Magic Shaving Powder: What is the £5 hair removal powder that’s all over TikTok?
From ‘what is Magic Shaving Powder’ to how to open it, mix it, and whether you can use it on your balls – we explain all
TikTok has become notorious for thrusting cheap yet highly effective grooming products into the mainstream. Many are hidden gems found in the depths of Amazon or on the high street and the latest – called Magic Shaving Powder – could finally save you from shaving bumps and ingrown hairs.
Originally formulated for black men, Magic Shaving Powder is manufactured by Softsheen-Carson. For more than a century, Softsheen-Carson has made beauty and grooming products for people of African descent “to help people of colour celebrate their unique, highly individual looks and styles, through the most innovative products, that have been specially designed for their needs.”
It sells hair mists, conditioners, and hair dyes for natural hair, under its Dark & Lovely and Dark & Natural brands. Under its Softsheen-Carson Professional range, it sells relaxers and hair texturisers, and the Shaving Powder comes under its wider Magic range. Alongside shaving creams, beard butters, hair gel, moisturisers, and more.
Magic Shaving Powder
Magic Shaving Powder is what’s known as a hair depilatory. Put simply, depilatories use chemicals to almost dissolve the hair meaning you can wash them away without ever having to shave. They’re very common among women, from brands including Nair and Veet, and come in various options for intimate regions, removing unwanted facial hair, and making their legs super smooth.
Softsheen-Carson sells four versions:
- Magic Shaving Powder Regular Strength
- Magic Shaving Powder Extra Strength
- Magic Fragrant Shaving Powder
- Magic Skin Conditioning Shaving Powder Platinum
You can also buy the formula in razorless shave creams, available in both Regular and Extra Strength formulas, as well as a new formula designed specifically for use on your head. Scroll down to read more about this.
FURTHER READING: Best men’s razor UK: Our pick of tried-and-tested razors for men
What is Magic Shaving Powder and how does it work?
Magic Shaving Powder does the same job. It combines three chemicals – calcium thioglycolate, calcium carbonate, and calcium hydroxide – which, when mixed with water, break down a protein in the hair called keratin, which gives the hair structure. Without this protein, the hair becomes weak and snaps off with the slightest contact from a scraper, a flannel, or similar.
According to Veet, one of the most well-known hair removal cream companies, depilatories last longer than shaving, up to four days, because they dissolve the hair below the skin. They also help users avoid shaving cuts, razor rash and bumps. The latter being particularly common among black men.
Of course, all men get razor bumps – officially known as pseudofolliculitis barbae – but a report from the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology found that up to 60% of black men get ingrown hairs and shaving bumps because they tend to have courser, tightly curled facial hairs. These hairs are more likely to curve and grow back into the skin, causing irritation and bumps.
FURTHER READING: Hair removal for men: Shaving, waxing, laser removal and cream
How to mix Magic Shaving Powder?
To use Magic Shaving Powder for the first time, you must do a patch test. This is to make sure you won’t get an allergic reaction to the product. Open the pot in the same way you’d open a pot of paint, with a blunt knife to screwdriver placed under the lip of the lid.
Mix half a teaspoon of Powder with half a teaspoon of water. Apply the resulting paste to a one-inch section of your beard and rinse off no longer than five minutes later. If you don’t get a reaction within 24 hours, it should be safe to use it more widely.
Each time, mix equal parts powder and water to create a paste and apply to the areas where you want to remove hair. Leave on for no longer than five minutes and rinse. Your hair should rinse away, too. You should not wash your face beforehand, which is the opposite of when you shave. You can read more about this in our How to shave like a pro, according to science guide.
People with sensitive skin will likely be best suited to the Skin Conditioning version and should avoid fragranced products generally.
Do not use:
- If you’ve used a razor or other depilatory product in the past 36 hours
- If your skin is wet from sweat
- If your skin is sunburned or has been out in the sun for a prolonged time
- You’ve recently used a shaving product that contains alcohol
Can you use Magic Shaving Powder on your balls?
Categorically not. Magic Shaving Powder should not be used on your balls or go anywhere near your genitals. If you’re looking for a hair depilator for intimate areas, we recommend the Nair Sensitive Hair Removal Cream (£4.13) or the Nads Hair Removal Cream for Men (£8.99).
Can you use it on your head?
It’s not advisable to use the Powder on your head, due to the fact the skin on your head is different from that on your face – it’s thinner and more exposed to the sun for instance – and your hair may grow differently.
However, Softsheen-Carson does sell a Magic Shave Cream specifically for bald head maintenance. It costs more than the powders, at around £9, but it should work more effectively so we think it’s worth it.