Most Common At-Home Laser Hair Removal Myths-Debunked!
After many years of painful waxing and countless razor cuts, people have started to warm to the idea of using laser hair removal instead.
Sitting in a tub for many hours combined with the foulest reeking hair removal creams, I wonder why more women do not opt for one of the more permanent solutions: laser hair treatment.
The word ‘laser’ almost acts as a trigger to conjure images of skin cancer and blinding your eyes. When it comes to IPL (Intense Pulse of Light) machines at home, there is an even bigger frenzy over the risk of not having the treatment done professionally. The (somewhat irrational) fear of something so permanent and expensive puts women off, retreating them to even more costly temporary treatments.
We know what you are thinking- a pack of double-sided wax strips is only R200 ($9) at most, whereas an IPL machine costs hundreds of Rands(ZAR)!
So that leads us to our first myth to be debunked.
Myth #1: IPL Laser Machines are too expensive
It may seem like a silly statement; the price tag flat-out reads numbers that could make heads spin. However, in this case, what we miss out on is the bigger picture.
Suppose you wax once every month, and a standard pack of double-sided wax strips lasts you a whole session. That would be about R2000(ZAR) spent a year, not including separate wax strips for the face and body, the time spent waxing for it to regrow in less than a month (if you are lucky), and the hefty cleaning process the sticky wax getting everywhere. This process repeats itself year after year, and whatever product you may use for hair removal would keep having to be replaced.
With a one-time purchase of a good quality IPL machine, both the time and the money are way cheaper in the long run. After about half a dozen bi-weekly sessions, you would only need to use it for a touch-up every six months.
Such devices will last you years and years with the proper care and use, and you would only need to use them 5-7 times a year after the first few weekly sessions are complete. Having your own laser hair removal device will save you thousands of Rands(ZAR) in the long run.
Myth #2: At-home Treatments are Dangerous
The risks associated with using an IPL machine are easily preventable. The only situations in which IPL machines would have to be avoided are when you have tattoos, sunburned in the last 48 hours, ultra tanned, or skin injuries.
These should come as a no-brainer, and the same risks apply even if you opt for salon treatments (which are far more expensive, costing hundreds of Rands(ZAR) per session!). There is very little maintenance to carry out post-treatment. All you have to take care of is not getting any sun exposure on the treated skin and applying a good quality sunscreen of SPF 45 (or more) correctly over the treated skin. Except for a bit of reddening for a few hours following treatment, there are no adverse side effects to using a DIY IPL machine.
Another concern some people have is the risk of cancer. The frequency required for a wavelength of light to become carcinogenic is very high. Light used in the IPL is still in the 500-700nm range, well within an acceptable range (380-710nm). For a wave of light to be considered harmful, it would have to be at least below 300nm, which is nowhere near the range of IPL machines.
The Bareskin device comes with glasses to protect the user's eyes when using the device. According to Dr. Konstantin Zakashansky, IPL laser light does not penetrate further than the skin and hair follicles. The IPL light cannot reach the internal organs and does not affect male or female fertility.
Myth #3: Laser Pulses are Painful
Let’s get one thing out of the way: any pain level from laser treatment would always be far less than that of waxing, threading or cuts and bruises from shaving.
The most that people have reported from the laser treatment in terms of pain is a slight pinch. That’s it. On a scale of 1-10, with ten being the most painful, the most significant scale of pain reported, on average, was a mere 3. In addition, many clients undergoing laser treatment in clinics fall asleep during the longer sessions, which would (obviously) not be possible if there was any significant pain to be experienced.
Also, the Bareskin has five power levels. If you experience pain, you can adjust the power level to a lower setting. 99% of our clients have never experienced any pain.
Myth #4: Treatments take a lot of time
The IPL Bareskin machine needs to be used at least 8 - 10 sessions within the first two months. Once you start, you should try to flash/hit as many hair follicles as possible.
Repeated treatment ensures that all hair follicles have been heated to damage the hair shafts and force it into the resting phase (in this phase, the hair does not grow and fall out). After this, the hair may still grow but usually much slower. After the hair falls outs, you will only need one or two touch up sessions a month.
Each session takes much less time than most people think. It will not take more than a half-hour for areas like the legs. However, it takes less than five minutes for the face, underarms, and bikini line regions! The Bareskin machine was developed and designed to cover as much space as possible to make the session as fast as possible. Besides, it is not like shaving every other day or waxing every week gives any better time solutions.
As you probably have realised, laser hair removal treatment is not scary, nor is it expensive, and it does not take a lot of time to do it. Also, we can assure you that owning your own IPL laser hair removal machine for home use should not frighten you.
Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Walters MD (Dermatologist)