n the course of a lifetime, Women spend 72 days shaving their legs and is our most hated beauty ritual. For decades we have tried to find the best solution for excess hair. So if you feel like you’ve had enough of bleaching, shaving or waxing and want something more permanent, you’re not alone!
Because of our genetics or ethnic heritage, or sometimes because of a medical condition such as PCOS or menopause, the amount of hair growth and excess hair varies from person to person. While there is only one approved method of permanent hair removal there are a number of permanent hair reduction treatments that make feeling smooth and hair free far more achievable.
Electrolysis hair removal is the only method medically approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. Via a small needle, a small electric current is targeted into each hair follicle to destroy the root.
- It is FDA approved, so you know it’s safe and effective
- While some methods of hair removal may use chemicals, electrolysis is a fairly natural procedure. It works with the natural saline and water deep in the skin to destroy the hair follicle
- There is very little risk of burning with electrolysis
- Because it doesn’t target hair pigment (melanin) it can help treat a wider range of skin tones and hair colours.
Things to consider:
- If you’ve previously waxed or epilated, results may take longer.
- You will need multiple treatments.
- For most people the skin heals naturally with no problems but some people find they have tiny scars where the needle is inserted.
- For darker skin, there is an increased risk of hyperpigmentation and formation of keloids.
- Depending on your pain tolerance, you may find the procedure just a mild discomfort or quite painful. Some technicians will apply a topical pain killer which can help alleviate the pain.
- Prices will vary depending on location but it can work out more expensive over a course of treatments compared to other methods.
If you’re considering Electrolysis make sure to find a certified member of the British Institute & Association of Electrolysis.
At Home IPL Removal Kit
With the popularity of laser/ IPL hair removal growing in recent years, you now have the option of buying small devices to use at home.
There are a number on the market ranging from £100 to £500 upwards. Most will work in a similar way to professional hair removal treatments.
- Buying your own kit means that you can do it in your own time and in the privacy of your own home.
- Depending on the product, it can also be more cost effective than having a professional treatment.
Things to consider:
- The downside to home use devices is that results will vary depending on the kind of technology and the levels of intense pulsed light the device provides.
- They can be quite tricky to use if you’re removing hair from difficult to reach places. Most will also only work on fair skin with dark hairs.
- You can’t patch test the product before purchasing to ensure that it is suitable for your skin type.
If you want to try a laser/ IPL hair removal kit at home make sure to do your research. Does it provide UV protection? What technology does it use – IPL or radio frequency? And check that it is suitable for your skin type and hair colour.
IPL and laser hair removal can often be viewed as the same treatment but there are a few differences which varies the results achieved. Both treatments disrupt the growth cycle of each hair follicle but each use different technology to get the desired results.
Laser hair removal as the name suggests, uses laser technology to produce an intensely concentrated beam of light. It is very precise and can be adapted so that it will work better with your skin type and hair colour.
- A patch test will be conducted before a course of treatments to determine the correct settings for your skin and hair type, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.
- Laser technology is more effective than IPL and can take fewer treatments to achieve permanent hair reduction.
- The heat is absorbed by the follicle not the skin decreasing the risk of burning.
- You don’t have to grow the hairs before the treatment and you can shave up to three days before.
Things to consider:
- Because it is permanent hair reduction not removal, there may be some regrowth depending on how many treatments you’ve had and how well your hair has responded to the treatment.
- You may get some itching or swelling after the treatment which will disappear after a few days. There can be more serious side effects like burning or skin discolouration but at your consultation, the technician should talk you through the possible side effects and what to do if they become more serious.
- A number of treatments will be needed.
Rather than laser technology, Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL) removes hair by sending out high-energy light pulses, heating the hair follicle to reduce hair growth. The hair does not immediately come out during the treatment but instead weakens and falls out over time.
Leanne who’s based in our Knightbridge clinic has treated an number of clients who have come in for hair removal treatment:
“I love treating the clients who suffer with excess facial hair. My very first laser client was an 18-year old girl with a fully grown beard – after every session you would see her confidence growing”.
- Most of the benefits for IPL are very similar to laser hair removal treatments and it tends to be cheaper
Things to consider:
- The main difference being that it can be less effective than laser hair removal as it is not as targeted.
For more information about laser hair removal click here.
How to Choose?
With so many treatment options, how do you choose?
The key is to get advice on what will work best for your skin type and hair colour. We are all different, so the right treatment for your friend or relative, might not be right for you. Get some professional advice – most clinics will offer you a free consultation to discuss your options. With so many salons now offering permanent hair reduction treatments, it is more important than ever to feel happy with your practitioner and that you’ve decided on the right treatment together.
Hair removal/reduction is a long term investment – in how you look and feel as well as real cash – so make sure you are getting the very best you can afford.
If you would like more information or would like to talk through your options, get in touch. Our experienced team are happy to walk you through any of our treatments and make sure that it is suitable for you.