Before going into the pros and cons of laser hair removal, it is necessary to evaluate the other more traditional forms of hair removal to put things in proper perspective. Shaving is a highly repetitive process taking some of your time every few days. Waxing does pull out the hair from the root but it is a very painful process. Additionally consider the itching when the hair grows back again. Electrolysis is another option that is generally tried out. A super-fine needle is inserted into each hair follicle and an electric current is passed through it, killing the follicle off. It is a very time consuming process not to mention the pain.

That brings the topic around to laser hair removal and how it works. It is a form of permanent to semi-permanent form of hair removal that damages the hair follicle to restrict growth. Laser, a thin beam of light focuses on the pigment cells that are found in the hair follicle. Once the melanin is traced, the laser travels all the way down to the hair follicle, burning it out. It takes about six to eight monthly sessions before the area under treatment is fully smoothened out.

What then are the pros and cons of laser hair removal?

Pros –

Laser treatments are talked in the same breath as permanent hair removal. But strictly it is not so, it does not get rid of unwanted hair forever. But what it does is that it dramatically reduces hair growth, so much so that you can stop shaving or using epilators.

All parts of the body can be treated with a laser hair removal machine. This includes the face, stomach, back, legs, underarms and bikini line. Most importantly, this procedure is extremely fast. Large areas of the body can be treated within an hour and smaller areas like the upper lip takes seconds. This is one reason why laser hair removal is so popular now. Absolutely no downtime -you can pop in during lunch hour and complete a session.

Contrary to popular belief, laser hair removal is not totally a painless procedure but quite mild and negligible when compared to shaving and waxing. There will be a stinging sensation on the area under treatment, something like a rubber band being dragged over the skin. The first time is always a bit more than subsequent sessions because by that time the hair has become thinner. Further, the degree of pain is subjective varying between individuals. To lessen the pain, technicians use ice to numb the area before and after treatments or run cool air over the affected region.

Cons –

It is expensive. That is definitely a major “con” for you. The full treatment expenses including multiple sessions will far exceed a lifetime’s cost of razors. However, do not simply look at it from the point of hair removal; consider it as an investment in beauty treatment.

Laser hair removal works best on dark hair and are optimised for patients with fair skin and dark hair. This is because the colour of the pigment on the hair follicle is what helps the laser to decide which hair to target. In patients with dark skin, the rich skin pigment competes with the colour of the hair and hence the laser finds it difficult to target the actual hair. However, it does not mean that people with darker skin tones will miss out on this treatment. You can choose a clinic that has specialised laser machines like the Nd:YAG that can better distinguish between all skin types.

It is a time taking procedure but is not to be confused with speed of individual treatments. While a session of laser hair removal on the back of the legs can take a few minutes only, it takes multiple sessions for complete hair removal to actually get tangible results. This might take six to eight sessions at monthly intervals each.

Laser hair removal is a comparatively new technology but definitely worth giving it a try. It is quick and very effective for permanent hair removal.

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