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Nair vs. Shaving: Which is Better for You?

By Mariela
September 14, 2023
6 minutes

Using hair removal creams or shaving has been one of the most used hair removal methods from the past till now. It removes your hair above the skin’s surface and makes the skin smooth.

Women also prefer using hair removal creams and  Nair hair removal cream is one of the top choice depilatory creams. It allows quick and easy hair removal without causing any pain to the skin. However,  they have various pros and cons that can affect their suitability and efficacy for your skin. So, here we are with a guide on Nair vs. Shaving to know the most beneficial method for hair removal.  Table of Contents:

Part 1: How Does Nair Work?

how does nair work

Nair is a depilatory cream that works by dissolving the protein structure of your hair. The hairs are composed of a protein called keratin. The keratin strands, held together by hydrogen and disulfide bonds, twist and form your hair.

Nair mainly contains potassium thioglycolate or calcium glycolate along with bases of calcium, sodium, or potassium. When it is applied to the body, the base leads the hair shaft to swell up while salts penetrate the keratin structure. As a result, the bonds present in this structure break, and proteins dissolve. This causes the hair to be wiped off easily as you remove the cream. It takes 3 to 10 minutes for Nair to complete the action and dissolve your hair. 

Part 2: Nair vs. Shaving: Which is Better

Does Nair work better than shaving? It depends upon many factors. Let’s discuss each one by one. 

Effectiveness and Duration of Hair Removal

The total duration of shaving can be between 15-20 minutes and can go to a maximum of 30 minutes including skin preparation, tool preparation time, and then shaving. On the other hand, Nair can take only 3-10 minutes. You can add 5 more minutes of application and hair removal. 

hair removal

After application, Nair can dissolve hair below the skin’s surface while shaving only cuts hair just above the skin. As a result, it can take 5 to 7 days for hair to regrow and 2 weeks to reach full length. 

On the other hand, hair keeps growing normally after shaving and can appear on the skin in just 2 to 3 days. 

Skin Sensitivity and Irritation

With shaving, there are risks of razor bumps and ingrown hair due to wrong shaving techniques, dull blades, or dry shaving. This can be reduced by using depilatory creams like Nair. However, Nair has bases like calcium or potassium hydroxide that can irritate your skin and cause skin sensitivity. 

To overcome this, ensure that your skin is not wet and completely clean. Moreover, perform a patch test first and then start hair removal if the patch test goes well. 

Application and Ease of Use

Application and use of Nair is a lot easier than shaving unwanted hair. Let’s see how their use varies from each other

Nair: To apply the Nair hair removal products, you just need to ensure that your skin is dry and free of any impurities.

Shaving: Shaving can be a bit time-consuming and complex for beginners. Following is the right shaving technique First of all, soften your hair using water and then start applying the shaving cream or gel

      • Those with thick hair should wait for 2-3 minutes before removing the shaving cream
      • After you are done applying the cream evenly, take the razor and start shaving in the direction of hair growth
      • Rinse your blade with every stroke and use a moisturizer or aftershave to hydrate your skin after shaving

It is advised to buy shaving cream according to your skin type. Moreover, your blade matters a lot while shaving so make sure you are using a sharp and clean blade to minimize resistance. Also, shave with small strokes for a comfortable shave. 


Areas of Application

Nair can be applied to almost all areas of your body including the bikini line, armpits, arms, and legs. It will not cause a problem for these areas but if you want to remove hair from the genitals or the face, especially eyebrows, then it is best to avoid Nair. 

Unlike Nair, shaving is a flexible procedure for use on all areas including pubic hair and facial hair. As long as you know the right shaving technique, it can be used to remove hair anywhere on your body. 

Convenience and Time Efficiency 

Using Nair hair removal cream is a lot quicker as compared to shaving for eliminating hair from larger areas like your legs, arms, chest, and back. You can apply it quickly and remove it in an instant using the spatula.

On the other hand, shaving takes a lot of time and you need to be careful while using the blade on the skin which further slows down the hair removal process. So, it can be a good option for small and sensitive areas. 

Cost Comparison

There is a variety of Nair hair removal products like Nair hair remover with coconut oil, Nair hair removal cream sensitive formula, or Nair body lotion. All the Nair hair removal products cost between $3-15. Compared to Nair, good shaving creams can cost between $10-30, and imagine the shaving razors, blades, and aftershaves you need to buy. So, Nair is economically a lot better than shaving. 

Additionally, their frequency of usage depends upon the area you are applying them to. It is similar to buying in the long run, Nair is less expensive as you do not have to spend money on additional accessories like blades, razors, pre-shaving oils, and aftershave. 

Personal Preference and Comfort

Nair Undoubtedly, all the above-mentioned aspects are important to consider before choosing your hair removal method, but the most important factor is your personal preferences. 

Nair has a smell and not everyone might be a fan of this smell. Moreover, your comfort and skin type matters the most. Shaving might be more suitable and easier for some people while others might prefer using Nair. 

So, while choosing your option make sure you give your personal preference instead of taking advice from others. 

Part 3: Best Alternative to Nair or Shaving: IPL Hair Removal


Shaving comes with a lot of risks like cutting your skin or the formation of ingrown hair. Similarly, applying Nair on sensitive skin or for more than the advised time can cause skin burns, irritation, and sensitivity. Then, what is the solution? 

You can try IPL hair removal as it not only gives you long-lasting results but also minimizes the risk of sunburns, ingrown hair, skin irritation, and shaving bumps. Additionally, IPL treatment can be cost-effective in the long run as IPL hair removal machines only cost between $200-400 and can work for years. It is also quick and convenient. 

Thankfully, there are At-home IPL devices available and if you want a recommendation, the Ulike Sapphire Air 3 Handset can prove a reliable option. For a detailed comparison between IPL and Shaving, click Shaving vs. IPL


  • You can get quick body hair removal treatment in just 7 minutes using the auto-glide mode
  • It is compact and lightweight which allows the users to grab it easily and move it swiftly
  • It is FDA-approved and has Unlimited flashes so that the device can work for more than 10 years up to your whole lifetime 
  • It has a dual air duct cooling system to provide you with a soothing sensation and prevent burns
  • It has three treatment modes so that the users can use it on both their sensitive and noon-sensitive areas


Is Nair better than shaving? The answer depends upon your preferences as both procedures have their pros and cons. Nair hair removal cream facilitates painless, quick, and comfortable hair removal but it can cause skin sensitivity. 

On the other hand, shaving is also inexpensive and painless but the wrong technique can cause skin irritation, cuts, nicks, and razor bumps. So, set your personal preferences and choose accordingly. Your choice matters the most because the cons can be minimized by using the right technique and proper aftercare. 

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