The lowdown on laser hair removal : Common questions answered
Laser hair removal has been a big buzz word in the hair removal market for the last couple of years, but it can be pretty confusing. The notion of it sounds fantastic- no more waxing or shaving forever- but the truth is a little more complicated. In an effort to decode this bandied about term, Addicted to Beauty is offering you the laser hair removal guide to talk you through how lasers work and what they can offer you.
Question One: Is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal is not permanent hair removal, it’s permanent hair reduction. It doesn’t matter what your therapist says, there is no such thing as laser PERMANENT hair removal. Long term hair reduction might be almost permanent, inasmuch as you may need to only shave every 3 months/ 6 months etc, but hair will regrow.
Question 2: What’s the difference between laser hair removal and IPL hair removal- are they the same thing?
These two terms are often used to refer to laser hair removal, but IPL is NOT laser hair removal. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a way of creating long term hair reduction but it doesn’t use a laser. The community is divided on which is more effective, but you should be aware they are not the same thing. They work in two different ways:
- Laser hair removal works by turning light from a laser into heat energy in the skin. This then targets the hair shaft and disables it. The laser strength can be varied and it can be adjusted to target specific beams of light.
- IPL works in a similar way, using pulses of light that go into the skin, and heat up the hair shaft. It damages the hair pigment which stops and/or slows future growth.
Question 3: Is it suitable for everyone?
Laser hair removal works by the laser light being attracted to the melanin in the hair root. Thus, if you have white hair or dark skin, it will either do nothing or will burn you, so you need to check it’s appropriate for you. This may change as people have been working on developing lasers that work for different skin tones, but at the moment you need to be careful- research before you buy or sign up!
Question 4: Why do I need to go multiple times?
Hair has three different stages- anagen, catogen and telogen, which equate to growing, static and resting phases. In order to make sure you get the hair when it’s growing you need repeat session to capture in all the stages of growth- and frustratingly they vary all over the body.
Let me know if you have any more questions!