Getting rid of unwanted hair is often a daily or weekly chore. Maybe you shave, pluck, wax, or use a depilatory cream.
Depilatory creams do not require much work – all you have to do is apply the cream to your skin, let it sit, and then wipe off the product. But depilatory creams contain chemicals that react with the protein structure of the hair, dissolving it at the surface. These chemicals can burn as well as cause rashes, swelling, and other skin irritations.
Because depilatories dissolve hair on the surface of the skin, your hair will grow back within a matter of days. What is more, depilatory creams cannot be used on certain areas of the body, so you may need to shave or wax instead.
But there is an alternative: Laser hair removal can eliminate the need to remove hair on a regular basis, and you do not have to worry about being exposed to harsh chemicals.
What Are the Main Ingredients in Depilatory Creams?
Just what is in a depilatory cream that allows it to dissolve hair? There are a couple main ingredients manufacturers use to soften or dissolve the hair – namely, potassium thioglycolate and calcium hydroxide. The potassium thioglycolate and calcium hydroxide work together to break down protein in both the hair shaft and the root. They contribute to the harsh smell of the cream, and can also potentially burn the skin. If you read the product label, it will also recommend staying out of the sun 24 hours after using the cream.
Potassium thioglycolate is also used at hair salons to create perms in hair. Unfortunately, this chemical can be toxic over time, affecting the brain and possibly leading to tinnitus and vertigo. Though small amounts are not likely to do much damage, according to certain studies, hairdressers exposed to the chemical for 10 to 30 years exhibited changes in their brains.
Lasers Offer a Safer Alternative
If you want to free yourself of unwanted body hair, then consider laser hair removal. You will experience permanent hair growth reduction after a few sessions – all without chemicals. Lasers target the pigment in your hair shaft, sending heat down into the follicle, permanently disrupting its growth cycle. After three to six sessions, depending on the size of the area you are treating, you can walk around without worrying about stubble or hair growth.