There are several ways to remove hair, including waxing, laser hair removal, and shaving, but the choices for inexpensive, store-bought solutions are rather more restricted (apart from shaving, of course). Waxing kits that can be used at home are an option, but they require some practice to master. Not to mention that ripping a waxed strip off of oneself requires mental fortitude; it’s not recommended for everyone. So the question is, do body butters and lotions that claim to reduce hair actually work?
How Hair-Minimizing Body Lotions Work?
Hair minimizing cream is a cream that is used topically to the skin to reduce the amount of hair that grows back after it has been removed. Typically, these lotions result in slower, finer-textured hair growth. These creams contain substances that operate on the hair follicle, blocking the enzymes required for hair development.
Dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD tells Pop Sugar “[Hair-minimizing lotions] usually work by altering the structure of the hair follicle, making it weak in order to slow down the production of hair.”
The ingredients that reduce hair do so by reducing hair growth at the root. Because waxing pulls hair out directly from the root as opposed to shaving, which simply trims it off at the skin’s surface, the technique only functions on skin that has been waxed or pluck. Natural narcissus tazetta bulb extract is used in these products to inhibit regrowth.
Board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD tells BYRDIE “It is important to note that these creams do not necessarily address the underlying cause of increased hair growth, so if there is an associated condition that is causing the excessive hair, it is still important to address it.”
PCOS is one condition that can need extra measures taken to handle it. A dermatologist should be consulted to discuss the best hair removal treatments for those with this problem or other underlying conditions that can result in excessive hair growth.
Hair Minimizing Creams vs. Depilatories
It’s crucial to keep in mind that hair minimizing lotions and depilatories operate differently even if they’re both creams. Depilatories dissolve the hair chemically, effectively shaving it off the skin’s surface. Creams that reduce hair growth function by blocking an enzyme found in the hair follicle. The effects of hair reducing creams typically take weeks to manifest as hair growth slows and the texture becomes finer. Hair returns immediately after using depilators, just as it would after shaving, although the results are more immediate.
Depilatory cream transforms unwanted hair into a jelly-like substance by using an alkaline-based formula. Sodium thioglycolate, calcium thioglycolate, and strontium sulfide are often used chemicals to dissolve the protein links in hair. Depending on the formulation and the thickness of the hair, the process takes between five and ten minutes to complete. It takes longer to dry thicker hair, and it takes longer to dry moisturizing or soft solutions. When the chemical reaction is finished, the hair can be readily removed at or just below the level of the skin by wiping it off with a warm towel. This method of hair removal has the benefits of being painless, simple, quick, and reasonably priced.
Depilatory creams’ significant chemical content is a drawback, though. If you leave the product on for too long, you run the risk of seriously damaging your skin. According to the FDA, depilatories have been linked to numerous reports of skin peeling, burns, blisters, stinging, and itchy rashes. Observe the instructions and proceed with caution. While the depilatory should tingle somewhat while it works, if you experience burning, either your skin is too sensitive, you have an allergy to one of the chemicals, or you have kept it on for too long. Remove it right away, then rinse with cool water.
After-effects of a hair-minimizing cream
Hair-minimizing lotions aid in extending the time between shaving, waxing, and other hair removal procedures but only help to decrease the frequency of those procedures.
It’s critical to keep in mind that lotions that reduce hair results gradually. Although it won’t get rid of existing hair, it will take around five to eight weeks to reduce hair growth in the treated area.
With hair reducing products, patience is key. They have advantages despite the fact that they require some time to complete. This may be a useful technique to minimize the frequency of shaving and hence perhaps help to prevent breakouts for people who get ingrown hairs as a result of shaving but don’t want to seek laser hair removal or wax.
Just remember that hair reducing treatments are intended to limit hair regrowth rather than entirely get rid of hair. Hair reducing lotions won’t actually remove hair; they can just slow down hair growth. To start seeing effects, use consistently for a few weeks.
Anyone who experiences excessive hair growth or is concerned by the texture of coarse hair is advised to use hair reducing lotions. Hair reducing cream can also assist to reduce the need for hair removal and to extend the intervals between hair removal sessions for people who have issues with it, such as folliculitis.