Many people are looking to remove hair in areas like the face, armpit and legs. But it seems that this is impossible to achieve with hair removal methods like waxing, shaving and tweezing. Hair keeps coming back and worse yet, the skin may get unwanted bumps, become discolored or get injured from different procedures.
With the introduction of laser hair removal in recent decades, we have seen the next best solution to remove all unwanted hair. Before you book your appointment, here are the things that you need to know about laser hair removal and how it compares with other methods.
Light Based Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a method of permanent hair reduction that uses pulses of laser light to destroy the hair follicles down to its root level. Its main goal is to reduce the number of hairs regrowing on a long-term basis. The idea is to kill the cells in the follicles and stop them from growing. The process had been experimentally studied for many years until it became available for commercial use in the 1990s.
Laser hair removal is popular because of its speed and efficacy in achieving hairless skin. The use of specific wavelengths of light can target the basal stem cells in the hair follicle. However, its effectiveness largely depends on the ability of the technician to target the right areas.
Different clients have varying numbers of sessions depending on how well their skin responds to the treatment. But generally, it can take up to 8 to 10 sessions.
Waxing has its roots in ancient Egypt where they mixed honey with oil and applied it to the skin to remove unwanted hair. Today, waxing is a popular option for hair removal. It uses wax, either hot or cold depending on the product, to pull out visible hairs.
Waxing collectively pulls all hair in the applied area which many people consider painful. It may also cause burns especially when using the hot method. Thus, it’s important that the temperature is monitored correctly to avoid hurting the skin.
Compared with shaving, waxing offers a longer lasting effect because it pulls the hair from the roots. It is a convenient and cost-effective way to get rid of unwanted hair. However, it may cause redness, irritation and bruising in some individuals. Extra care may be needed not to wax areas with blisters or pimples since this can lead to bleeding.
Compared with laser hair removal, waxing is only a temporary method. Expect hair to grow back in as early as 1 week.
Shaving involves using a razor to cut the hair at the skin level. This is probably the oldest and still the most popular method of hair removal. Unlike laser based therapy that can require specialized equipment, shaving only requires a sharp, disposable blade.
Shaving is usually convenient and painless, unless you get a razor cut. Compared with laser hair removal which can create a tingling sensation, shaving may be preferred for those with a lower pain tolerance.
One thing to note is that shaving is often the first step before your laser technician introduces the laser light to your skin. In fact, if you don’t shave prior to the laser treatment, the device could end up burning the visible hair which can be uncomfortable.
Since shaving removes visible hair while leaving the follicle intact, expect the hair to grow back after 1 to 3 days.
Plucking or Tweezing
Plucking using tweezers is another way to get rid of unwanted hair. You can opt to pluck hairs one by one to remove the entire hair from the roots. However, it can be a tedious job especially if it involves your armpit.
Unlike laser hair removal that can eventually help smoothen out the surface of the skin, plucking can sometimes lead to “chicken skin”, or small bumps that resemble goosebumps. Other side effects may include scabbing and scarring if plucking digs too deep into the skin.
The pain level can lie somewhere between that of waxing or shaving. It is more painful than shaving but more tolerable than waxing.
Similar to waxing, it may take 3 to 6 weeks for the hair to grow back. But again, this will not reduce a great amount of hair compared with laser hair removal.
Hair Removal Creams
While laser hair removal works by targeting the basal stem cells of the hair follicle, hair removal creams and depilatory creams work by dissolving the hair. You can apply the cream on the desired area and leave it for few minutes before wiping it off. Creams are most effective for thin hair rather than thick or coarse hair.
Since creams use chemicals, they could cause irritation and strong reactions in some individuals. Allergic reactions, stinging, and chemical burns have been reported with the use of these chemicals. Thus, it is sometimes recommended to do a skin testing prior to using them or exercise caution, especially if you have known allergies.
Unlike laser hair removal that permanently reduces the hair in the skin, hair removal creams get rid of hair at the surface level only. Expect regrowth within 1 to 3 days.
Which Method Works Best for You?
Based on the available methods, it is very evident that laser hair removal remains to be the best option for long-term hairless skin. It permanently reduces hair growth, avoids potential skin injury, and eventually leads to a more desirable appearance.
If you’re looking for effective hair removal treatment, Rocky Mountain Skin Care Clinic is here for you. Call us at (720) 625-8020 and schedule an appointment today!