Laser hair removal advantages and disadvantages

Laser Hair Removal: Is this the best method of removing unwanted hair?

Looking for an easier, more permanent solution to hair removal?

Hair removal can be one of the most time-consuming, tedious and most importantly painful beauty tasks that we undergo. We all know how difficult it is to keep up with a strong hair removal regime – whether your preferred choice is shaving, waxing, plucking or depilating – it’s something we’d all rather not have to deal with on an almost daily basis.

Of course, there’s nothing to say we have to remove our body hair, it’s just something we choose to do. Hair growth a natural occurrence in the body, and while some people may produce more body hair than others, it’s something that affects a majority of us. We’ve learned to think that women shouldn’t carry excess body hair, and if discovered, should be removed. While this isn’t the case, it can cause shame and embarrassment if a person thinks they’re ‘hairier’ than they should be, and that’s why we turn to hair removal.

Through trial and error, everyone discovers what method works best for them. Most of us will use several different methods to achieve our desired look – for example, shaving for the legs, waxing for the bikini line, plucking for the eyebrows – and although this may now be ingrained into your routine, is it really something you want to have to do for the rest of your life?

While at-home treatments are convenient in the way of being able to remove unwanted hair in your own time and in privacy, there’s no real longevity in the procedures. We all know the struggle of post-shave stubble just hours after shaving, and catching a glimpse of that one pesky hair that slipped straight past the tweezers. What if there was a way that we could combat all of these issues, and permanently reduce the amount of unwanted bodily hair for good?…

Laser hair removal might just be the answer.

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a procedure used to permanently reduce unwanted hair, by eventually preventing the growth of new hairs. Using a device that gives out laser energy (heat), each individual strand of hair can be penetrated at the root, destroying the hair follicle and inhibiting further growth.

However, laser hair removal should never be confused for Electrolysis – which is a method of permanent hair removal. Electrolysis is a much longer and more painful process which requires fine needles to be probed into each individual hair follicle to destroy the root. This usually results in permanent hair removal, whereas the laser method is used for permanent hair reduction.

laser hair removal

Advantages of laser hair removal
  • Speed – laser hair removal is a fairly quick process compared to other methods such as electrolysis, as large areas can be treated at once.
  • Precisionthe design of the laser allows it to specifically target dark, coarse hair without damaging the surrounding skin.
  • No messthere’s no uncomfortable, sticky residue left over from laser hair removal as can happen with waxing, and no clean-up necessary.
  • Less painfulthe treatment is known to be less painful than electrolysis and the more conventional processes of waxing and depilating.
  • Safethere are very little risks involved with laser hair removal, providing that the procedure is performed properly by a qualified professional.
  • Effectiveproven results of people experiencing long-lasting hair removal, or in some cases permanent hair reduction, after undergoing laser hair removal.
Disadvantages of laser hair removal
  • Regrowth – some regrowth can be expected with laser hair removal, as it is only approved by the FDA for “permanent hair reduction” and not “permanent hair removal”.
  • Side effectssome minor side effects such as itching or swelling can occur for a few days after the procedure. More severe but rare side effects such as burning, skin discoloration, blistering and infection are possible.
  • Hair colourlaser hair removal isn’t suitable for all hair colours and skin types, as the treatment targets melanin which means people with dark hair usually have better results than those with light hair.
  • Patience – don’t expect immediate results from laser hair removal, as a course of around 6-8 treatments are usually needed to accurately target the hair growth cycle and remove hair successfully.
  • Costdue to the amount of sessions needed and the cost of each treatment, laser hair removal can be an expensive option.

Despite the obvious cons of expense, session times and suitability, laser hair removal is a great alternative to conventional methods for those looking to save time in the long run. There’s no uncomfortable growing out hair stages in between waxes, and the extra 10 minutes in bed when not having to shave in the morning can be appreciated.

Laser hair removal v other methods

hair removal shaving

As great as laser hair removal sounds, is it really worth giving up your trusty and well love hair removal routines for? Let’s take a look at how laser hair removal compares to some of the more conventional methods of hair removal.

Waxing
There was a time when waxing seemed like the best, long-lasting method of hair removal available. Compared to shaving, waxing can give you smooth, hair-free skin for up to 6 weeks and there’s also the myth that regrowth would be lighter and finer in texture after a few sessions. However, downsides to waxing include the regrowth period which leaves you having to wait until the hair has fully grown back before waxing it off again. There is no regrowth period with laser hair removal, and pain is kept to a minimum.

Shaving
Despite the need to shave prior to the treatment, laser hair removal still reduces the need to rely on shaving as a regular method of getting rid of unwanted hairs. Even if regrowth is present, it would not be necessary to shave as often once the treatment has started to work. This can save time and prevent shaving side effects such as razor burn, itchy stubble and ingrown hairs.

Depilating
This is one of the less common ways of removing unwanted hair, with many people opting for waxing over depilation for long lasting results. Depilating is essentially plucking out each individual hair at a quick rate, and can be a painful procedure. This is what makes laser hair removal a great alternative for depilation, as there’s no need to rip the hair out at the root, and minimal pain included.

Hair removal creams
Using a hair removal cream essentially provides the same results as shaving, just without the razor. Instead of removing the hair at the root, hair removal creams simply cut the hairs above the skin’s surface, so they grow back much more quickly. It’s a great tool for those who want a quick fix without the pain of waxing or having to use a razor, but the products usually have quite an off-putting smell, and don’t always remove all of the hair in an area.

Plucking
Usually used for smaller areas on the face, plucking can be time-consuming and painful. More often than not, people find that they’re continuously plucking an area due to different growth cycles in the hairs, and plucking at inconsistent times.

Everyone has different reasons for using different methods of hair removal, and it could be that there’s a certain area of the body that just doesn’t agree with any of the multiple methods you’ve already tried. So, why not try out laser hair removal on this specific area of the body first and see how that works? We’re sure that you won’t look back.

Preparing for laser hair removal

preparing for laser hair removal by shaving

So, you’ve took the plunge and decided to book a laser hair removal session. Where do you go from here? As with any treatment, it’s important to follow preparation guidelines to ensure that the procedure is as effective as it could be, and side effects or complications are limited.

Hair removal prior to the procedure should be kept to shaving only. Plucking, waxing or depilating are strictly off limits for at least 2-4 weeks before the treatment, as these methods will remove the root of the hair, making it difficult for the laser to target and destroy it and will reduce the effectiveness of the procedure. You will be instructed to shave the areas to be treated prior to treatment, so that the laser can easily target the hair follicle without the disruption of longer hairs, which can also make the procedure more painful.

Tanning should be avoided for at least a month before the procedure – which includes using self tans as well as sunbeds and sun exposure. Ideally, the skin should be at its lightest during the procedure which is why undergoing laser treatment during winter months is a good idea.

Clean skin is essential to ensuring the effectiveness of the treatment. Be sure to clean the skin at the areas to be treated, and keep it free of any cosmetics, oils, creams or lotions prior to undergoing the laser procedure.

Whatever your reason for choosing laser hair removal, it’s important to ensure that you spend time researching practitioners offering the treatment, and carefully select a reputable, qualified professional to carry out the procedure. Allowing an under qualified individual to perform laser hair removal can pose serious risks and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

Ellipse hair removal treatment

ellipse hair removal

Here at Evolve Skin Clinic, we offer the expert Ellipse laser hair removal treatment, for a number of different areas of the face and body.

Our team is fully qualified to perform laser hair removal with the Ellipse system, which uses short, safe bursts of intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat unwanted hair. Some of the most common areas treated include upper lip, chin, bikini line, underarms and legs – although almost any areas can be treated.

How does the Ellipse treatment work?

Prior to the treatment, a thin layer of gel will be applied to the skin to ensure the maximum amount of light can pass through. The operator then carefully presses the Ellipse applicator on the skin, and emits a controlled pulse of light to target the hair follicle. There’s no need to worry about potential damage to the skin, as the unique Ellipse SPT+ system carefully filters out the lights to remove potentially harmful wavelengths and allow only light with the correct characteristics to reach the skin.

How long does the treatment take?

The treatment time for a session of Ellipse hair removal depends entirely on the size of the area to be treated. A large number of hairs can be treated at once, as many hairs as the 10mm x 48mm glass prism can cover. As a rough guide, it takes approximately 5 minutes to treat the upper lip, and anywhere between an hour to two hours for both legs.

How many treatments are needed?

For the treatment to be effective, it needs to target all hairs at the growing stage of its life cycle. To be able to successfully treat all hair follicles, the procedure needs to be treated typically around 3-6 times in intervals of 1-3 months. As with many other procedures, some people may need more or less treatments than others to achieve the desired results.

Does it hurt?

While this entirely depends on an individual’s pain tolerance, pain is reportedly minimal and no anaesthetics are required. In comparison to Electrolysis, this procedure is relatively pain-free and some have reported that the sensation is similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin.

Is it safe?

Leading doctors have carried out clinical trials documenting the safety and effectiveness of Ellipse hair removal, which were published in respected medical journals. Here at Evolve Skin Clinic, our team is fully qualified to provide the laser hair removal treatment to a specific standard to ensure the safety of our customers, and we would never administer the treatment had it been deemed unsafe.

Find out more about our Ellipse hair removal treatments here at Evolve Skin Clinic, including a full price list for both men and women, and book an appointment here.

If you’re not quite sure that laser hair removal is for you, we also offer a great range of waxing offers, for both men and women.

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