Sugarist Avril Cayenne shares how sugar works in hair removal

Avril Cayenne uses the sugaring technique to remove hair on a client's arm.
Avril Cayenne uses the sugaring technique to remove hair on a client's arm.

Long before the days of shaving, lasers, hair-removal treatments, waxing and threading, Egyptians, including the Pharaoh Cleopatra, used sugaring to remove face and body hair.

Sugaring is a technique that, like waxing, is done by quickly pulling the hair from the root. It can be done on any part of the body using a paste made from water, lemon and sugar.

Sugarist Avril Cayenne has been using the method at her spa, L'Esthetique De Pierre Sugar Suite, for over nine years.

“It’s a natural alternative to waxing…It’s not pain-free, but not as painful as waxing.”

The key difference, she explained, is the direction in which the hair is pulled.

“With waxing, the mixture is applied in the same direction as hair growth and then removed in the opposite direction...With sugaring, it’s the exact opposite. The sugar paste is applied against the direction of hair growth and removed in the direction of hair growth.

"The sugar lubricates the hair strand and they glide out. It’s a much more luxurious way to remove hair,” Cayenne told WMN.

Avril Cayenne says using sugar is a natural and not as painful process in hair removal. 

Cayenne is a certified aesthetician, having trained with TT's Face and Body Clinic. She was not a big fan of waxing, so she did some research and came across body sugaring.

“I got certified at Alexandria Professional, in Buffalo, New York, a company with a whole skincare line,” and now she specialises in body sugaring at both her San Fernando and Maracas, St Joseph branches.

“I also do things like massages and body scrubs, but sugaring is the main thing.”

Although it can be done on any part of the body, she makes it a point to avoid eyebrows, unless it’s just to clean up a few stray hairs.

“I clean up, but I don’t shape. If you get that wrong, it can ruin a person’s career,” she chuckled.

Cayenne uses the Alexandria Professional brand."I ended up being an educator for it, teaching people locally who want to give their clients a different type of hair removal.”

She said there are quite a few benefits to sugaring. It is environmentally friendly, gives the skin a light exfoliation, and causes the hair to grow back softer and thinner, once done as often as needed. Underarm and eyebrows should be done every two-three weeks, and legs, back and chest are monthly services.

But, she said, in as much as it has its benefits, if not done properly, sugaring can cause harm.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can bruise people.

"I went through rigorous training before I started to do this. You have to bear in mind that some people may have very sensitive skin.

"Another thing that you have to be mindful of is a person’s age…it’s not for everyone.”

Cayenne said before the paste is applied, the skin must be prepped by removing oils and toning.

Avril Cayenne specialises in body sugaring at her spa L'Esthetique De Pierre Sugar Suite in San Fernando and Maracas, St Joseph. 

The mother of three has been featured in magazines such as Caribbean Posh, The Beyond Woman and has been part of Authority Magazine's international women in wellness series. She said although in her younger days she was enamoured by skin- and haircare products and took great care of her own skin and hair, she never imagined that she would end up in the aesthetics field.

“At school, when my friends were buying KFC and snacks, I used to save to buy different products.

"My mom lived abroad and used to send me magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and I used to read a lot of Showtime.

"I would also use aloe vera to make my own products, which didn’t always come out good, but it was usable. And I remember how my dad and I would put Ponds cold cream on our faces,” she said with a laugh.

She even did a course in haircare just so she could fix her own hair.

After she became a certified aesthetician her husband encouraged her to open up a small spa.

“And that’s where I started.”

But, she said, her family remains her number one priority.

“All my time revolves around my children…I started having children early and was a full-time mom. When they were in primary school, I was able to do my aesthetics classes during school time. Then I would pick them up and go straight home…

"Now, I book appointments during school time so I will always be available for them.”

In 2020, when most businesses, including spas, were temporarily shuttered under covid19 restrictions, she didn’t work at all. Eventually, when some restrictions were lifted, she only worked on afternoons because she had to supervise her children’s online classes.

Her goal is to build her brand so that “when people think about sugaring, they think about me…I want to open another branch in Tobago…I want to make a big impact, to leave a legacy.”

She said between family and work, she has very little time for anything else.

“But I hope to change that. I like to travel and want to learn to do pottery, but maybe when my six-year-old gets a little older.”


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