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Q&A With Stephanie King, The Sugarista

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

When looking for eco-friendly spa and salon alternatives for our annual membership conference, looking at sugaring was an obvious choice. And who better to speak to than Stephanie King, aka The Sugarista and Founder of London Sugaring Company.

In addition to being Director of Education and Global Business Development for Tamara’s Sugar, she’s usually found teaching her Modern Method™ of Sugaring to Estheticians and Beauty Therapists around the globe. She’s a 12 year Sugaring veteran and intends to change the way Sugaring is taught and practised, to help ensure salon success, profitability and speed!

Read on to find out more about Stephanie, what makes her so passionate about her career in sugaring, and the benefits to your salon and clients of introducing this exciting hair removal innovation.

1. Tell us a bit about you and your journey into sugaring?

I stumbled across Sugaring in a single sentence in my Esthetics school skin text book. It said, “Sugaring is a natural method of hair removal that originated in ancient Egypt.” At the time I was making a huge career change and studying skincare out of an interest in natural products and ingredients. I became intrigued with the idea of an ancient natural art and decided I would research to find a training. Eventually I came across a two day class and went and got certified. After those two days and with very little skill I promptly quit my day job and opened one of the first Sugaring studios in the US. The rest really is history.

My interest led me to education, studio ownership and the scaling of my business back in Portland, Oregon called The Sugarista. I’ve always felt a sense of total certainly that the world would eventually know what I know, that Sugaring is one of the most amazing, unique treatments in the natural beauty space. I also learned quite quickly that Sugaring was an excellent business.

This journey has lead me all over the globe to teach Sugaring and relocated me from the US to the UK where I’m currently working to bring Sugaring to the main stage. I work closely with Tamara’s Sugar as the Director of Education, creating and implementing all education protocols for the brand and team of trainers in the US and internationally. I also manage international distribution for Tamara’s Sugar and spearhead new product development for the EU market.

In short, Sugaring and the business of Sugaring is my life’s passion! I’ve devoted the last 13 years to becoming an expert and advocate for this ancient technique and I feel like I’m just getting started. It’s an incredibly exciting time for Sugaring here in the UK and throughout Europe. We can look to its huge success in the US and see with certainly that its going to make it’s way into the market here.

2. What steps have been taken to modernise this ancient art of hair removal?

Sugaring has certainly come a long way from its ancient Egyptian origins. I’ve been a student of Sugaring for over 13 years now and seen the technique evolve quite a bit since I first started. When I learned to Sugar the education available was very basic and you were asked to watch and then repeat the motions. I struggled immensely for the first few years of Sugaring journey, lacking any type of structure to my technique. At that time in the US, Sugaring was still very up and coming so options for advanced training or support in your technique were also pretty much non existent. Most people who were Sugaring back then were making up much of their technique and creating their own tricks for working with the sticky paste. Since then, there’s been somewhat of a more streamlined approach to how to Sugar, although in many cases Sugaring is still a very individual art.

When I started teaching I began experimenting with putting more structures into place so that I could convey a more systematic approach to my students. I knew that I would have fared much better with a process so I began to develop a set of rules and tricks to use in the treatment room. Over time and with a lot of practice and implementation (and so many failed experiments) I began to see a process coming through. The system I’ve created is called the Modern Method and takes into account the seven key areas a Sugarist needs to understand in order to be an effective and efficient practitioner.

In order to modernize, Sugaring has had to shift from being an “art” to becoming a more streamlined technique over the years, particularly as more people have taken interest in growing Sugaring businesses, hiring employees and becoming trainers themselves. When properly trained, a new Sugarist can take a systematic approach like the Modern Method and begin Sugaring on clients almost immediately.

In addition, Sugar paste has come a very long way in the last 20 years. Professional manufacturers like Tamara’s Sugar have experimented and innovated in paste consistencies and been able to create longer lasting, more effective pastes than ever before. It’s really never been easier to get great training and amazing product than it is in this very moment.

3. Which sugaring product range do you recommend?

I work exclusively with Tamara’s Sugar. Tamara’s is the only Certified Organic Sugar Paste on the market and is by far the highest quality I’ve ever worked with. Having taught Sugaring and introduced Tamara’s to Sugaring pros all over the globe, we hear nothing but positive feedback about the quality and soft pliable consistency of this paste.

4. Is it more or less effective than traditional waxing? Does it hurt more?!

In my 13 years of Sugaring experience I’ve never had a client tell me that Sugaring hurts more than waxing. In fact, almost unanimously clients have told me how surprised they are at the low discomfort level of Sugaring. Sugar paste is applied opposite to wax. We mold the Sugar paste on against the direction of growth, allowing the paste to stand the hair up into the Sugar. This helps the Sugar not only get fully wrapped around the hair, but also encouraged down into the head of the follicle. When we flick this quickly and effectively extracts the hair is it’s natural direction of growth which in many cases is more comfortable than against. Effective molding helps grip Sugar around short anagen hair quite easily, allowing Sugar to extract earlier growth and lead to faster refinement of regrowth.

Sugar paste is also only heated to body temperature, meaning there’s never any risk of burning the skin. This lack of heat helps reduce sensitivity and relax the client, leading to an easier more enjoyable treatment. One thing many people don’t know about Sugar paste is that it’s also water soluble. From a Therapists perspective, this has so many benefits for ease of clean up. For the client that means zero risk of lifting live skin as the water soluble paste is unable to attach to live, wet skin cells. Overall Sugaring is incredibly gentle and highly effective method of hair removal.

5. What are the environmental benefits of sugaring over waxing?

The process of Sugaring is extremely low waste. To start Sugaring paste is applied and removed by hand, so we immediately eliminate the need for use of any sticks or strips. This dramatically reduces consumable waste. Our process is also biodegradable, down to our gloves. Many Sugarists use biodegradable gloves and will dispose of the their compostable Sugar and gloves into a biodegradable bin bag. This waste will completely biodegrade in 1-5 years give the glove breakdown. Sugar paste is also natural and water soluble, unlike most wax and wax strips. Our Sugar paste is Certified Organic, made from sugar, water and citric acid. It’s so clean it’s actually edible!

6. How would you recommend Delforge Group salons summarise the key selling points of sugaring to convert their customers over from normal waxing?

Sugaring is a gentle alternative to waxing that is great for sensitive skin types and those prone to irritation from heat or certain ingredients that are often found in waxing products. Sugaring removes hair in the direction of growth so clients will often see a reduction in ingrown hair and clients almost unanimously say the Sugaring causes less discomfort than waxing. It’s also a perfect option for eco and ingredient conscious clients who are interested in Organic, Vegan, Fair Trade, Cruelty Free, Fragrance Free products.

7. Is additional training required for therapists who wish to start sugaring?

Any Therapist interested in offering Sugaring to clients should first attend our two day Organic Sugaring Certification course which covers theory, hand position, pressure, paste selection and the specific techniques for Sugaring legs, underarms, lip, brow, chin and basic bikini. This course teaches new Sugarists how to become effective at troubleshooting so they feel confident to start taking clients immediately, knowing the can work through any issues or challenges in the moment using our the framework they’ve learned in class. We exclusively teach what is called the Modern Method of Sugaring which I’ve spent the last 10 years developing and teaching. The success rate of our students shows this methodology really works! After some practice on generally Body Sugaring we encourage Sugarists to attend Intimate Sugaring training and Advanced Techniques courses to hone in their skills and become even faster and more efficient. We’re also launching a brand new online academy called the New School of Sugaring later this year.

To find our more about Stephanie, Tamara’s Sugar, or Training just CLICK HERE.

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