After shaving for a while, many people tire of the regular shaving grind, and wonder if there’s an easier way to get a smooth scalp. I did some checking online, and I don’t think there’s really an easier way to get a nice smooth head. But there are other ways.

Please keep in mind that while these other methods may work, they all have what I consider to be substantial drawbacks; I don’t recommend any of these methods personally.

There are a number of methods available to remove hair from the body. Shaving is the easiest, quickest, and cheapest of these methods; it’s also the one that lasts the shortest period of time.

Electrolysis and laser hair removal are supposed to be permanent in effect, as they destroy the hair’s root. Electrolysis can be painful, can result in scarring if not performed properly, and can take a long time. Laser hair removal works best on people with light skin and dark hair, is quicker and less painful than electrolysis, may require several treatments, and isn’t guaranteed to be permanent.

Waxing, sugaring, tweezing, and threading work by literally tearing your hair out. It can be somewhat painful. The results last about 3 to 8 weeks. For these methods to work, your hair has to be at least a certain length, or there’s not enough to grip.

Depilatories (like Nair or Neet) work by disolving your hair. You apply the depilatory, wait until the hair is eaten away, then wash off the gunk. The chemicals may irritate the skin, and they can stink. The results can last for days, maybe up to 2 weeks, but it varies.

I get a fair number of questions about using depilatories, but I’ve never tried them myself. This bit of email from “J. L. B.” describes his experiences with Nair. He writes:

I use the Nair because of the factor you don’t get shaving bumps, but there is some slight irritation.  But overall the Nair does a great job, aside from that Nair smell. I use Nair before a shower because I have to get that Nair smell out of my pores. And the Nair is rather messy too.  I spend alot of time cleaning up the watery mess I leave behind.  I alternate sometimes with the clippers because I don’t want to keep on using the Nair because of the irritation factor.  The clippers give me a nice bald look but it grows back way quicker than the Nair application.

As mentioned earlier, depilatories often cause mild irritation. The amount of irritation may vary from person to person. What works for one person may not work for another. Before using depilatories yourself, you may want to consider the following report, provided by Clay Daugherty:

I figured I would let you know (from personal experience) about the down side of depilatories. I don’t know if I am a rare case or not when it comes to this stuff. I used Nair once, according to the directions, on my head and I was expecting some light irritation. In fact, it burned my head so bad that I had scabs on my head for a week and a half. Even after I washed it off, my scalp continued to burn through the night and into most of the next day. Luckly, there was no scaring or any permanant damage, but I personaly would not recommend the use of depilatories for hair removal on the scalp. Of course, again I might be a very rare case, but I figured I would let you know.

Clay’s case may not be typical, but it is a possibility. Of the reports that I’ve received about using a depilatory on the scalp, this was the most extreme. Most others reported something similar to J.L.B. above, with mild irritation being the norm. Generally, it’s a good idea to test the depilatory on a small area first, as it suggests in the directions to most of these products. If it doesn’t cause any problems on the small area, then it may be safe to use on a larger area.

For more detailed information, check out the websites Hairfacts and They both have a lot of info, and it’s advisable to do some research, especially if you’re thinking of one of the ‘permanent’ hair removal methods.