Nair: Nicely Aggravating Irritant and Rash-stimulant

Feb 21, 2002

The Bottom Line My legs are smooth and without stubble. BUT. The burning rash isn't worth it. And I don't know I like my new Hitler mustache down in the south.

We wear short shorts! We wear short shorts! If you dare wear short shorts, Nair for short shorts!

Okay. So it's been around for decades. One would think it was dependable, right? I bought a cheapy sample of Nair's Bikini Lotion at the drug store. I did as the directions stated, testing a small piece of my flesh to ensure I'm not allergic or susceptible to chemical burns. I passed the test, used it, loved it, and could never find this product anywhere again.

Well, the other day at the store I decided to simply buy a bottle of Nair Lotion Hair Remover, the one in the cheery, yellow bottle that is also infused with Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E. I figured it must be the same stuff, it's just that they're not pushing it for use in the bikini zone.

So I take it home and read the instructions. "SHAKE WELL." So I vigorously jumped all around in my bathroom and grew tired and wary. I decided I didn't have enough stamina to slather my legs and my...ya know...with this muck. So I went to sleep and returned the following day to my bathroom, bright eyed and bushy tailed. The directions continue, "and pour lotion into palm of hand." I giggled, thinking about a guy I know who should pour this hair removal into HIS palms. Then I started laughing uncontrollably. Then I thought about calling him and telling him this. Then I thought that might be a bad idea. Poor Marty. He's such a victim of everybody.

I regrouped and continued reading: "Smooth on thickly, but don't rub in. After 4 minutes, test a small area. If hair does not wipe off easily, leave on a few minutes longer. For most women, Nair Lotion will work in 4 minutes. DO NOT EXCEED 10 MINUTES TO REMOVE NAIR LOTION: Rinse thoroughly with clear, lukewarm water, using a washcloth if necessary. No not rub or use soap. Pat dry."

I wanted to write to Pat Dry and tell him he's not a great writer and that I felt too great an emotional distance from his work, but there's no address for him/her.

Underneath these instructions is a warning:


That last part ruined my BIG plans for the weekend, but that's MY business. Not yours. I'll be moving things along now:

So I tested a part of my leg and bikini area. All was well, so the following night I embarked on my hair loss plan. I laid on the bathroom floor with my cell phone near by (for a clock) and waited. I did as they said, smoothing it on thickly. Initially it burned! BURNED! Ever see The Exorcist? You know the part where they spray her with Holy water and she screams in that demonic voice, "IT BURNS!" Well, that's exactly what I sounded like--moreso when I got down to my shins--and was about to rinse it off immediately, but just then the burning subsided. I thought little more of it. So I'm there laying under my bathroom light, pretending I'm on a beach and the golden orb above is not my bathroom light, but the Cancun Sun kissing my body with its warm, decadent rays.

Time's up! So I sit on the edge of my tub and permit my "clear and lukewarm" water to rinse away my hair. It didn't work by itself, so I had to resort to the washcloth that Pat Dry suggested. I glance down and see that my washcloth is yellow with streaks of gray. I was impressed! It worked very well! So then I wipe away my bikini region. Again, it worked very well. Unfortunately I kept wiping closer and closer to areas where I didn't intend any hair loss, to make sure I got rid of all the lotion. I don't mean to be vulgar, but there is a precious part of me that now resembles Hitler's mustache. I know it's more than you probably wanted to know, but if you're considering Nairing that part of yourself, then I think it's important for you to have a Geometry lesson: Triangles are the norm', whereas teensy, little, tiny, itty bitty squares are not!

So now the goop is all over a face cloth instead of me. My legs felt funny, but I wasn't laughing. I lifted my ankle up on the sink so I could scrutinize it under better light. The bottom parts of my shins were red and bleeding. It was that dot-like bleeding like when you shave just a little too hard; it wasn't like a red deluge or anything. I kept patting my legs with toilet paper until the trace blood drops went away. I continued to study my skin. A small area on each shin (about two or three inches in total area) look like topography maps of volcanic areas. There are these red, angry, three-dimensional rashes there. They burn! My shins are raging infernos of anguish!

Oddly enough, my legs are wicked smooth. My bikini region was burny last night, but to a lesser degree and feels fine today. But back to the smoothness. My legs are FAR smoother than they are when shaved and my skin doesn't feel or look like its typical, wintry dry self. I guess the cocoa butter and vitamin E did wonders for me. As for how effective Nair is as a hair removal remedy, I can't say it's that great. Sure, Nair was the victor over my bodily hair, but my legs look like they have poppy seeds wedged just below my skin. SO! It only removes hair that is RIGHT above the skin's surface. I'd rather rake my legs with my Mak 5 razor or whatever it is; at least that pulls up a little more.

In spite of my mishap with my bikini region, I think I'll do it again (with a great deal of caution and with the skilled hands of a surgeon). It sure beats having ingrown hairs from razing with a razor.

In closing, I would like to tell you that testing a small area doesn't always cut it. The irritation on my shins is just a small area, but it KILLS! As for the rest of my legs, things are just fine. So I may deduce that some parts of my body may succumb to Nair's chemicals whereas other parts are tougher and more equipped to tolerate them. In my opinion, it is ALWAYS a risk to use this stuff on your body; test or not.

The ingredients are: Water, Mineral Oil, Calcium Hydroxidem, Urea, Potassium Thioglycolate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) Butter, Fragrance, Tocopherol (Vitamin #), and D&C Yellow No. 8.

I don't know what any of that means, but there they are. Oh! The one ingredient they SHOULD omit is the "Fragrance." It smells like a new perm magnified by 20,000. I was laying on my bathroom floor singing Culture Club and Duran Duran songs, suffering from '80's flashbacks. Ahh, the '80's. When everyone HAD to have permed, poofy hair.

I don't recall what I paid, but $3.99 rings a bell for some reason. I used between a third and a fourth of the bottle, so it's fair to say that you can get four treatments if you just use it from your knees to where your feet start.

Nair doesn't have a website published on the bottle. All it says is "Distributed by Carter Products. Division of Carter-Wallace Inc., New York, NY 10105."

I can't say I recommend Nair. Though my legs are smooth and devoid of stubble, I can still see hair just below my skin's surface and the onset of leprosy or shingles or whatever is wrong with my legs just simply isn't worth the trouble. I'll stick with my razor, thank you.

I may use Nair on my eye brows, though. I always wanted to look like Bob Geldof in The Wall when he freaks out and shaves off his eye brows. But I'll update this review after I do that. At least I can have SOME fun this weekend. Stupid warning label!


It's been brought to my attention that I should have placed this in the suggest products region. Unfortunately, I tried that before placing it here and epinions will only link me to reviews I have already placed there. I don't know if I've maxed out my limit or if this is a bug. SO! Without further ado I will make this more helpful for this category.

I prefer not to tweeze my hair because it is tedious and painful, though it is good for a little eyebrow plucking and to get rid of stray hairs on my face.

Waxing is a good alternative to tweezing AND to Nair. It is much more effective and there is little concern with regard to allergies. The important thing to bear in mind is temperature. If it's too hot, it will burn you. If it's too cool, it will not effectively stick to your hair in which you wish to uproot. I won't lie to you. Waxing is painful, but only fleetingly. Just rip it off quickly and the deed should be done. My mother waxes her mustache (sorry mom!) and swears by this method. The draw back is that your hair has to be a little longer so the wax can cling to it sufficiently, whereas with shaving you can always shave the very moment your hair bothers you. If your hair is in a public place this may bother you. On the other hand, waxed hair grows back more finely as opposed to the thick, coarse stubble that razors leave.

I have used Nad's hair removal gel (see my review: My hair didn't get ripped off but I sure did!). I tried to use it numerous times and I found it simply doesn't work. The directions have numerous stipulations with regard to temperature, how long you leave it on, etc. I complied with each and every stipulation and could not get it to work. I have read other reviews that say the same and some that say practice makes perfect. I don't think I would live to be an old enough age to get the hang of it. Basically you take this green goop and smear it on your hair and then apply a cloth, pull your skin tightly and rip it off. I could make some of my hair come off, but such a small amount that I couldn't tell where it came from. I could only see its evidence on the cloth.

There is electrolysis. That's a fine alternative, but is rather costly and is probably only worth the money if there is a serious problem (like if you're a woman with excessive facial hair and it interferes with your ability to feel feminine). It's important to decide whether or not this may be a feesible option and if it's worth the money.

Finally there is old fashioned razor blades. I prefer to use shaving cream (Colgate) on my legs when I shave. Colgate makes a line for sensitive skin and it tends to be on sale frequently. Mak razors are my favorite, since there is a double blade and gives my stubble that extra lift to rid me of those "poppy seeds." I'd say that shaving is the best option as it is the quickest and easiest. It is important to shave gingerly so you don't get hacked, and to treat your skin for possible irritation and/or dryness.

I had an epilady many years ago, and its twisting coils proved very painful.

An alternative to hair removal itself is bleaching. One of my high school buddies had a thin but dark mustache and she bleached it. It definitely minimized the appearance of the mustache, but outside in the sun it was almost as evident as it had been prior to bleaching. She simply mixed a powder and a cream, smeared it on her upper lip for a few minutes and washed it away. I think it was called Jolenz. The important thing was that it reduced her self-consciousness about her mustache.

What you do is up to you. My finally analysis is that fads come and go. Shaving is here to stay, as it is the quickest, easiest, and most fool proof way.

This is dedicated to mr._calcul8tor, who read one of my reviews more than once. Thanks for the encouragement!

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