Whether you shave every couple of days or you prefer to go for a wax, there’s no denying the fact that the more common hair removal processes can be a bit of a drag. Just think of that uncomfortable prickle when you’re wearing jeans but you’ve forgotten to shave for a few days, and let’s not forget the annoying ‘growing out’ phase before your next wax. Not to mention unsightly razor bumps and ingrown hairs… We won’t even go there!
There must be a better option… right? Well actually, there is – and it’s growing in popularity. Laser hair removal is a painless and near-permanent hair reduction treatment that uses pulses of laser light to destroy your hair follicles at the root.
But how does it work?
Laser hair removal targets hair follicles using a focused laser beam that heats the pigment at the root of the hair, damaging the bulb and inhibiting hair growth at the same time. Once the hair follicle is dead, the hair won’t grow back, resulting in the permanent reduction of hair in the areas being treated.
That said, the results won’t happen overnight. Depending of the type of laser treatment that you choose, you’ll need to commit to at least 8 – 12 treatments, which are usually about a month apart. Once you’ve completed the course of treatments, you may also need to go back for a yearly touch up.
Does it hurt?
Although laser hair removal isn’t necessarily painful, many women admit to feeling slight discomfort and a warming or prickling sensation. It’s far less painful than waxing or electrolysis, that’s for sure! Laser hair removal has come a long way over the past decade, however, and many new lasers are completely pain-free.
Am I a good candidate?
Many laser hair removal treatments aren’t advised for those with darker skin tones, and the treatments may not be as successful on those with blonde or grey hair. Fortunately, new technologies mean that there are options that are safe to use on all skin types and ethnicities. The Urban Bliss Wellness Spa in Johannesburg, is one such spa. Their Cryo Sheer Diode laser treatments are completely pain-free and ideal for use on all skin types and tones.
- Remember to shave the area you’re getting lasered the day before your appointment. The laser targets your hair follicles, so you don’t need any regrowth before your treatment – unlike waxing.
- Stay out of the sun! Since lasers target pigmented areas, it’s advised that you stay clear of the sun for at least four weeks before your appointment, and for two weeks afterwards. Sun beds are a no-go! Laser hair removal does not work well on tanned (or sunburnt) skin. This also includes self-tanning lotions and spray tans, so get ready to embrace your pale skin!
- Sunscreen is your NBF. You should be wearing sunscreen every day anyway, but if you don’t, now’s the time to start. Your skin is likely to be sensitive after laser treatments, so you’ll need to protect it as much as possible.
- Avoid deodorant and fragrances for the first day or two after your treatment. As we mentioned above, your skin will be sensitive, so stay clear of deodorant and fragrances for the first 24 – 48 hours. It’s also advised that you stay clear of hot baths or showers, and opt for lukewarm showers instead.
- Consistency is key. Don’t think that you’ll be smooth and fuzz-free after just one treatment. Your hair follicles have their own growth cycle, so you’ll have new hairs cropping up constantly. It’s advised that you book for a full course of treatments to see best results, and you’ll need to go in for a treatment at least once every 4 – 6 weeks. You should start to see a noticeable difference after about three months.
Have you been for laser hair removal? We’d love to know more about your experiences, so leave us a comment below!