The endless sunshine, the bottles of sunscreen, and the cocktails by the pool — ah, summertime has finally arrived! And what are the perfect complements to these summer essentials? Itty, bitty, polka-dot bikinis, of course! Now, we at NaturallyCurly celebrate all types of hair (no discrimination against the straight-haired gals either, we love you too!) — but unsightly body hair is simply a summer must-NOT. So while we provide you with all the tools, products, and expertise you need to keep your voluptuous mane looking fabulous, we don’t want to leave you high and dry when it comes to unwanted body hair.

There are a couple of options, of course, but some are definitely more inexpensive than others, and some are more long-lasting. While we all dream of the day when we can afford ye olde laser treatment, it won’t do much for prepping you for Summer 2010. And though the razor has been a long-time companion for many women, its short-term benefits often leave it feeling like a fabulous one-night stand. So, we compromise with waxing — painful? Yes. Effective? Yes. Expensive? It doesn’t have to be!

Arabs have been practicing the art of waxing to remove body hair for centuries — and with homemade sugar-based wax. You may remember the waxing fad, Nads? The wax that claimed to be made with sugar and natural ingredients so it was better for your skin and minimized the pain? (The natural ingredients are probably much better for your skin than chemical-based waxes but I don’t know about the pain minimization. You’re still ripping hair out from its root…)

Well, now you can make your own wax at home and really walk like an Egyptian. Even Cleopatra is thought to have been an avid user of sugar wax. It’s easy, effective, and economical! Follow these simple steps, and say hello to a much more beautiful summer (and body)!

What you’ll need:

  • About 2 cups of sugar (granulated is fine)
  • ¼ cup of water (distilled is preferred but tap is fine)
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice (lime juice works just as well)
  • About ½ cup of pure clover honey (optional, but works well)
  • Medium saucepan

Add sugar, water, and lemon/lime juice to a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon. Put on low heat. The mixture will start bubbling soon. If you stir it while it’s bubbling, it will agitate the mixture and cause more bubbles — which may result in an overflow. If it does this, you’ll have to minimize the heat and take the saucepan off the stove. Once it has settled, replace and turn it back on to low heat.

Watch the mixture every few minutes and give it a stir. Eventually it will turn a golden/amber color. It will take about 30-60 minutes (roundabout) to change color.

Once it changes color, add the honey and stir. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer. This is very important! The water must all boil out so it will take some time. The mixture may start bubbling and frothing again, in which case you must take it off the heat and let it settle. Reduce the heat a little more. When it is on very low heat, it shouldn’t do much but simmer. It will CHANGE COLOR AGAIN. Once the mixture has turned an auburn/brown color, it is done. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

The wax will be VERY hot for a long period of time, so take caution when handling it. The wax will need to cool and thicken so it becomes the consistency of caramel. (It will take another 30-45 minutes.) Once it has cooled enough, it is very important to test it. First, test it on your palm, as it is less sensitive. If it is cool enough, test a VERY SMALL amount on the area to be waxed.

Once it is cool enough, take a rubber spatula and spread in the direction of the hair growth. Place thick cotton strip (or torn-up denim works) on the wax and rub down. Hold skin taut and grab end of the waxing strip. Pull off in one, quick motion in the direction opposite of hair growth. Repeat.

The wax can be stored for future use in a sturdy plastic container. It can be warmed up in the microwave. Make sure always to test the wax’s heat on skin before applying!

Give this homemade treatment a try and make it a spa day for you and your gal pals. What better way to prep for summer time than to do some much needed maintenance with your girls? And hey — throw in a cocktail — we won’t judge. It’ll probably help with the pain too.