How to Make "Halaweh" (Natural Hair Remover)

This all-natural hair remover, called halaweh in Arabic, has been used in Middle Eastern homes for centuries.


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You Will Need

  • A saucepan
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • A plate or plastic wrap


  1. Step 1

    Heat the pan

    Heat the empty saucepan on low for 30 seconds to a minute. Slowly add in the sugar, water, and lemon juice, and stir.

  2. Step 2

    Stir and boil

    Continue to stir slowly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes smooth and begins to bubble. After a couple of minutes at a low boil, turn the heat to low.

  3. Step 3

    Let cool

    After about five minutes, when the mixture has turned thick and dark brown, remove it from the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Pour out

    Pour the mixture onto the plate or plastic wrap so it spreads out flat. It should be thick and move slowly, like molasses.

  5. If the mixture is too inflexible, try adding water. If it's too runny, heat it for another few minutes.

  6. Step 5

    Pull and stretch

    Pull and stretch the mixture like taffy between your hands. After a few pulls, its color will lighten from brownish to a shiny golden brown. It’s now ready to use!

  7. Step 6


    Roll a golf-ball size piece of halaweh between your hands. Using your thumb, spread the ball over the skin in the same direction as the hair growth. Press hard.

  8. For the halaweh to remove hair effectively, the hair must be at least one-quarter-inch long.

  9. Step 7


    In a quick, smooth motion, rip off the halaweh in the opposite direction of hair growth. Repeat until all the hair is gone.

  10. In many Middle Eastern households, children often eat the halaweh leftovers.