hair removal method that involves caramelizing sugar with water and lemon to make a taffy, which attaches to your hairs and pulls them out by the roots. I looked up recipes for sugar wax online, but all of the ones that I tried were terrible, and either didn't harden and I was just left a sticky hairy mess, or they hardened at too high a temperature, leaving me with burns and pulling up layers of skin in my attempt to remove hair.
Miles away from my hometown, I recently bumped into my old neighbor who gave me her famed sugar wax recipe, and lo and behold- it was a keeper! This recipe is sticky enough to pull out hairs, but hard enough that it dries and doesn't stay on you... and works at cooler temperatures so you don't burn yourself or pull off layers of skin!
Sugar mixture- not ready yet. Note it's still clear.


Sugar Waxing



Ingredients
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions
1. Mix together water, sugar, and lemon juice in a small pot.
2. Heat on a high flame until the mixture boils.
Now it's ready- note the golden color beneath the bubbles.
Time to turn off the flame.
3. Stirring occasionally, heat on a medium flame until the mixture turns a golden brown. This step may take a while. It took me between 20 and 30 minutes when I timed it this afternoon. It will bubble up somewhat while cooking- if it starts boiling over, lower the heat.
4. When cooked, pour into a microwavable container. A silicon baking dish is the best option because it is flexible and non stick and will allow you to work with the sugar wax more easily.
Sugar wax, once the flame was turned off and
 bubbles disappeared. Ready to cool down.
5. Let the sugar wax cool until it has hardened a drop. This will take a bit of trial and error until you figure out the perfect temperature and texture that is easiest for you to work with. The edges of the sugar wax  will cool and harden before the center, so keep that in mind when deciding where to take the wax from.
6. Rub the sugar wax on your skin, let it cool and harden for a few seconds, then rip it up. (Here's a video of someone waxing. Her recipe is a terrible one though! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK0TOZoAp-8&feature=related)
Spread in a silicon dish, cooled and ready to be used.
7. When your wax hardens too much to be usable, heat it in the microwave to get it to the right consistency again, and repeat.
(You can put the hairy sugar wax back in the microwave to remelt and reuse. It's ok!)

Notes:
Sugar waxing must be done on cleaned and dried skin. Dead skin cells and or sweat will cause the wax to not work properly. You may want to rub the skin with a small amount of corn starch or baby powder before waxing for best results.
This wax will work on most hair types, from unwanted facial hair to arm or leg hair to bikini lines to underarm hair.
This will hurt a little bit, as it pulls hairs out by the roots, but it will take longer for the hair to grow back, so hair removal needs to be done less frequently. The more often you remove hair from the roots, the less sensitive your nerves will be to it.
If the wax is too sticky, stick it back in the pot to cook a little more.

What type of hair removal method do you use? Do you wax? Have you ever sugar waxed? Would you ever try it?

77 comments:

  1. Thanks. I will try this though i had burn myself twice with sugar wax .Hope this recipe works.

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    Replies
    1. You probably did not allow it to cool at first...

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  2. Thanks. I'm gonna give it a try!

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  3. Thanx i've tried this and it worked :)

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  4. How long does it take to do one leg?

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    Replies
    1. It took me 40 mins to do both calves and that was probably my best time.

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    2. 40 mins to do both calves if that helps. Probably my best time too

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  5. can you overcook this? mine came out really dark.

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    Replies
    1. you have to stop cooking it when it is golden-brown

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    2. Yes you can and it probably won't work

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  6. I like this formula the best of the ones I've tried, but I've come to the conclusion that in general this just isn't a great way to get rid of fine hair (I'm pretty fair-haired and tried it on my calves), especially if you have crazy sensitive skin.

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  7. how would you store the leftover wax? in the fridge or at room temp?

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    Replies
    1. It can re heat so I'm 95% sure the fridge is fine. but if you never use leftovers again it turns into a really sweet taffy like thing.

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  8. For health reasons you shouldn't re-use wax! It's really bad and can spread infection.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, you can re-use wax. As long as you use a new applicator each time. This prevents infection.

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  9. Tried to substitute distilled vinegar for the lemon juice... the whole thing crystalized! :( Just wanted to warn other people who might try the same.

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  10. So is this a hard wax recipe that doesn't need wax strips? I am going to try it this weekend :)

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  11. First time you wax it will hurt a lot! Just rub ice to calm the skin down. Redness is ok, blood or boils are not. Do not put any creams on irritated skin. Just ice. It wont hurt nearly as much if you do it frequently. I've been waxing since i started getting hair and it is the best hair remover.

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  12. Mine came out dark too. Did I do something wrong?

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  13. Mine came out dark too. Did I do something wrong? Also do I need an applicator something because the wax dries really fast but I can't apply it when it's bendable because it's too hot.

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    Replies
    1. You probably burnt it. When done cooking, it should be the consistency a bit thinner than honey (same color too). If after it cools, it is too sticky, cook a bit more

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    2. If it ends up too dark, just keep adding a little bit of water and knead the sugar paste until it lightens up and becomes a more desirable consistency. (not too sticky but sticky enough to wax with. It's all about trial and error. :)

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    3. Good advice! Mine was too dark too. So I wet my fingers and just played with a piece of it until it was sticky and soft enough to work.

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  14. how long can you save unused wax? and how can you store it?

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    Replies
    1. Use wax within 3 days, and it must be stored in the fridge. To warm it up again, stick it in the microwave for 15 second incriments to get it warm and avoid burning it.

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    2. Use each batch within 3 days if stored in the fridge.

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    3. i've tried, but forgot the recipe, stored in the fridge and it can go for few months.
      i've left it out in the room temperature, after a month, it is still good. nothing appeared on the surface..

      Regards,
      Wenn

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    4. I put my wax in the freezer after use then thaw it out the next time I need it. Works perfectly

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    5. I make a large batch of wax and I keep it in a jar at room temp. It keeps this way for years, and I've never had any problems.

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  15. Use Witch Hazel afterwords!! it helps my skin out!

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  16. Mine won't brown? I followed the instructions and have correct measurements and had it on the stove for over 30 minutes and haven't seen and change? What am I doing wrong?

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  17. I just watched a salon owner that uses this and she applied it with thick gloves to keep from burning her hands I guess, prob as well as sanitation reasons.

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  18. How does a person remove the wax?

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    Replies
    1. try putting bits of paper on the wax after its been applied so you can pull it off that way

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    2. I cut an old clean tablecloth into strips and use those. I just press the strip of cloth over the wax and it pulls the wax and sugar off perfectly. I have also found that I can wash and reuse the cloth.

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  19. This was horrible. I followed all the instructions and once I let the wax cool it completely hardened it was rock solid and I burnt myself. I also was really upset because the wax hardened on plates that I use in my house and I was like how am I going to get this off! Thankfully I realized that if you let it sit in water and rub and rub and rub the wax it will start dissolving. Other than that this unfortunately didn't work for me.

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    Replies
    1. Honey, you gotta let it cool a bit (enough so it doesn't burn your skin) but not all the way. This is a BRILLIANT recipe! Read what she wrote - you put it in a microwaveable dish. It'll stick to plates like nobody's business (if it does just microwave until soft then get off with hot water to dissolve the sugar). I use a large plastic Decore microwavable dish, cos silicon is way too expensive where I live. It works a treat. Reheat on medium. I also use non-stick baking paper to put the cooled, used wax on until I can tip it back into the container to reheat again for the other leg. Try it again! Good luck :)

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    2. If you use a candy thermometer when cooking it, it should get to 245 or 250 degrees. Any higher than that and the wax will harden too much.

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  20. i made this and it dried really hard when it slightly cooled, so the recipe didn't work at all for me.. :(

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  21. What is the lemons use?

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  22. Finally a sugar wax recipe that I don't need to alter! I've been using the popular 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup lemon juice recipe for the past few years, but I always had to put in less water for the wax to turn out solid at room temperature (I don't like using it with strips) and even then it would be hit-and-miss as to whether it would turn out right every time. This one turned out perfect at the first try :) Thank you

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  23. This wax is confusing! I let it cool and it's as hard as a rock. I but it in the microwave to get it to the right consistency and it gives me blisters

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  24. Didn't work for me, way too hot and cooled too fast

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  25. Here's how I got this recipe to work for me. After I had cooked it to a golden brown, I used a baking sheet to spread the wax on. First I had used a little water on it to make it less sticky, and then I put the wax on it. While it was still quite hot I used a spoon around the edges and started pushing it in. I did this for several minutes until it thickens up nicely. Then I use that same spoon to start collecting it into my hand. I got my other hand
    slightly wet and started working the wax like a ball of dough, needing it and working it for a few minutes. I tested it out on my skin a little until I could get it to pul
    l out some hair. Be careful not to pick up the wax when it's too hot or to work too much water into it because
    you can then end up with caramel on your skin. Don't worry if it doesn't come out right the first time.

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  26. I just tried out this recipe after using the 2 cup sugar 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 water mixture several times with varying degrees of success. I have to say that I'm very pleased with your recipe! It works like a charm! Thanks for posting and I'll be checking out what other treasures you have for us in your blog.

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  27. Hi, This looks promising. Is it as little as 1 TEAspoon of lemon juice, as opposed to a tablespoon? I've also tried the 8:1:1 proportions and it turned out too runny (suitable, perhaps, for strips)

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  28. don't cook it until it turns as dark as in the picture! its supposed to be a bit darker than honey, exactly golden brown, don't cook it until it's actually brown. if it becomes that dark, it hardens when cooled and you can't apply it to your skin when its at the proper consistency because at that consistency, the temperature is too hot.

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  29. I don't understand -- in order for this recipe to work well, is it supposed to be used WITH, or WITHOUT strips? The video demonstration does not use strips, but some people who commented seem to be using them. (Is that why it's not working for them?) Personally, I would prefer a recipe that uses strips, if this one doesn't. I find the strips easier, and I've also read that the non-strip method causes more ingrown hairs. (I'm extremely prone to them, so I need to take any precautions I can.)

    Hoping someone will let me know... Thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I am the hairiest woman alive, daughter of the hairiest man alive :) I am also very prone to ingrown hairs, but I use this recipe WITHOUT strips. If you use strips you are much more likely to break hairs at skin level, which is what you get ingrown hairs from. Waxing in this way (without strips) is called hot waxing, and it's what most beauty salons do with the petrochemical-based scented and coloured stuff they use on bikinis and underarms. Waxing with a strip is called strip-waxing (some people call it hot waxing becuase the wax goes on warm, but it's not really hot waxing). I apply the wax to the skin with an applicator stick (you can buy a pack of 3 different sizes off ebay for less than $6 - it's worth getting the good ones). You do need to have followed the recipe faithfully for this to work. So here's how you do it:
      1. cool/heat wax to right consistency - you need it to be soft, warm, pliable but not too hot. I pre-make the wax and let it cool completely (I have kids - who can watch kids and watch wax cool to the right consistency, I'd like to know?!), then heat it in the microwave on medium for 2 minutes, stir it, check it and reheat if I need to.
      2. Powder skin with corn starch
      3. swirl your stick in the wax to get a good size glob on there, then spread over the area to be waxed. With hot wax, you can spread it in any direction (I kind of swirl it - remember, donkey hairs, roots like you would not believe!).
      4. Leave it for at least 10 seconds, then touch the surface. If it's sticking to your finger wait a little longer. Once it has cooled enough that you can touch it and it's still pliable but not sticking to your finger, lift the bottom edge (I need to go against hair growth to remove hair properly - some of you Anglo non-hairy girls might just be able to go with hair growth direction) and pull towards you smoothly. You DON'T need to rip it off super-fast like you do with strips.
      5. Place used wax on a piece of non-stick baking paper so you can tip it back into your container and reheat if you need more wax.
      6. You need to moisturise and loofah EVERY DAY if you are prone to ingrown hairs!!
      Good luck :)

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    2. Such a useful reply! thank you! you're tips are awesome! try a blog!

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  30. I just tried this twice(2 batches) and I still can't get it. The first time, I burned it attempting to imitate the color in the photo and burned myself checking to see if it had cooled. I took a shower to remove oils/dead skin and it looks like I'm going to have to shower again because I need to shave :(

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  31. omg people. there is some common sense involved here. lol. Do not put it on so hot that you will get burned or blistered. I mean... come on! lol

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  32. Thanks for sharing this recipe !
    I want to try it. However, there is something I am worried about. I don't actually own a microwave. Do you think it would be ok to (re)warm the wax using something else (a traditionnal oven ?) ?

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    Replies
    1. Put the dish containing the wax in a pan with water over the stove :) hot water should help melt it

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  33. I have to agree with the majority. I cooked to the "the golden brown" and was to hot to managed and when cool enough to manage it was hard.

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  34. Here is my feedback :

    1. First time I tried your recipe, I got hard caramel. It would only melt at high temperatures (in my traditionnal oven) and it didn't stick at all on my skin. Not a single hair was removed. Total failure.

    2. I tried again this time using less water (only 1/4 cup because your recipe took 30 minutes ! longer than any caramel I have ever done !) and more lemon (juice of half a big lemon, maybe 3 or 4 table spoons). I stopped cooking it as soon as it turned yellow. I got liquid that would turn into a paste at room temperature. Once I played with it with my hands, it was like a chewing gum. I didn't need any oven. I could put my bowl of paste in a bowl of hot water if I wanted a more liquid paste. Easy.

    3. Once I was successfull, it works like magic !!! It is gentle but works great with removing the roots. And it is easy with difficult areas such as the ankle. Thanks for introducing me to sugar waxing !

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  35. FINALLY! I have tried over 10 times to make sugaring wax, and at last one that works! I'll share what I did for other frustrated people like me: I boiled it for about 40 minutes, and took it off the stove just when it turned to a light honey color, still very transluscent (like the honey in the squeezy bear containers). I let a little bit of it cook longer to a more 'golden brown' to see if that would work also and that was completely unusable. Do not overcook! Take off the heat as soon as the color turns. I let it sit over night, and I am able to use it without strips, and without heating. That's right, room temperature! It was tricky to get the hang of hair removal at first, but finally this technique did it for me: make a ball of wax, slowly apply it to your skin opposite of hair growth pushing down against skin. leave for maybe 5-10 seconds. Take a 2nd smaller ball of wax and 'pick up' the sugar on your skin and pull off QUICKLY in direction of hair growth, if you do it slowly it will just stay melted into your skin, and you will have to get another ball of wax to pull it off with. Pulling skin taught also helps. Thank you so much for this recipe, I am thrilled it finally works!

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  36. If you ever get tired of trying to make sugar wax, you should try a jar from www.primrosecosmetics.com. It takes the guesswork out of trying to decide how long to cook it. I must admit it took me a few tries to get it right and I love this pennilessparenting.com website. I now use and recommend sugar wax. I have been doing for a little over a year now and I grow far less hair now. A jar of Primrose sugar wax lasts a few times.

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  37. I'm sorry, but this recipe isn't working for me. I will go back to the one everyone else uses, where it is equal amounts of lemon juice and water.

    This one is too tricky to get right. mine is light brown and gets solid at room temperature. And is way too hot at the consistency needed for waxing.

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  38. I just tried this and totally burned it. I kept checking the color using a spoon and it was clear mixed with a bit of brown, but the bubbles hid the true color underneath and by the time I took it off the stove, it was dark caramel. Way past the golden brown I was looking for. And it was on heat 5 for about 10 min :/ Time for round 2.

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  39. I tried this and it didn't work, it just burned my skin. I even let it cool for a good 30 minutes. By the time I even got it onto my skin, it was hard and hot. Which was really frustrating. I'll have to try once more later on, but right now I'm just frustrated.

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  40. I've made this batch 3 times now and it has always come out perfect so I don't really understand how so many people get it wrong. It's pretty foolproof. I'm a pretty hairy person and used to spend a bomb on salon waxing. It costs alot of money where I live for waxing procedures. I followed the instructions as stated above. The moment it turns a golden colour (like honey) I turn off the heat and pour it into a microwaveable tub to cool. I let it cool for about an hour or so till it has hardened but still warm and pliable. You should be able to roll it in between your fingers forming a ball thats when I know its ready to go on my skin. When it gets too hard I will stick it in the microwave on medium heat for about 15-20 seconds and cool it a further 3-5 minutes to get back to the right consistency. I normally make a couple of trips to the microwave cos like I said, I'm hairy. But its really worth it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! Definitely a keeper for me!

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  41. Is this edible? and when is the proper time to wax? before or after a shower?

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  42. If I double the recipe do I have to double the time it takes to heat?

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  43. I tried this and thought I had the consistency perfect, seems just like honey, but I can't get it to stick to my skin, it just slides across and stays on the applicator. Any tips?

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    Replies
    1. Wipe your skin with some rubbing alcohol and then pat on some corn starch or baby powder before waxing

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  44. I can't really see the recipe, the pictures are covering the words. Ugh :(

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  45. what type of sugar can i use for this sugarinwax? thanks :)

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  46. While this recipe is great use as a hard wax alternative it is very annoying to see this called sugaring. Traditional sugaring is meant to be used when the mixture is at a taffy like stage and is completely cooled. It requires a different technique than waxing. Of course the recipes you found did not work. The product was never meant to be used in this way!

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  47. can i use vinegar instead of lemon juice?

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  48. The first time this worked great did underarms second and third time not so much. Followed instructions and when grabbing pieces so use that were warm but not hot they would not grab. Skin is clean and dry also then if keep trying it starts to harden not sure why second and third time didn't work out so much:(

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  49. I heard after a couple uses of this the hair removal becomes permanet. that it pulls up the whole hair focile. Can this by chance happen?

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  50. Hai. I just cooked the wax. But i could not use to wax because it doesnt stick to the hair. Why? And what should i do?

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  51. Some tips from this experimenter:
    Ratios of ingredients work well
    One commenter gave temp of 245 F, as this was only concrete limit set on recipe besides ingredients, I took sugar off heat at 245- it was just beginning to change from a light agave to a medium honey color.
    I cooled it in fridge, then later let it come almost to room temp before using. It worked - however my hands caused it to heat up and turn into a sticky mess after about 2 min- so I would scrape it off and get another cold ball. Got sick of trying after one calf and stuck it back in fridge. Next time I tackled my awesome lady sideburns and mustache, used the same batch the same way- then tossed it. What a mess. BUT it does work.
    Tips:
    Use a thermometer
    Don't powder skin too much
    Use hydrocortisone on bumps.
    Next time I will cook to 255/260 F and see if it stays manageable when warmed up in hands...also will devide into silicone ice cube tray so I have small pieces to work with instead of pulling it off of a giant batch.

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