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April 5, 2008

The Lowdown On Laser Hair Removal  

'They' say, as we get old, three things will continue to grow: our nose, ears and hair. While we may not be able to do much about our nose and ears, modern laser technology is vastly improving out chances of at least getting rid of unwanted hair.

What is a laser?

A laser is an intense beam of light. The energy created by the light, when used at different wavelengths, can target various structures of the skin. In the case of hair removal, the light is concentrated on the pigment of the hair follicle, and does not cause any damage to other parts of the skin.

Types of lasers

Today, the manufacturing of lasers has boomed, and it is worthwhile looking into the machine that your practitioner will use before your treatment, both for reasons of compatibility with your skin and hair type, and the quality of the machine itself.

For instance, the Ruby Laser is one of the oldest types of lasers, and is really only effective for fine, light coloured hair in small amounts. The Alexandrite Laser is becoming more popular because of its large size, making it far more effective for treating large areas, such as backs and legs, but again, it is really better for people with light to olive skin.

For those with darker complexions or tans, the Diode Laser is more effective, but doesn't work so well on people with fair hair. It has a fast repetitious rate, though, making treatments for large body areas quicker.

The one laser that is good for all skin types is the Nd:Yag laser, which is both fast and has a large coverage area. The downside to this laser is that more people have reported discomfort during treatment, and for people with finer, lighter hair, it can be less effective.

A device similar to a laser, but is not categorised as one, is the Intense Pulsed Light Device. However, these are reportedly much more difficult to use than normal lasers, and require a very skilled hand to operate them.

How lasers work

Hair grows in three cycles: dormant, growing and resting. The laser only effective works on hairs that are in the growth stage. For this reason, laser hair removal will not get rid of all the hair in one go. Although some lasers, such as the Alexandrite, are approved as permanent hair removal systems, the truth is that no laser will remove 100 percent of unwanted hair.

Does it hurt?

The level of discomfort felt depends on both the type of machine used and the client's own pain tolerance level. Most people endure the procedure with only mild discomfort, but other will require a topical anaesthetic. Some people describe the sensation as a slight stinging, while others say it feels like a rubber band being snapped across their skin.

There can be some redness or slight swelling afterwards, but this should settle in a short time. For most people, four to six treatments are recommended at various intervals, to cover the hair in its various stages of growth. Many people are happy after three of four treatments. In some cases, a return trip after six months may be necessary.

The cost

Laser hair removal can be expensive, but of course, this should be weighed against the cost of ongoing waxing or electrolysis. In the end, although pricey up front, it may end up much more economical in the long term, not to mention more convenient.

Shopping around for both the right machine and right price for you is a good idea. Some clinics charge a flat fee, while others will charge in 5 or 15-minute block intervals. Depending on the size of the area and the amount of hair, some clinics may be willing to negotiate a fee with you, or provide a discount for a group of treatments paid up front.

This article has been provided by The Victorian Cosmetic Institute. For more information on anti wrinkle treatments like Dysport and other cosmetic treatments like Breast enhancements please visit our site.

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