10 Pros and Cons of Laser Hair Removal
One of the more unpleasant life experiences is lifting your arms when you’re out in public, and realizing that you forgot to shave. It’s a great way to feel incredibly self-conscious, frustrated, and it totally ruins the fun of cartwheels, handstands, and tank tops. For many of us shaving or waxing your unwanted body hair just seems like a necessary evil – however, with the relatively recent emergence of commercial laser hair removal, someday in the near future body hair for those who don’t want it may become a relic of the past. Laser hair removal is not an option for just anyone, and there are certainly many factors to consider when deciding if it’s the right choice for you.
It’s (mostly) permanent
Okay, we’ll admit, this point could basically be the only pro and we’d still consider laser removal. The idea of never having to shave, wax, sugar or depilate again is incredibly appealing. You could get stranded on a desert island, backpack through Europe for a month, or head on a sunny holiday to the Caribbean and never have to think about whether or not you had hair anywhere. It should be mentioned, though, that ‘laser hair removal’ is only promised to be a semi-permanent hair removal method, while ‘electrolysis’ is totally permanent. Don’t choose the wrong method!
We know how easy it is to walk out of the salon freshly waxed, the memory of any residual pain quickly dissipating. Not to worry, guys – we’re right here to remind you that waxing is no picnic. On top of the pain that’s involved with, you know, ripping hair follicles from your skin – sometimes the wax is too hot and can cause burns! Smooth, hairless skin is not worth it if the trade-off is third degree burns.
No more razor burn
Ah, yes – the other type of burn! Razor burns are awful and annoying, and they’ve happened to all of us at least a handful of times. Whether thick hair, a dull blade, or low quality shaving cream is the culprit, razor burn can show up anywhere – and it sucks no matter what. It’s itchy and bumpy, not to mention red and not so visually appealing.
Shaving can take forever on big areas of skin, as well as over delicate creases and in difficult to reach areas. No one wants to waste that much water, either. Waxing is also time-consuming, and can take longer if your aesthetician is less experienced. Laser hair removal is quite quick, with sessions spanning 10-15 minutes at most. That means you can head to the clinic on your lunch break, and still have time to do a little shopping!
The most reassuring thing about laser hair removal is that you can be confident that professionals are doing your procedure. Shaving often results in cuts and nicks, and hot wax can burn or damage skin if you aren’t careful with the salon you choose. Laser hair removal is a very strict procedure that involves safety equipment and gear, and can only be performed by qualified individuals.
This is the biggest drawback on the lists of many, and for good reason. To fully remove hair in a large section of your body, multiple sessions may be necessary, and the time can increase based on how dark and coarse your hair grows. Each session can range from 80-200, and that can add up pretty quickly. Many women who have tried laser removal have complained that the price is too high for the possibility of only semi-permanent hair removal.
It can be painful
Duh! There are few great hair removal methods that are pain-free, and lasering rates pretty high on the pain scale. Many with experience have compared the feeling to the snap of a taut rubber band against the skin – repeatedly. While it does sound pretty uncomfortable, we can’t imagine it can be any worse than getting a tattoo, getting a piercing, or getting waxed.
The hair can grow back
This is where the distinction between laser hair removal and electrolysis comes into play again – laser hair removal does not claim to remove hair forever, but it will remove hair for much longer than traditional methods. If and when any hairs regrow, it’s claimed that they will grow back sparser and lighter. This is the big issue as far as we’re concerned – why shell out tons of money if your hair is just going to come back?
Can lead to irritation or itching
Just like shaving has it’s razor burn and waxing has its delightful relationship with ingrown hairs, laser hair removal can result in itching, redness, and irritation. Well duh, you’re zapping your skin with a laser. Apparently more serious or painful side effects are pretty rare though, and the irritation fades fairly rapidly. We’d probably take a little redness over some of the in-grown hairs that have plagued us in the not-so-distant past.
It requires numerous visits
Well, technically waxing or shaving require ‘numerous’ visits too – as in, the hair keeps growing back! But with laser hair removal, the initial removal itself has to be separated into several appointments, so you don’t get the satisfaction of smooth clear skin immediately, like you do with traditional removal methods. As a result, you’ll need to plan ahead for events or holidays where hair grooming takes a high level of importance.