Unwanted hair can be a menace and for the unlucky ones, keeping it under control requires both substantial time and money. Although both men and women are concerned with keeping themselves hair free, there is certainly more societal pressure on women to do so. There are many different types of hair removal techniques currently on the market, ranging from creams to waxing – but most of them require regular repeat treatments. Brought to you by Dr Rao Ganesh, this article aims to simply explain the 3 most common types of hair removal procedures which of these aim to permanently reduce the amount of hair in a given area.
1. Laser hair removal:
Laser hair removal has seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the past few years mainly due to the improvement in the results that it can produce. As the lasers have become more sophisticated and the practitioners more skilled, laser hair removal has been able to produce increasingly impressive results. Laser hair removal works by firing a controlled laser pulse at the melanin pigment within each hair follicle of the problem area. The beauty of the laser is that it accurately damages only the targeted melanin pigment which in turn causes damage to the hair follicle.
Once the hair follicle has been damaged this then prevents the hair from growing again. It is generally recommended to have around 4 repeat treatments to get the best possible results so you will need to factor this into the cost of laser hair removal. The price does vary from clinic to clinic and is dependent on the size of the area being treated. Like with all things there is some variation in the results but most people can expect to see a 70% long term reduction in hair growth.
2. IPL Hair removal:
IPL hair removal stands for intense pulsed light hair removal and works in a fairly similar way to laser hair removal. The only real difference compared with laser hair removal is that instead of a laser, a ‘high intensity light’ is used to damage the targeted hair follicles. IPL hair removal will result in a permanent reduction of hair, although not over the entire area. Put another way, IPL hair removal could permanently reduce around 70% of the hair in a given area. The results and cost of the procedure are quite similar to laser hair removal but some skin and hair types may respond better to one procedure over the other. This will generally be assessed by your practitioner.
There is very little difference between the side effects of IPL hair removal and laser hair removal side effects. Both will generally result in a slight redness and swelling of the treated area which typically wears off after a day or so.
This hair removal procedure has been around the longest and it arguably can produce the best results. Unlike laser and IPL hair removal, electrolysis can offer a 100% permanent reduction of hair in a given area. The way it works is by applying a small current of electricity into the hair follicle to destroy it. The main problem with electrolysis is that it is generally not recommended to treat large areas of the body. This is because the procedure is far slower than the other 2 techniques and also it is a more uncomfortable procedure for the patient. Electrolysis is ideally suited to treat small areas such as the upper lip and the results that is produces will be permanent.
In summary all 3 techniques work effectively but each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is always best to consult with a practitioner before deciding which treatment to choose as factors such as skin type, skin colour and hair thickness can all influence which technique will give the best results.
This article was written by Dr Ganesh Rao who also provides content for his own website TreatmentSaver.