Sugaring Paste: Consistency vs. Temperature

Sugaring discussion on cold vs. warm sugaring paste, why it is super confusing and improper thinking.

From here on out, when you think about what sugaring paste to grab, think in terms of CONSISTENCY! Soft, Medium, Firm… NOT cold or warm paste. I know it is a challenge to get away from the cold vs. warm theory when discussing sugaring paste. Think of paste as the consistency itself. Soft (almost honey) to firm (like caramel taffy). ANY paste you pull from a tub that is NOT in a warmer will feel cold. ANY paste you pull from a warmer, will obviously feel warm.

For imagery, imagine it like this:

  • Soft Paste = equivalent to honey. Typically DO NOT need a warmer. If you are in a cooler environment, perhaps super cold winters, the low temperature sugar warmer simply makes the paste pliable, not heated, and easier to remove from the tub.
  • Firm Paste = equivalent to a piece of caramel taffy. You will want a low temperature sugar warmer for firmer pastes. If you are in warm, humid climate, you may find you do not need one. Firmer pastes prefer a warmer.

Pull a piece if sugar from a tub of medium or firm paste that is NOT in a warmer and it will feel cold. You probably won’t be able to mold it because at first it will feel like caramel. You have to allow it to warm in your fingers or with the body temperature of the skin before it becomes pliable. If you have the AC blasting, or a fan on, it will take much longer for it too soften.

You can pull the same medium paste from a warmer and of course it will feel warm, but it will also be gooey and easier to manipulate (or more challenging depending on how much that sugar warmed up. If it is a wax warmer or a high setting on the sugar warmer and it made your sugar paste hot, your medium paste will be like honey, but it is STILL a medium paste). Once it begins to cool, it will begin to firm up. (and you must cool it off prior to putting it on the skin because it WILL get stuck).

If you pull SOFT paste from a tub (again, not in a warmer), it feels cold. Remember, once it warms up with your hands and body temp, it will become softer, much softer than medium, and soft paste will stick more. If a cold environment forces you to put your soft paste in a warmer, you may need to allow it to firm up a bit prior to applying it to the skin. Soft paste out of a warmer WILL be stickier. Meaning if you pull it from the warmer and immediately begin to mold, you most likely will already be stuck. Softer pastes stick easily to the hair and dead skin.

Q. Why then, do some companies manufacture and promote “Cold Sugar” or “Cold Wax”?

A. Branding. It is simply a misguided attempt to reinvent the wheel. Some will tout that it is easier to work with. I always teach my students to ask themselves two fundamental questions regarding their technique and product they use.

  1. Did it break the hair?
  2. Did it hurt the client?

If you train using a “cold sugar”, you will inadvertently be putting yourself in a box. If you choose to be trained with the original formulas of sugaring paste, you will be teaching yourself how to use ANY sugar paste from ANY brand, including the “cold sugar”.

When do I use each consistency of sugaring paste?

Softer pastes: Easier to mold and do not tire your hand out. You must be efficient and skilled to use the softest of pastes. Why? Because they stick more. Remember, think honey. If you drop honey on your leg, it is stuck. Softer pastes are designed for larger body parts because they allow you to mold quicker in order to get the job done in a timely manner. Softer pastes are suitable for those with longer, finer hair, that is NOT dense. Dense hair will collect the softer paste varieties making it a recipe for a stuck situation. Softer pastes work much easier in cooler, less humid environments.

Firmer pastes: Less “sticky”. Require a slower application sometimes. You will find it challenging when attempting to mold fast. Best for training, learning, and practicing. Firmer pastes are designed for smaller body parts. It is suitable for shorter, courser, and/or dense hair. If you have stubborn/resistant hair, you will have to allow a firmer paste to sit awhile, to seep into the follicle prior to extracting. It is NOT recommended for long hair. Try dragging some caramel across some of your hairy arms or toes. OUCH!! Firmer pastes will have a tendency to tire your hands or arms out, especially if you are attempting to mold fast. Firmer pastes work much easier in a warmer, more humid environment.

If your paste is TOO SOFT > Turn on the AC or a FAN. Fans are a must, especially with intimate areas. You can also use a tongue depressor or a small spatula to scoop a small amount of firm paste to ADD to your current ball of paste. *Remember to clean the implements and not to cross contaminate by using the same spatula.**

If your paste is TOO FIRM > Spritz a little water, incorporate. Do this as often as needed until the paste is a desired softer consistency you can work with.

Cocktailing your sugar pastes:

In most hands on training classes, you will be taught to cocktail your paste. This means you grab a pinch of soft and a pinch of firm to create the “perfect paste consistency” that suits you and the area you are working with.

I hope this makes sense. We educators will consistently be correcting the cold vs warm talk. It is NOT about the temperature of the sugar. It is about the consistency. Should you have any questions, please reach out to me via email 2smartesties@gmail.com or via a PM or DM on Facebook or IG.

Jamie Renee,

Founder of Sugaring Source
Esthetician and Owner, Your Body’s ReTreat