# Hair Depilation? (with hair removers like Nair)

Summary:
Safety of hair removal chemicals.
Are hair removals like Nair safe and do they in anyway increase future regrowth of hair? If they are rather abrasive can it be diluted enough to practically wash itself away with sweat? Would hate to chemical burn myself, but back hair is otherwise hard to address. Shaving is near impossible. Any procedure in a clinic is too expensive and still impermanent.

berkeman
Mentor
Summary:: Safety of hair removal chemicals.

Shaving is near impossible.
Not if you apply a little creativity! I'm a swimmer, so I generally stay pretty shaved. One trick I've found for my back is to make an extension handle for my inexpensive safety razors (like Shick Extreme II). I use a wooden dowel that is about 18" long, and just use several turns of a rubber band to attach the dowel to the safety razor's handle. It works great.

It looks a bit like this standard product that you can buy, but it is less expensive since I already had the spare wooden dowel in my woodshop and I use the same inexpensive safety razors that I use for my beard and other shaving.

Tom.G
But does anyone know the chemistry of these products and why it would damage skin and not just the hair follicles? I don't mind using a product near daily if it did a better job than shaving and was easier like just spreading all over the surface. It takes nearly an hour to finish with a shaver and needs to be done every 2 or 3 weeks.

vela
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Have you considered waxing?

Have you considered waxing?
That is too painful for me. And costly. And using any non-electric shave on my back has always led to cuts. I also have sight and neck issues so seeing my back is getting increasingly difficult.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
But does anyone know the chemistry of these products and why it would damage skin and not just the hair follicles? I don't mind using a product near daily if it did a better job than shaving and was easier like just spreading all over the surface. It takes nearly an hour to finish with a shaver and needs to be done every 2 or 3 weeks.
What does that 5’Oclock shadow feel like?

In addition to sodium/potassium/calcium thioglycollate, it is well known that over bleaching hair will cause it to become very brittle. (I developed a soluble keratin product that started with bleach) This can oxidize the majority of the disulfide bonds to sulfonic acid residues. Only mild ammonium thioglycollate is sufficient to complete the process. After that treatment, pretty much all that is holding the hair together is hydrogen bonding from the acidic side chains on the proteins. Base will just dissolve the remaining hair to a goo. Bicarb might be strong enough if the bleaching step is thorough enough.

Edit: I forgot to add that much of what holds skin together is also keratin. Skin reacts to all this stuff too! I’ve seen lasers are being used. I assume phasers might work as well but I’m not sure what the phaser setting would be for hair removal. Somewhere between heavy stun and kill I’d imagine.

What does that 5’Oclock shadow feel like?

In addition to sodium/potassium/calcium thioglycollate, it is well known that over bleaching hair will cause it to become very brittle. (I developed a soluble keratin product that started with bleach) This can oxidize the majority of the disulfide bonds to sulfonic acid residues. Only mild ammonium thioglycollate is sufficient to complete the process. After that treatment, pretty much all that is holding the hair together is hydrogen bonding from the acidic side chains on the proteins. Base will just dissolve the remaining hair to a goo. Bicarb might be strong enough if the bleaching step is thorough enough.

Edit: I forgot to add that much of what holds skin together is also keratin. Skin reacts to all this stuff too! I’ve seen lasers are being used. I assume phasers might work as well but I’m not sure what the phaser setting would be for hair removal. Somewhere between heavy stun and kill I’d imagine.
Laser therapy for hair removal is expensive, requires many treatments, and still isn't permanent.

chemisttree
Homework Helper
Gold Member
You were asking about permanent hair removal? I thought you wrote that you didn’t mind using a product daily...

vela
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Laser therapy for hair removal is expensive, requires many treatments, and still isn't permanent.
I think laser can claim permanent hair reduction. Is it acceptable to you if the hair is still there but much less noticeable? If you want permanent removal, your only option is electrolysis.

As far as the cost of the various methods go, you should also consider the time and effort needed.

Here's a site with a lot of information on hair removal: https://www.hairfacts.com.

Fervent Freyja
Gold Member
I would not recommend using hair removal chemicals at all, especially not daily.

Laser hair removal is becoming more affordable. You may be able to find a location that offers three treatments for your back legs for $60-100. When you compare the resources you use to shave over 40+ years, like time and money, laser hair removal absolutely wins out. berkeman and BillTre vela Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Homework Helper Education Advisor You may be able to find a location that offers three treatments for your back legs for$60-100.
Back legs?

Fervent Freyja
Fervent Freyja
Gold Member
Back legs?
I see it now!

I see it now!
You mean back of legs or back or legs?

You mean back of legs or back or legs?

Hang on just a hair. . . . .

I think she's busy. . . expanding the universe.

.

Fervent Freyja
Fervent Freyja
Gold Member
You mean back of legs or back or legs?
Back legs They require acrobatics, so I immediately assumed