When it comes to self-care and beauty treatments you do yourself at home, removing unwanted hair is one process that takes more time than others. Most men shave every day, while women will find time in their routine for removing hair from their armpits and legs.
Unwanted body hair can be found on the arms, armpits, legs, face, upper lip, and bikini line. The term unwanted depends on the individual. Some women would never dream of messing around with their bikini line and aren’t too bothered if they have light-colored hair on their legs and arms. Many men also shave less than in previous times because the bearded look has been the major trend in men’s style for over a decade.
Until recently, the most common hair removal methods have been the likes of waxing, plucking, tweezing, depilatory creams, and, of course, shaving.
There’s rather a large selection of razors on the market (manual and electric) and although convenient and quick, there are plenty of downsides and possible side effects to shaving various body parts regularly (including irritation, shaving rash, and nicks). From ingrown hairs to infected hair follicles to skin irritation to almost immediate regrowth, there can be an unpleasant side to using razors to achieve a hair-free body.
If your hair growth is such that shaving is a time-consuming hassle, then you might be a good candidate for laser hair removal treatment. For long-term hair-free, smooth skin, laser hair removal offers a potentially permanent solution!
Here is how laser hair removal works and its benefits.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Undertaken in a clinical setting or an aesthetic/medical spa offering dermatology-led procedures, laser hair removal is classed as a cosmetic procedure.
When you shave, pluck, wax or tweeze, you pull out the hair but because the follicle remains intact and healthy, regrowth occurs.
In laser treatment, the hair follicles in the skin are heated and destroyed by a laser or IPL (intense pulsed light) device. This disrupts the natural hair growth process.
Most people usually require more than one treatment because one session may only target the follicles at one point in the three-stage growth cycle. It is common for there to be a minimum of five to six treatments over the course of a few months.
Although it is sold as a “permanent hair removal solution”, this is not guaranteed. It will last several months and for some people, it will last for years. If/when hair regrows, it tends to be finer and lighter in color. For long-term hair removal, most people need repeat treatment sessions. The frequency of sessions should be advised by a medical professional.
There are some potential side effects:
- Redness and irritation where the follicles have been treated
- Crusting – like a rough scab in the affected area
- Blisters – in response to the heat
- Minor changes in skin color in the treated area as the light can affect melanin (skin pigments)
- Risk of skin infection.
There are, however, some significant benefits.
It Is Suitable For All Skin Types And Skin Colors
Laser hair removal is suitable for all skin types, all skin colors, all skin tones, and almost all hair colors. Laser treatment is less effective for red or blonde hair and does not work on gray hair.
For darker skin and darker hair colors, a higher number of treatment appointments may be needed to achieve the desired results.
Those with fair hair will have a much easier time with the treatment, but that isn’t to say that darker-haired patients won’t end up with the same smooth skin!
It Can Be Performed On All Body Parts
Although your razor can do a good, quick job on any part of your body that you can reach, there are certain limitations. You are limited by your skill with the razor, and also your range of motion and flexibility, unless you ask somebody else to help you, but that can be a rather sensitive situation when there are sharp blades and intimate body parts involved!
Laser hair removal offers the full range in terms of treatment areas because it is a much more precise and accurate way to remove hair. When performed by a skincare professional, there will be no place on the body that is out of reach!
It Can Save A Lot Of Time
Although shaving your legs at home is a quick task that you get used to performing with your eyes shut, the truth is that repeated razor use can result in faster hair regrowth in the target areas like the underarms or bikini area. This can leave you in an unfortunate cycle of having to shave every other day which isn’t good for your skin.
With laser hair removal, you have the peace of mind that a single series of treatments gives you smooth skin for months and potentially even longer. This is a much kinder treatment for your sensitive skin, and when you add up all of the time you spend using a razor every other day, it can also be seen as a great way to save a lot of time over the course of a week/month/year.
Skin Will Be Smoother Than Ever
Laser hair removal works by targeting hair follicles and disabling their ability to grow hair in the treated areas, and because of this targeted nature, it always results in much smoother, healthier skin. With shaving, all you are doing is cutting the hair as close to your skin as you can, and this leaves the follicle intact to simply begin growing out again as per the hair life cycle.
With laser hair removal, you can kiss goodbye to that unfortunate feeling of protruding stubble that you start to feel sometimes even a single day after you have spent a lot of time shaving!
Skin Will Be Smoother For Longer
Laser hair is considered to be a semi-permanent treatment, which means that you will stay much smoother for much longer compared to shaving and even waxing. At most, you might find yourself needing to return to your removal clinic for a series of occasional touch-up appointments, but these will always be far less frequent than waxing appointments, for example, and absolutely less frequent than using a razor!
And a further advantage is that laser hair removal works much better on slightly shaved hairs, so you don’t need to go through that annoying period of noticeable regrowth that is required to get a good hold for waxing. With laser, you are free to carry on with any top-up shaving that you might need, but it won’t be much!
You Can Avoid Ingrown Hairs
One of the side effects of waxing and particularly shaving is that both treatments can lead to ingrown hairs. In the worst cases, these hairs can become painful and infected, but laser hair removal doesn’t pose the risk of giving you ingrown hairs at all.
On the contrary, laser removal has been cited as a treatment that can help to cure areas of ingrown hairs that have occurred from shaving and waxing in the past. If you tend to suffer from ingrown hair, then you can consider hair laser removal as a treatment that can help you in more ways than just one!
There may be some tenderness in the treated area but it is short-lived. The process is pain-free and there is no risk of razor burn or shaving nicks.
The skin may be sensitive after a session so it is best to avoid sun exposure, hot showers, the gym, saunas, and heavy skincare preparations for 24 hours.
If you are interested in laser hair removal, the Z Center for Cosmetic Health offers laser hair removal treatments performed by our fully trained Registered Nurse or Dr. Zadeh himself. Check out our FAQ on our laser hair removal services and to schedule an appointment, click here!