Hair Removal – IPL laser, electrolysis or waxing?

What is IPL laser hair removal?
What is electrolysis?
What hair removal treatment is best for you?

Shaving, tweezing, and waxing are short-term solutions to hair removal.  Oceanside Medical Aesthetics offers two  methods to achieve smooth, long term results: IPL laser hair removal and electrolysis.

  • Intense pulsed light (IPL) laser hair removal involves the use of lasers to deliver mild radiation to the hair follicles.
  • Electrolysis involves inserting a probe into the hair follicle and sending an electric current through it.

Lasers can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity); so direct exposure to the sun must be avoided immediately after the procedure. People having laser treatment should avoid sunlight for 6 weeks before treatment to prevent discoloration of the tanned skin – that’s why it’s perfect for early Spring!

Both laser therapy and electrolysis have their advantages and disadvantages and our trained aestheticians will help you make the right choice for you skin type and hair colour.

Both procedures target hair follicles under the surface of the skin to curb or prevent their growth. Although electrolysis is the only hair removal method endorsed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, laser hair removal is currently the more popular option in America.

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal permanently diminish hair growth over time, but does not eliminate unwanted hair forever in a single session. Laser hair removal uses a laser to damage hair follicles.

Before the procedure, the technician trims the hair that is being treated close to the skin.

Our Cynosure IPL machine automatically measures skin tone, and continually adjusts the laser’s settings based on the color and thickness of the hair being removed, as well as the area being treated. Pre-treatment preparation is customized to your skin type, and cold gels reduce discomfort. Clients wear eye protection during the treatment to protect from the laser light pulses.

After the procedure, ice packs and cooling gel are applied to alleviate discomfort.

Most people will require up to 8 follow-up treatments to get the best results, which can be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart. Once hair growth has been sufficiently restrained, a person may require a once-or twice-yearly maintenance session.

Advantages of laser hair removal

  1. Precision: The lasers quickly target coarser, darker hairs.
  2. Speed: Laser pulses take just milliseconds, and can treat several hairs at once, which means that small areas can be treated in just minutes.
  3. Lighter growth and color: New hair growth tends to be less dense than before, and the new hair is often a few shades lighter than the original hair.
  4. Efficacy: Many people see long-term results after 3 to 8 sessions.

Disadvantages of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is not suitable for everyone.

  1. The laser works best on people with light skin and dark hair because the laser targets dark colors.
  2. Risk of adverse reactions: Some of the more undesirable side effects of laser hair removal can include temporary discoloration, swelling, skin redness. The Cynosure technology minimises risks of blistering and scarring, which are more common with manual lasers in inexperienced hands.
  3. Photosensitivity: Lasers can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity); so direct exposure to the sun must be avoided immediately after the procedure. People having laser treatment should avoid sunlight for 6 weeks before treatment to prevent discoloration of the tanned skin.
  4. Dangers of numbing products: Numbing products should not be applied to large areas of the body at once. Therefore large areas should be treated across multiple sessions.

People should use a fully trained, certified laser technician working under the direction of a board-certified healthcare provider to reduce the risk of severe and long-lasting side effects following laser hair removal.

At-home therapies or salon treatments, although significantly cheaper, carry more significant risks.

What is electrolysis?

Electrolysis can permanently remove hair follicles – an electrical current is passed through a hair follicle, which damages the follicle and prevents new hair growth.

Before the procedure, the client will have a consultation with an electrologist to discuss their health and medical history.

The procedure itself involves the technician placing an ultra-thin needle into the targeted hair follicle. An electric current passes through the probe, killing the hair root.

Very little aftercare is necessary. Although the skin may feel irritated and appear slightly red, these symptoms tend to resolve within a few hours.

For permanent hair removal, a person will need several treatments. This is because the skin has multiple follicles for each hair, so dormant follicles may begin to grow hair between sessions. Follow-up sessions treat these newly active follicles.

The majority of people will require follow-up sessions every week or every other week for several weeks to eliminate hair on the target area.

Advantages of electrolysis

  1. Permanent: Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved method of permanent hair removal.
  2. Versatility: Effective for people with any skin type, skin color, hair type, and hair color. Electrolysis is suitable for any area of the body — including the eyebrows.
  3. No recovery time: People can resume their daily activities immediately after the procedure.
  4. No harsh chemicals: Unlike hair bleaching, electrolysis does not require the use of chemicals on the skin.

Disadvantages of electrolysis

  • Several sessions: Larger areas such as the legs or back, can take several long sessions
  • Removing coarse hair, such as from around the bikini line, requires more sessions. Some people may require up to 30 treatments.
  • Pain and Discomfort:  It may help to take a pain reliever before treatment and to apply ice following the session.
  • Potential for adverse effects: These include scarring in rare cases or infection from unsterilized needles.

If you are considering long-term hair removal treatments, speak to our skincare specialists about the best options for your needs.