Victor Hugo used to write that “to love beauty is to see light” and while this might not be far from the truth, in reality we are all born beautifully different. The problem is that those small differences make us see ourselves as “out of place”. That may be the case in aesthetic surgery, body remodelling and even hair removal. As humans, we always seek ways to become more beautiful and closer to our ideal representation of beauty.
Speaking of hair removal, today we will discuss a technique that helps millions of people worldwide deal with their body image: the Laser Hair Removal treatment, which lights us all from unwanted body or facial hair.
What is laser hair removal technique?
Laser hair removal is the medical procedure used by aestheticians to remove unwanted hair. In this particular case, the doctor will use an intense beam of light, a laser, in order to make the process less painful and less time consuming. During the procedure, laser beams will pass through the skin tissue/layer right into the hair follicle, preventing it from future growth. This method show best results on people with either light or dark tone hair, however it might not guarantee a permanent hair removal. It all depends on the individuality of each patient and their body. Occasionally, some maintenance treatments might take place.
What are the differences between Laser and IPL?
First of all, please understand that IPL is not a laser, which implies there are several differences between the two of them. While IPLs are ideal as a medical method to treat superficial skin spots, pigmentation and blood vessels, it will not do wonders in hair removal treatments. That happens mainly because the wavelengths produced by IPL cannot focus in the same spot. It might work for hair reduction, however.
Secondly, the procedures show differences in the total cost and in final results. IPL might be cheaper, but again, there is no such thing as IPL guaranteed permanent results.
Thirdly, there is a significant difference between the follow-up procedures for maintenance: because IPLs fail to remove the unwanted hair, it will not require constant check-ups, while laser measures require frequent after-treatment actions. We want to make sure “all evidence is removed”.
Last, but not least, success rate of Laser exceeds the patient’s hopes: every 20% of hair follicles are disabled and there’s a chance of 60 to 80% that the unwanted hair is reduced and even long gone.
Most Effective Treatment: Laser versus Waxing
The Laser hair removal method works best on light or dark tone skins and the hairs must be actively growing in order to see permanent results. It is interesting to see that even though the old hairs disappear, new ones grow, hence the need for several treatments. Usually, these treatments are done with a time gap of 4 to 10 weeks, depending on the area the Laser is applied. You might have to wait for the hair to re-grow otherwise there is no point in doing after-treatments. People with skin conditions such as rashes, acne or eczema are advised to wait at least 6 months before undergoing the Laser treatment.
When it comes to waxing, the hair follicle is being torn apart and the hair root is being plucked out of the skin layers. While waxing might help you in keeping the body or facial hair away for a few of weeks, it will still have to be re-done, again, and again.
On the other hand, Permanent laser hair removal will at least remove 80% of the hairs after several sessions. Before beginning the permanent Laser treatment, it is highly important to not use wax. You can however shave: shaving cuts the hair on the surface, leaving the root untouched. Remember that Laser treatments work pretty much in depth.
Risks and Aftercare
Just like any medical procedure, the Laser hair removal treatment has its risks. People with sensitive skin might be affected in the first days post-treatment: for e.g., their skin might appear swollen and red, similar to sunburns. In this case, it is highly recommended to use good moisturisers and Aloe Vera gels. If the warm feeling does not disappear after 24hours, you can use ice to cool it down.
Avoid at all costs using sunscreen, cosmetics and body lotions at least in the first day after a Laser treatment. Do not scratch or pinch the area and keep away from external heat (sauna, hot tub, steam and even exercises that cause perspiration) and water (especially salty) at least for 2 days post-treatment.
In very few cases, patients developed blisters on the skin right after treatment. People with a difficult skin history should definitely stay aware and discuss about performing the treatment with their clinic doctor. Acne, damaged skin and even cold sores are conditions to look out for: seek medical advice before and after treatment.