Shaving your legs for the first time is pretty cool – exciting, even. But when you’ve been doing it for years, the cost and time required to remain hairless – whether through shaving, waxing, threading – becomes an annoyance you’d rather do without.
Enter laser hair removal.
The number of people jumping aboard the laser hair removal bandwagon has grown exponentially in the last decade. The technology has gotten better. The price has gotten lower. It is no longer only for the rich and the famous. Millions of women (and men) now take advantage of the opportunity to have unwanted hair reduced permanently with this efficient and cost-effective procedure.
But why? What’s so great about getting your hair “zapped” off? Oh, so many things. Here’s a quick look at the biggest benefits of laser hair removal!
There are people who are wary of laser hair removal because they’re afraid it will hurt. The fear is understandable because there was a time, way back when laser hair removal was in its infancy, that the pulses were painful.
No longer. If you were treated back then and resolved never to do it again or if you had a friend who had a friend and heard horror stories about it, you are doing yourself a disservice by avoiding the comfortable, state-of-the-art technology that laser hair removal is today.
Hair removal lasers now are equipped with cooling devices that sooth the skin. Most people feel nothing. Some might feel a warmth. The most you will feel is the inconsequential sensation of a tiny pinch. An extra benefit is that, should you be in any discomfort for any reason, the professional performing the procedure can adjust the strength of the laser.
That’s not something you can do with other methods. There is no “dial down” for the pain that accompanies waxing, electrolysis or stringing—sometimes even tweezing. If you have experienced the pain associated with those methods, you will be pleasantly surprised at the comfort of receiving laser treatments.
The physical comfort during the procedure is matched by the psychological comfort after. Being able to grab your bathing suit and head out the door with a last-minute invite to go to the beach. Feeling confident at your new boss’s annual bash in your snazzy sleeveless dress without being horrified when you realize that your underarms are a tad scruffy.
Slipping into your new lingerie sure that no stray hairs are going to mar a romantic interlude. Your skin being smooth and hair-free whatever you are doing whenever you want to do it brings a profound sense of freedom.
Also, you don’t need to skulk around between treatments while your hair grows out as with other treatments. You can shave to your heart’s content, if you need to.
We are a busy bunch, are we not? It seems like multitasking is the norm, not merely a random habit of the super organized. Any chance to save time is a real gift. Laser hair removal does that.
The procedure itself saves us time. The pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and treats many hairs simultaneously. An area about the size of a quarter is treated every second. Smaller areas, for example, the upper lip, can be hair-free in a few minutes. Around 20 minutes will take care of your underarms or bikini area. Larger areas, such as the legs, are treated in about an hour. That’s faster than waxing.
It’s certainly faster than electrolysis during which a needle is inserted into every individual hair follicle. While laser hair removal treats the upper lip with five to nine pulses, electrolysis takes hundreds of “zaps” to treat the same area (and is painful—going back to our comfort section). You can’t even tweeze out those hairs on the upper lip in a few minutes.
More important is the time we save after the procedure. We can get off the tedious, never-ending hamster wheel of shaving, tweezing, waxing only to have to do it again within days (sometimes, unfortunately, hours).
There you are squinting again to find the hair on your face to tweeze out, scraping that razor across your skin, or, ouch, waxing. You can wave good-bye to periodic shaving and regular appointments at the wax salon for good.
As for laser treatments, you can get them done on your lunch hour or while little Susie is taking dance lessons or in between college courses. Wherever you are in your life, hair removal is not going to disrupt it.
On top of all that time we spend getting rid of unwanted hair – surveys show that the average woman spends more than 58 days in her lifetime simply removing hair from her body! – is the fact that we often don’t get every last hair.
Yup, we’re talking about those dreaded missed spots.
Ever have those days when you’re in a rush but you still squeeze in time to shave in the shower, only to step out, dry off and find that you missed some spots? Back in the shower you go.
Not so with laser hair removal – there are never spots missed.
As we’ve said, the cost of laser hair removal has decreased considerably, but it still involves a sizable initial investment (certainly compared to the cost of a pair of tweezers, a razor, even a waxing). But unlike those methods, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re pretty much done putting out any more money for hair removal.
I want to explain here about “permanent.” I don’t want you to go into this with a false impression. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of “permanent reduction” to describe the effect of laser hair removal.
Note that it doesn’t say “permanent hair removal.” That’s because what laser hair removal accomplishes is this: the hair growth will be greatly reduced for a long time. Many or most people will never see another hair grow in the treatment area. Others may need maintenance treatments but not often.
Any regrowth will be so sparse and fine that you might not have to bother with it at all. So, to be very precise, hair growth will be 50 to 95 percent reduced for the rest of your life. And you will see that from the very first treatment.
Regardless, laser hair removal is more economical than other methods. Compared to the cost of waxing, the most expensive form of hair removal, you can save more than $20,000 over the course of an average lifetime.
And that’s without factoring in our most precious commodity, our time. Unlike waxing every few weeks or shaving every other day, you usually only need six to eight sessions of laser treatment and you’re done. Some people are finished after four treatments. A tiny minority needs more than eight.
One thing is for sure: far fewer treatments than are needed to remove hair with electrolysis.
Try adding up the countless number of razors, shaving gels, depilatories, and any other hair-removal products you would buy throughout your life, or the cost of monthly waxing – all of which keep going up in price as laser treatments come down. You will then understand the financial wisdom of laser treatments.
One of the things most despised about waxing – well, apart from the pain – is that you have to wait for a certain amount of regrowth before you can get your next treatment.
That means you’re walking around with that unsightly stubble for several days before you can transform back to your silky smooth best.
Not so with laser hair removal. Since it targets the hair follicle, you’re totally allowed to shave between treatments if any hair grows back. And of course, the hair that does grow back will be much finer and sparser so it’ll be easier to deal with until your next treatment!
Laser treatments are kind to your skin. No more distressing effects of hair removal: nicks, razor burn, bloody scrapes, ingrown hairs, folliculitis and red or discolored spots. Does it matter if your skin is free of hair if you are bedeviled by something just as unsightly and just as confidence-busting?
Skin problems due to hair removal are caused by the method itself or by what the method does to disturb the natural regrowth of hairs. There is no such risk with laser hair removal. In fact, it is the only method that will prevent and eliminate ingrown hairs, and you are not left with those creepy “ghost hairs” (aka five o’clock shadow) from shaving, because the hair is destroyed from underneath the skin.
Laser treatments are also a good choice for people with sensitive skin that gets irritated from shaving, waxing and depilatories.
And something else that no other hair removal method can claim: It actually softens your skin!
One final “old news” to correct: You may have heard that laser hair removal is only effective on pale skin and dark hair. That was the case at one time. Advanced technologies have made it more effective for a range of complexions and hair colors. Only pure white hair cannot be treated. If you have that “peach fuzz” on your face, laser treatment can’t help you.
But for pretty much everyone else: laser hair removal offers a quick, convenient and surprisingly cost-effective way to get rid of unwanted hair for life!