If you are absolutely fed up with shaving, you are probably looking for a suitable alternative that will save you time and effort. Over the years, you can spend a fortune on razors, blades and shaving gels, so it may well be worth considering in investing in a permanent hair removal method that will eliminate all that hassle and expense.
So, what are your options?
Laser hair removal is a popular choice for both men and women who are sick of shaving or using hair removal creams which can irritate the skin. It works by using concentrated light beams which are directed at the hair follicle to break down the pigments so that the body can naturally flush out all the fragments. As the hair follicle is then damaged, it slows down its hair growth, however the skin cells surrounding the hair follicle will incur no damage from the lasers since the energy is targeted in short pulses to a frequency which can only be absorbed by the pigmented cells.
Although laser treatments cannot effectively remove all of the hair in the treated area, it can target around 80% of the hair follicles meaning that there is significant reduced growth, and hair will only grow back extremely slowly – sometimes taking as long as a few years to grow back.
As hair growth happens in three stages – growing, maturing and shedding – more than one laser treatment is required. Since laser treatment only works in the growing phase, around 5-7 treatments will usually be required around 4-6 weeks apart. The length of each treatment will also vary, from just a few minutes for small areas of fine hair to up to an hour for large areas of thicker, denser hair.
Laser treatment is not painful, although it often makes the skin feel prickly and warm. Some irritation and inflammation may be experienced afterwards, and sun exposure should also be avoided following treatment.
- Very effective treatment
- Highly precise, so can be used on small areas of problem hair
- No skin damage is incurred
- Hair will eventually grow back
- Some inflammation and irritation can be experienced
- Around 7 treatments will be required
Average cost – $350-$900 per treatment depending on size of area.
Electrolysis is the process of using an electric current from metal probes to destroy the root of the hair. Electrolysis takes two forms:
- Galvanic electrolysis – using currents which work with the natural salt and water in the body to make sodium hydroxide, this type of electrolysis kills the cells inside the hair follicle.
- Thermolysis – using waves or vibrations to break the hair follicle’s cells down, this form of electrolysis uses a needle to send a current through water, and as the molecules in the water vibrate, heat energy is created to destroy the hair follicle’s root.
Electrolysis has been around since the 19th century, however today’s treatments are technologically advanced and are precisely administered for permanent results. In fact, electrolysis is the only permanent form of hair removal to have FDA approval. Several sessions are necessary – often as many as 12 depending on how thick and how much hair is to be removed.
This type of treatment causes a stinging sensation but should not be excessively painful. The known side effects include tenderness and redness of the skin following treatment which can take a few days to subside.
- A long established, safe method
- The only option that permanently removes hair
- FDA approved
- Cheaper than laser treatment
- Up to 12 treatments are required
Average cost – $30-$110 per treatment
IPL, or intense pulsed light therapy, is a modern form of treatment that is quite similar to laser treatments. Rather than using a laser beam, however, IPL is carried out using a broad spectrum high intensity light which emits light at several wavelengths. As the beam from these devices spreads out, in direct contrast to the narrow point of focus of a laser beam, IPL treatments are ideal for covering larger hair growth sites. It is also cheaper than laser removal, however since the treatment is less focused more treatments are often necessary to get the same result.
IPL treatment reduce and slow down the growth of hair effectively, resulting in smooth skin with no daily shaving hassle. It is also quite a quick method which has led to it being quite an appealing choice for many people.
- A faster treatment than laser therapy
- Suitable for use on large areas of hair
- Cheaper than other forms of hair removal
- A number of treatments are required to get hair-free skin
- Hair is not permanently removed
Average cost – $70-$370 per treatment depending on the size of the area being treated
Permanent Hair Removal At Home: A Good Idea?
Many people are now choosing to use devices that promise to permanently remove hair in their own home. There are several of these devices on the market today, and they are safe and easy to use, however the laser strength is lowered so that they are safer for untrained use and that means that many more treatments will be required and results will take longer to be seen.
Best Permanent Hair Removal Devices For Home Use
Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001
This product is affordable, effective and speedy and can be used by anyone with light brown to black hair. Cleared by the FDA for whole body use, this device adapts to individual skin tones and has two different settings to accommodate different needs. Offering pain free hair removal, this device is proven to be effective within 4 weeks.
Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X
This laser kit is cleared by the FDA for home use to slow down hair growth and in some cases prevent it permanently. Suitable for use on the body and face, it is comfortable and easy to use and achieves results in 3 months. It has a safety lock for extra peace of mind as well as an auto switch off function and it has a treatment level indicator allowing to individual to choose the right intensity for their treatment. It is the first laser device which has been designed for home use and it offers professional quality technology in an easy to use design.
We hope we’ve answered all your questions about permanent hair removal treatments! If you think we’ve missed something, let us know! We’re happy to add to this guide in the future. To find out more about the products we’ve featured above, simply click on the links!
Remember: although these products are designed for use at home, if you are worried about safety or want the best quality, professional results, it is always sensible to go to a salon for a professional hair removal treatment.
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