Photo: You by Sia
Waxing, plucking, shaving…it’s all a bit tiresome, isn’t it? And while a few of us have thought about the whole laser hair removal thing when we’re fed up with shaving cuts or irritated skin, there’s a lot of questions that continue to pop into our head. Now the time has come to wonder no more.
Paramedical Aesthetician and founder of You by Sia Clinics and Cosmeceutical Skincare, Sia Hendry, sits down with theFashionSpot to rid all our laser hair removal fears. After reading this, you might not find laser hair removal so scary after all.
theFashionSpot: After laser hair removal, does the hair eventually grow back?
Sia Hendry: Ultimately, no one can stop hair growth. Hormonal hairs in particular, such as facial hair, hair on your neck, chest, nipples and snail trail do grow back. They may get thinner and finer per treatment, but they won’t stop growing. Hair on your underarms, bikini line and legs can have up to 70 to 80 percent reduction and you may need a touch-up once or twice a year to target the new hair follicles that have become active. On average, you need eight to ten treatments of laser and usually by the eighth or tenth treatment, you may find that you only have three hairs left.
tFS: Does laser hair removal treatment hurt?
SH: It can be slightly uncomfortable for the first three treatments, but becomes easier as treatments progress. At You by Sia, our laser equipment is outfitted with a Dynamic Cooling Device, which cools the skin on contact and allows the treatment to be more comfortable for our clients. Ultimately, everyone’s pain thresholds are different. It’s definitely not any more painful than waxing and as treatments progress, it does get much easier.
tFS: Will my skin react?
SH: It’s not common. Some people might get a bit of swelling if their skin is prone to holding onto the heat of the laser, but this usually subsides within 24 to 48 hours.
tFS: Does the treatment cause scarring?
SH: If the operator in certain circumstances is not aware or qualified to use the equipment, they may cause some harm to the skin. Which is why it is crucial to only go to a reputable cosmetic clinic.
tFS: Can I still go to the beach over summer?
SH: Yes, you can still go to the beach, however, you must keep the areas you had laser on out of the sun. For example, if you were treating your bikini line, you can wear a sarong or bikini briefs to protect the area from UV ray exposure. Winter is really the ideal time to get laser treatments, so that you can prepare for summer.
tFS: How much time does it take for each treatment?
SH: Depending on the area, it can take as little as 30 seconds to 20 minutes. To give you a general idea, it only takes approximately five minutes to treat small areas, such as your hairline, bikini line, underarms or neck, and approximately 15 to 25 minutes to treat larger areas, such as the legs, back or arms.
tFS: How long does the entire process go for?
SH: On average, people would need eight to 10 laser hair removal treatments every five weeks. For best results, you may also need one or two maintenance appointments a year following the completion of your treatments to keep the area as smooth and hair-free as possible.
tFS: Can I shave in-between treatments?
SH: Yes, you can shave and use depilatory creams between treatments, but definitely no pulling of the hair from the root. No waxing or plucking.
tFS: Who is the best candidate for laser hair removal?
SH: The ideal candidate would have fair skin and thick, dark hair. The lasers we use at You by Sia, for example, are attracted topigment. The less pigment in your skin, the easier it is for the laser to detect the hair. The lasers can also be done on different settings. The darker your skin, the lower your settings and the more treatments you may need.
tFS: What is the most common area on the body for laser hair removal?
SH: Definitely underarms, top lip and bikini line.
tFS: What is the least common area on the body for laser hair removal?
SH: Top arms, shoulders and ears.
tFS: Have you seen or heard any laser hair removal horror stories?
SH: I’ve been in the industry for 14 years and so I have seen many laser hair removal horror stories. The most common would be burns from the laser, which happens when you encounter an unqualified or inexperienced therapist who’s not properly trained to use the equipment safely and efficiently.
tFS: Why would you recommend laser hair removal over other hair removals like waxing or shaving?
SH: Laser is by far the best method for permanent hair reduction, especially if you’re looking for long-term results that are cost-effective. Laser also has benefits over other methods in that it guarantees no ingrown hairs, no scarring, cuts or shaving rash. At You by Sia, our laser hair removal procedures are always quick, hygienic and easy. Our professional specialists will analyse the area for treatment and provide recommendations on the number of sessions you may need, based on your hair growth. Furthermore, our process uses no chemicals, leaves behind no residues and does not travel past the skin and into your bloodstream or glands. This is why we can offer laser hair removal services targeting sensitive areas, including the face and genital area.