Shaving, waxing and hair removal cream all serve their purpose perfectly well, however, unfortunately as we all know, the results are incredibly temporary and regular upkeep is required. Results are never long-term, which can become a nuisance when you are always on the go!
Luckily for us, cosmetic and beauty treatments are continuously evolving, meaning there are now multiple different solutions to just about every beauty-related dilemma. When it comes to maintaining silky, smooth skin, there is one particular treatment that most definitely stands out from the crowd, laser hair removal.
Many people are somewhat sceptical about laser hair removal, simply through the fear of the unknown. However, not to worry, we’ve compiled the ultimate laser hair removal guide to answer all questions and solve all queries.
The Laser Hair Removal Guide
Before delving into the world of lasers and how they attack the hair follicles, it’s important first to understand the definition of laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal utilises high-intensity laser beams pressed onto the problem area through a hand-held device. Each hair follicle absorbs the light energy emitted from the laser beams, which damages the root of the follicle and impedes future growth. Not only will the laser focus on existing hairs, but also those at the beginning of the hair growth cycle, destroying them from as early as the anagen stage – growth stage of the cycle before the hair reaches the surface of the skin and breaks through.
For a full guide to the hair growth cycle, take a look at the Philip Kingsley website.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to hair growth reduction, laser hair removal is the most effective option; no other method is capable of terminating hair growth for a long-term basis. This, of course, is the main benefit of opting for this hair removal route; however, various other advantages are guaranteed to sway you towards laser hair removal.
No Ingrown Hairs
All alternative methods of hair removal aside from laser hair removal run the risk of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs form when the hair curls and grows into the skin rather than on the surface. Leaving an ingrown hair untreated can cause a severe infection, which although are rarely dangerous, can be incredibly painful. Ingrown hairs often take a while to get rid of and will involve regular exfoliation, using ingrown hair lotion and eventually removing the hair from the skin, which can be uncomfortable.
No Waiting Time
If you book in for monthly waxing or threading appointments with your favourite beauty therapist, you must wait for the hair to grow back before you can have your next treatment. The hair cannot be removed unless there is a considerable amount of re-growth. Laser hair remover sessions can be booked for whenever is suitable for you, you do not have to wait for re-growth as the follicles are treated from the root, not from the hair outside the skin.
Many people assume that laser hair removal will be painful when in reality it is, in fact, considerably less painful than waxing or threading. Due to the high-intensity lasers, the majority of devices feature an inbuilt cooling system, or a cooling gel will be applied prior to your treatment, making pain minimal. More sensitive problem areas such as the upper lip are likely to feel a little more uncomfortable, but you will get used to the sensation quickly.
Although laser hair removal may cost an initial large fee, it will save you money and time in the long run. Once you have completed your first set of sessions, only annual appointments will be required, and no other form of hair removal will be necessary. Think about all of the money you will save on monthly appointments or weekly razor purchases!
Who Is The Best Candidate For Laser Hair Removal?
Although anyone can get laser hair removal, the success of results will vary depending on the individual client.
During laser hair removal, light energy will target the melanin within the follicles, therefore impeding growth. Melanin is the colour pigment of the hair, the more melanin you have, the darker your hair will be. This means that those with darker hair will have more melanin to target, making them better suited to laser hair removal. Clients with darker hair will see the most effective, long-lasting results.
Individuals with light, fair hair can still try laser hair removal, but results are not guaranteed, and the treatment, unfortunately, may be less successful.
What Areas Can You Get Treated?
Several different areas can be treated through laser hair removal, on both men and women. The most popular treatment areas include the following:
- Under Arms
- Back and Shoulders
- Bikini Line
- Upper Lip
What To Consider Before Your Treatment
Laser hair removal is a commitment, so before booking in, we suggest considering the following:
A Set of Sessions Is Required
Before you get a laser hair removal treatment, you will have to keep in mind that you will not achieve long-term results from just one treatment. Although you will be able to notice a visible difference after just one session, a set of sessions will be required to ensure that results remain long-term.
The majority of hair in the treatment area will not re-grow; however, you may need to book in annual sessions to maintain results. Yearly maintenance appointments will be required as new hairs may form in follicles that during your previous appointment, were empty.
You Will Need A Patch Test
A patch test is an important requirement before carrying out almost every treatment which includes applying anything directly to the skin, to avoid irritation and reactions.
Your laser consultant will book you in for a patch test at least 24 hours before your appointment. To prepare for your patch test, you’ll need to shave the treatment area the day before your appointment, never on the same day. It is also recommended to refrain from using any creams or products on the area the day of your patch test.
Sun Exposure Should Be Avoided
It is highly recommended to avoid sun exposure before your treatment, as the laser cannot be used on areas of skin that are sunburnt or are damaged. Avoiding sun exposure also includes the use of sunbeds, as treating your natural skin tone will provide better results. Targeting tanned skin with a high-intensity laser may run the risk of slight discolouration or cause the skin to form a patchy appearance.
Before your laser hair removal appointment, you must avoid using any products or lotions on the skin, this also involves applying fake tan. If you regularly fake tan, it is recommended to ensure that tan is removed through an exfoliator or tan eraser the day before your appointment, so it does not become patchy due to your treatment.
Most clients opt for having their sessions through the colder months, as they are less likely to have the desire to tan. Starting your course of laser hair removal during the Winter means that your sessions will be complete and hair growth will be dramatically reduced by the time it starts to become warmer.
Avoid Other Forms Of Hair Removal
You will be asked to shave the treatment area a day or two before your sessions commence. Do not wax, pluck or epilate the problem area before your laser hair removal session as it means that there will be no hair for the laser to target and the root will be removed. Shaving only removes hair from the outer surface of the skin, but keeps the root meaning that the light energy will easily be able to focus on the follicles, therefore speeding up results.
After your sessions, you will notice that the hair will slowly start to fall out naturally. Refrain from using any other forms of hair removal while you are waiting for your next session as it may disrupt the process.
Having to avoid the use of any other forms of hair removal during the laser hair reduction process is another reason as to why it is highly recommended to book your sessions during the Winter. In the colder months, we are all more likely to stay wrapped up and less likely to have areas of the body which need hair removed on show.
You May Want To Start With A Shorter Session
As mentioned previously, laser hair removal comes alongside minimal pain, which regularly comes as a surprise to clients. Many describe the sensation of laser hair removal as similar to being flicked with an elastic band, which you get used to incredibly quickly. All reputable laser clinic will use a form of cooling technique to keep pain as little as possible. The device used to treat the skin is likely to have an in-built cooling tool; however, many people purchase a cooling gel or numbing cream to apply just in case.
Your laser consultant will recommend the length of your session, which will depend on the size of the treatment area. During your patch test, you will be given a brief insight into what to expect from your treatment, and you’ll experience the sensation is the laser on your skin. If you know that you have a low pain threshold, you may want to consider a shorter first session then ease yourself into a longer appointment once you feel comfortable.
Always Book A Consultation
Here at our beauty clinic, we do not start a course of laser hair removal in Milton Keynes without carrying out an initial free consultation. However, there are many companies who are happy to jump straight into sessions without an initial meeting. If this is the case, we strongly recommend steering clear of them.
During a consultation, you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and solve any worries. Your chosen laser consultant will go through any health issues, your medical record and any contraindications. Contraindications relate to any factor that means you cannot go through with a treatment because it will cause harm to the body. For example, contraindications for laser hair removal include the following:
- Open Wounds
- During Breastfeeding
Without a consultation, you are putting yourself at risk of harm, and you simply cannot trust the practitioner. If your consultation is not on the treatment room, it is also a great idea to ask to see the area to ensure that they meet all health, safety and hygiene standards. You must wear protective goggles during laser treatments to protect the eyes from high-intensity beams, so check these are also present.
Are There Are Side Effects?
Side effects vary depending on the individual; skin type, skin sensitivity and the size of the treatment area all play a part in the extent of side effects. Any effects you have usually are very minor and subside within a day. The area can often become slightly red and a little swollen immediately after your session, but you are free to continue with your normal activity as soon as you leave the clinic or salon. You are welcome to apply a cold compress or ice pack to the area if you want any redness or swelling to ease quicker. Using Aloe Vera gel will also help to soothe the area if it feels slightly tender.
Similarly to before your treatment, you are again recommended to limit sun exposure, including sunbeds, simply because the area will be sensitive and you do not want to damage the skin.
The Most Effective Hair Removal Solution
Laser hair removal is the most effective solution for long-term hair removal. Although it takes a little patience and determination to see out your set of sessions, it will be worth the extra time in the long run. Laser hair removal impedes growth, which means you are unlikely to see growth in the future and will no longer have to worry about shaving, waxing or plucking.
If you are interested in booking a set of laser hair removal sessions, why not book a free consultation with Bianco Beauty, where we can discuss a tailored treatment plan that perfectly fits your requirements.