In the almost eight years that I’ve spent in this industry, I’ve seen hundreds of dollars been put towards quality laser hair removal. If you add up the amount that you spend on waxing every two weeks, or shaving every week, it might be time to consider saving your pennies for some permanent hair reduction.
What is Laser Hair Reduction?
Laser Hair Reduction (LHR) is an efficient option of removing unwanted body hair. This is where specific wavelengths of light and pulse duration target the hair follicle in a certain area without damaging the surrounding tissue. The best hair to treat with laser hair removal is dark hair, as there has to be colour/pigment in the hair for the laser to pick it up.
What is the difference between Laser Hair Reduction, Electrolysis and IPL?
Electrolysis is sometimes painful procedure where a tidy needle is inserted into each and every hair follicle. It delivers an electrical charge to them to kill them. But if you’re looking for a quick fix, look somewhere else, because this treatment requires years of regular treatments.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) has a shallow wavelength and is not able to treat tanned skins-dark coloured skin. Problem is, even if your skin is fair, if you can get taned in the summer time, IPL can be damaging too, not to mention inconvenient because it is recommended that you do not get treated in summer time otherwise there is a chance that you can get burnt.
The correct lasers are able to treat all skin types, all year around which is very convenient and safe. It also has a deeper wavelength which means it treats the hair at the root and that means that it is more effective.
How expensive is Laser Hair Removal?
It depends on the machine that is used. Some machines are not of great quality and some are skin shade specific. However there are some machines like the American made ‘Cutera Cool Glide’ machine that are able to treat all shades of skin, all year around. These machines are often more expensive are treatments can be more expensive, however you get what you pay for.
What are some of the things that I need to be aware of when considering LHR?
The machine can be the best in the world, but if the technician doesn’t know what they are doing, you can be burnt, scarred or both.
The saying is true “You get what you pay for” make sure that you do some research on the machine that is going to be used, especially if you have darker skin.
Does it hurt?
Again it depends on what machine is used and what part of the body is being treated as some areas are more sensitive than others. Put it this way, when treated correctly, it hurts way less than tweezing and waxing! Ouchies!
What are the most common areas that are treated?
With Pacific Island women in particular, the most common areas that are treated are upper lips, chins, sides of faces, and underarms. Lasers are able to treat hair on majority of the body. Places like immediately around the eyes, inside the nose and inside the ears are dangerous to treat with lasers as they are close to and directly aimed at the brain.
Can men get it too?
Yes, Laser Hair removal has become very common for males. It’s not surprising that some men have a lot of unwanted hair. Most common areas treated for males are their chests, backs abdomens.
How often should I get treatments?
Treatments are usually held in the right intervals. For the face it is generally 4-6 weeks. For the body, it is anywhere from 6-8 weeks. It is recommended that you get a course of between 4-10 treatments (again depending on the machine and the client) because hairs typically grow in three different stages. At one stage, they respond better to the treatment than others, therefore it is important that you receive treatments to the same area at the right intervals to ensure that you will see the best results. Results do vary and it conditions such as Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome may affect the amount of treatments needed or shorten the intervals.
What is Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (POS)?
Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (POS) is becoming more and more common and most women don’t even know that they have it. I was told by a doctor that there are visible symptoms that you are often able to see:
- Excessive hair (usually on the face and jaw areas)
- Acne or breakout
- Also if you have ever wondered why you are not so curvy in the hips and your hips just go straight up and down this can also be another symptom.
I am not writing this to scare you , but If you have noticed any of these three symptoms, it would be worth seeing a doctor to see if you may have POS as this may be one of the causes of your unwanted hair..
Things to remember:
It is always best to have a consultation. Some places offer free consultations, but ALWAYS do your research, even if you have to go away, compare machines and come back.
Check if the machine that you are going to be treated with is safe to use on your skin. Some machines are better and safer than others. (It is important to check even with the internet shopping deals, because you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on something that you can’t use).
Try and stick to the right intervals to ensure that you get the best results.
I hope that this helps those who are sick of waxing, plucking and shaving their unwanted hair. If you’re contemplating getting LHR, do your research and have consultations at places near you to get a better understanding.
By Whitney Pa’u-Tuitasi