Rates of people seeking permanent hair removal solutions in the past decade have shot up – and that goes for women and men.
There are three main types of permanent hair removal readily available at most good clinics, which are:
The question is, what are the differences and which type of hair removal will suit you the most?
Some are more painful than others, while some have a higher success rate at keeping hair completely at bay than other kinds.
Whichever method you go for, you can be sure that they are all much more effective with less annoying side effects than shaving, plucking, using hair removal cream, or waxing.
Without further ado, read on for an explanation into the differences, pros and cons of each permanent hair removal method so you can make an informed choice about which solution you want to go for.
Laser hair removal is the most popular and well-known kind of permanent hair removal – but is it the best?
Generally, laser works great for pale-skinned clients with dark hair who want to reduce the unwanted hair on their upper lip, armpits and bikini line, but can also be used on other areas. It doesn’t work very well on dark-skinned or light-haired people.
Laser removal usually takes 4-6 sessions to achieve complete hair eradication but could require more or less. These sessions are recommended to be spaced at a month to six weeks apart, so full treatment can take up the best part of a year.
As with most types of ‘permanent’ hair removal, that is not really the case. It will significantly reduce unwanted hair but cannot be relied on to completely banish the hair for life. Ongoing sessions will be required to keep all hair at bay.
The good news is that laser shouldn’t hurt the patient too much – it feels like a series of elastic bands snapping at the skin. Most patients report significant hair reduction and are very happy with the results.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
IPL works largely in the same way as laser hair removal but uses many more wavelengths to target and kill hair roots. Making each session effectively better at reducing hair growth.
A low dose of IPL continuously shoots deep into the hair follicle, which gets absorbed by the hair papilla pigment. This decomposes and shrinks each hair before it can erupt, significantly impeding hair growth.
This form of treatment is said by some to be more painful than laser – but independent practitioners have developed ways in which to dramatically reduce pain. Hairfreedom Centres in Australia have created a unique cooling system built into their IPL hair removal handsets which immediately creates a numbing sensation along with the light therapy to ensure patients feel little to no pain during the procedure.
How many sessions you need depends on your hair thickness and size of the target area. Armpits, for instance, take around 6 sessions, while bikini line usually takes up to 8. Expect noticeably reduced hair growth from the first session.
Electrolysis is billed as a progressive treatment to permanently get rid of unwanted hair. It’s a rapid form of hair removal, with treatments delivering tiny pulses of current as little as one-thousandth of a second in length directly into the skin to target hair follicles before they can develop. It is effective on any area of the body.
Depending on the size of the area of treatment, electrolysis sessions usually take up to 45 minutes, but ‘touch up sessions’ can be as quick as 15-20 minutes in the clinic.
Electrolysis can be a better solution because it produces more permanent results than laser and works on all hair colors, not just dark hair. As with most forms of hair removal, it is not pain-free, but not unbearable. Your technician will work at a pace suited to you and your pain threshold.
Whichever type sounds best-suited to you, make sure you go to a licensed clinic with fully trained technicians in your chosen hair removal method.