Don’t worry – I’m not wearing short shorts. Unless you need nightmare fuel, then visualize away.
If you’re a female and were aware in the late 70s to the whole of the 80s, then you most likely do. And if you ever used it, it is very likely a difficult-to-shake memory. Imagine a pile of singed hair marinating in ammonia. That was the smell of the stuff, and you had to sit around with this cream slathered on for about 10-15 minutes, trying desperately not to touch anything with your beNaired limbs. Then came the rinse-off. You’d think this would be a relief, but actually, it just introduced a new set of problems. The dissolving hair pudding wasn’t particularly kind to drains and the remaining slick film coated both your legs (or other areas; I’m not judging) and the tub/shower surface, making for an unpleasant feeling on the skin and a treacherous shower floor.
Extra added bonus: if you have thick, dark hair, you still had to razor shave afterwards.
So Nair didn’t seem to be a product that delivered on the promised results. I used it once or twice, but the benefits didn’t really outweigh the drawbacks. And that was a long time ago.
Fast forward at least 13 years from my last use of depilatory cream. It’s been a long winter and I needed the extra hair for warmth, but Spring is here now and I had to wear a dress last week. No, seriously, there was a concert with a dress code. So I was off to the Drogerie for razor blades, when I spied this product:
Normally, my eyes would slide right past it, but for two things. It had a plastic, vaguely razor-shaped scraper packaged with the tube. I could have used one of those back in the day. Plus, it claimed it only needed 4 to 6 minutes to work. Given that it was being marketed to fellas, who ostensibly have large amounts of hair to remove, I found this a bold claim. So I grabbed the tube and ran to the checkout before I could change my mind.
Folks, Science has been busy on hair removal in the last 13 years!
It WORKED. Gangbusters. No acrid chemical smell, no skin irritation and the scraper is shockingly effective. The 6-minute maximum worked exactly as promised. There is still a bit of a hair vs. drain issue, but that was quickly alleviated with a liter of boiling water from the electric kettle. And our drains are a little wonky at the best of times, so I wasn’t too bothered by it.
Have any other expats out there found drugstore, hygiene or cosmetic products over here that exceed the ones from home? I’m kind of drugstore (chemist, for non-North Americans) junkie, so I love suggestions!