According to research by Boots, the average woman in the UK spends a whopping £3618 on removing hair over her lifetime.
With that kind of investment in time and money, it’s worth having a good understanding of the various techniques available. Here’s an overview of three hair-removal treatments offered by spas and beauty salons throughout the UK.
Waxing is a longer-lasting alternative to shaving for those looking for a hair removal option. The process involves the use of strip wax and hard wax to pull and remove hair from the root.
How it Works
A beauty therapist or skin aesthetician will spread a stick wax over the area being treated. The wax is covered with cloth strips and when the wax is almost dry the strips of cloth are quickly removed, taking the unwanted hair with them. There are different types of wax and some can be removed without the cloth strips.
What it’s Good For
Waxing can be used anywhere on the body. This can include the face, legs, back, chest, underarms or bikini area.
Usually lasts for: Depending on the area treated waxing can last for 3 to six weeks.
Possible side effects: The most common side effects are a little redness and swelling, but this decreases with additional treatments as your skin gets used to the procedure. There is also a small chance of infection around the hair follicles.
The unwanted hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long so don’t shave for a couple of weeks before your treatment.
Hard, resin-based waxes are the smarter choice as they remove only the hair and have less chance of removing sensitive skin.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a laser, an intense, pulsating beam of light, to remove unwanted hair.
How it Works
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective ways to reduce hair growth longer term. During the treatment a technician will send a pulse of light into the hair follicles of the target area, the pulse damages the hair follicles and prevents future growth.
What it’s Good For
Laser hair removal and IPL can be used anywhere on the body but is best for women with dark hair. Lasers target only pigmented hair, so they won't work if yours is red or very fair.
Usually lasts for: It can take as many as 6 treatments to get the best results, results can be almost permanent.
Possible side effects: Some normal side effects may occur after laser hair removal treatments and include itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling. Burns or blisters are rare but possible, particularly in people with darker complexions.
Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. Today's medical electrolysis devices destroy the growth centre of the hair with chemical or heat energy.
How it works
During electrolysis, a trained expert will place a tiny needle inside the hair follicle. A low-level electrical current passes through the needle or probe into your skin and destroys the hair follicle.
What it’s good for
Electrolysis treats each individual hair and does take longer than some of the other techniques. As such it’s best for small areas such as the eyebrows, face and breasts, or for women who have white or blonde hair.
Usually lasts for: You'll likely need treatments every 1-2 weeks until the hair is mostly gone. Unlike laser and pulsed lights, electrolysis kills every follicle the aesthetician treats.
Possible side effects: there are generally no permanent side effects, but sometimes a temporary, slight reddening of the skin may occur.
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