I’ve always thought that if I lived by the French proverb Pour être beau (or belle in my case) il faut souffrir, I’d rather hurt myself than let other people hurt me in a professional way. The only problem: although epilating leaves your skin smooth for a longer time than shaving, you need to repeat it and ingrown hair may become a problem. The solution: laser hair removal.
It doesn’t come cheap but it does promise to leave your skin hairless for the rest of your life. (After a couple of years new hairs can start to grow but it will never be as hairy a situation as it used to be. The new hairs tend to be very fine and you can easily remove them with a tweezer.) The laser destroys the hair follicle in which the hair grows but can only do so if the hair is in the growing phase. I got to test two different lasers and I have to say that even after one session I can definitely see a difference. It will take about a year – you need about 6 weeks or 2 months in between sessions, depending on the laser and body zone – but then I’ll be completely hair free.
Good to know:
- no waxing or epilators in between sessions. You can only shave. That’s why 6 weeks before you start laser sessions, you should stop waxing and start shaving. (The hairs need to be in the growth phase.)
- shave the evening before your session to avoid irritated skin.
- don’t use deodorant the day of your session if you have your armpits lasered. It can leave a film on your skin that makes it harder for the laser to penetrate into the skin.
- if you’re thinking about having your chin treated, you better check with your doctor what’s causing the hair growth there. If it’s hormonal, laser hair removal is not advised. The hairs on your chin will be destroyed but hairs may start growing on your cheeks. Hair on your upper lip on the other hand isn’t a problem.
Beauty editors are fierce creatures. So when I got to choose a body zone to test the latest laser, I chose my bikini line, thinking that would probably be the most painful and delicate part to treat. The Nd YAG 1064 nm laser promises to destroy up to 20% of the hairs per session. They advise six sessions, the last one being a control session.
When I was contacted to test the epi-laser, I decided to have my arm pits treated. This diode laser promises to destroy up to 40% of hairs per session. Valerie, the woman who treats me, tells me you need 6 to 8 sessions to be completely hair free and that you may need the odd session to keep things clean after a couple of years.