Every girl dreams of not having to deal with the hassle of stubbly legs, razor rash, and the odd shaving injuries. Now that summer’s here again, as a female, the thought of prickly legs can seem quite nerving. But is there a potential solution?? No, I don’t mean waxing, no I don’t mean creams … I mean laser hair removal! It’s something many of us have heard about, but have little to no information on. This article is here to help and sets out to answer some of the very common questions most of us have about whether laser hair removal is for you, and whether shelling out the extra cash is really worth it!
1. What is laser?
Laser hair removal is classed as a medical procedure where an intense, pulsating beam of light is used to remove unwanted hair from the root. Each laser beam passes through the skin and reaches an individual hair follicle. The idea is that the laser damages the follicle and prevents it from growing hair further.
2. It works better for some people.
Laser works better on individuals with light skin and coarse, dark hair (black or brown). However, if you don’t have either – not to worry. As technology continues to advance, so does the varieties of laser to offer. Nowadays skin colour or hair type does not matter as much; it may just mean a different type of laser is more suitable to use on your skin.
3. Is it expensive?
Prices range massively! If you’ve never had laser before I would recommend perhaps spending a little more and going to an accredited clinic where there are trained nurses and doctors, just in case. If you feel like these higher end clinics are a little out of budget, I would recommend looking on discount websites such as Groupon, which in all honestly are amazing at delivering high end products and services at a low price – perfect for us students!!
4. There is no such thing as ‘Immediate Results’.
Because hair growth occurs in cycles, you (and everybody else) will require several treatments before you start seeing a difference. Typically it could take anywhere from 4-8 treatments before you recognise a difference–but don’t be disheartened! Laser hair removal is all about the long haul, and I can 100% guarantee you that at the end of your treatments you will be glad you took the plunge.
5. It is NOT (always) permanent.
If I’m being honest, if you hear someone claiming that laser hair removal is a permeant solution for your pesky peach fuzz–they are WAAAAY over-promising. Don’t get me wrong, the results (if it works for you) are great, but believing that you will never have to shave or wax again is totally incorrect. With laser, typically, most people see a 70% hair reduction. What I mean by that is … yes, some hairs won’t grow back at all, BUT the ones that do will be thinner and finer and lighter in colour (but they are still there). It’s also important to mention that once you finish your sessions, it’s essential to get a yearly top up if you don’t want hair growth to increase again.
6. It DOES hurt (sometimes) but not as bad as you think.
Don’t get me wrong, the first time I had it done I was a little shocked – it kind of hurt, but not in the same burning way that waxing did. I can honestly say that if you do go through any pain, usually the clinician will do everything they can to make you comfortable (numbing cream, aloe vera gel, stress balls). Also, the pain is nowhere near as long as the pain you would suffer when waxing–it’s literally milliseconds. In terms of what it feels like the best analogy I could use is … imagine really tiny pin pricks. On a positive note, I can confirm that unlike waxing, where you are in agonising pain each and every time, with laser, the more sessions you do, the weaker the follicle gets and the less pain you feel. After a couple of sessions, it’s not uncommon to literally feel nothing (no pain at all) – at this stage, the procedure is actually quite enjoyable and relaxing!
7. Can I do it at home?
There are at home laser machines, but I would question how effective they are in comparison to getting it done by a professional. There is a range of at-home laser hair removal machines that suit a range of budgets BUT again…. I must stress, these may not give you the same quality results that you would get at a clinic.
8. What should I do before my treatment?
- Number one, if you want your treatment to be as effective as possible, is DO NOT WAX OR TWEEZ at least a few weeks before your treatment. If you need to remove the hair- SHAVE IT! Although it might seem strange shaving your upper lip as a female, I promise you it will be worth it in the end.
- Stay out of the sun – if you have a tan or are sunburned, most clinicians will turn you away because the risk of burning the skin during treatment is heightened. Make sure you lather up on the sunscreen.
- Just before your treatment (48 hours before) shave the surface that will get lasered. Don’t just leave the hair there.
- Make sure you have had a test patch before you go ahead with the treatment. THIS IS A MUST TO RULE OUT ANY SIDE EFFECTS.
9. There are some (minor) side effects.
– Risk of burns (those at heightened risk are individuals with a darker complexion).
– Itching (but this is totally normal).
– The skin might turn red for a few days (ice it).
– Heat spots (these look like tiny whiteheads; they usually go within a day).
Hopefully, this article has helped you make a decision that’s best for you, and if you want to ask someone who has experienced it: ‘is it worth it?’ … ONE MILLION TIMES YES !!!!
This is everything you need to know about laser hair removal! Share yours thoughts and questions in the comments below!
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Hi i’m Nisha - A lifestyle blogger and current undergraduate studying Management & Marketing who's on a mission for success!