Ingredients in Nair Hair Removal

Unwanted hair growth has launched a multi-billion dollar hair removal industry that involves products such as razors, tweezers, electric shavers and chemical depilatories. Nair ranks as one of the most recognized brands of depilatory. Nair uses specialized active ingredients to dissolve the hair strands on unwanted areas of the body, allowing the hair to scrape off easily.

Calcium Hydroxide

Calcium hydroxide replaces the more harmful chemical lye (sodium hydroxide) in Nair formulas. Calcium hydroxide works with other active ingredients in Nair to break down bonds that give your hair structure, according to the Nair website. These bonds consist of keratin. Keratin acts as an important protein that provides your hair with its structure.

Potassium Thioglycolate

Like calcium hydroxide, potassium thioglycolate works by breaking down the keratin in your unwanted hair. The mixture of these two products weakens the hair strands, which users can scrape from the body using a washcloth or the included Nair spatula.

Cetearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl alcohol works both as an emulsion stabilizer, and increases the viscosity (thickness) of the Nair product. An emulsion consists of a mixture of unblendable liquids. Adding cetearyl alcohol to Nair insures that the ingredients don’t separate in the container, and also helps thicken the product for easier application.

Mineral Oil

Nair also contains the occlusive emollient mineral oil. Occlusive emollients work to combat any negative effects of the Nair products. The chemicals in Nair can become irritating and drying to the skin. Occlusive emollients like mineral oil provide a thin barrier on the outside of the skin, reducing the rate in which moisture escapes from the skin tissue, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society.


The emollient lanolin also works as an ingredient in Nair hair removal products. Like mineral oil, lanolin provides a thin coat of oil protection that helps prevent moisture loss from the skin, leaving the skin softer and moisturized.


Nair removal products also use aloe. Aloe comes from the pulp of the aloe vera plant, and combats the dryness and irritation that can develop after the use of potassium thioglycolate and calcium hydroxide on the skin.