We at Flawless Body spent 6 months researching the market to understand what was the best system to invest in. We set ourselves one simple aim – what is the most effective Hair Removal system on the market?
Having had several demonstrations following visits to Trade Fairs we came to the conclusion very quickly that the route to go down was Laser as opposed to an IPL system (Intense Pulsed Light). Quite simply all the research told us that Laser is the most effective medium for hair removal. You can read why this is the case here.
We then had to decide which Laser to go for. We opted for the Diode Laser as it provided in our view the most effective and versatile solution for the skin and hair types that we would be treating.
Having narrowed it down we wanted to then make sure we went out and bought the best system on the market. When we came across the Lumenis LightSheer we knew this was the one. Having product tested numerous, this system was the most comfortable, had the most clinical papers and endorsements and is seen as the GOLD standard – but most importantly was the most effective. It has two types of heads which allow us to deliver the best results. You can read more here.
IPL vs Laser
IPL produces a wide-spectrum of light that shallowly penetrates the skin. This wide spectrum is diffused, and does not target any specific aspect of the hair. Some wavelengths of the light are absorbed by the hair, resulting in heating and disruption of the follicle, while the rest are reflected away.
Only some of the energy generated during IPL affects the hairs, making it a less efficient method of hair removal than laser treatment.
It is worth noting that, occasionally, IPL is referred to as IPL Laser treatment. This can be misleading, as the beam produced by IPL is wide-spectrum light and does not involve lasers.
A laser produces a single, concentrated wavelength of light that penetrates deeper into the skin to reach the base of the hair follicle.
The wavelength used in laser treatment has been specifically selected to target the melanin in the hair follicle, unlike IPL, which uses a more scattered approach where only some of the light is absorbed by the follicle.
The narrow beam used in laser treatment is targeted, precise, and effective – all of the energy used in the treatment is being utilised for the intended purpose of hair growth reduction/elimination.
Avoid tanning and using fake tan for at least a month to prepare for laser hair removal. The skin should be as light as possible at the time of treatment.
Refrain from plucking or waxing for at least 2-4 weeks prior to undergoing treatment. Shaving is fine.
Shave the area that will be treated, as instructed during the pre-treatment consultation. This is usually a day or two before the appointment. The hair follicles should be visible.
In all cases a patch test is required to be done 24hrs before treatment. This is to ensure that your skin and hair does not react to the laser in anyway.
The following 48 hrs post treatment we advise that you avoid all heat treatments such as:
- Steam rooms
- Very hot baths/showers
- Excessive exercise
- Perfumed creams, soaps & lotions on the treated area
A Light Mineral Make-Up can be applied directly after treatment and an SPF 30 must be applied to any treated areas exposed to UV light everyday.
Also, hairs must not be tweezed, waxed or threaded in-between sessions, however shaving is allowed if necessary.
FAQs (Please click the arrow to expand)
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
It is impossible to remove 100% of the hairs, no matter what anybody claims.
Laser treatments are only approved by the FDA for “permanent hair reduction” NOT “permanent hair removal”.
Typically you can expect to see a 80% -95% reduction in hair growth following a course of laser hair removal.
Is it painful?
It depends on your pain threshold. What we do now is that the Lumenis Lightsheer system due to its ChillTip and Vacuum Mechanism make it one of the least painful laser treatments available.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
The LightSheer Desire’s superior safety and effectiveness have been proven in extensive clinical trials and long term clinical practise. Numerous studies have validated the safety and efficacy of the technologies behind the LightSheer Desire.
All of our Laser Therapists at Flawless Body are qualified to the highest NVQ Level 4 which is highly commended in our industry as most salons are only NVQ Level 3.
Is there anything that may restrict me having Laser Hair Removal?
The following list can restrict or prevent a client from having Laser Hair Removal:
- Use of Sun Beds/Tanning Injections/Tanning Pills
- Diabetes (Requires a letter from your GP)
- Semi-Permanent Make-Up (local)
- Tattoos (local)
- Active Tans
- Heart Disease (Requires a letter from your GP)
- Epilepsy (Requires a letter from your GP)
- White/Grey Hairs
- Systemic Lupus
- Contagious Diseases/Disorders
- Skin Cancer
- History of Cancer (Requires a letter from your GP)
- Acne Medications
- Dysplastic Nevi (local)
Are there any side effects?
Normal side effects which may occur following laser hair removal treatments include itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling around the treatment area or swelling of the follicles (follicular edema).
These side effects rarely last more than a couple of hours, if at all, however occasionally on sensitive skins it can last up to two or three days, although this is unusual.
Post treatment reactions vary from individual to individual, however due to the nature of the treatment, it is not uncommon for clients to experience short term redness (similar to after you have waxing).
However a light mineral make-up may be applied directly after and therefore appointments can be booked during a lunch break with no visible indications of treatment afterwards.
How many sessions will I need?
The majority of clients require a minimum of six sessions, although eight is recommended for best results. Some individuals may require more, depending on the individual skin/hair type.
How far apart are the sessions?
After your first treatment, we would recommend you coming in two weeks afterwards so we can observe how your skin has reacted, adjust any settings and complete your second session.
We would then recommend 4-6 weekly intervals for the face, underarm and bikini areas and 6-8 weekly intervals for the larger chest, back, legs and arm areas.
How long is a session?
The treatment time can vary considerably depending on the size of the area treated, and the particular technique used. A small area such as the upper lip may take only five minutes, while a larger area like the back or legs may take up to one hour.
You should allow around 2-3 weeks for the hairs to start shedding following your treatments, you can aid this process by exfoliating twice a week with a gentle exfoliator or clean mitt.
When will I start to see results?
You should start to see a difference after your second treatment.
I am nervous – what I should expect?
Don’t worry, you are not alone - The thought of considering Laser Hair Removal can be an incredibly daunting prospect. The fear of the unknown, along with the occasional ‘horror story’ online or in the press, relating to adverse reactions caused by untrained therapists, means that most people will feel very apprehensive before having their first laser session.
The Flawless Group have been trading for several years and we believe we have one of the best Laser Hair Removal systems on the market. All our staff are fully trained to Level 4. Once you have had your first session those nerves tend to go away.
I am pregnant or planning a pregnancy – can I have Laser Hair Removal?
Unfortunately we cannot treat pregnant ladies, even though there is no documented evidence to suggest lasers can be harmful to the baby, we regrettably cannot treat you until eight weeks after the birth or until you have stopped breast feeding.
I am under 18 years old – can I have Laser Hair Removal?
Regrettably we cannot treat anyone under the age of 18 as we are not covered by our insurance.
I suffer with ingrown hairs, will laser help?
Absolutely. Even after a couple of treatments you should notice a remarkable improvement as the majority of your ingrown hairs will be terminated.
Within a few weeks, the area will be much smoother; we recommend you exfoliate gently twice a week to aid this process.
I have a tan can I be treated?
There should be no fake tan on the area to be treated, if you have applied a ‘gradual home self tan’ such as ‘Dove’ or ‘Olay’ you will need to leave it two weeks prior to your laser treatment or leave it four weeks if it is a ‘professional salon tan’ such as ‘St Tropez, Fake Bake, Sienna X’.
We regrettably will not conduct a treatment on a tanned area. This is because after the laser treatment the skin is more sensitive to UV light.
The treated area should be covered/protected from UV light for four weeks after Laser Hair Removal to improve the long term results and prevent complications from arising. An SPF 30 must be used on any treated areas exposed to direct UV light continuously after the treatment until your course has finished.
Clients cannot use sunbeds whilst having a course of laser.
I have dark skin, can I be treated?
If you are interested in having Laser Hair Removal we would need to book you in for a consultation to assess whether you would be suitable for the treatment.
The melanin content in your skin is an important factor to consider and we would need to conduct a thorough consultation, and examine the area to be treated in order to recommend a suitable treatment plan.
In many cases the simple answer is yes but you may need more sessions than the average.
I have blonde/red/grey hair can I be treated?
The laser energy is attracted to the pigment in your hair. The darker and thicker the hair is, the more successful the treatment will be.
White and grey hair does not contain any melanin so therefore we cannot treat these hairs with laser.
Blonde and red hairs are difficult to treat as they contain such a small amount of pigment.
As long as the hairs are darker than the skin tone we would certainly offer you a complimentary consultation where we can discuss your options.
Do the hairs need to be a specific length (like waxing?)
No, quite the opposite.
For a laser treatment to be successful we would require you to shave the area to be treated the day before you come in. This is because the laser is attracted to the pigment inside the hair and we want the energy from the laser to be focused on travelling down the hair shaft to the main source of growth, so it can be destroyed.
If there are any ‘hairs’ above the skin surface (ie if you have not shaved) the laser will be attracted to these thus wasting energy on the end part of the hair and causing potential skin damage and/or pigmentation.
All areas must be shaved, including the face.
How do I manage hair growth between treatments?
For optimal results we recommend shaving and/or cutting in-between your laser treatments. You cannot wax, thread or pluck hairs in-between a course of treatments.
Why do I need a patch test?
The patch test provides us with the optimal settings in which to treat your skin and hair type successfully and highlights any adverse reactions you may have to the treatment.
All clients must wait seven days after their patch test before we can book their first session in.
What if I forget to shave?
In most cases with the right notice we should be able to re-schedule your appointment to allow you to do this.
As you can see Laser Hair Removal offers a more targeted and direct approach. It also offers more permanent results, whereas IPL will require ongoing, regular top-up treatments.
Laser Hair Removal also works on hairs that IPL is ineffective at treating, particularly coarse or thick hairs. This is because the targeted beam reaches the follicle, while IPL light cannot effectively penetrate through these types of hairs to generate enough heat.
Laser Expert, Dr Patrick Bowler, quoted “It’s now generally accepted that IPL is a good workhorse for treating blood vessels, but not a very good one for hair removal. The truth is, it’s limited and quite uncomfortable. The great thing about laser is that you can specifically set them up, adapting the wavelengths to target an exact pigment”.
The easiest way to explain the difference is the laser is like a sniper that can precisely hit a single target with one shot, whereas IPL is like a grenade that hits several targets at once.