Because of its reputation for being safe, fast and painless, laser hair removal is an incredibly popular method of permanent hair removal that can be performed on any skin type or colour and on any area of the body.
Put simply, laser hair removal is the process of removing hairs with exposure to very short and quick pulses of laser light to destroy the hair follicle and stop any future growth. It started to become very popular with women in the mid-1990’s as it meant that they would no longer need to wax, thread or shave to remove their hair and instead could feel confident showing areas such as their legs all year round.
How do laser hair removal treatments work?
The treatment itself works by passing light pulses, also known as Intense Pulsed Light or IPL, through the skin into the naturally occurring melanin in the hair shafts. The melanin, which is responsible for regrowth in the hair, absorbs this light which then thermally destroys all cells contained within the shaft.
Dependent on your natural hair colour, different filters are applied to the lens to block shorter or longer wavelengths to ensure that the laser is targeting the hair follicles and shafts with the correct wavelengths to stop the hair growth from within.
How does it compare with other types of hair removal?
There are other methods of hair removal, most commonly being electrolysis, shaving and waxing. Of these three methods, electrolysis comes closest to being as good as laser removal but still has its flaws.
In a similar way to laser hair removal, electrolysis can be used to remove 100% of the hair from a targeted area and can be effective on all hair colours and types if it is used with the proper technique. The biggest downside to this method much slower and more tedious to carry out than laser hair removal, with some studies concluding that laser hair removal is up to 60 times faster, less painful and more reliable than electrolysis.
Shaving is one of the more common practices for hair removal and has been for at least 300 years, but the biggest downside with this is that it is only a temporary solution and the hair will grow back quickly. It also has the nasty downside of causing irritation to the shaved area.
Waxing predates both of these and can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. It is an incredibly efficient method of hair removal, but although it will last longer than simply shaving, it is only a temporary solution.
What happens after my treatment?
After a laser hair removal treatment, the treated area may remain quite red and raised for up to 24 hours following your treatment and can still be quite warm to touch. Usually, you will be booked in for a course of treatments and following your first few treatments, you will simply notice the hairs beginning to fall out, leaving you with radiant and smooth skin with no hair in sight.