In the endless quest to remove unwanted hair on our bodies, we tend to give a try to any sort of hair removal solution. After all, trying them all and comparing will only help make a decision and stick with the most effective. However, some hair removal methods take longer to assess. How to know what it the best hair removal method then if you need to wait months or even years sometimes?
That is where we come in. As cosmetic laser machine manufacturer, we are expert in laser hair removal and had the opportunity to test and compare different hair removal methods. After all, patients pick the most efficient, fastest, and cheapest option available. What does that mean though?
Why Laser Hair Removal Is The Best Hair Removal Method
To a lot of people, shaving is cheap. In the short-term, it is. In the long-term, not so much. What about laser hair removal? In the short-term, it is an investment. In the long-term, it ends up being cheaper than laser. Thus, in order to prove that laser hair removal is the best hair removal method, let us compare them all between each other.
Waxing is the hair removal method of choice when you wish to remove hair and be done for a few weeks. The concept is easy: the wax removes the hair along with the root and leaves your hair free for a few weeks, the time for the hair follicle to produce a new hair. However, waxing is painful, time consuming, expensive and not without negative side effects.
The most common side effects of waxing is ingrown hairs and pimples. It can also cause redness and irritation. Worse case scenario, patients have an allergic reaction or an ingrown hair becomes infected. Did we already say waxing was very painful? Especially around the bikini area. Thus, not the best hair removal method.
Waxing is a long-term hair reduction method. After years and years of waxing every month, the hair follicle will eventually be damaged enough to stop producing new hair. Thus, women and men waxing for a very long time will indeed notice hair growth reduction. However, first, it will take a lot of time, and second, a lot of money.
Waxing at home or with cold wax stripes will never be as efficient as waxing at a salon, which of course costs time and money. Most women usually wax their full legs, bikini, underarms and upper lip. Not including tax or tip, such a procedure will cost on average $90. Done on a monthly basis, the yearly bill rises to $1,080 at least.
If you start waxing around 18 years old and up to 50 years old, the cost will be $34,569, still not including tax nor tip. God, that’s the price of a car or a house down payment. In the end, waxing is a significant financial investment on the long term. It will also require time and may have bad side effects.
Moving onto shaving, which is the most common, most convenient and easiest hair removal method out there. After all, you just need to buy a razor, shave in the shower and you’re good to go. For a couple of days only, unfortunately. As opposed to waxing, which could eventually lead to hair growth reduction, shaving stimulates hair growth. It is a very repetitive tasks that also can also have bad side effects.
The most common side effects of shaving are itching, cuts, razor burn, blisters and pimples, ingrown hairs also and even inflamed hair follicles. Sure it is fast and easy, but it still is not the best hair removal method. Especially because the simple task of doing it will take a few minutes… However, shaving needs to be done more than once a week, which in the end will add up.
Shaving cuts the hair flat at the surface of the skin. Thus, when the hair grows, which it does immediately after shaving, the tip of the hair will be flat. It will not be pointy and thinning towards the end. Thus, you will have the impression that it grows darker and thicker. While not. However, shaving does stimulate hair growth and will never lead to hair growth reduction since the follicle or root are intact.
Just like waxing, shaving as a cost. Although it is lower, it is still significant in the long term. Of course, shaving gives more freedom regarding expenses. Some will purchase a razor and change cartridge every month. Others will buy shaving cream as well. Overall, you will still need to spend $20 for a good razor. Which you may change twice a year.
Considering you need to change cartridge every month, you will approximately spend $35 a year for cartridges. Not including shaving cream nor after shave lotions, your shaving budget is around $460 a year. If you start shaving at 18 and stop at 50, although you would need to shave for much longer since your hair growth did not decrease, thats $14,720. We’re sure you’d love to spend that money on something else.
3. Depilatory Creams
Depilatory creams are another hair removal method that is very commonly used. They can actually be gels, lotions or creams all with the goal of removing unwanted hair. Just like razors, they are easily accessible in drugstores and supermarket and fairly affordable.
Depilatory creams are also easy to apply since you can do it on your own in your bathroom and achieve quick results. However, in order to remove unwanted hair, it is packed with chemicals. Those chemicals will dissolve the hair, making it easy to wipe away. Those chemicals, which as increase the pH of the hair, are also harmful for the skin.
Indeed, you may be get skin irritation, chemical burns or even have an allergic reaction. As a matter of fact, those chemicals are so aggressive to the skin that it is unadvised to use them on sensitive areas such as the bikini. Furthermore, they will not remove the hair permanently nor for a long them and thus are not the best hair removal method.
Depilatory creams have the same results as shaving. The hair is dissolved but the root or follicle aren’t. Thus, the follicle will produce a new hair immediately. Not only is not impacting hair growth significantly, depilatory creams also do have a cost.
An average, a bottle cost $8, and would allow you to do your full legs. Chances are, you will need more than one tube if you wish to remove hair under your arms. You will need to use it once a week. Let’s say you need five tubes a month, which make $40 a month, and $400 a year. From 15 up to your 50s, you will have spent $12,800 at least. Not taking into account the fact that you would probably spend more than that if you have it done more often or do larger areas.
Electrolysis has been around for decades. So far, it is the only permanent hair removal method approved as such by the FDA. As opposed to laser hair removal, it does not uses light pulses but electricity to remove unwanted hair.
Electrolysis sends an electric current to the hair down to the follicle. The follicle is damaged forever immediately and cannot produce any new hair. The process works by inserting a tiny needle into the follicle.Thus, the procedure requires such a high level of accuracy that only a licensed professional can do it.
On paper, electrolysis sounds great. It removes hair permanently after all. In reality, it has more cons than pros. First of all, it is a very lengthy treatment. Indeed, the needle targets one hair follicle at a time. Thus, each area will take a lot of time to complete. Large areas will require more than just one session.
The procedure uses electricity, which is not comfortable nor painless. The sensation is like stinging somewhat akin to plucking. Overall, it is more painful that laser hair removal. Furthermore, electrolysis does have side effects such as ingrown hair, scaring, redness, swelling, skin discoloration and permanent skin damage.
Finally, the cost is quite significant. The cost per electrolysis session goes around $45 for a small area. One session is 30 minutes. While that may be enough for a small area like the upper lip, large areas like the legs will require much longer sessions on a more frequent basis. In the end, the number of sessions required will be much higher than with laser hair removal, and the cost much bigger too.
5. Laser Hair Removal
Now that we talked about all other common hair removal method, we can focus on laser hair removal. Laser hair removal has been around for just a few decades but made a breakthrough only recently. Thus, there aren’t enough research on it to confirm that it is indeed permanent. However, most patients will achieve permanent hair removal with laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses selective photothermolysis. The laser produces a beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and travel to the hair follicle. There, the heat damages the follicle preventing it from producing any new hair. Some follicle are more resistant than others and will need several treatments to be permanently damaged.
The combined effects of all the hair follicles going through the same process will help achieve long-term hair growth reduction. Technology advancement now make laser hair removal efficient on all type of skins and hair. Nd:YAG lasers work great on dark skin and fair hair since they do not rely too much on melanin to get to the hair follicle.
The number of sessions needed will vary from one person to another. Many factors may impact the results of the treatment: skin color, hair texture, hair color, hair growth cycle, genetics, hormonal treatment, etc. Hormonal areas such as the face or bikini will require more sessions than non hormonal areas like the legs.
Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method simply because it is quite straightforward, convenient, painless and in the long-term, cheaper. A session can last from 10 minutes for a small area (i.e. upper lip) up to an hour and a half for a large area (i.e. full body). The price will vary from $500 (small area) up to $6,000 (full body).
Should you do full legs, full Brazilian, underarms and upper lips, the cost would amount roughly to $3,500 for six sessions. Six sessions is an industry standard. However, most people will need between eight and twelve sessions to achieve the best results. Patients might need additional touch-up sessions here and there once a year after they are done with the main treatment.
Laser hair removal is the best hair removal method for many reasons. In the long-term, it is cheaper than all other hair removal methods. It is also safer with very few side effects and no downtime. As opposed to what many believe, laser hair removal is almost painless and done fairly quick. The results are also great, permanent for a lot of patient. It is a straightforward process that produces great results at a fairly low cost. Laser hair removal is a skincare investment that is worth making.