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by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

What You Should Know Before You Get Laser Hair Removal

Image via @flowmitpaula

Shaving or waxing can be a real pain—razor burns, cuts and ingrown hairs are all frustrating to deal with. That’s where laser hair removal comes in. But before you commit to the treatment, it’s best to research any questions you might have. It’s easy to be lured in by the promise of a stubble-free life, but it’s important to read up on the facts first, to make sure the treatment is right for you. Ahead, all the things you should know before you give laser hair removal the green light.

What is laser hair removal?

The way laser hair removal works is that pulses of highly concentrated light are emitted from the laser and delivered into the hair follicles. The light converts to heat and damages the hair follicle, which prevents hair from growing back.

Are laser and IPL treatments the same?

Yes, and no. Both laser and IPL (otherwise known as intense pulsed light) use light to heat the hair follicle and prevent regrowth. The key difference between laser and IPL is the type of light. In short, lasers produce a very specific type of light consisting of one wavelength all going in one direction, which creates a very focused beam. IPL devices produce a broad spectrum of light to produce a single white flash, which is why laser treatments often lead to faster results.

Does it hurt?

It rather feels like a rubber band snapping against your skin, although some machines perform differently. Not every zap will hurt and some areas, like the lower legs, may hurt more than others.

Is it expensive?

The hair-zapping service can come with a substantial price tag and can vary depending on the location and the area you want free of hair. For your legs and arms, you can expect to dish out a couple of hundred dollars.

How do I prepare for laser hair removal?

You’ll likely be told to shave a day or two before your sessions. You’ll also want to avoid tanning and self-tanners before and after treatment. If laser treatment is done over a body part with recent sun exposure, it could cause burning, hyperpigmentation and scarring.

The day of your appointment, you’ll want to avoid using any products on your skin. That includes body lotions, deodorant, or anything else. Be sure to check with your aesthetician about any other things you should and should not do before and after your sessions.

Aftercare

For 24 hours after your treatment, heat treatments, saunas and direct sun exposure should be avoided and you should use sunscreen on exposed areas.

It takes 10 to 14 days for the hair to start falling out. You can exfoliate in the shower with a body scrub to help speed along the process. Generally, the process of laser hair removal can take around six months. As each hair will be in a different part of the growth cycle, the treatment should be repeated every 6-8 weeks to target the next cycle of hairs.

Also, an important thing to note is: there’s never a guarantee that you’ll lead a hair-free life after treatment. Laser hair removal works better for some people than others—some people notice regrowth after several months or years, while others find they never have to shave again. 

Where should you go for laser hair removal?

Supersmooth
The hair removal brand in Singapore uses lasers to go straight to the roots of your hair to damage it before the hairs come off after two weeks. It also means the procedure is safe for all skin tones. There are eight sessions included in each package, but if those aren’t enough to completely rid you of your hair, Supersmooth offers a three-year warranty to cover any additional sessions.

The Aesthetics Centre
Those with darker skin tones have no need to fret about the treatment as all procedures are done or personally supervised by Dr Anita Soosay, who has a special interest in laser hair removal for darker-skinned patients as it is more difficult to treat safely and effectively if not performed with the correct type of laser or with optimum settings.

La Vie Aesthetics
Their BYEhair programme utilises a technique called Super Hair Removal (SHR) to efficiently and safely remove hair permanently. Unlike IPL, BYEhair uses lasers with rapid cooling systems that ensure a more comfortable time during the procedure. The lasers will eliminate hair follicles and prevent regrowth without harming surrounding tissue or nerves.

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