Having silky smooth limbs is so tempting for many of us, and living stubble-free allows more time for the fun things in life. Many options exist for the removal of body hair, including shaving, waxing and threading, but laser removal offers a more permanent solution. Before booking your hair removal treatment, it’s wise to read up on all the facts to ensure that this is the right approach for you.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal works by targetting the pigment that creates colour in the hair – melanin, deep in the hair follicle. Light is sent from the machine’s handpiece into the hair follicle, damaging it and destroying the hair root, preventing any further growth. Subsequently the hair, now without a root to anchor it in the follicle, falls out, leaving smooth, stubble-free skin.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
This is a question we get asked a lot, and the answer varies depending on the area of the body being targeted. The skin on the face can be quite sensitive and treatment here may be uncomfortable. Many people report that it feels like being lightly flicked with an elastic band and that afterwards, the sensation is similar to a mild sunburn. On skin that is less sensitive, such as legs and arms, people often mention a tingling ‘pins and needles’ feeling.
The Nu TriLaze Plus from British Institute of Lasers uses cutting edge SuperCool™ technology. This means that the hair removal is painless, allowing larger areas to be treated in one session, saving time and money.
It’s a good idea to shave before your appointment
Because the laser targets hairs, it’s important that there is a small amount of hair growth for the laser light to travel down into the hair follicle. The shorter the hair, however, the less energy is depleted, meaning that the laser is strong enough to cause sufficient damage when it reaches the follicle.
Wax and depilatory creams work by either pulling the hair out of the follicle or dissolving the hair and root, leaving nothing for the laser to travel down, rendering the treatment pointless. A razor is ideal, though, as it leaves stubble behind.
Keep out of the sun before your appointment
It’s recommended that you avoid sun exposure for around four weeks before your laser hair removal treatment – this includes the tanning bed. Cover-up, or use a broad spectrum protection cream with a high SPF to ensure your skin isn’t damaged by the sun. Lasers can seriously aggravate sunburn, and your skin needs to heal from the treatment. If your skin is trying to recover from sunburn at the same time, it can take much longer to return to full health.
Most sun lovers will schedule their hair removal for the winter months, meaning they will have beautifully smooth skin for the summer season.
Avoid hot showers, deodorant and perfumes after your appointment
Because your skin will feel very sensitive for around 24 to 48 hours after the laser hair removal, it’s important not to aggravate it. As much as you love hot showers, keep to a lukewarm temperature, and gently pat yourself dry afterwards – rubbing can cause your skin to become sore. Shower gels, deodorants and perfumes may all irritate sensitive skin, so are best avoided.
You may need to have several treatments
In order to achieve the beautifully smooth permanent hair removal that you desire, it can take several laser sessions.
Hair has several phases in its growth cycle:
- Anagen – this is the growth phase, with the hair visible above the skin
- Catagen – the hair transitions from actively growing to a dormant state
- Telogen – the hair is dormant, and the follicle starts producing a new hair
- Exogen – the hair is shed, and once it’s gone, the new hair can emerge from the skin
To achieve the best effect, the laser needs to be applied during the growing phase. However, only a proportion of your body hair is in anagen at the same time, and this is why the treatment may need to be repeated several times.
Each laser hair removal appointment can remove up to 50% of your hair, depending on the percentage that is in the anagen phase. We recommend that you return in around three to four weeks for another session once the remaining hair has moved into the growth phase. Every person’s hair is different, and this can affect the number of treatments needed, with thicker, darker hair requiring more sessions.
In the quest for super smooth legs, arms and more, there have been many barbaric methods resorted to – hands up who tried the agonising epilator! But here we have an effective method that results in permanent hair removal, and, thanks to the SuperCool™ technology, is comfortably pain-free – the perfect solution.