How do you trim your lady garden? Laser hair removal - what you need to know.
By Ashlee Minto
Body image is becoming an increasingly difficult issue to discuss among women, especially when we hit the topic of, eek… body hair! Did you know that the removal of body hair dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians and Greeks? With so many modern methods and advanced technology for hair removal it can be confusing and overwhelming when deciding what is best for your desired results.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal became commercially available in the 1990s and is becoming more popular with most users between the age of 18 - 35. Before you buy, or even try, let’s get into the dirty details. The treatment works by heat being shot into the unwanted area, damaging the hair follicle to prevent growth from occurring again. On average, the procedure will take up to 1-6 sessions with session times varying depending on the area of the body you want to eliminate hair from.
Is it permanent?
Often laser can be mistaken as a permanent form of hair removal when it is actually defined by the FDA (Food & Drug Association - America) as “permanent hair reduction”. Depending on your cycle of hair growth, treatments can be up to 90% successful after the full treatment. The alternative is electrolysis, which works by injecting electric currents into each individual hair follicle, stopping the hair growth of the area. The process is more time consuming - and painful- but is declared as “permanent hair removal” by the FDA.
What risks are involved?
It’s important to understand your body and the way it may react to laser hair removal before undergoing procedures.
There are multiple things to consider including your skin, the clinician, and equipment, and whether laser treatments right for you.
General risks of laser hair removal involve minor symptoms like rashes, and skin irritation, to more drastic results like scarring, eye damage, and permanent increase/decrease of pigmentation.
To eliminate and/or diminish these risks make sure to consider the following:
You clinician and their experience. What is the minimum experience and qualification required to perform with the treatment and do they exceed the standard?
The quality of the equipment in use. FYI laser equipment has to meet a certain standard stated in Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS IEC 60825.1:2011 Safety of laser products Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements.
You aren’t on any medication that will increase skin sensitivity. Certain medications make your skin more sensitive to light therapies so ensure to communicate with your clinician any medications your are taking.
Understand yo’ body!
Before making your decision, make the effort to know your body. Think about how your want to look and why. If the dream is to look good naked you’ve already got all the boxes ticked! Do it for yourself and do it safely.