Everything You Need to Know
The days of keeping our legs hidden away under a cosy pair of jeans are numbered. Here in Hong Kong the seemingly endless summers (and, if you’re lucky, a few beach getaways) mean the arms and legs are out and on display more often than not.
If you’re already thinking about the next summer holiday, or you are tired of the waxing / epilating / shaving / hair removal cream cycle, then it is time to consider a laser or light therapy for hair removal at Glow Spa.
It is essential to be fully informed before you begin a light therapy or laser hair removal treatment, so here is the full lowdown on light and laser hair removal so you can get those pins and pits perfected!
What Is The Difference Between IPL, SHR, And Laser?
All three treatments use light to impede the growth of hair; there are differences in the application of the science, and the suitability of each depends on the client and their requirements.
Laser hair removal uses a single concentrated beam of coherent light at a specific wavelength – 808nm, 810nm, 755nm, there are several, and the suitability depends on your skin tone/hair type, that will target melanin in the hair, heat the hair shaft and damage the hair follicle inhibiting new hair growth.
IPL or Intense Pulsed Light uses a high-powered beam of incoherent light. The light pulses produce light in a wide band of frequencies that can heat not only the hair root but also the surrounding tissue. While in principle the process of damaging hair follicle to inhibit growth using IPL is similar to laser, it is less targeted so may require more treatments and presents a higher risk for burns especially on darker skin tones.
SHR is a non-laser technology; SHR stands for Super Hair Removal. SHR works by gradually heating the dermis to a temperature that effectively damages the follicles and inhibits hair regrowth.
At Glow Spa, all three forms of hair removal technology are available, and we are delighted to discuss the pros and cons of each and help you decide which is the best treatment for your hair and skin type.
Is Light and Laser Hair Removal Safe? What Are The Risks? What Are The Side Effects?
The combination of the right salon, the right therapist or clinician, and the right laser machine, for you and your skin type, will significantly reduce your risk of injury when you have a hair removal treatment.
What is Light or Laser Hair Removal?
Light therapy for hair removal and Laser hair removal is one of the most popular and most frequently performed cosmetic procedures. When using a Laser, the treatment area is exposed to intense light of a single frequency. The pigment in the hair absorbs the light and converts it into heat energy that preferentially heats the hair and the root ball and reduces oxygen around the hair follicle causing damage to the hair root and reduces the ability for the hair to regrow.
There are salons and clinics in Hong Kong, including Glow Spa, that provide excellent service, have well-maintained equipment and knowledgeable and experienced staff who apply best practices. It is important to understand that there is almost no regulation of the use of lasers and light therapies in Hong Kong so it is essential to do your research in advance and ask the spa about the qualifications and experience of their therapists.
At Glow, only our CIBTAC/ITEC Laser and Light Therapy qualified and experienced staff work on IPL, SHR and laser hair removal.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
After laser hair removal, many clients do not have hair regrowth for many years. Some customers find they may need a touch-up treatment once or twice a year, and some people may need a touch up more frequently. The result varies from person to person.
While often described as “permanent” hair removal, the correct description of this type of hair removal is permanent hair reduction.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Laser hair removal is not pain-free. You will be able to feel the treatment; it is likely there will be a slight discomfort or small amount of pain. The feeling is similar to a hairbrush rolling against your skin, or a rubber band snapping on you. Most modern equipment has some form of built-in cooling mechanism, cooling the skin and tissue surrounding the treatment area to ensure minimal discomfort.
At Glow, we request that you do not apply numbing creams or take painkillers before your treatment. It is essential that you work with your therapist; she will work with you to figure out the correct setting for you and your skin type only if you’re able to provide accurate feedback on what you’re feeling. If you aren’t able to provide accurate feedback, you are risking injury.
Remember, there is not a direct correlation between the pain level and treatment effectiveness. You cannot reduce the number of treatments required or get a quicker result, by increasing the intensity. The success of this treatment depends on a combination of the correct light intensity setting, the time between treatments and the number of treatments performed.
Is Laser Hair For Me?
The best results are seen when you have dark hair in the treatment area and light skin pigmentation; however, laser hair removal technology has come a long way in recent years and lighter hair and/or darker complexions can also be treated.
The most commonly used laser is the Diode 808 or the 810 nm laser. 808/810 nm lasers are considered the gold standard in laser hair removal because they are suitable for use on almost all pigmented hair and skin types — including tanned and darker skin tones. 808/810 nm Diode lasers may be used with darker skin types, however, for African skin types and similar, a Nd:YAG laser is likely to be a better option.
What Should Happen in My Consultation?
The purpose of the consultation is to ensure you are a suitable candidate for the treatment and to do a patch test if you desire.
It also gives you an opportunity to meet your therapist. At this first meeting, you should ask questions, making sure you are comfortable with the environment and the knowledge and professionalism of your therapist. You will be asked to complete a client consultation form and you should expect questions about your regular sun exposure, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, medication you may be taking, if you are suffering thyroid problems, hormonal problems or other health issues.
Your therapist will walk you through the treatment procedure, what you should expect and guide you on the anticipated number of sessions required and the expected cost.
As a guide, at Glow, we offer single session treatments for touch ups and for new treatment areas, we offer courses of six treatments followed by twelve months of free follow-up sessions.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
It can vary between 4 – 8 treatments, and depends on your hair and skin pigmentation and the coarseness of the hair you are treating and a number of other factors.
At Glow, we usually see 70-80% hair reduction within 5 treatments for most clients, however, results vary and individual results can not be guaranteed.
How Long Do I Leave Between Laser Hair Removal Treatments?
It is recommended to leave four to five weeks between treatments. At Glow, we recommend that you book your 1st, 2nd and 3rd appointments four to five weeks apart. As you move onto your 4th, 5th and 6th treatments you may find that you need to wait for five or six weeks between treatments as the hair growth becomes impeded over time.
Is This Treatment Suitable For Men?
Yes – laser is absolutely suitable for men. With male hair removal becoming increasingly popular, laser hair removal is an ideal treatment for those wanting a smooth chest or hair-free back.
The treatment is suitable for almost anywhere on the body including underarms, ears, sideburns and legs.
There are specialist men’s clinics for the treatment of more intimate areas, and most professional salons can give you a recommendation if required.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe? What Are The Risks? What Are The Side Effects?
This treatment is not without risk, the combination the right therapist or clinician and the right laser machine, for you and your skin type, will significantly reduce your risk of injury when you have a hair removal treatment.
Do a patch test – This will allow you to feel the sensation to ensure you feel comfortable.
Laser hair removal is not recommended for the eye area this is due to the possibility of severe eye injury. During your treatment, your therapist will provide you with a pair of goggles. All forms of light therapy require the use of a gel.
Side effects include skin irritation, temporary discomfort, redness and swelling, these typically disappear within 12 – 24 hours of your treatment.
Care should be taken when using a laser (or any light treatment) near a tattooed area, as the light may affect the colour of the tattoo.
What Do I Need To Do Or Avoid Before And After My Treatment?
Ideally, you should have three to four weeks of hair growth before coming in for your first treatment. Try to avoid waxing, epilation, plucking or another root removal technique for three to four weeks before your first treatment.
There needs to be some growth before your consultation and first treatment so if you do shave, try not to shave for 3 – 4 days before your first treatment.Your therapist or clinician can also help shave the area if needed for your first treatment.
Before your treatment and for two to three days after you should avoid exposing the treated area to the sun. The treatment should never be performed on wind-burnt or sunburnt skin. Advise your therapist if you have recently used a sunbed, treatments should not be done two weeks either side of a sunbed session.
Retinol A and some antibiotics makes the skin more photosensitive; it is recommended that you stop using Retinol A creams one week before hair reduction treatment and that you have completed your course of antibiotics two weeks before your treatment.
When treating large areas, exercise is not recommended after your laser treatment because during a laser hair removal treatment heat is applied to the skin resulting in erythema (redness) and follicular oedema (swelling of the follicles) these temporary side effects last for approximately 12 – 24 hours. It is important to keep the skin cool after your treatment, as the follicles are heat sensitive at this time, it is important to avoid any activity that may bring any further heat to the skin.
Also, physical exercise will usually cause you to sweat and your clothes, exercise mat, or sweat may contain bacteria which may aggravate the sensitive hair follicles, resulting in a rash or skin infection. This is particularly important in Hong Kong; especially when you are having treatments over the summer, try to plan so that you are in a cool and air-conditioned environment most of the time immediately after your treatment.
To avoid skin irritation, wear loose cool clothing after your treatment. If you can, avoid skinny jeans and tight leggings. Have a luke warm shower rather than a hot shower and avoid creams, moisturisers, oils and perfumes on the treatment area for 12 – 24 hours after your treatment.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
Laser hair removal can vary in price from clinic to clinic, from men to women – follow the link to the Glow Pricing.
Light Therapy for hair removal can be amazing, just imagine, never having to wax or shave again! At Glow Spa, we have a friendly and knowledgeable team, and our qualified therapists are experienced in every aspect of keeping you looking and feeling your very best.
Call Glow on 2525 5198
Whatsapp on 9680 2107
email [email protected]
This article originally appeared on www.thehkhub.com -