You’ve seen the ads, the billboards, and the business signage advertising the latest and greatest in beautification: Laser Hair Removal.
Now, here’s everything you need to know about it, fresh from the experts at Stay at Home Mum.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Let’s start with the basics. Just what exactly is laser hair removal?
Essentially, laser hair removal is a beauty process that makes use of a machine that generates pulsed light lasers in order to destroy the hair follicles and stop hair from growing in treatment places.
Yes! But not the science-fiction death rays you might be thinking about. Instead, these are gentler lasers that pass through the skin, target the hair follicles and then damage them to stop hair growth in the future.
Does It Hurt?
As a rule, laser hair removal doesn’t hurt. There are always factors that are the exception to this, such as sensitive skin or a misuse/lack of understanding about the equipment. But in general there is almost no pain during the session and very little after.
When undertaking laser hair removal patients will likely feel a warmth from the laser moving across their skin, and this can sometimes become uncomfortable. But after your session the most you’ll feel is a little sore in the region you’ve had the treatment, similar to a post-waxing pain where the skin may be red and sensitive.
Can I Do It?
If you’re heard talk that not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser hair removal, you’re right. The treatment works best on people who have light skin and dark hair. The reason for this is that the lasers being used create a pulsed light that destroys the dark pigment (melanin) in your hair.
That means if you have dark skin, the lasers will be targeting the melanin in your skin, which could cause discolouration. On the other side, if you have light hair, the lasers won’t be able to target your hair properly, and the treatment won’t work.
Where Should I Get It Done?
There are a growing number of practitioners offering laser hair removal to patients. But, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same level of experience.
If it is your first time with laser hair removal, it pays to talk to a real professional. Visit either a dermatologist or a specialised laser hair removal service. Avoid going to spas where laser hair removal is one of many treatments offered, as they are less likely to have a dedicated hair removal specialist.
If you aren’t sure who to go to, consider visiting a few different places before you make a commitment. Talk to a medical professional, as well as a laser hair removal spa and see where you feel most comfortable before you decide.
How Long Does It Take?
The length of an individual laser hair removal session will depend on the area you’re treating. You can choose to treat any area on your body, from your face to your armpits, bikini line and legs.
The length of your overall treatment can be between three and eight sessions. The reason that you’ll need so many sessions is that the lasers can only target the hair when it’s in one specific stage of hair growth. This stage is known as the active growing stage, and it occurs when the roots of the hair are connected to the blood supply. The laser cuts of the blood supply when the hair is growing, and no new hairs can be formed.
The other thing to remember is that you aren’t going to be walking away from your session hair free. After a laser hair removal session, your hair can take between one and two weeks to fall out. Most people recommend using a gentle skin scrub around the 10-day mark to get all of it off.
How Do I Prepare For It?
There are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare for a laser hair removal session. The first, not surprisingly, is not to pluck or wax for between 6 – 8 weeks before your session. This means the hair is at its longest, and can be easily targeted by the laser. Some spas recommend that patients shave the treatment area on the day of, or the day before, their session, to help the laser better lock into the follicles. Of course, you should check with your laser hair removal specialist about their preference.
How Expensive Is It?
The price of laser hair removal is in a state of flux at the moment, especially in Australia where the procedure is becoming more popular and there is a flood of market competition. Customers will notice that the price of treatment will depend on the size of the area being treated, and how many treatments the specialist thinks you will need.
Beware of treatments that are advertised at very cheap prices. As with any instance where the market is being overwhelmed with new business, cheaper is not necessarily the best option.