Every summer, many of us battle with shaving, waxing, epilating and plucking all of our unwanted hair. If you're tired of this constant battle, perhaps it's time to think about a more permanent solution. If you're going to invest in any treatment, laser hair removal is probably the treatment that will save you the most money in the long haul. Let's take a look at everything about laser hair removal, and where to get it in Seoul, Korea.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal, just like other laser treatments, uses a powerful laser and essentially destroys every hair follicle in its path. The laser is shot at your skin, the pigment of the hair absorbs the light, and the heat of it burns up the hair follicle and the hair bulb.
Before treatment, hair will be trimmed to a short length to focus the heat of the laser on the most important parts.
During treatment, a cold gel or special cooling device will be applied to protect the outer layers of your skin. The technician will also laser a small area and wait a few minutes to make sure your skin won’t react before performing the procedure.
Typically after a single session, you will be asked to gently exfoliate the treated area. The hair that was zapped to death by the laser should easily fall out of the follicle, leaving you with smooth, hairless skin. Within the next few weeks, a new cycle of hair that wasn’t removed with the first round will grow, and your next treatment will get rid of this cycle. This is why laser hair removal takes more than a single treatment; body hair grows in cycles and it’s important to kill each cycle to achieve the final goal of hairless skin.
If you are planning to have laser hair removal, you should avoid plucking, waxing or other methods of hair removal that attack hair at the root. Because the effectiveness of laser hair removal requires attacking the root as well, you want as many roots available for the laser to treat.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt? Is it Painful?
The sensation of laser hair removal has been described as “a rubber band repeatedly flicking your skin”. However, the sensation is a little more complicated than that. From experience, sometimes the zap will feel like a tickle, but once every 10 zaps or so, the laser will hit a soft spot and -- OUCH -- that's when it hurts. Anyone who has done other laser treatments will know the feeling!
Another thing to consider if you have a low pain tolerance is the area in which you will be receiving treatment. In cases like the lower legs, it is very fast and not as painful, since the majority of the real estate is covering bone or muscle (this being said, sometimes the ankles can hurt!). The really sensitive areas are where there is softer flesh and fat, such as under arms, bikini lines and upper lips. Typically, more time will be given to numb these sensitive areas with ice, cold gel, etc. before treatment begins.
How Much is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal, depending on the clinic, can cost around $50 to $100 for the armpit area. In Korea, where competition between clinics is fierce, the rates are much lower and can range from $15 to $30. You can browse all Jivaka trusted partner clinics to see prices and locations for laser hair removal here.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent? How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The reason laser hair removal is so lucrative is because it is permanent! However, as noted above, many sessions are required in order to destroy all active follicles. Those with light skin and darker hair can expect the best results, with permanent removal often achieved at 4-6 treatments every 4-6 weeks. Those with medium skin and dark hair can expect full results at 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks. Those with darker skin have the hardest time, and after a full cycle of 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks, will often require touch-ups every 6-12 months.
What Are Some Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?
Skin can become very sensitive after a laser treatment, so it’s important to remember sunscreen, wear loose clothing to your appointment, and keep the treated area moisturized.
While the treatment should hurt a little bit, if the pain is excruciating, ask to take a break and see how the laser is effecting your skin. After waiting, if there are no burns on your skin, then you can ask for stronger numbing cream to help alleviate the pain.