With the ever-increasing speed of today’s lifestyle, it is no wonder that hair removal creams have gathered a good sized cult following. They combine ease, swiftness, painlessness, and overall convenience in one small tube—and you can do it yourself at home.
It is the wonder cream for many men and women alike out there who want instantly smooth stubble-free skin that can last you more than just two days as shaving usually does.
But how does a hair removal cream actually work?
This nifty product acts like heat to butter in a sense that it melts away hair by breaking down its proteins, which effectively melts away its base such that the hair simply breaks away with one swipe of a damp cloth after the substance has worked its magic.
How does a hair removal cream work in terms of its components?
The cream itself actually consists of alkaline chemicals like sodium thioglycolate, strontium sulfide and calcium thioglycolate that are responsible for the breakdown of the keratin proteins. They usually come in the form of creams, but are also available as gels and even as aerosol sprays.
Typically, most hair removal creams are made up of a combination of calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide, which is responsible for the unpleasant sulphuric smell that depilatory creams are notorious for. Some brands contain further additives to mask the smell, but still some people are irritated by the added scents.
Despite their depilatory properties towards your hair, they typically are safe for your skin. But just to be sure, it’s best to see that you choose a hair removal cream that is suitable for your skin type and for the location of the skin that you are about to use it on.
You can also make certain of the safety of the cream by testing it first on a small patch of skin over a period of a couple of hours to see if you have an allergic reaction to it.
How does a hair removal cream work when it comes to your actual hair?
In fact, if you look very closely, you may see that the cream actually dissolves your hair right at the base, a bit below the surface of the skin. This is its advantage over shaving, since shaving blades only cut the hair just above the skin surface.
The regrowth rate of your hair when using creams is thus slower than shaving. It takes about five days for melted hair to grow back, whereas you may need to shave every other day if you are using a razor.
You may also notice that when using a hair removal cream your hair regrowth is softer and finer than when you shave. This is because shaved hairs are merely cut through, which squares off the base, thus leading to squared and thicker regrowth.
On the other hand, melted hairs that are a result of depilatory creams are not cut through and squared, but rather tapered such that they actually grow out finer at the tips while they thicken at the base.
Will it work for me?
As with almost any product that is made of a substance that is either applied or consumed, it depends. It really does depends—on your hair type, your skin type, the length and number of hairs you are targeting, and the body part that you are most concerned about.
You also have to factor in a few considerations such as the fact that, for the sake of good maintenance, it has to be done about every five days or so. It may also have possible adverse effects that can be painful, despite its reputation as a painless alternative to other hair removal methods.
To keep on the safe side, it is best to first research on depilatory creams, their common ingredients, their advantages, and what types there are available. The last one, in particular, is most important when you are trying to decide which one will work best for you.
It is particularly important if you have very sensitive skin that you first consult your doctor or dermatologist to see if there is a suitable hair removal cream for your particular skin type, or if it is safe for you to pick out certain brands from the drugstore.
Before slathering the substance all over a large area of your body, test it first on a small patch of skin to see if any reaction occurs, such as stinging, burning, redness, itchiness, numbness, or pain. Testing on a small patch will be helpful to determine whether or not you should go on using the product.