As part of your preparation for summer, it’s time to start shaving your legs again and look at cleaning up that bikini area. While shaving every day can get old and annoying, getting permanent hair removal can be intimidating and confusing. Like anything, knowing is half of the battle so we are going to look at some of the technologies out there to get rid of unwanted hair. First, let’s take a look at some basics.
How it works
Hair grows from a bulb of stem cells in your skin. It also grows during different phases, so this is why you need repeated treatments to get rid of unwelcomed hair. There are three different phases to hair growth:
- The anagen stage: when the hair is active and growing. This lasts about 3-5 years.
- Next is the catagen phase: lasts a couple of weeks and is when your hair is getting ready to shed.
- Last is the telogen phase: when hair follicles “rest”, lasting up to 4 months.
Now that we got some of the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at a couple of ways to get rid of that annoying hair.
This option uses a small probe that is placed onto the hair follicle and an electric current passes into the bulb destroying the strand of hair. The process is very specific and done on individual hairs.
Pro: can treat any hair color (brown, black, red, white, light blonde, and grey hair).
Con: takes forever to treat a large area.
Sensation: feels like a tiny pinch, depending on your pain tolerance it can hurt.
IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light and is not, in fact, a laser. These devices use a flash lamp (kind of like the one on your iPhone) that creates a wide spectrum of light. Just like the water filter in your refrigerator, manufacturers use filters to reduce the range of light. This reduced range of light allows them to treat sun spots, vessels on your face, your bikini line, etc.
Pro: IPL is generally cheaper per treatment.
Con: takes 6-12 treatments, one month apart. Can only treat brown and black hair.
Sensation: feels like a hot rubber band snapping on your skin.
Do you remember Usher’s video “Yeah,” with blue lights flying in specific directions? Those lights are lasers and is what you should think about when you hear it used in the skincare world. The word laser is an acronym that means “light amplified by the stimulated emission of radiation.” Phew, that was a mouthful. Simply put, lasers only fire one kind of light. For aesthetic treatments, lasers can treat everything from leg veins and to sun spots to tattoos and hair removal. Lasers are awesome for hair removal.
Pro: only takes 3-6 treatments, one month apart, quickly gets rid of brown, black, darker red, and most blonde hair. Very effective.
Con: more expensive per treatment. Cannot treat white or grey hair.
Sensation: depending on the laser can feel like tiny hot pins, or with cooling, nothing at all.
If you had your choice look for a clinic with lasers. They are fast, require minimal numbers of treatments, and are very effective. On the flip side, if budget is an issue and you have more time, IPL may be the better option for you. Treat yourself and try it sometime. You will can thank us later : )
To no more shaving,
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