Everything You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal
All laser hair removal treatments aren’t made equal. As with any beauty treatment it is always good to do due diligence and research. We look at some of the important questions around laser hair removal – the hows, whys and how oftens but also what to watch out for.
How does a laser remove hair?
Laser is a beam of light that essentially moves beyond our outer layer of skin and disables the the growth cycle of hair within its follicle. This in turn generates heat, which loosens hair and its ability to grow further. A typical hair cycle has three stages – and you need to target each of these to make sure that all stages are covered to deliver permanent hair reduction.
Do results vary depending on skin or hair pigmentation?
Lasers work on pigment and melanin in hair, making them better suitable for those with darker hair colour. This means that those with lighter hair that holds little pigmentation, won’t see major benefits from the treatment.
Is laser hair removal safe? How long do the effects last?
Like any procedure the safety of the treatment depends on who you get it done from. Laser hair removal is safe as long as the correct lasers are used – right for your hair, and right for your skin tone. And that is why, when you choose to get laser hair removal done, go with a certified clinic or doctor who is trained at handling different skin types.
As for permanency, once you’ve done the initial number of sessions based on your hair cycle stages, it comes down to your body and its hormones. People often notice that their legs, bikini, underarms get permanent results as they aren’t as affected by hormones. However, the face may need touch-up treatments. Pregnancy may also alter your hormonal balance and lead to some regrowth.
Is it painful?
Most users of laser hair removal, describe it as uncomfortable not painful. Some may feel nothing at all, while others feel a heating sensation or mild stinging like a rubber band against your skin. Generally the coarser or thicker the hair, the more the sensation.
But don’t let that worry you! A topical numbing cream is usually applied to the treatment area and left on for 10 to 15 minutes to maximize comfort. Certain hair removal treatments like Candela use a patented Dynamic Cooling Device™, that prepares the skin for treatment by spraying with a cooling burst of cryogen that ensure treatments are as comfortable as they are effective.
How should I prepare for the treatment?
It is ideal for hair to be visible for the treatment to be effective, so try to keep hair about 1-2mm long when you head for the treatment. Also avoid
sun exposure for at least two weeks before treatment and stay away from bleach, plucking or waxing 4-6 weeks before and after you have your hair removed by laser.
How is IPL different from Laser Hair Removal?
While many may not even notice the difference between the treatments, it comes down to personal choice and budget.
First and foremost, you need a doctor to do a laser treatment for you. This means that you will be in a controlled environment like a clinic, so for any reactions or when things go wrong, there is medical help at hand. These are professionals who know what they are doing and have been trained to administer the right type of laser on a particular skin type.
Lasers are also constantly evolving, and with each passing year you will see new therapies being offered with better and more long lasting results. Because of this difference in quality, the price will also differ when compared to an IPL treatment that can be done anywhere. But then again, would you want to discount your way through a serious medical procedure? We think not!