Laser hair removal is a permanent way to free yourself of unwanted hair – but it can’t be done in one session. Typically, you will need between 3 and 8 sessions, so unless you can travel abroad regularly it probably isn’t an option. For anyone in the southern United States who can get to Mexico it is worth considering.
If you are embarrassed by your facial or body hair, or just want to remove it permanently instead of having to shave or wax then laser hair removal is an option. The treatment has come a long way since it first appeared on the market, but it is only effective for certain skin types and hair colour – light skin and dark hair is the best, because the laser targets the pigment in the hair and if there is little pigment (as is the case for grey, white, blond or red hair) it cannot ‘see’ it and won’t work.
Hairs grow in different cycles and the laser treatment is only effective for hairs in the active stages of growth. Dormant hair will be unaffected, but it will reach an active phase again, which is why several sessions are needed.
Practically anywhere, but common areas are bikini line, legs, under arms and the chin and upper lip on the face.
A test treatment will be carried out on a few hairs before the procedure begins properly. The practitioner will examined the area to make sure there are no adverse reactions, and the laser may need to be adjusted. Once everything is satisfactory, the treatment will begin.
You will be given goggle or shields to protect your eyes from the laser beam, and the hairs that are to be treated are trimmed to a few millimetres because the light will be able to penetrate to the root more effectively if the hair shaft is shorter.
The treatment is not painful, but it may be a little uncomfortable, and you may be able to smell burning hair.
Your skin at the treated area will feel hot and red. It may help to apply soothing creams, anti-inflammatories or ice packs to the area to reduce the inflammation.
The redness will dissipate quickly and even after one treatment you should notice a reduction of hairs and smoother skin.
The recommended interval between treatments is 4 – 8 weeks, and you will usually see new hair growth from the dormant follicles between treatments. In due course, there will be less and less hair growth between your treatments until it stops permanently.
Hair removal treatment varies, depending on how many sessions you need and, of course, where you go. You can generally save at least 50% on the cost in places like Mexico, Thailand and the Philippinrd.