Do Hair Growth Inhibitors Work?

by Gary K. Johnson

If you feel like you’re constantly shaving, trimming, waxing, or shearing your hair, you may have considered a hair growth inhibitor to help you battle that ever-advancing follicle foe.

Contrary to popular belief, hair growth inhibitors do not remove hair like a depilatory. They merely hinder a short or new hair from growing at its normal rate. They should not be expected to eliminate hair that has already grown. While claims that hair growth inhibitors will permanently prevent hair from growing are common, these assertions are purely anecdotal. There is no supportive clinical evidence.

Additionally, each person’s body has a unique reaction to each substance, so while a hair growth inhibitor might work on another person, it won’t necessarily work for you.

Because hair growth inhibitors affect the young hair strand, they should be used in tandem with hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal. Eventually the user will notice a reduction in the thickness and rate of growth of new cells. The following inhibitors are the most popular products on the market. Read on to discover their effectiveness.


Vaniqa is the hair growth inhibitor that receives the most attention. It is the sole hair growth inhibitor that is FDA approved because it is the only one that is considered a drug. The active ingredient of Vaniqa is eflormithine hydrochloride, which blocks hair follicles from receiving an enzyme integral to growth.

However, Vaniqa’s scope is very limited. In addition to being prescription-only, this topical cream is designed solely for women who want to inhibit facial hair growth. The formula has not been tested on men, and it has not been tested on body parts besides the face and chin.

Studies have demonstrated that noticeable results from Vaniqa can appear in four to eight weeks from first application, with consistent improvement. If use of Vaniqa is stopped, hair growth rate will return to normal within months.


One of the most popular non-prescription creams is Kalo. Ostensibly, the cream works by using a sulphur reducer to limit hair growth. Since sulphur is a necessary ingredient for hair, it is reasonable to assume that Kalo works. Whether it works well enough to cause a noticeable improvement in your hair growth is something that is impossible to tell. Because Kalo is not a drug, it has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Overall, it is impossible to say that all hair growth inhibitors either work or don’t work. It may take some experimentation to find out which, if any, products work for you. Patients who do decide to use a hair growth inhibitor will still need to shave or wax to remove unwanted hair. For a more permanent option, laser hair removal is still the best available option for large areas of the body.

SignatureForum provides a quick and easy way to set up a consultation with a laser removal provider in your area. Simply contact us to arrange for a free appointment at a day and time of your choosing. And be sure to stay tuned to SignatureForum for more hair removal news and tips.

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