It’s always been a toss up between suffering razor rash, the quite frankly awful smell of depilatory cream, or the dreaded, curl-up-in-fear waxing process. With the tediously slow electrolysis treatment also falling out of favour, there’s room for a new kid on the hairy block – laser hair removal!
With the aid of companies such as the British Institute of Lasers , we can all enjoy the benefits, and relief, this treatment brings.
Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly carried out cosmetic procedures in the UK and the US. Using a powerful laser, or intense pulsed light (IPL), directed at the hair root, the hair absorbs the light, follicles are damaged, and this disrupts the hair’s growth. How effective this is varies from person to person, but hair regrowth can be retarded for anywhere from several months to a year or more, meaning you can throw away the razors, and bin the wax.
The benefits of laser hair removal
There are many benefits to using lasers to remove those unwanted hairs.
- Because it’s a precision tool, individual coarse darker hairs can be targeted, without affecting the surrounding skin.
- Each laser pulse only takes a fraction of a second, and can treat an area approximately one inch square every second, so places such as the upper lip can be treated rapidly.
- Asides from encouraging clearer, smoother skin, laser treatment can reduce those really irritating ingrown hairs.
- With each laser session the damage to the follicle increases, and after an average of three to six appointments, most clients have permanent hair loss, with no further need for treatment.
What do I need to know before I book a treatment?
There are a couple of things to bear in mind before you head to the salon for your laser hair removal.
If you have had exposure to the sun in the two weeks leading up to your session, the laser will actually burn and sizzle the tanning pigment in your skin. The same is true for a fake tan, so if you’re a beach babe, real or otherwise, it might be better to reschedule your appointment.
Because the laser works on the root of the hair, it must actually be present in the follicle, so avoid using depilatory creams, epilators or wax (no encouragement needed there!). Instead, use a sharp razor to give a clean smooth shave 12 to 14 hours beforehand. This is a must, as the laser could target any longer hairs and cause a burn.
On the day of your treatment, you need to be as natural as possible. So a clean, product-free skin is necessary, with even moisturiser and deodorant avoided.
Laser hair removal, being a cosmetic treatment, uses only medical grade equipment, and any technician should be qualified. During the initial consultation to assess skin and hair type, you need to disclose any previous treatments, or medication you’re taking, as this may have an impact on your suitability for laser hair removal.
What does a laser hair removal session involve?
A laser hair removal session can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the size of the area you want treated. You’ll be given protective eye coverings, and if you wish, a topical anaesthetic. The treatment may sting a little, but nothing too painful
There may be some swelling and redness immediately after your treatment, but this shouldn’t last last long. However, you’ll need to use a high SPF sunblock for the next couple of weeks. Exercise should be avoided for 24 hours after your session, too, as sweat can cause an infection in the hair follicles.
No more going out and hoping the unpleasant aroma of the depilatory cream isn’t following you, the bruising from the wax strip isn’t noticeable, or that you’re free of the unavoidable stubble, unless you shaved two seconds before leaving the house.
So, say goodbye to all that hassle, and hello to laser hair removal, the safe, worry-free, method to gorgeously smooth skin.