1 A Free Guide to different Hair Removal Treatments
2 2 Introduction From peach-fuzz to long, dark, or coarse growth, both men and women have been doing battle with excess hair -and hair removal - for centuries. For some, the problem is hereditary or related to ethnic heritage. For others, it can be caused by a medical condition such as polycystic ovaries or a hormone-secreting tumor, or even the result of hormonal changes linked to menopause. Most women in particular, regularly undergo hair removal treatments on areas of their bodies such as legs, underarms, or bikini area, where growth is normal but sometimes undesirable. No matter the reason, there is no shortage of treatments available which are suitable for different hair types or specific reasons. Dr Neil White from Laserase Wales, explains the different types of hair removal techniques, the pro s and con s and gives an in depth explanation of Laser treatment for effective hair removal. 1. Hair Removal by Waxing Waxing has been around for years and today's waxes are far different than the sticky honey treatments of the past. The way it is applied by a cloth or applicator and once the wax sets, the strips are removed taking the hair with it. Waxing can remove hair anywhere on the body, including the upper lip, chin, eyebrows, arms and legs. A bikini wax removes hair that might show when you're wearing a skimpy bathing suit bottom, while a Brazilian wax removes all hair from the genital area. Waxing is a cost effective option as many beauty salons offer waxing treatments however the treatment is by no means permanent. Home waxing kits are also readily available but it is advisable to carry out the procedure in hygienic conditions. Regular waxing over time can affect the rate at which the hair grows back in some instances remove the root of the hair completley. It is also important to use an antibacterial lotion after waxing because the follicle is so open you need to take some precautions to prevent infection.
3 3 2. Hair Removal by Shaving Shaving does not remove hair at the root, nor does it disturb the follicle. That means the effects are temporary, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Although the myth persists that shaving makes hair grow back coarser or more plentiful, this is not the case. There are several techniques to ensure that the skin is not adversely affected including: Making sure hair is thoroughly wet first. Shaving in the direction the hair grows. Avoiding repeating strokes. Keeping skin relaxed while shaving. If the hair is coarse - particularly in the bikini area - shaving can cause ingrown hairs. This can be especially problematic for women, who are prone to infections caused by the ingrown hairs. 3. Hair Removal by Depilatories Depilatories are creams and lotions that use a chemical compound designed to dissolve the proteins that make up hair. Unlike shaving, which leaves sharp, hard, hair stubble just below the skin, depilatories leave a rounded, smoother edge - so stubble is minimized and regrowth appears to take longer. Still, treatments usually need to be repeated at least weekly, if not more often. Depilatory creams can be used on all areas of the face and body and there are specialist creams for specific uses. 4. Hair Removal by Tweezing Tweezing pulls hair out at the root. However, it does not affect the follicle, from which hair grows, so it's only a matter of time before another one sprouts up. Unlike shaving, which allows hair to grow back the same size as the follicle, hair that is plucked grows back with a tapered end, meaning it is softer and less noticeable when it first comes in. Eventually, however, it will grow back to its normal thickness. Tweezing is best used to remove hair on small areas of the face - such as the upper lip, chin, or eyebrows.
4 4 5. Hair Removal by Oral Contraceptives and Hormonal Treatments For women whose hair growth is hormone-related, most often caused by a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome, medication can help. The condition is known as hirsutism. Treatment includes drugs designed to reduce levels of androgens which are the hormones linked to excess hair growth. Medications commonly include birth control pills and/or anti-androgens, such as spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, and flutamide. 6. Hair Removal by Electrolysis Electrolysis uses a tiny needle that slides down into the hair follicle until it reaches the cells responsible for hair growth. Electrolysis destroys the cells that cause the hair to grow. The hair will release and slide right out and may not grow back again. It is safe to carry out electrolysis anywhere on the body, though the most popular place for women is the face. As this system requires removal hair by hair, it can take around 25 to 30 sessions, depending on how much hair needs to be removed, with each session lasting between 5 to 10 minutes. Electrolysis is an expensive hair removal option. What s more it can cause tiny scars where the needle is inserted. Though for most people they heal unnoticed, for black people it can mean an increased risk of hyperpigmentation and formation of keloids, so not recommended for this skin type. 7. Hair Removal by Laser Treatment If you're not happy with shaving, tweezing, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair remova is an option worth considering. One of the more popular ways to remove hair is via laser or pulsed light - energy that goes through the hair shaft down to the follicle, where it destroys the hair's root. The hair does not immediately come out during a laser treatment. Instead, it weakens and falls out over time because the root is destroyed. Laser treatment means clinicians can safely treat larger areas at one time and more comfortably for the patient. Laser hair removal can be carried out anywhere on the body. The best candidates are women with dark hair and light skin. Lasers don't work on white hair, and they are much less effective on blond hair.
5 5 While most lasers work on most skin types, only the Nd:YAG, is safe for darker skin types. All other hair removal lasers increase the risk of hyperpigmentation (dark spots), as well as burning and scarring, which can lead to the creation of keloids (scar tissue). Laser treatments usually require 5-7 sessions, with a top-up about once a year afterwards. 7.1 Benefits of Laser Hair Removal Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas. The benefits of laser hair removal include: Precision: lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Speed: each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour. Predictability: ninety percent of patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to five sessions. 7.2 How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal Laser hair removal is more than just ''zapping'' unwanted hair. It is a medical procedure that requires training to perform and carries some risks if not carried out properly. Before getting laser hair removal, you should thoroughly check the credentials of the doctor or clinician performing the procedure. You should also ensure that the laser used conform with all relevant legislation and have the appropriate certificates of conformity. If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should stop plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment. This is because the laser targets the follicular germinal cells in the hair shaft and follicular bulb, the hair is responsible for transmitting the laser energy to the germinal cells in the bulb, so removing the hair removes the transmission. You should also avoid excess sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment. 7.3 What to Expect During Laser Hair Removal You should shave the area to be treated approximately 3 days before treatment.. The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the colour, thickness, and location of the hair being treated as well as the patient s skin colour. Depending on the laser or light source used, both the patient and the technician will need to wear appropriate eye protection. It may also be necessary to protect the outer layers of your skin with a cold gel or special cooling device. This will help the laser light penetrate the skin. Next, the technician will give a pulse of light to the treatment area and watch the area for several minutes to make sure the best settings were used and to check for reactions.
6 6 When the procedure is completed, you may be given ice packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water to ease any discomfort. You may schedule your next treatment four to six weeks later, with treatments being required until hair stops growing. 7.4 Laser Hair Removal FAQ s Laser hair removal is considered the best hair removal method available today. Why? Because laser hair removal is a safe, medically proven, long-term solution to the problem of unwanted hair. It is also the gentlest, quickest, most advanced method available today. Other hair removal methods are not nearly as effective! How does laser hair removal work? Laser hair removal treatment works by focusing laser light at the base of hair follicles, causing them to stop growing. The laser is attracted to dark pigment in hair (melanin). Using melanin as a conductor, laser energy travels down to the root of the hair follicle where it disperses as thermal energy. This damages the base of the hair follicle rendering it unable to produce hair as quickly. Growth rate will decrease with further treatments. How many hair removal sessions are needed? The hair must also be in the active growing phase (Anagen) in its growth cycle for treatment to be effective, as this is when the hair is still connected to the base of the hair follicle. This connection, combined with melanin, provides a direct pathway for the laser energy to travel down and disperse sufficient heat where the hair is produced at the base of the follicle to damage it and cause it to stop growing. Not every hair is in the Anagen phase at any one time which is why you will need multiple treatments over time to treat ALL hairs during the Anagen phase. We recommend a course of 6 treatments to achieve hair-free skin. Facial hair is treated once every 4 weeks and body hair is treated once every 8 weeks. Does laser hair removal work on all hair? Laser hair removal works on both facial and body hair, including large areas like the legs and back. The laser targets the dark pigment present in some hairs but is not so effective on blonde, white or grey hair. Is laser hair removal permanent? On average 80-95% of lasered hair is permanently gone after a recommended course of treatments, whereas when you wax, pluck or shave, the hair always grows back. With laser hair removal you will not need to wax or shave again Which body area can be treated for laser hair removal?
7 7 Laser hair removal is suitable for all body areas, from facial to body hair. It is effective on both mena and women and is taking over from more traditional methods like waxing, depilatory cream and shaving because it s easy, quick and permanent! How does laser removal compare to waxing or shaving? Laser hair removal is a long-term hair removal solution, whereas waxing and shaving must be repeated regularly to control regrowth. Laser hair removal actually damages each hair follicle, causing it to stop growing altogether. Does laser hair removal work for men? Because laser hair removal is safe, quick and comfortable, it s ideal for use on large areas of the body, making it particularly suitable for men seeking to remove chest, shoulder and back hair. Are some people better candidates for laser hair removal than others? Laser hair removal works best on individuals with light skin and coarse, dark hair (brown and black) hair. Tanned skin robs laser energy as it passes through the skin to the hair follicle. Some lasers, such as Ruby Lasers, are more effective on people with darker skins. Why choose laser hair removal instead of electrolysis? While electrolysis is very effective, it works by inserting a tiny needle into each hair follicle, one at a time, and delivering a jolt of electricity and/or radio frequency energy. In contrast, the size of the treatment window on the laser head allows the laser to disable many hair follicles in a single pulse. What s more, the experience is less painful This information has been brought to you by Laserase Wales, part of the Laserase Group: the UK s market leader in laser treatments for acne. Laserase Wales is located at: Llandough Hospital, Penlan Road, Penarth, Cardiff, CF64 2XX For more information about Laserase Wales treatments, visit:.
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