Of late my body seems to be letting me down in an area I didn’t expect… apparently as one gains years one also gains hairs – who knew??? Over the years I have tried various methods of hair removal – the usual culprits of shaving, depilatory creams, bleaching and waxing and I even braved threading once (Great results but THE PAIN is second only to natural birth with no pain meds!) So when a friend invested in an IPL (intense pulsed light) machine for her salon and began singing the praises I decided the time was now to overcome my hang ups and embrace this new (to me) concept. With minimal discomfort, IPL or laser hair removal has now become my new best friend. I’ve been amazed at how something so seemingly trivial has boosted my self-esteem – even if no one else is aware of the changes!
I found a few interesting articles that explain it in more detail and I thought you might be keen to read up some more about this technology that can change your life! All that’s left for me to say is: Bring on Summer,
Five Reasons to Consider Permanent Hair Removal
Shaving, depilatories, waxing, plucking – they’re all tedious methods of removing unwanted hair. If you’re tired of removing unwanted hair over and over, only to have it grow back, you might have considered permanent hair removal. There are actually several good reasons to take the plunge and get rid of unwanted hair on your body once and for all. Once the unwanted hair is gone, you may wonder why you waited so long.
Reduces Underarm Odour
You may already use a strong deodorant and antiperspirant combination, but if you sweat excessively or have heavy underarm hair growth, you may still experience unpleasant underarm odour. That’s because hair under your arms traps perspiration and promotes the growth of bacteria, and the combination produces the familiar result of underarm odour. However, eliminating underarm hair reduces the opportunity for perspiration and bacteria to accumulate, often resulting in much less underarm odour.
Eliminates Ingrown Hairs
One risk of shaving is that it can produce ingrown hairs that irritate the skin and cause unsightly “razor bumps” caused by hair curling back toward the body and becoming trapped underneath the surface of the skin. This condition is especially common with coarse curly hair. In fact, many black men actually grow facial hair because shaving produces large areas of razor bumps. Permanent hair removal vastly reduces the possibility of hair curling back into the skin, thereby reducing or eliminating ingrown hairs.
One factor that stops many people from considering permanent hair removal is the cost. It’s true that the initial expense of permanent hair removal can be quite steep. However, once treatment is complete, you can forget about spending money on razors and foam, depilatory chemicals or spa appointments to wax your bikini line. Over time, the money you save can more than make up your initial investment in permanent hair removal.
If you’re like many people, you don’t have a lot of extra time. Why spend what little spare time you have removing unwanted body hair? While the process of permanently eliminating unwanted body hair may require several sessions (usually between 6 – 8), you can schedule your appointments at your convenience, with little or no down time from work (smaller areas such as lip or chin require only 5 minute appointments). And once the process is completed, that’s one more grooming task that you can cross off your list.
Improved Self Confidence
When you look good, your self confidence naturally gets a boost. Permanent hair removal can help you achieve an overall well-groomed appearance. If you suffer from razor bumps, permanent hair removal can make a difference not only in how you feel, but in the overall appearance of your complexion. Permanent hair removal that reduces underarm odour can definitely enhance your relationships with friends, family and your partner.
Permanent Hair Removal Methods
You have two major choices for how to get the job done: electrolysis and laser treatment. It is important to have either type of treatment done by professionals in a properly equipped facility. Improperly done, both electrolysis and laser treatment can cause scarring, inflammation and hyper pigmentation,
Electrolysis involves sending a low-level electrical pulse through a needle inserted into the follicle to destroy it, causing the hair to fall out. Electrolysis usually requires between 10 to 25 treatments. Laser treatments use pulsating light beams to burn melanin in the hair, causing it to stop growing. Six to eight treatments are commonly required for laser treatment, with a waiting period of three to eight weeks between treatments. Laser treatment is often not effective on light coloured hair and works best on dark hair. Laser treatments are also expensive.
What to Consider Before Laser Hair Removal
Using a razor or a depilatory cream can effectively get rid of any undesirable body hair. However, if you are shaving your legs or removing another large portion of hair on a regular basis, these methods can become very tedious. Continually removing hair can also sometimes cause some skin irritations. For these reasons, many people decide to turn to laser hair removal. Before deciding whether or not to try this technique, it is important to look at both the pros and cons of the procedure and determine whether it is a technique that will work for you.
During a laser hair treatment, lasers, or beams of very concentrate light, are aimed at specific areas. The lasers penetrate the unwanted hair follicles. The heat from the laser destroys the hair. It also makes it difficult for hair to grow back in that area. Over a series of treatments, patients of laser hair removal generally experience reduced hair growth. This usually ensures a long period during which hair does not grow. This period can last anywhere from a month to several years, depending on the person. Patients sometimes need to have future treatments every now and then to maintain the treatment and ensure that the hair does not grow back.
Undergoing laser hair removal ensures that patients can enjoy long stretches of time without worry about unwanted hair. Permanent hair loss is also sometimes possible. Shaving or using a depilatory cream will become unnecessary. Most patients will only need to return for maintenance procedures every few months or so, but this does vary from person to person. In the past, this particular treatment worked best on people with light skin and dark hair, since the laser actually damages the pigment in the hair follicle. However, new technologies mean that this treatment is also now effective on people with coloured skin or people with light coloured hair.
Directly after a procedure, patients often experience redness, tenderness or swelling in the area that was treated. Special gels are applied before the procedure to protect the skin as much as possible, but mild damage usually does occur. In rare cases, blisters or true burns can also occur. These can lead to damaged skin pigments or even scars. During a procedure, if you are experiencing a lot of pain, it is important to notify the technician. This can help to prevent burns. Staying out of the sun before and after a procedure can also reduce damage to the skin.
Because it is so effective, and is most commonly performed by a professional technician, a laser hair removal procedure is not inexpensive, however, this cost can vary from place to place so it can be worthwhile to look around but always bear in mind that it is important to visit an experienced therapist at a reputable salon. Differences in price also occur when you consider the specific factors about your particular treatment. Using the procedure on larger areas of the body generally costs more, while smaller areas may cost significantly less. Cost also varies depending on who is performing the procedure.
I highly recommend my beauty therapist – Tracy from Stillwater – for laser hair removal. Read more about her here.
For Further Reading
Images via Flickr Creative Commons: Guillermo Flores.