Most Common At-Home Laser Hair Removal Myths-Debunked!
After years and years of painful waxing, razors that cut scars and give rise to rashes and sitting in a tub for many hours in combined with the foulest reeking hair removal creams, it should be a wonder as to why 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 for use at home, there is an even bigger frenzy over the risk associated with not having the treatment done professionally. The (rather irrational) fear of something so permanent and expensive puts women off, retreating them to even more expensive temporary treatments.
We know what you are thinking- a pack of double-sided wax strips is only £9.00 at most, whereas an IPL machine costs hundreds of pounds! That leads us to our first myth to be debunked.
Myth #1: IPL Laser Machines are too expensive
This may seem like a silly statement; the price tag flat-out reads numbers that could make heads spin. What we miss out on, in this case, 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 £1000 spent a year-not including separate wax strips for face and body, the time spent waxing only for it to regrow in less than a month (if you are lucky) and the hefty cleaning process of 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 to touch-up every six months. Such devices will last you years and years with the proper care and use, and would only be need to used 2-3 times a year after the first few weekly sessions are complete. This actually saves you thousands of pounds 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 if you have tattoos, you have had sun exposure in the last month or tanned, or if you are sunburnt/injured.
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 pounds 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) properly over the treated skin. Except for a bit of reddening for a few hours following treatment, there are no adverse side effects to using an 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, which is well within visible range (380-710nm). For a wave of light to be considered harmful, it would have to be at least below 300nm, which is no where near the range of IPL machines.
The devices are designed to turn off their light automatically if it isn’t in contact with skin, so that the risk of getting the laser into your eyes is prevented.
Myth #3: Laser Pulses are Painful
Let’s get one thing out of the way: any level of pain that could possibly come from laser treatment would always be far less than that of waxing, threading and the cuts and bruises from shaving.
That being said, the most that people have reported from laser treatment, in terms of pain, is a slight pinch. That’s it. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most painful, the highest scale of pain reported, on average, was a mere 3. Many clients undergoing laser treatment in clinics easily fall asleep during the longer sessions, which would (obviously) not be possible if there was any significant pain to be experienced from it.
Myth #4: Treatments take a lot of time
As mentioned before, the IPL machine would have to be used for about 4-8 sessions within the first two months or so. This is because, at one time, not all the hair follicles are at the surface of your skin.
Repeated treatment, initially, ensures that all hair follicles have been heated up to disassociate from the hair shaft and recede into resting phase (in which they do not grow any hair). After this, the hair may only grow, very slowly, after a few months. This would require just one or two touch up sessions before the skin can go hair-free for another half of the year.
For each individual session, it takes much less time than most people think. For areas like the legs, it is a given that it would take half an hour at least. However, for areas such as the face, underarms and bikini line, it takes less than five minutes! Machines have been designed to cover as much area as possible, to make the session speedier. Besides, it is not like shaving every other day or waxing every week gives any better time solutions.
Now that the air is cleared on the undeserved scary reputation of laser treatments, you must be rushing to buy your very own IPL at-home laser treatment device, but a few things should be taken care of (as they should before any pricey, long term purchase):