Everything you need to know about laser hair removal
Words by Sunny Sahota
Instead of shaving, waxing and tweezing, laser hair removal is fast becoming the number one form of hair removal around the globe. After all, who doesn’t want a body/face, minus the bumps and irritation caused by other forms of hair removal and more importantly, after a course of treatments, virtually no hair! Sounds like a god send, and with the latest laser hair removal systems, it just is.
So why is laser so good? Laser hair removal performed with the latest technology by a trained and experienced laser specialist delivers the results that you expect; dramatic reduction of unwanted hair. Celebrities are also putting down their razors and opting for laser hair removal. The likes of Kim Kardashian, Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham have been very vocal about their appreciation and love for laser.
However, with all the laser hair removal companies opening up around the capital, capitalising on the ‘laser trend’, how do you know which is the best laser for you, especially for those with darker skin tones who often have difficulties finding a laser system that works for them. Well Matthew Rundle, Manager of Mayfair Aesthetics Laser and Skin Clinics, has the answers.
Matthew has worked in the beauty and aesthetics industry for over 20 years. During his long career he has managed a handful of high profile central London salons and medi-spas and has a wealth of experience in a wide range skin care brands and aesthetic treatments. For the past 10 years Matthew has managed locations offering the latest in laser and IPL treatments.
Q) First things first. What is laser hair removal?
A) “Laser hair removal involves administering highly concentrated light into the hair follicles. Pigment in the follicles absorb the light, creating heat that damages the structures that create hair – the hair bulge, bulb and vascular supply. Once these structures are sufficiently damaged hair stops growing. Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, arms, underarms, bikini line and anywhere else unwanted hair may appear. Protective goggles are worn so really the only part of the body that cannot be treated is directly around the eyes. Lasers selectively target dark the melanin within hair while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Obviously, this is the tricky part, for those with darker skin, it can be more problematic for the beam to target hair exclusively and remove it.”
Q) Which is the most effective and safest laser to use?
A) “The most effective and safest lasers for Skin Type IV to VI clients are systems utilizing the Diode or Yag laser wavelengths which have the ability to bypass the melanin in the surface of the skin and target the root structures of the hair. IV and VI, what’s that? Type IV skin types score between 21–27 in the Fitzpatrick scale which is a numerical classification schema for human skin color. Back to the laser, the IV skin type sunburns minimally and always tans well (moderate brown). Type VI (scores 35–36) Never burns, never tans (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown).”
Q) What is the best laser machine to use for my laser hair removal treatment?
A) “There are a number of other wave lengths which are important for the removal of unwanted hair in a safe way, but there is a machine that utilizes all of these in one and is considered the best laser for darker skin shades. Its name, The Soprano Ice Platinum.” So, what’s that? “Well say that we are in the car industry, The Soprano Ice Platinum is the Rolls Royce of Laser Hair Removal. In short, the best in the business. Soprano Ice Platinum, was the winner of most innovative treatment in the 2016 ‘My Face, my body Awards’ and one of its many perks compared to its counterparts on the market is that it is virtually painless and perfect for darker skin tones. The Soprano Ice Platinum system is the only model to emit all 3 laser wavelengths for the most effective treatment.”
Q) Why is The Saprano Ice Platinum the best machine?
A) “The Soprano Ice Platinum employ a sapphire contact cooling system, which is the most effective method of constantly cooling skin during treatment. This is more effective than the cold air device employed on other laser hair removal systems. The Soprano Ice Platinum also deploys a SHR (Safe Hair Removal) technique to treat the rather than the traditional ‘shots’ based treatment.” Well what does that mean? “There are a number of machines which employ a ‘shots’ like treatment which can be very painful and may involve a higher risk of complications. Think of an elastic band slapping your skin, yes that’s the ‘shot like’ effect of the laser and then think of that happening a hundred or so times in the space of a few minutes”. Ouch. “However, the Soprano Ice uses the SHR technique; whereby the treatment applicator is passed back and forth over the treated area while the laser flashes on 10 times a second at a lower intensity, allowing energy and heat to build up gradually rather than instant painful ‘shots’ as delivered by traditional laser systems. With another point for this on its points card, The Soprano Ice Platinum models again win out right in this category for the innovative SHR treatment method.”
Q) Overall Best Laser Hair Removal System for Darker Skin?
A) “The Soprano Ice Platinum – The only laser hair removal system to simultaneously employ 3 laser wavelengths, sapphire contact cooling and the innovative SHR treatment method for a safe, painless and incredibly effective solution to the problem of unwanted hair.”
These days you also have the option of performing laser hair removal in the comfort of your own home, check out this guide from Groom+Style who tested a range of products.