Hair removal can be a pain… literally! From shaving to waxing to zapping the hairs away with either Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment or laser hair removal, all of these methods involve a certain amount of pain. This can range from accidentally cutting yourself with a razor or what feels like a hundred hairs being pulled out at once during a waxing session. What’s worse? It will all probably grow back! Dang!
It doesn’t end there either because methods such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser hair removal aims to zap away unwanted hairs on our bodies but these treatments may or may not be permanent depending on the individual’s hair growth pattern, coarseness and also the colour of their skin.
Another thing to note is that Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser hair removal will only work on ‘living hair’ which means it is attached to a jelly bulb of growing cells but this is only about less than 40 percent of the living hair on your body. This is why both IPL and laser requires multiple treatments in order to kill the hair growing cells at different living cycles and stop the growth of the hair.
Since shaving and waxing are methods of hair removal that are well known and painfully ( 🙂 ) straight forward, we will focus on IPL and laser hair removal in this article.
During laser hair removal, a specific wavelength of light is emitted. For people with darker skin and hair, laser is better because it can emit a longer wavelength which will only target the hair and not zap the innocent skin around the hair.
Laser is usually more effective at removing hair on larger areas too. It is also slightly more permanent than IPL as long as you follow your laser schedule religiously.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a form of light therapy whereby it emits multiple wavelengths of light into the skin and targets our pigments. In the case of hair removal, the pigment is the hair and it absorbs the light which turns to heat and basically kills the cells that produce the hair.
This method of hair removal usually works well for people with fair skin and dark hair because it sends out different wavelengths of light that scatter within the skin. However, IPL might not be the most permanent because of the different wavelengths of light emitted which means that the light is more scattered.
On average, IPL is slightly more affordable than laser and is still a great method of almost permanent hair removal.
So you’ve made up your mind and chosen a clinic to go to. Before you start, remember to always check for reviews on your chosen clinic and perhaps call ahead to ask some questions about them. Questions to ask include how long have they performed IPL, laser hair removal or both, how long they’ve been operating the centre as well as certification to indicate that the person is qualified to conduct an IPL or laser session. Don’t ever feel too shy to ask questions.
If you know anyone who have had either Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or laser hair removal done, there’s no harm in asking them to share their experience. It’s definitely a ‘bonus’ if you are able find a friend who has hair and skin that is similar to yours and had these treatment before.
The most important thing to note is to go to a reputable clinic to get these methods of hair removal done. Going to beauty salons or someone’s house isn’t ideal because if anything goes wrong, the person attending to you won’t be able to help. Additionally, seeking hair removal from places without a qualified expert or proper machines could result in scarring of your skin and also infections from improper sanitisation.
After you’ve done your research and chosen a reputable clinic to go to, do keep these tips in mind.
If you have a tan from major sun exposure, wait four weeks before going for IPL or laser. Hair removal when you’re pregnant or breast feeding isn’t advisable. No plucking or waxing to ensure that your hair is ‘alive’ during your appointment. Shaving is alright because it doesn’t involve removal of the root.
If in doubt, during your consultation, do ask your appointed expert on how to prep for your appointment.
Lastly, after Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser hair removal treatment, one has to be patient, as it be a while before one can the ‘smooth’ results. Bear in mind, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser hair removal treatments aren’t cheap and gnerally you are looking at a few round of treatment cycles. Always weigh the pros and cons and if in doubt, call up the clinic and ask their experts on which method will suit your skin and hair type.