Laser hair removal, is it safe?
Friday 24 December 2010
Unwanted hairs cramping your style? Shaving, waxing, and hair removal gels of course do the trick, but laser hair removal claims to zap away unwanted fuzz forever. On December 22, health and medical news website MyHealthNews offered a few health-minded pointers before trying it for the first time.
Laser hair removal works by destroying hair follicles when pigment molecules within absorb the energy of a laser beam. But the treatment works best on people with a combination of light skin and dark hair. Until recently, the treatment didn't work on people with darker skin, states the report, because the pigment absorbed the laser's energy and resulted in burns. Now new equipment makes treating darker-skinned people possible, but still there is a risk of burns.
Other hair types that don't hold up well to laser treatments include blonde and gray. But Dr. Russell Kridel, US-based plastic surgeon and laser expert, suggests trying electrolysis, which kills hair follicles by zapping them with a needle that delivers mild electric current.
Pain level for laser hair removal is compared to that of a snap of a rubber band against the skin, but for some, results are mixed. Hair sometimes grows back, but usually thinner and wispier than before.
Want to try something gentler? Threading is most popular for grooming eyebrows, considered the healthiest option because no chemicals are applied, plus it can be done very fast and can damage hair follicles preventing hair growth. Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBhboBYxHPA
Sugaring requires the use of a warm paste made with sugar, water, and lemon juice and is supposedly more gentle on the skin than waxing and can be reapplied easily. See it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nke0RFeO3NE
Want to blast away hair at home? Philips offers a handheld laser remover called Lumea for around €499. Or try the Silk'n SensEpil, which uses the same pulsed light technology as the Philips Lumea, but at around €399. Both products promise to diminish hair growth, but because the light energy is weaker, won't destroy the follicle completely as with salon treatments.
Read the laser hair removal report here.
Watch a laser hair removal demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeJgeRZ9ibA
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