The constant need to shave, wax, pluck or smother our bodies with depilatory creams becomes quite a tedious task. If you’ve heard about permanent hair removal but thought it sounded too good to be true, then make sure you get the low down.
Get the low down
Laser, IPL or electrolysis?
There are three types of hair removal treatments that are often thought of or described as being permanent hair removal treatments. These are laser, IPL and electrolysis.
On the surface, there seems to be very little difference between laser hair removal and Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatment. They both use similar-looking machines where a light energy is passed through a hand piece and onto the skin. This heats the melanin in the hair follicle, as opposed to the melanin in the skin, damaging the hair at its root. However, laser uses a more specific type of light that generates more heat in the hair follicle and less heat on the surrounding skin than IPL does. Hence, laser is considered to be more effective with less chance of causing any degree of skin burn. Laser is more suitable for use on darker skin complexions.
Electrolysis is a treatment that destroys hair follicles one at a time. A very fine needle is inserted into the hair follicle which is destroyed with either a chemical solution or a heat source. The hair is then removed with tweezers.
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Is hair removal treatment permanent?
In general, hair removal treatments shouldn’t be described as being permanent as they cannot guarantee hair will never grow back. Instead, treatments should be described as providing permanent hair reduction. With any type of hair removal treatment, there is always the potential that some hair may re-grow over time, although this is going to be much finer, lighter and sparser hair than prior to treatment.
Number of treatments and costs
With any type of permanent hair reduction, several treatments are required. Ideally, these are spaced apart over a few weeks or even a few months. On average, a series of at least four to six treatments are required. Some people find they may require top-up treatments if they experience a portion of hair re-growth.
Permanent hair reduction treatment costs are based on the size of the area to be treated, the number of treatments required, the denseness of the hair growth and whether a salon therapist or professional skin specialist is performing the treatment. Laser hair removal is often more expensive than IPL, as laser machines are more expensive to purchase and tend to be found in specialist skin clinics as opposed to beauty salons.
In Australia, you would expect to pay several hundred dollars for four to six hair removal treatment sessions. It is recommended to get an upfront pre-pay price for a set number of sessions. The cost is usually less expensive per session booking through this type of method than paying for individual sessions.