DEPILATORY (from Lat. depilare, to pull out the pilus or hair), any substance, preparation or process which will remove superfluous hair. For this purpose caustic alkalis, alkaline earths and also orpiment (trisulphide of arsenic) are used, the last being somewhat dangerous. No application is permanent in its effect, as the hair always grows again. The only permanent method, which is, however, painful, slow in operation and likely to leave small scars, is by the use of an electric current for the destruction of the follicles by electrolysis.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)