Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Laser Hair Removal
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No shame in your game if you want to keep it au naturale but if you’re looking to go smooth, we’ve got the details on all the different kinds of hair removal methods. The third blog post in our hair removal series is on laser hair removal.
Whether you shave or wax, there are many different ways to remove body hair. But if your hair is giving you woes and you want a more permanent solution, you may want to consider laser hair removal for down there.
What is laser hair removal?
Unlike waxing, which removes hair from the follicles and lasts a few weeks, or shaving, which is even less permanent, laser hair removal results lasts years because it actually affects the hair’s ability to grow.
Laser hair removal uses highly concentrated pulses of light to remove hair. The light is absorbed by the pigment in follicles which then destroys the hair. Hair has a growth cycle with resting and falling-out phases, which means not all hair is present during some treatments. This is why six treatments four to six weeks apart are suggested to accommodate the hair’s growth cycle.
The style of your laser treatment is entirely up to you. You can just do your bikini line, leave a small landing strip, or get the Brazilian, which means it ALL goes.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
The strength of the laser is increased with each treatment so the pain will gradually increase as well. The most commonly described sensation of laser hair removal is a hot rubber band snapping against the skin. Waiting too long between treatments can increase the pain so stick to the schedule discussed with your technician at the initial consultation.
While the treatments are usually bearable for most, intimate areas such as your vulva can hurt more. So if you have a lower pain threshold or have extremely sensitive skin, you may want to pop a painkiller, apply numbing cream, or down a glass of wine beforehand.
The potential laser hair removal side effects include swelling, bruising, blistering, scabbing, pigmentation, and redness.
Laser hair removal pros and cons
Let’s break down the pros and cons. In the pros column, laser hair removal will save you both time and money in the long run if you regularly wax or shave. Plus, no more ingrown hairs or red bumps! We’d say that’s a huge plus in the pros column.
For cons, while you’ll save money by not having to pay for waxing sessions or shaving supplies, laser hair removal does require a chunk of money upfront (costs range from $150-$250 each treatment). The other thing is it will take a bit of time before you are baby smooth and hair-free. A minimum of six sessions is suggested, with four to six weeks in between treatments.
Tips for laser hair removal
- Shave the day before your treatment
- Avoid waxing six weeks before the treatment
- If possible, try not to book a treatment during menstruation or guzzle coffee the day of as the skin will be more sensitive
Laser hair removal results
The best laser hair removal results happen when you have dark hair and fair or light skin. But don’t despair if you still see hair immediately after the treatment or you see red bumps. This is because the laser worked on the hair follicle and the burned hairs are trying to fall out. After the redness subsides, the hair will be gone so let your body do its magic.
Your skin may be red and bumpy right after each treatment, especially on the sensitive skin around your vagina. Avoid hot activities like gyms, saunas, hot tubs etc, as the heat from the lasers lasts on your skin for 24 hours and you don’t want to create a hot bed for bacteria. Your at-home aftercare should involve a soothing toner that contains witch hazel to calm any inflammation and a lotion with aloe vera to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.
As for long-term results, it will vary for everyone. For some, the hair removal is permanent, while for others, the hair comes back after a few years. Results will depend on your skin and hair type, the area you choose to laser, and the expertise of the clinic you choose and the equipment they use but generally after each treatment, your hair should get thinner and grow less frequently. While there is no absolute guarantee with laser hair removal, it’s usually effective in removing 80-90% of hair in eligible candidates.
Whether you’re tired of buying razor after razor, don’t want to keep scheduling waxing appointments, or want to say goodbye to razor burn and ingrown hairs, laser hair removal may be something for you to consider. As with all skin treatments, especially ones meant to be permanent, make sure it’s right for you and consult with your dermatologist.