Cutting and Shaving

Shaving is really a form of cutting and is the most temporary method of hair removal because it merely cuts the hair off at the skin surface. Hair re-growth after shaving is immediate, approximately at a rate of around 0.2mm per day


Depilatory creams are available in gel, cream, lotion, aerosol, and roll-on forms. They contain an alkaline chemical, thioglycolate. Thioglycolate mixed with sodium hydroxide or calcium hydroxide literally melts the hair away by disrupting disulfide bonds, which are chemical bonds that hold skin and hair cells together. The major side effect of a depilatory is skin irritation because the chemical can melt away skin cells.

Depilatories can also cause serious skin irritations, even second or third degree chemical burns, and possibly, scarring. This can occur if the formula is too strong or is left on for too long. Some depilatories can increase acne and the occurrence of ingrown hairs. This too is a very short-term hair removal method.


Short-term hair removal can also be achieved by rubbing the skin with abrasive materials. "Hair removing gloves" are mittens made of fine sandpaper. The gloves are rubbed circularly over areas of hair removal, breaking the hair shafts. This method can be very irritating to skin.