Unwanted body hair is a predicament both men and women have to work diligently to remove and maintain. Depending on preference and culture, many opt to remove underarm hair as part of their grooming regiment, as it can be viewed as unsightly, unattractive and a potential contributor to body odor. With several underarm hair removal options available, including shaving and waxing, many are turning to the painless alternative of creams to remove unwanted armpit hair.
Armpit hair removal creams contain ingredients such as sodium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide, which work together to break down the keratin that gives hair its strength. The weakened hair is then removed by running water, a sponge or a scraper (with either item provided by the manufacturer along with the product upon purchase). Mineral or other oils are usually used to counteract the harsh chemicals on the skin.
Nair (a take on the term "no hair") claims to be the go-to brand for armpit hair removal. Nair offers four creams to remove armpit hair: Shower Power Max, Shower Power Sensitive, Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Cream, and Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Power Trio.
Veet is another popular hair removal brand known by users for its "razor-shaped" spatula to remove hair. Preferred Veet creams for armpit hair removal include its Spray On Cream Hair Removal, Fast Acting Gel Cream (available in both a pump dispenser or tube), and In-Shower Hair Removal Creams, each in two formulations containing essential oils or Vitamin E and aloe vera.
Sally Hansen made a name for its nail care and affordable polishes, but is equally successful with its line of hair waxes and depilatories. Sally Hansen's Simply Smooth Hair Removal Creme (with a plastic applicator) and Brush On In-Shower Hair Removal (with a built-in brush applicator on the tube) both enable users to apply the product and remove hair quickly within minutes.
Pros and Cons
Underarm hair removal creams have their benefits and hindrances. Creams provide a painless alternative to shaving -- which can cause nicks, cuts, razor bumps and ingrown hairs -- and waxing. They are also more affordable as they are sold at pharmacies, grocery stores and other discount retailers. Creams provide portability which saves time and money, as hair removal services at salons can be expensive. Also, creams allow for quick hair removal during a shower only lasting a few minutes. The main problem with creams is the smell (and possible skin irritation) caused by the harsh chemicals. Depending on the brand and chemicals and oils used, the smell can remain on the body well after use.