Hair Removal & Reduction (partⅡ)
Sugaring is similar in its process to waxing. It consists of a soft paste that is applied to skin at the site of desired hair removal, then pulled off. Both methods can be performed at home using kits sold at stores, or at a salon.
Electrolysis is the only hair removal method that can permanently remove hair. This method of hair removal acts independently of one’s hair or skin colour. The process involves insertion of a small, fine needle into the hair follicle, followed by use of a small electrical current to damage and then destroy the follicle. There are two main methods:
Galvanic electrolysis uses a direct electrical current to create a chemical reaction that destroys the hair follicle.
Thermolysis, a high-frequency alternating current, creates vibrations strong enough to heat and destroy hair follicles.
A blend of the two approaches is sometimes used. Effectiveness depends on the technician’s skill. Each treatment lasts between 15 minutes and an hour. This method can be painful; a topical anesthetic cream applied an hour before the procedure can reduce discomfort.
Electrolysis can cause redness in treated areas, as well as scarring and increased or reduced pigmentation. It should not be used by people who have pacemakers.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft.
IPL hair removal consists of using a targeted laser beam to penetrate and destroy hair follicles that produce hair. Results can last three to six months or longer before hair grows back visibly. A series of six to eight treatments, spaced eight to 12 weeks apart, is usually required for permanent results.
Important considerations prior to IPL hair removal
Am I a candidate for this procedure?
IPL technology works by targeting dark pigment. Certain lasers work best on pale skin and dark, coarse hair. Darker-skinned patients with black hair will require a different type of laser. Blond or white hair does not readily respond to laser therapy.
In general, the lighter the skin and the darker/coarser the hair, the better the results.
How does IPL hair removal work?
IPL designed for permanent hair reduction emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). If the surrounding skin is lighter than the colour of the hair, the energy of the laser is concentrated in the hair shaft, destroying it without affecting the skin or the follicle.
The key to a safe, efficient treatment is the device’s ability to consistently deliver a very narrow bandwidth that destroys the hair follicle, but does not damage the surrounding skin. While the laser emits a beam that only heats the hair shaft, heat is transmitted from the hair shaft to surrounding tissue for several milliseconds after the laser pulse.