Shaving, waxing, plucking, epilating, depilatory creams – sometimes it seems like the chore of hair removal is never-ending. Would it be amazing if you never had to worry about getting smooth legs, under arms or even a bikini line ever again? That’s why more and more women are now turning to laser hair removal to help save them time. Stars like Kim Kardashian have popularised the treatment, and it’s now safer, more effective, cheaper and easier to find than ever. Here’s what you need to know:
Who can use laser hair removal?
Unwanted hair on the legs, forearms, hairline and other areas of the face, the armpits and the bikini line can all be targeted efficiently. In the past, it used to be that the procedure only worked really well on those with dark hair and fairer skin, but the latest developments in skin lasering technology now mean that even those with fairer body hair or darker skin can benefit from the treatment. However, if you have grey hair or a hormonal imbalance, like polycystic ovary syndrome, it may not be for you.
How laser hair removal works
Different lasers operate at different wavelengths depending on what they are programmed to do, but hair removal laser works by focusing on the melanin (the pigmentation that gives hair its color) in the strand and follicle growth center. The laser passes harmlessly through the skin and is absorbed by this melanin – which is why it tends to work best where there is a higher contrast between skin and hair color. However, new long-wave technologies are making this process viable even for those with darker skin now.
After an initial consultation, you’ll be prescribed a course of treatments. No hair removal will be effective in just one session, so expect to return several times. At any given moment in time, some of your follicles are ‘resting, ’ and so they won’t be effectively treated in one go. This can take longer in certain areas of the body – the face typically has more ‘resting phases’ in hair growth and so can take longer to treat than the bikini line. But be a little patient, and the results will speak for themselves. Most people have 3-7 treatments, depending on individual growth patterns, and from there, you can expect to need a touch-up session 1-4 times a year.
Before your first appointment
The single most important thing is to do your research and find top-rated skin clinics in your local area that have trained, professional staff and the latest equipment, like O’laze laser hair removal. By choosing your clinic carefully, you know that you’ll get the best technology and standard of care – this is not something you want to cut corners on! The clinic will provide specific preparation guidance for you, but avoid waxing, shaving, and fake tanning (even tanning supplements) a week or two before your treatment, and if you have started on antibiotics or any other type of medication, let the clinic know as this can affect treatment.