- Do you know hard realities about laser hair removal?
Signed up for a six month deal that’s promised you soon will be hairfree for life? Not so fast. Permanent hair removal is a delicate science, and not all the technology advertised is made equal. Here’s what you need to know.
Sick of shadowy stubble the day after shaving but not quite masochistic enough for regular waxing? You’re a prime candidate for permanent hair removal. But before you type your credit card details into an IPL daily deal, there’s vast and tricky science behind using light to effect long-term hairlessness. Let’s face it, you’re sending light strong enough to change the way your body works deep under your skin. And when you consider that light is actually heat, it seems absurd to hand your precious body over to the nearest wand-toting beautician. Such is the concern among clinicians. Cut-price procedures may use inferior machines imported from China – often operated by people with little idea of the biological principles underpinning their zap-work. Not only do light species differ between laser and IPL, but the term ‘laser’ encompasses a spectrum with specific pros and cons, from ineffectiveness to burnt skin. (False economy, much?)
- What’s the main point of difference?
The key difference between the two treatments is that IPL uses a broad spectrum of high-intensity light, which is emitted at multiple wavelengths, whereas laser emits a single, focused and precise wavelength that’s optimised for maximum follicle absorption. Laser hair removal in Delhi, therefore, results in greater levels of permanent hair reduction per treatment when compared to IPL. As laser has a more precise wavelength than IPL, results are achieved with significantly fewer treatments overall.
- Do they get rid of hair permanently?
Well, yes and no. IPL and laser treatments both destroy hair follicles, but only a certain percentage of hairs are attached to the follicle at any given time as part of the natural growth cycle. Therefore only the hairs in the active phases will not grow back. This means that each treatment will result in a greater percentage of permanent hair reduction, which can be up to 90 percent reduction after six to eight sessions. As such, multiple treatments are required for both. To achieve results, it is important to leave sufficient time between sessions.
- How do hormonal conditions impact on their effectiveness?
A person suffering hormonal conditions such as an under- or overactive thyroid, fibroids, endometriosis and post-menopausal bleeding, which alter hair growth, may require more sessions than the average person.
- Which treatment is right for your hair and skin type?
There are a few things to bear in mind. Those with fair hair may not find laser hair removal to be effective. As the hair lacks pigment, it’s not possible for the lasers to identify the hair follicles and destroy them. On the other hand, IPL focuses on the melanin, exposing you to the risk of skin pigmentation in areas where there’s not much contrast between skin and hair color. Some people with darker skin tones therefore find that they can safely get IPL in some areas, but may need to do waxing, threading or use depilatory products in other areas. The darker the skin, the less effective and safe an IPL can be. Consult an experienced clinician to ensure you’re getting the right treatment for your skin and hair type.
- Which one hurts more?
Some discomfort may be experienced during and after the treatment for both laser and IPL, the severity of which depends on the individual. Dr Vivek Mehta recommends finding clinics that use the Light Sheer Diode laser machine, which incorporates a cooling system to counteract the heat. This results in a significantly more comfortable treatment than alternative laser machines. Both IPL and laser treatments feel like a gentle pinch or the snap of a hot rubber band when the hand piece is applied and you’ll experience a sunburn-like sensation two to five hours after.
- What areas can you treat?
You can generally laser almost anywhere on the body except the under part of the eyebrows due to it being too close to the eye area.
- Are they safe?
Though generally safe for everyone to undergo, all aesthetic procedures carry an element of risk. Having the treatments administered by an untrained clinician can result in unsightly blistering, burning, scabbing and hyperpigmentation due to the high energy levels required.
- What precautions should you take?
Though the use of both laser and IPL machines goes largely unregulated in India, always ensure the machinery is FDA approved and that your clinician carries the appropriate credentials. Go to a reputable clinic with trained, experienced staff, and not just any local beautician. A reputable clinic will always discuss the treatment, including pre-care and after-care, prior to conducting any treatment, and understand the importance of thorough patch testing. And be very wary of cheap online deals. These are risky as the types of places offering these deals are often trying to raise quick revenue using low-skilled staff rather than offering quality service.
- How long do they take?
This depends on the area size, density of hair, speed of the machine and your pain threshold. As a basic guide, both laser and IPL take about 30 to 45 minutes to treat the legs and about 15 minutes to treat facial hair and bikini lines.
- When do you start to see results?
When you undergo laser hair removal, all the hairs treated will shrivel during the treatment. The hairs will then start to shed over the next week or two and the use of a rough loofah is recommended to help this process. As for IPL, you may need four to six treatments and results can be notable from the fourth treatment onwards. After the hair falls out, you should have a hair-free period for up to six weeks.
For more details visit www.delhidermatologist.com or call 8882206090