Laser hair removal sounds like a dream come true.
No more waxing, plucking, shaving or ingrown hairs.
No more leaving the house only to notice you missed a huge patch round your ankle.
No more wearing black tights just because you can’t be bothered to shave.
So in reality – is it really as good as it sounds? We can’t tell you for sure that you should definitely 100% get laser hair removal because you will absolutely love it, because every person is different – but what we can do is give you the facts to decide that for yourself!
So here is a list of the top 10 things you need to know about laser hair removal, to help you decide whether you want to try it for yourself:
1. Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment (colour) in your hair rather than the hair itself. Different coloured lasers are absorbed by different coloured pigment. Brown pigment absorbs infrared light. When the laser hits the pigment it is absorbed and the light is converted to heat, which destroys the pigment, and in turn, the hair.
2. You need at least 6 treatments for long-lasting results. For the hair to be damaged in the long term, it needs to be destroyed at the right time in its growth cycle. Every single hair is at a different stage of growth which is why you need 6 treatments – so that every single hair has a chance to be treated whilst in the right stage.
3. Laser hair removal is most effective when there is a lot more pigment in the hair than in the skin. So if you have dark hair and pale skin – it’s your lucky day! Laser hair removal will work wonders for you. However, if you have dark hair and dark skin don’t panic! Laser hair removal will still work for you: Nd: Yag laser is used for darker skin up to skin type VI.
4. You can get laser hair removal on any part of your body. Wherever you have unwanted hair, laser hair removal can help, whether it is legs, armpits, face or bikini line! Take your pick!
5. Laser hair removal is permanent hair reduction rather than removal – so it lasts for a long time but not forever. Approximately 2 years after your course of treatments the hair may begin to grow back, although never to the same level as it was when you started. It will be much thinner and significantly reduced. At this point you just need one or two top up treatments.
6. It might hurt a little bit. When the laser works on your skin it creates heat which damages the hair. This process can sometimes hurt! We make it much less by using Candela built in cryogen cooling system, which cools the skin and reduces the feeling of heat.
7. Lasers are powerful machines that should always be operated by a qualified professional. If lasers are used incorrectly they can be very dangerous. You should always visit a trusted and reputable clinic.
8. There are different types of laser. Some companies use IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) but refer to it as laser. IPL is actually not a laser but a system that uses light in a different way. IPL is a far less effective treatment than a real laser so when you are researching a clinic, you should look out for lasers called Nd:Yag, Alexandrite or Diode lasers as these achieve the best results.
9. Your body should be shaved before treatment. In order for the treatment to work properly there should be as little hair as possible above the skin. If there is hair on the skin the laser will hit the pigment in this hair first which is too far away to damage the actual hair follicle and burns the skin.
10. You should stay out of the sun for 2 weeks following the treatment. If you go out in the sun within the period following the treatment you should always apply sun protection cream to the treated area. This is because the skin is particularly vulnerable to pigmentation caused by the sun.