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What's Up With Laser Hair Removal? The Pros and Cons

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As women, many of us are constantly questioning the hair removal process in our grooming and self-care routines. Will we remove it? How will we remove it? How often? We want solutions that work quickly and efficiently when it comes to removing the hair on our bodies. Many women try the classic razor, which often results in bumps or cuts, not to mention hair is visible within a week’s time. Then, some of us resort to hair removal creams. They get the job done, however, the lingering smell, occasional skin irritation, and exposure to harsh chemicals are risks to consider. Another common hair removal method is waxing, an efficient process that grabs hair by the root, but can be painful. Have you come to grow tired of these processes, with no idea of where to turn?
 
There's another way and it involves a laser! Laser hair removal is a “semi-permanent hair removal option that damages the hair follicle to minimize hair growth” (Self). It's becoming increasingly popular because of the benefits experienced post-treatment and the long-lasting results. But, before you ride the wave and schedule a session, take a look at some of the pros and cons of laser removal:

Pros

1. Reduces hair growth

A common myth about laser hair removal is that the procedure permanently eliminates hair, which isn’t true. While it doesn’t remove your hair forever, it severely reduces hair growth. According to Lookfantastic, “after six or so consistent treatments, hair growth is eliminated to up 90 percent.” Eventually, you will get to the point where you don’t even need to utilize a shaver. 

2. Versatility


Laser hair removal can be used on almost all parts of the body, including arms, legs, armpits, bikini line, upper lip, and chin. The eye area should be avoided.

3. Pain level

Most women who've tried laser hair removal experience minor stings and discomfort. When you have your first treatment, you will most likely feel some discomforting stings, but you will progressively feel less pain with continued sessions. According to Self, “the technicians use ice to help numb the area before and after the laser treatment.”

4. No more shaving

As mentioned earlier, laser hair removal doesn’t permanently get rid of hair. You will need to have multiple sessions (about 6-12) to remove hair completely. Once you see the full results, shaving isn’t necessary. 

5. DIY Treatments


Professional laser hair removal can be an expensive process, which makes many women shy away from planning sessions. However, at-home gadgets are an option. They also efficiently remove hair, but the process is longer. Learn more about at-home hair removal treatments.  

Cons

1. Cost

Laser hair removal is a professional procedure, meaning it comes with a price: “a small area can be anywhere from $350 to $500, while the big areas like a full leg and back can be anywhere between $500 and $1000” (Lookfantasitc). In addition to the location, cost also depends on duration and expertise. 

2. Duration

Depending on the type of session, laser hair removal isn’t usually a quick process. A session on one part of the body doesn’t take long, but if you want to have the procedure on multiple parts of the body it could take longer. And remember, it doesn’t just take one session to see the final results. You must have multiple sessions to see the desired results. 

3. Skin Type


According to Lake Nona Ophthalmology, “laser hair removal works best for people who have light skin and dark hair. This is because the laser beam targets the melanin, or pigment, in the hair.” Self also reports that “in patients with darker skin tones, the pigment-rich skin competes with the hair follicle for the laser's attention.” Just because you have lighter hair or darker skin doesn’t mean that laser hair removal isn’t a possibility, it just means that you might have to take precautions. Always be sure to consult with your doctor before trying new procedures. 

4. Light Sensitivity

After your laser hair treatment, your skin will be super sensitive, so it’s best to avoid major light on those areas. To avoid side effects, you should avoid the sun or any tanning procedures six weeks before AND after laser hair treatment (Lake Nona Ophthalmology). 

5. Skin Irritation 

Some women that have tried laser hair treatments report some irritation to their skin immediately after the process. One way to combat these common effects is to place an ice pack on the skin. The irritation goes away in about an hour, and the ice pack speeds up the recovery. 
 
Have you tried laser hair removal? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
SOUL REPORTER | Shelby Wingate is a rising senior at Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Georgia. The extremely competitive athlete plays basketball and runs track for her school. While she does love sports, Shelby uses her competitive nature to excel in academics and will apply that same drive when she attends college to major in Journalism or Communications and minor in French.