I can clearly remember the first time I tried to remove unwanted body hair. Yes, I used my dad’s razor. Which was not a very good idea. My skin was very irritated but well, I was rid of my hair. For just a day however, so not the most efficient. Then I moved onto depilatory creams before going for waxing.
Of all three, waxing seemed like the most sustainable way to remove unwanted body hair. Simply because it gave me two up to four weeks of peace of mind. In reality, my hair was growing back fairly soon after it was removed… which was a bit infuriating. Never in my mind would I have thought of laser hair removal.
Not only is laser hair removal thought to be extremely expensive, but also that it is painful. While the many myths and misconceptions about laser treatment for hair removal made me overlook it, I can now confirm that it is a great alternative to waxing. And here is why!
Waxing is more expensive
When trying out waxing, you are faced with three options: using cold wax stripes, waxing at home or booking an appointment with an esthetician. While the cost will vary depending on the option, they will all have one thing in common: inconvenience.
Cold stripes are inaccurate and hard to work with. Waxing on your own at home with hot wax is just as difficult. Sure, it is more efficient but how do you reach some areas? I would not, for everything in the world, try to wax my bikini on my own. The last option is to go to a wax center.
The thing is, the cost increases dramatically. The most popular treatment combination is full legs, Brazilian, underarms and upper lips. On average, not including tax nor tip, the bill would amount to around $100. Considering you’d go for a treatment once a month, it cost $1,200 a year. After 50 years of waxing, that makes $60,000.
This is basically the price of a car or a house deposit. Now that you see that number, you sure wish you had had a look into laser hair removal much earlier, don’t you? At the end of the day, laser hair removal may be a significant upfront investment but in the long-term it is much cheaper.
It is not permanent
Waxing is more efficient than shaving and using depilatory creams. This is simply because it removes both the hair and the root. On the other hand, shaving and depilatory creams will just cut or dissolve the hair, leaving the root intact. And the hair follicle for that matter.
Thus, waxing lasts a bit longer. Because the hair follicle needs to produce new hair. Repetitive waxing may also end up damaging the hair follicle, thus reducing hair growth. However, this will take years and years of treatment. It is quite common that women who waxed for over thirty years see a significant reduction in hair growth.
Now let me ask you this. Who is willing to wait that long to see a potential hair growth reduction? While other hair removal techniques will offer the same results after just a year? Plus, let’s be honest, most women see their hair growing back after a couple of weeks. So much for the four weeks of peace of mind.
The idea of having to go through a wax every month and paying for two weeks of smooth skin is not that appealing if you want my opinion. I am pretty sure you can find better. But more on that later.
Waxing hurts a lot
There is a good reason people choose shaving or depilatory creams over waxing. The pain. Waxing hurts. It is absolutely not painless. Sure, after thirty years of waxing, you may not feel much any more and become accustomed to the pain… but again, are you willing to wait that long?
Let’s say that waxing your underarms and upper lip are fine. After all, they are small areas that are done swiftly and quickly. Yes, you will feel it but it won’t be long enough for you to agonize. The legs, even though, less sensitive will still be something to overcome. Especially as the esthetician treats the inner thighs.
Now, imagine what it is to wax your bikini. I mean, you probably already know. You are reading this blog post for a reason after all: what alternative there is to waxing that is both painless and more sustainable.
I have always dreaded going for a Brazilian wax. Because it hurts a lot. Yes, it may in theory be quick, in practice it feels like ages. I can still see myself gritting my teeth, contracting my body, closing my eyes and getting mentally ready the second before the esthetician removes the stripe of wax.
It has some pretty bad side effects
Like any other hair removal methods, waxing has side-effects. They may seem like nothing but they still require attention. Because as benign as some may seem, they can quickly escalate to something else, much more serious.
Ingrown hairs are a very common side effect. Waxing removes the hair in the direction opposite to growth. When the hair grows back, it is thinner and curls under the skin, unable to pierce it. Trapped under the skin, ingrown hairs that are not treated may become ground for a potential skin infection.
The thing with waxing is that it leaves your pores open. Breakouts may occur after a wax as bacteria finds their way in through tiny holes caused by trauma in the skin. Those bacteria can lead to skin infection as well. Exfoliating after a wax allows to prevent pimples and applying anti-inflammatory will help prevent breakouts.
Other side-effects include redness and irritation. Waxing is quite aggressive to the skin. So much so that it removes a tiny layer of skin cells along with the hair. Most of the time those skin cells are dead, so it is actually a good thing. People may still suffer from irritation and very sensitive skin afterwards.
Why choose laser hair removal instead
Now, why should you ditch waxing for laser hair removal? For a lot of reasons. Most of which in relation to what we said above… Let us walk you through why but just so you know, because it provides a much better solution to hair removal.
It is cheaper
Laser hair removal is cheaper than waxing. Didn’t see that one coming, right? Waxing is a monthly treatment. Laser hair removal is a one year treatment. Packages include at least six sessions and that is what you will need to be rid of most of your hair. Your treatment will be over after a year and you will not have to worry about hair anymore.
For the sake of comparison, let’s take our example with waxing above: $100 per month, $1,200 per year and $60,000 after 50 years. The face and the bikini are hormonal areas and will require maybe two extra sessions. Thus, six sessions of full legs ($1750) and underarms ($500), plus eight sessions of Brazilian ($1800) and upper lip ($700) will cost: $4,750.
Now, it does seem like a huge number. Fear not. At Spektrum Laser Spa, we always have some amazing deals that will help you make your hairless dreams come. For example, our full legs package currently costs $850 while our underarms package costs $200. Even our Brazilian and upper lips are on sale.
We also offer a package for one year of unlimited laser hair removal for two small areas and one large area for $285. Basically, you’d get 8 sessions. The two small areas could be used towards the upper lip and underarms while the large area would be the Brazilian. Total, your one year of treatment for all your areas would be $1,135. Which is so much cheaper than waxing!
It reduces hair growth by 90%
Waxing may damage the hair follicle but it does so after years and years of treatment. Hair growth may reduce but it won’t happen overnight. On the other hand, damaging the hair follicle to prevent further hair growth is the core concept behind laser hair removal.
The light energy emitted by the laser will target the pigment in the hair. Once the energy is absorbed by the melanin, it travels down to the follicle. There, the energy turns into thermal energy and anchors itself to the follicle. The heat damages the latter.
While some hair follicles will need successive sessions to be permanently damaged, others will be destroyed after just one treatment. While laser hair removal does not qualify as a permanent hair removal method as per the FDA standards, a lot of patients still experience permanent hair removal.
Some patients may need a touch-up session but most people will still see a significant hair growth reduction.
It is not painful
Another huge myth about laser hair removal is that it is painful. It is very probable that earlier treatments were indeed painful. However, further improvements in technology contributed to make laser hair removal treatments much more comfortable.
Laser hair removal feels like pinching and heat. It is also akin to rubber bands snapping at the skin very fast. The sensation of pain will be different for each person, since it depends on each patient’s levels of tolerance.
It is important that patients openly communicate with the certified technician if the heat is too high or pinching too strong. They can indeed decrease the intensity of the laser so that it is more comfortable. Sessions are also done fairly quickly.
Even if your tolerance to pain is very low, the pain will never be as high as with waxing. Waxing hurts. Literally. Laser hair removal may be uncomfortable and unpleasant but the sensation of pain is very manageable.
Side effects are minimal
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that has side-effects. Of course it does. However, they are very manageable even avoidable. Negative side effects are very often the result of neglect from patients who did not follow pre and post-session guidelines.
Laser hair removal has very few side effects however. Burning and scarring are possible if the intensity of the laser is too high. Although certified technicians will do their best to adjust the intensity to patients hair color and skin color, patients must still say if it is too hot or painful.
Skin discoloration may happen if the patients stay in the sun after a treatment. Laser treatments leave the skin sensitive and more vulnerable to UV rays. Sun damage is more likely to happen. From sunburns to hyperpigmentation, those are avoidable if patients apply a strong SPF and stay out of the sun.
Patients with sensitive skin may experience redness immediately after the treatment, but it should be gone a few hours after. Applying aloe vera will help soothe the skin. Even though side effects exist, they are avoidable and very rare.
In conclusion, you should ditch waxing for laser hair removal because it is cheaper, faster, more convenient, less painful and more permanent.