Laser hair removal is fantastic, but there are a few things we need to clear up before you dive headfirst into your dreamy fantasies of smooth, hairless skin.
#1. It’s true! Laser hair removal is not always as permanent as it’s made out to be
We know, you thought laser hair removal was forever! This is only partially true. Laser hair removal is the process of damaging a follicle so it can’t produce a hair ever again.
One follicle produces one hair, but you have many follicles that are inactive at laser hair removal time that remain unaffected. The laser beam is attracted to the pigment in the hair shaft, so if a follicle does not contain a hair, it remains untouched by the laser.
These follicles can later produce a hair, making laser hair removal not as magical as we’d like to believe (but still great).
Each of you is different in how much hair may eventually grow again from the untouched healthy follicles. Typically it’s just a fine fuzz, and top-up treatments every year or two can knock them out. You can also shave or wax as necessary.
#2. It’s true! Laser hair removal is affordable
There was a time when laser hair removal was a very new and exciting treatment, and the lasers to perform it were very expensive. The expense for clinics was significant, and thus recouping the costs meant laser hair removal treatments were expensive. It was also easy to cash in on the novelty.
Lasers are now standard equipment at clinics, and laser hair removal has become extremely popular. The popularity of the procedure, the commonality of lasers, and trained staff mean laser hair removal is now relatively inexpensive.
When you consider how much money and time you’d spend over a lifetime of shaving or waxing, laser hair removal favourably compares.
#3. It’s true! Guys can get laser hair removal too
This might sound like a no-brainer, but the cosmetic industry can feel exclusively targeted towards women only. We could easily be led to believe that laser hair removal is a ladies-only affair when men can benefit in some extraordinary ways.
Have you ever considered long-lasting hair removal on the back, buttocks, scrotum, or even the chest? Many men regularly wax, leaving prickly stubble all over. If you like it smooth and spend ages getting that way every month, laser hair removal may be for you.
#4. It’s true! You should avoid getting laser hair removal when you have a tan (even fake tan)
Because the laser beam focuses on pigment, anything brown on your skin – natural or not – is going to be a possible target for the laser beam. Tans can leave you at undue risk of burns so don’t show up to your appointment with one.
#5. It’s true! Laser hair removal doesn’t hurt
But it is uncomfortable. You should feel the laser beam, but it feels like the prickle of sweat. It’s not pain per se, rather a prickling sensation on the skin. It is, however, a laser and on the more sensitive areas, you will feel more uncomfortable.
We suggest a mild pain relief tablet be taken one hour before hair laser on the more intimate areas. If an inexperienced practitioner directs the laser beam at the wrong area of skin – for example, a birthmark – expect pain.
Our advice? Don’t ever let an inexperienced practitioner with a laser near you! At ENRICH Clinic, we’ve been doing laser hair removal since it became a thing. Our practitioners and lasers are the best in the business.
There are some substandard (read: cheaper) lasers on the market that the industry was set up around, which are not very appropriate or efficient for laser hair removal. We always use the best medical-grade laser for the job. We’re a medical clinic – we have the best gear!
Need to know more about lights and lasers? Check out this scientific review.
#6. It’s true! You can’t wax before your laser hair removal treatments
As mentioned, we need the hair inside the follicle so the laser beam can work its magic. The laser energy is attracted to the pigment in the hair. As the heat travels down the hair shaft, it migrates into the nearby skin cells, damaging the follicle so it can’t produce a hair. If you pull the hair out by waxing, you are removing the whole hair, and the laser can’t work.
You can, however, shave before your sessions or we’ll shave for you. We want the hair to be underneath the skin, not on top as well, since then the power of the laser will simply sizzle the hair (which smells and crackles), and is not as effective at damaging the follicle beneath.
#7. It’s true! Laser hair removal is a year-long commitment
Hair follicles have a system of growth. A hair grows, then is eventually pushed out by the hair underneath it, during which time the follicle is both active and inactive. This process takes 4-6 weeks per strand.
We can’t target inactive follicles. We need to catch all your active hair growth cycles, so all the hair follicles have their time under the laser beam in their active phase. If we just did one treatment, you wouldn’t notice a thing.
You will need to come back at very specific times and not skip or reschedule appointments. The appointments are best set in advance, and a commitment made financially and time-wise, or the process can’t work.
It can take almost a year to complete your treatments, but this is very patient dependent. It is worth having an appointment every six weeks until you have achieved your desired results. You can choose as many areas on your body per session, so you could, in theory, go hair-free all over or just back or armpit-hair-free over nine months to a year. It’s entirely up to you.
#8. It’s true! Laser hair removal is environmentally friendly
Razors, waxing and hair removal creams all use resources and create waste. Do the earth a favour and get rid of hair the (almost) zero-waste way!
Once you’re done… Freedom!
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