Hair…why do we have it? Why does it grow ‘there’? Some of the most common questions we all ask and everything you need to know while considering treatment.
1-Different Types of Hair
We are born with hair all over our bodies with the exception of the soles of our feet and palms of our hands. Terminal hair is that which is permanent such as the hair on our scalp our eyebrows. This hair can appear with puberty such as pubic area, underarms and for males the chest and chin. Hormonal changes or external factors such as medications can influence growth of terminal hairs, which is why hairs sprout in places we don’t want them as we age, such as the lip, chin or breasts.
Certain hereditary factors can also influence the hair growth colour and pattern such as asian or Middle Eastern populations which can lead females to have a condition called Hirsuitism (male hair growth pattern), however medical conditions such as PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary System) can also have a similar pattern and can be very stressful for the person.
2-Permanent Hair Removal Options
Thankfully there are permanent hair removal solutions for almost everyone nowadays. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is the most popular option for those with paler skins and darker hair. Laser (ND Yag) for those with darker skin colouring who are more susceptible to pigmentation issues with IPL. Finally electrolysis for those who are not suitable for light based treatments or have hair which is white, grey, blond or red.
3-How does treatment work?
All hair removal works to the same permanent end in which the hair needs to be attached at the follicle in order for treatment to be successful. Light or laser based treatments use heat to travel down the hair shaft to destroy the follicle. The light is attracted to the melanin within the hair, hence why colours such as grey, white and red are unsuitable due to the lack of pigment. Electrolysis works by inserting a small probe down into the shaft and releasing a current at the follicle to destroy it.
4-Does the treatment hurt?
Most clients would describe treatment to me mildly uncomfortable, not painful. The sensation when using IPL can be likened to being pinged with an elastic band, quick and sort. When using laser, this is more of a hot pin prick sensation and electrolysis, a quick nip is occasionally felt. The good news is that we use a large cooler machine which can cool down the skin as we work so you should remain comfortable throughout treatment.
5-Why can’t I wax, pluck or bleach during treatment?
As we explained above, the hair needs to be attached at the hair follicle in order for treatment to be successful, if you pluck or wax it treatment is pointless. The hair grows in a cycle and unfortunately we can’t tell where the individual hair is at any one time. It is important that you maintain regular sessions, usually every 4 weeks, to ensure that we have the best possible chance of catching the hairs as best possible time. Bleaching will strip the pigment away from the hair, so light based treatments will also fail to work. We ask that you shave or cut the hair between treatments, in the case of electrolysis the hair needs to be longer to be efficient so in this case the hair should be left to grown through after session.
6-How long will it take for the hair to go?
Sessions vary from person to person in regards to complete hair removal. The average number of treatments is approximately 9, sometimes more or less depending on many factors such as hormonal activity and frequency of sessions. Electrolysis can be a greater number of treatments, depending on the area and density of growth.
7-Will the hair grow back?
The hair will never grow back out of the follicle once it has been destroyed. We have thousands of dormant hair follicles throughout our body so it is possible over time that hair may appear in the area that has been treated, this will be a new growth (often stimulated by hormones or medication).
8-What to expect at a consultation?
We will assess the hair and skin to be treated to ensure we identify the best solution for treatment (IPL, Laser or Electrolysis). We will then explain the procedure in full detail, covering advice for before, during and after treatment. At this stage if you are happy to proceed we will perform a patch test (small treatment on area) to ensure there are no sensitivities or reactions to the procedure. From this point if everything is ok you are free to start your hair removal journey 24-48 hours later.
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