Friday, October 20The Voice of London

Laser Hair Removal: Is It Really Worth It?

Celebrities like the Kardashians, have created a recent buzz around laser hair removal. Voice of London tells all about our experience with the treatment.

Reporter: Zynab Sandhu| Sub-Editor: Alma Fabiani

Hair removal for many is a nightmare, whether it is through waxing or shaving. Sacrificing sleep in the morning just to take on the dreaded task of shaving your legs, only to be left with razor burns and ingrown hairs is not a pleasant experience.

The same can be said about waxing, taking the dreaded trip to the beauty salon to go through the extremely painful experience of getting your legs waxed only to be left with burns and inflamed skin. All of this is the price we pay to have sexy smooth legs.

There has been a recent craze with laser hair removal in the world of celebrities. The Kardashians, in particular Khloe and Kim, have been very open about it, often mentioning it on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

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Kim Kardashian admits she had the treatment to remove her baby hair on her forehead (Image from Wikicommons)

Other celebs that have undergone the treatment include Victoria Beckham. The Pussy Cat Dolls’, Ashley Roberts said in a magazine interview “Hair removal has saved my life! My legs were like cacti, I had to shave those bad boys twice a day!” There has also been a rise in at home laser hair removal kits. The cost of these ranges from £100 – £380.

I was introduced to laser hair removal this year through my mum who worked as a receptionist at a laser hair removal salon. As I come from Asian decent my hair is naturally darker and thicker, so unwanted hair was a big problem for me, as it is more visible. I have now had a few sessions out of the six sessions that I paid for and I am very happy with the results so far.

I spoke to Nicole Hynes, 24, the laser hair removal technician who performed my treatments, about the questions that anyone considering to undergo laser would have. I know for sure I did.

The first question that pops to mind is: does it hurt? Hynes explains that “It is not completely painless, however the pain is very minimal and it is bearable.” From my experience this is true. There are some areas that are more sensitive than others and there are some areas where you can’t feel a thing. She is right, the pain is bearable and it isn’t as bad as waxing. It feels like someone snapping a rubber band on your skin or little pinches.

How does it actually work, is it some sort of magic? The answer is no. “The light from the laser is aimed at the hair. It targets the pigment in the area that makes the hair grow, it targets the hair follicles and damages it meaning it won’t grow again.” Here Nicole, who works at CoLaz, a modern beauty clinic with branches in London, Slough and Derby, explains the science behind the treatment.

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CoLaz branch in Hounslow (Zynab Sandhu)

Like with every treatment there are some side effects. However, they are minimal as Hynes explains: “After you have the treatment done the skin can be a little irritated, there may be redness and swelling but these only last for a couple of hours.” This is something I experience, however only on my face. CoLaz provides aftercare to help with this.

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Forever range available to purchase at Colaz, sunscreen should be applied after treatment especially if treated area is exposed to the sun. (Zynab Sandhu)

Aloe Vera gel should be applied to the treated areas as it helps to soothe the skin. Every time you feel itchy you should apply it. One thing laser hair removal clinics advise against is itching the skin after treatment. This is something that I ignored once and I ended up with bruises.

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Aloe Vera Gelly, to help soothe skin after treatment. (Zynab Sandhu)

The biggest misconception about laser hair removal is that it completely removes the hair and that it is a magic treatment leaving you hair free. As Hynes explains: “The treatment provides permanent hair reduction, the hair grows in cycles so that is why you need multiple sessions and top up sessions every few months, when you feel like you need to.”

Some hair does grow back, but in my experience it grows back very fine and they are very un-noticeable. This for me is great because my legs now do not feel spikey. It approximately takes six sessions to see good results, with the more hormonal areas like the upper lip and the arms it may take up to 12 sessions.

A worry of mine was that because my hair is thick and dark it wouldn’t work as well. I was wrong. Hynes told me: “Laser tends to work quicker on thicker and darker hair, however results can still be seen with lighter hair. It doesn’t work on grey hair.”

The cost of the treatment was another thing that was a concern. I was offered a deal for full body laser, six sessions for £999. CoLaz tend to do package deals around Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s day and summer, so it is best to keep an eye out for these. For individual areas it is advised to book a consultation where your hair growth will be examined and the cost will be worked out accordingly. Laser hair removal over the years, has become increasingly affordable, partly due to the celeb exposure.

Is it worth it? Yes, laser hair removal has been a life-saver; it means that I can wear a dress without having to worry about my legs being prickly. After just one session there were noticeable results which I was obviously very pleased about. It means that hair removal is no longer an every day or every two weeks’ process, I have saved a lot of time in the long run. It is an investment but it is worth it, you end up saving money.

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