Laser Hair Removal 101: Your Need To Know Guide
Whether you go for ‘nothing below the eyebrows’ or only de-fuzz your legs when you absolutely have to, hair removal can feel like a beauty chore!
Nevertheless, most of us choose to remove some portion of our body hair, so it’s good to know the options available. At The Harley Medical Group we’ve put together a compare and contrast guide to hair removal, to help you choose the method that best suits you.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal works by targeting the hair follicles with a concentrated beam of light. The light damages the follicle to inhibit hair growth, significantly reducing and even permanently removing up to 95% of unwanted hair.
The laser is attracted to the dark pigment in the hair and it is the heat from the light that damages the follicle. At The Harley Medical Group our advanced lasers can treat all skin tones and hair colours.
Pros: Laser Hair Removal offers a permanent reduction in unwanted hair growth, so it’s a long term solution not offered by any other method – a course of between four and eight session means most patients are free from the chore of regular hair removal! The therapeutic quality of the light also mean Laser Hair Removal can treat ingrown hairs.
Cons: there is some discomfort associated with Laser Hair Removal, the sensation is often described like snapping a hot elastic band against the skin. However most patients report the treatment is not a painful as they had imagined and more comfortable than waxing.
Waxing removes hair by pulling it out from the root.
Pros: removing hair from the root leaves the skin smooth for an average of three weeks, but it can be as long as six weeks before you experience regrowth depending of the type of hair and the area you’re waxing.
Cons: waxing hurts! Pulling the hairs out from the root is painful, there’s no denying it. Most people who choose to wax regularly say the discomfort lessens in time – so if you commit to waxing it is a case of building up your pain threshold.
Cost: the cost of professional waxing varies from salon to salon. As a guide, a full leg wax generally costs between £40 and £50, under arm waxing around £20 and bikini wax costs around £40.
Shaving removes hair from the surface of the skin by cutting it very closely.
Pros: shaving is quick and painless. It’s also a hair removal technique you can easily do at home, so there’s no need to plan appointments at the beautician or Cosmetic Surgery clinic in advance.
Cons: regrowth from shaving happens quite quickly because you’re effectively just trimming the hairs rather than removing them from the skin. When the hairs grow back they have a blunt head, which gives your skin that spiky feeling and can give the appearance of thicker hair.
People who shave regularly can also be prone to ingrown hairs – and nothing spoils silky smooth skin like an unsightly red pimple.
Cost: Razors can cost anything from £2 for the most basic disposable shaver, to £25 for a multi-blade, battery powered design. Likewise, shaving foam varies from £1 to around £5.
Hair Removal Creams
Hair removal creams use chemicals to weaken the hair follicles so that hair can be gently brushed away.
Pros: hair removal creams are a convenient at home treatment and because you remove the hair completely from the follicle regrowth is slower and feels less coarse than shaving.
Cons: hair removal creams have a notoriously unpleasant smell! Newer products have tried to improve upon this but arguably none have truly succeeded just yet.
The chemicals that work to weaken the hair follicles can also irritate sensitive skin, so take care if using a hair removal cream on delicate areas of the body.
Cost: There are different hair removal cream products available but generally they cost around £10.
Threading traps individual hair inbetween two pieces of thread so they can be pulled out.
Pros: threading is very precise, which means if you have a lot of fine hair and only want to remove a few darker ones to avoid making the fine hairs appear obvious – for example on your upper lip or eyebrows - threading is a good option.
Cons: threading is a job best left to the experts, so you’ll need to book at appointment in advance. It’s also quite an uncomfortable sensation so it might not be for you if you have a low pain threshold.
Cost: the price for threading varies from salon to salon; in general it costs up to £25.