If you’re tired of shaving constantly, then you’ve probably looked at alternate options. One method that isn’t new to the market is depilatories. What exactly are these? They are cream or lotions that remove unwanted hair without a razor.
One of the more well-known depilatories available today is Nair. Nair hair removal became more popular in the 1990s but the product is still available today. You can find it at most local shops and online. The way that it works is fairly simple. You apply a layer to the skin wherever you have unwanted hair. It dissolves hair so that it can be wiped away easily.
Nair is a type of chemical depilatory. It primarily works by removing the hair shaft. It will not remove the root of the hair that is located below the skin’s surface.
This product certainly isn’t new though. Before this product was available, some people had used lye or calcium oxide. These other methods came with some risks though. To get an idea of how well this product works and if it’s right for you, this review covers what the average person should know before using.
Nair’s Function and Action
A chemical hair remover works by targeting the structure of the hair. The hair on your body is made up of protein compounds known as keratin. They are twisted into bundles like yarn and form a structure with chemical bonds. The chemicals target these bonds directly. The result is that the hair is dissolved.
Nair works in about 10 minutes or less. The makers recommend that you apply the cream or gel with a spatula in the areas where you have unwanted hair. Typically, it’s left in place for five minutes and if the hair is still intact, then wait up to 10 minutes. You can then wipe away or wash away the hair.
Nair contains both active and inactive ingredients. Some ingredients are responsible for the actual hair removal while the inactive ones may work to dilute or provide structure to the gel or lotion. The active compounds in Nair include the following:
- Potassium or calcium salts or thioglycolic acid
- A base of sodium hydroxide, calcium, or potassium
The base chemicals in Nair work on the hair shaft, causing it to open or swell. This allows the chemical salts to actually enter the hair follicle and break apart the chemical bonds that allow it to stay together. Nair attacks the sulfur bonds which may cause an unpleasant smell. People who use Nair often notice that they notice an egg-like smell by using it.
Studies showed that it does not affect plant fibers. Cotton, rayon, and polyester all kept their structure when Nair was applied. This is likely because both synthetic and natural fibers don’t contain any sulfur bonds. The good news is that if you get Nair on your clothing, you won’t have any damage.
Nair may also contain the following ingredients:
- Calcium carbonate
- Cetyl alcohol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium silicate
Where Can I Use Nair?
Although you should always read the back of the packaging, the most commonplace to use is on the legs. It can be easily used to cover larger areas in just several minutes. If you happen to have thick or coarser hair on your legs, then you may want to leave in on for 10 minutes.
Nair also comes with a milder version for facial hair. This usually contains a tool to apply Nair in only the desired area. Since the hair on the face is finer, you should not use other types of Nair on your face as it may cause irritation. Nair should also not be used to remove hair in your nose, eyebrows, or any areas around your eyes to be safe.
Nair can be usually used on pubic hair, but this is also a sensitive area. It’s a good idea to remove it by using a non-irritating cloth rather than a plastic spatula.
Additionally, Nair is often used on stubble but sometimes with limited results. Nair can only work on hair that’s grown above the skin. For stubble that is short or just at the skin’s surface, it may not be very effective.
How Often Do I Need to Use Nair?
Nair’s effectiveness may vary from person to person. It ultimately depends on how quickly your hair grows. In most cases, it will get rid of unwanted hair for a week up to a month. Since it removes the shaft and not the root, it is comparable to shaving, although you won’t be cutting hair with a razor. If you find that you shave once a week, you’ll probably find themselves using Nair once a week.
Potential Side Effects
Although Nair can usually be used safely, there are some potential side effects. This is why the makers of Nair recommend that you test a small area of skin before using it on a larger area. Side effects can include:
- Allergic reactions
- Chemical burns
Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, it may be a good idea to use the mild formula on your entire body. People who are allergic to perfumes have sometimes found that they are also allergic to Nair. It’s also recommended that you avoid using skin products immediately after using a depilatory. This may lead to irritation when using multiple products at a time.
Some users swear by Nair hair removal. They like that it’s easy to use and also fast-acting. they also find that it works well for all skin and hair types. Unlike waxing or laser hair removal, Nair is an inexpensive option that is also easier than shaving.
Nair works to remove hair by functioning as a chemical depilatory. It’s both effective and economical for anyone who is looking for hair removal. Some people may find that they develop irritated skin but this is fairly rare. When using Nair as directed, it works well for hair removal.
Also see our article on Veet hair removal product