5 things to know before getting permanent hair removal

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Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that we exist in the age of permanent hair removal? Seriously, what a time to be alive! No more embarrassing razor burns and bumps, no more screeching and squealing as strips of wax rip the hair out of our skin; and, ultimately, no more unwanted hair — ever. If you haven’t yet liberated yourself to the land of permanent hair removal, here’s five things to know before you begin the journey:

There’s two technologies to choose from

Permanent hair removal technology comes in two forms, and they are both common in the treatment room. One is laser, the other is IPL. They both engage light energy to destroy the hair follicle, but laser uses a single wavelength, while IPL machines use a broad spectrum of light. Laser isn’t terribly good at treating light, fair hair, but it’s great if your unwanted hair is dark, thick or coarse. IPL is a multi-faceted technology, which means it’s also used for other awesome aesthetic treatments like pigmentation removal, skin rejuvenation and vascular issues such as broken capillaries.

There’s also such thing as Super Hair Removal

Yup. SHR for short. This is a breakthrough technology that is now being integrated into IPL machines. Why is it so super? Well for one, it’s virtually painless — and instead of stamping the skin one hair follicle at a time like laser does, SHR uses a scanner-like handpiece that sweeps over the treatment area, making sessions super duper fast (great for big treatment areas like the legs or back). And if you aren’t an ideal candidate for laser due to having light or red hair, SHR IPL machines have a little something called E-light technology, which may be able to treat your unwanted fuzz on fairer shades, so everybody wins. Yay!

Get a test patch first

If you can walk straight into a permanent hair removal session with no questions asked, then I’d recommend walking straight back out again. A professional and reputable treatment provider will always take you through a thorough consultation first and also perform a test patch to ensure there are no adverse reactions, and to gauge whether your skin and hair is suitable for treatment. Yes, a test patch means that the process will take a little bit longer to get up and running, but this is your body — and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Stick to your appointments

News flash: permanent hair removal won’t get results overnight. We’re living in advanced times, sure, but not that advanced. Due to the growth cycle of our hair, only hair that is in the anangen phase can be permanently removed (more on that another time). Long story short, this is why it takes a course of treatments to achieve the smooth, sexy and completely hair-free results you desire. So stick to the recommended number of sessions your clinician has advised, and by the end of it you will be home free (and hair-free) for the long run.

Don’t rock up tanned

Permanent hair removal can’t be performed on recently tanned skin. These kinds of beauty equipment need the treatment area to be as light as possible so it can distinguish the hair follicle from your skin. This is why it’s a smart idea to get permanent hair removal over and done with in the cooler months, when you’re all covered up and sun-starved anyway.

So take advantage of the end of summer and start your hair removal journey!


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Rach graduated with a Bachelor of Communications and Bachelor of Business. A few years later, she took up the textbooks once more and completed a Diploma of Social Media Marketing. A Digital Marketing Specialist in the beauty industry, Rach is a tomboy at heart who loves her motorsport and judges the taste of pizza in foreign countries. When she's not manning the TMGR socials, you'll find her unapologetically Instagramming her brunch.