Let me quickly state for the record: I am a waxing girl. I know, I sound crazy right? Who in their right mind would voluntarily put themselves at the mercy of an evil beauty therapist armed with a scorching liquid that quite literally rips the hairs from their follicles? Me, that’s who.
I first discovered the wonders of waxing in high school and have never looked back. It’s quick, it lasts and your hairs grow back so finely and infrequently that the longer you do it, the less you need to. I really don’t see a down side.
Except, sometimes, there are these little things called “emergency situations” – a last minute date, a spontaneous girls’ night out or even, on the very rare occasion (for me, at least), some sort of function that requires shorts or a skirt. It’s not always easy to get an appointment with my awesome waxer, Ntombi from LAB Skin + Body.
Sometimes I’m left with a catch 22 of beauty: do I shave and ruin all the benefits of my years of waxing, or do I risk it and hope no-one will refer to me as Chewbacca? Luckily, I don’t have to worry anymore! I’ve become a recently addition to the Nair brigade.
Nair is a company that manufactures hair removal products and I got to try out the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Power Shower Cream. Yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful but basically it’s a depilatory cream that “dissolves” your hair. More accurately, it breaks down the chemical bonds in the hair which make the hair weaker and easier to break. So it’s a bit of a chemical and mechanical action: chemicals weaken, mechanical action breaks.
The Nair cream is such a pleasure to use. It’s a thick, clay-like consistency but still liquid enough to spread easily over your skin. Best of all? No chemical-ly smell! I grew up with brands like Veet and to this day I remember the stench it used to leave in the bathroom I shared with my sister, much to her disdain. The instructions say to apply before you step into the shower but I have to confess, the first time I tried it, it didn’t work. I was left with patches of hair still on my legs. The second time I tried it, I applied and left on for the full five minutes before I jumped into the shower. I also traded in the plastic scraper that comes with the tube for my trusty exfoliating gloves (like I said, it needs a bit of mechanical action). After going over my legs once with the gloves under the shower head, my legs were left clean and fuzz free.
The formulation is pretty standard. It uses your typical combination of calcium thioglycolate and sodium hydroxide to break down the protein bonds making it easier to break the hair off. But it also contains mango oil extract (Mangifera Indica Seed Oil) which is known for its moisturising properties and one of the most popular ingredients at the moment: acai (Glycerin Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract), which is both moisturising and an anti-oxidant. Lastly, it contains cedrus clay which I don’t know too much about but apparently it has the same effect as most clay-like ingredients in that contains loads of minerals needed by the body for optimum skin performance.
The reason I like this product so much is that it’s a great in-between treatment for when you just can’t make it to the salon for a wax. Because it doesn’t slice the hair off creating a spiky feeling when it grows back (like shaving does), it really is ideal for those who need a quick fix. And at just R80 for a 200ml tube, it’s hardly going to break the bank either.
I haven’t tried the Nair wax strips just yet (I once had a bit of an at-home disaster that made me realise I need a second party with the guts to actually pull the strips off) but after my experience with the cream, I’m keen to try it out. I’ll let you know how that turns out…
Nair is available exclusively at Clicks stores countrywide.