Whether you’re self-isolating and confined to your garden, or off to a COVID-safe country on holiday, the summer weather means it’s time for cooler clothes – and more exposed body parts.
Many of us, men and women both, can be self-conscious about our body hair, whether it’s dark hair on your face, too much hair on your back, or you just prefer smooth, hair-free legs.
No matter what your concern, we at the Cambridge Laser Clinic can help you to softer, hair-free skin – and it’s not as painful or difficult as you might think.
What exactly is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment that uses lasers to target dark, coarse body hair without damaging the surrounding skin.
The laser pulses last less than a fraction of a second, and offer a permanent solution to remove unwanted body hair and reveal the softer, smoother skin beneath.
Can I have hair removed from anywhere?
You may have heard that Laser Hair Removal is only suitable for smaller areas of skin, such as the face, armpits and bikini line. This is entirely untrue.
Different lasers are designed to target different types of hair across the body, and before any treatments are carried out our team of experts will discuss with you which lasers are most appropriate and effective for your needs.
How does it work? Are the effects immediate?
Laser Hair Removal uses incredibly fast laser light pulses to destroy the hair follicle of each individually selected hair.
It does this by targeting the melanin in the hair (the chemical that gives the hair its colour), and as this pigment absorbs the light pulse from the laser, it turns to heat. This absorbed heat damages the hair follicle and hair bulb enough that the hair regrowth is significantly slowed down, and over time and several treatments, will stop growing altogether.
You’ll usually start to see real results after three or four treatments, though it depends on the type of hair. To ensure you get the results you really want, we usually recommend a minimum of six treatments.
Is it permanent or do I have to keep going back?
The results of Laser Hair Removal tend to vary from person to person, as everyone’s hair is different.
If you begin with light, fine hair, the chances are you could be smooth and hair-free with only a few treatments. If your hair is darker, or coarser, it might take more sessions before you see results.
No matter what your hair type, you can be assured that your hair will become softer, finer and less dense than before – but the effects are almost always permanent, as our lasers reach deep into your skin to destroy both the hair follicle and hair bulb, meaning that unlike shaving and waxing, the hair won’t grow back.
Why is this better than shaving or waxing?
Many men and women choose to shave or wax because it’s perceived to be the faster and cheaper way to remove unwanted body hair – however, both of these methods have downsides, even before you consider that the hair will inevitably grow back.
Shaving cuts the hair across the surface of the skin, but can irritate and damage the outermost layer of the dermis and cause ingrown hairs that can become infected.
Over time, regular removal of this top layer of skin can lead to dryness, as this is the part of the skin that helps to retain moisture – leaving your skin flaky and peeling. Improper shaving techniques can also cause unsightly dark spots on the skin, and darkened pores.
Waxing is often considered to be a longer-lasting solution than shaving, but in fact can be just as damaging.
Since waxing involves quite literally ripping the hair out at the root, it’s not only more painful, but creates tiny wounds under the skin at each hair follicle.
You may find that repeated waxing will damage the root over time, so that hair grows back finer, but it can also cause redness and irritation that can lead to infection, due to the way the wax unnaturally opens the pores. In severe cases, this can sometimes lead to cellulitis.
Laser Hair Removal, on the other hand, is a long-term solution that first softens and then removes unwanted hair once and for all.
It’s more cost-effective, non-laborious, less time-consuming and doesn’t damage the surrounding skin – which is particularly important in more delicate areas, such as the face and bikini region.
Isn’t it more expensive? And painful?
The cost of Laser Hair Removal can seem high when you first look at the numbers. However, take into consideration the amount of money men and women spend on shaving and waxing in their lifetime – and for a non-permanent solution that can cause damage to the skin, and lead to infections.
The average male tends to spend anywhere from £20 to £300 on an electric shaver, which will likely need replacing every few years. For those who prefer disposable razors with interchangeable blades, this can be even higher as more regular replacements are required.
For women, over the course of a lifetime shaving can cost up to £6500 – and that’s not to mention the time it takes, totalling up to around eight full weeks over the years.
Women who choose to wax instead may spend between £30 and £40 for a bikini wax every six weeks. For those who wax their legs, armpits and other areas too, this can add up to an astronomical £23,000 as time goes on.
Laser Hair Removal, on the other hand, will work to permanently remove unwanted hair over the course of several sessions, and comparatively is up to twenty-five times less costly, as once it’s done, it’s really done.
As for the pain, it might not be as bad you think. You may have heard people compare each light pulse to the flick of a rubber band on the skin, and this isn’t far off the mark. Though this will depend on the density and thickness of your hair, the pain will likely lessen with each session as the hair becomes finer and you acclimatise, with some patients reporting that they feel no pain at all by the final session.
How does the procedure work on the day? How long does it take?
To ensure the Laser Hair Removal process goes as smoothly as possible, we recommend that you avoid plucking, waxing or bleaching before your session – if you want to be hairless to begin with, we recommend shaving beforehand.
The length of each session depends on the size of the area the hair is being removed from. Smaller areas can be completed in a few minutes, but larger areas can take up to and over an hour – it all depends on how dense the hair is.
If there’s already hair on the skin’s surface, you may notice a burning smell as the hair is destroyed, and there may be some minor irritation on the skin for a few hours – your practitioner will provide you with aftercare information during your session, and will recommend avoiding harsh chemicals, visits to the gym and sun exposure amongst other things.
Is it suitable for everyone? Will it damage my skin?
We wouldn’t lie to you – in some rare cases, your hair could be stimulated to grow longer and thicker, but any such scenarios will be identified during your initial consultation, and our practitioners will advise you of this beforehand.
At the Cambridge Laser Clinic, we have a variety of different lasers that are intended for use with different types of hair and skin, and so we’re able to work with patients with light or dark hair and skin, whether your hair is on the finer side, or coarser.
Unlike shaving and waxing, Laser Hair Removal doesn’t damage the skin, and can actually help with existing skin concerns. You might find that your skin becomes clearer, smoother, and the chances of ingrown hairs become greatly reduced after each session, as the laser treatment encourages hair to grow straight outward.
Convinced? Book a free consultation here.