Laser hair removal: is it the way to go?

Spring is around the corner and after months of jeans and jumpers, our hair removal routine often requires some attention.

While shaving and waxing are a great quick-fix, if you are looking for a more permanent solution to hair reduction laser hair removal could be for you.

How does laser hair removal work?

The most permanent method of de-fuzzing, laser hair removal lends long-term results in achieving silky, hair-free pins.

Permanent hair removal offers a heap of benefits compared with other hair removal options. You immediately notice the hair grows back less quickly and less thickly than shaving, waxing or creams. The bonus is that typically there are no spots, ingrown hairs or itchiness when the hair grows back.

Struggling with pesky ingrown hairs?

These are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it. Sometimes, dead skin can clog up a hair follicle, forcing the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin rather than upward and outward.

For those pesky red bumps and other irritations caused by shaving and waxing, there are a range of products that can help stop the formation of pimples and ingrown hairs.

Hot tip: Use an exfoliating scrub or pumice stone on soapy skin should also help reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs.

Today, a variety of lasers and light-based devices can be used to reduce hair growth in unwanted areas. Although not a permanent solution to hair removal, after a treatment cycle only occasional maintenance is needed.

The laser designed for hair removal releases a wavelength of energy which is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles. By targeting the pigment, the surrounding skin is not damaged as the energy is absorbed by the hair follicle only.

Prior to laser hair removal, it’s important not to wax or pluck the treatment area for at least six weeks. This ensures hair is present, as without it the laser will not achieve the desired effect. The hair growth cycle plays an important role in the success of laser hair removal, and therefore multiple treatments will be needed in order to achieve long-term hair loss.

Hair follicles grow in a cycle, which is commonly described in three stages. The first stage is referred to as anagen, or the growth phase. Around 85 percent of all hairs are in the growing stage at any one time and, depending on the individual, this may last for between two and three weeks. Anagen is followed by catagen, or the transitional phase, when the follicle shrinks, and is partly destroyed. Finally, the telogen phase describes a period of rest, when the hair does not grow.

Laser has the greatest effect on growing hairs. Because not all hairs are growing at the same time – some are in transition, and others are resting – it can take a number of treatments to successfully reduce the hair in any one area. Multiple treatments are therefore typically spaced several weeks apart to ensure the growth phase of the hair is targeted.

Hair reduction treatments generally get rid of 99 per cent of hair for suitable clients over six to eight initial treatments. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us!