How Do I Remove Unwanted Hair Using Sodium Hydroxide?

by Rae Williams

When shaving takes too long and waxing is too painful, sodium hydroxide helps to provide a useful alternative to removing unwanted body hair. Sodium hydroxide is an ingredient used in many depilatory creams. A depilatory cream works by dissolving the hair, allowing it to be washed or wiped off the skin. The sodium hydroxide in these creams works by increasing the pH level to speed up the reaction that causes the hair to dissolve. The use of sodium hydroxide in this way allows many popular creams to claim to work in as little as three minutes. With results that can last up to twice as long as shaving, this can give you better results for much less effort.

Items you will need

  • Depilatory cream
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Soap
Step 1

Clean the area to be depilated with a gentle, antibacterial soap.

Step 2

Make sure the area to be depilated is fully dry, then apply thick layer of the depilatory cream

Step 3

Allow the cream to sit on the skin for no longer than 10 minutes. Check every three or four minutes for hair removal by wiping away a small area of cream with a cloth or sponge.

Step 4

Rinse the cream off using your cloth or sponge to wipe it off; the hair underneath should come away. Rinse your skin to ensure no cream is left behind.


  • For particularly thick hair, rinse the area with hot water for a few minutes before applying the cream.


  • Never leave depilatory cream on the skin for longer than 10 minutes. The ingredients that dissolve the hair are caustic and will cause burns if left on for too long.