If you’re considering zapping off your body hair, you’re probably wondered about laser hair removal pros and cons. If body-hair removal is your thing you will have tried the many temporary options available. You’ve got the classic, quick (and short-lived) shave, depilatory creams and slightly more long-term hair removal methods such as waxing and sugaring, both of which leave you with smooth skin for a number of weeks.
There is of course electrolysis, which produces more permanent results than laser treatments. Electrolysis uses a super-fine needle to kill each individual hair follicle via an electric current. Whilst very successful it can be time consuming and, in our opinion, better for small areas such as the face.
And that brings us to laser hair removal, an option that damages hair follicles to minimise hair growth. While its zaps (often described as feeling like a rubber band snapping against your skin) aren’t exactly comfortable, the treatment is effective for many people.
How does it work?
The laser focuses on the melanin (pigment) in hair follicles, burning the hair all the way down to the root, causing damage that discourages future hair growth. Keep in mind that because laser hair removal targets melanin, it is not compatible with certain skin tones and hair colours.
Is laser hair removal safe for all skin tones?
It can be, but no matter your skin tone, it’s crucial to vet your laser hair removal provider (*RQIA). You should always be invited to have a consultation prior to your first treatment to answer your queries and ensure there are no contraindications to the treatment.
Unwanted side effects following treatment can include hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation (Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are darker spots and lighter spots on the skin, respectively.) The skin can feel a little warm, almost like a sunburn sensation following treatment, we recommend use of aloe vera to cool the skin and an spf daily.
To avoid laser-induced skin discolouration, it is best to schedule your treatment 30 days before or after a sunny trip, if you happen to get a tan, let it fade completely before any laser hair removal. A tan can create a higher risk of skin discolouration since there’s a temporary increase of melanin. Having a laser treatment will result in the laser detecting the melanin instead of the hair resulting in heat energy delivered to skin instead of the hair and therefore burning the skin.
Laser hair removal does drastically reduce hair growth—to the point that many clients won’t see any hair growth for months or even years, and the hairs that do crop up are often thinner and lighter in colour.
You can get it done anywhere on your body and the large areas can be covered fast. Legs, back, underarms, bikini line, stomach, face…there’s virtually no limit to the places you can get laser hair removal (if you are suitable for the treatment in terms of skin and hair colour).
Everyone’s pain threshold is different, for a lot of people laser hair removal falls somewhere between shaving and waxing In general, the treatment gets progressively less painful with each session, as the hair becomes finer.
It can take time, six – eight sessions are recommended at six weekly intervals.
The upfront cost can seem expensive however if you add up your monthly waxing bill over a lifetime it pays for itself quite quickly.
The treatments works best on fair skin with dark hair, and is not as ideal for darker skin, as discussed above, or lighter hair, regardless of skin tone, If you have light blonde or white hair, the laser will not be as effective at targeting those hairs.
If done by an untrained technician, laser hair removal could leave burns or scars on the skin. You should research your clinic and ask lots of questions before you begin your course.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or to book a laser consultation click the link to book.