Summer is coming up, and we all know what that means – daily beach trips, afternoon hikes, festival parties, and months under the sun! Before you start planning those fun festivities, don’t forget to add hair removal to your list of to-do’s. You’ll want to look flawless and hair-free while sporting those perfect summer outfits. And if unwanted hair is the only thing keeping you from donning your favorite bikini, then we’re to help.
In this article, we share two popular methods for guaranteed hair removal: Waxing and laser hair removal. We often get questions from our customers about which treatment is better. While they are both effective in removing unwanted hair, they are worlds apart in several ways: The process, the pain level, the costs, and the results. So before you jump in on this pre-summer treatment, it pays to know what you’re getting yourself into. Keep reading for an in-depth guide on waxing and laser hair removal.
Before laser treatments, sugaring, and electrolysis, there was waxing. Many consider it to be one of the pioneers in effective hair removal, at least for those of us in this generation of modern day treatments. Although waxing does not permanently stop hair growth, it does keep unwanted body hair away a few weeks longer than shaving.
How does waxing work?
Compared to the laser method, waxing is a relatively simple process. It involves three tools: hot wax, an applicator, and a cloth strip.
A trained technician will start by applying hot wax onto your skin, following the direction of your hair. She will then place a cloth strip on top and smoothen it out over the entire wax area. After leaving it to dry for a few seconds, she will pull the cloth in the opposite direction of your hair growth. This process is repeated until all visible hair is gone. The session ends with an application of a soothing cream. This will help mellow down the skin and minimize irritation.
Unlike laser hair removal, a waxing treatment will get rid of hair while keeping the follicle intact. For this reason, hair regrowth is inevitable. It typically lasts between 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the person.
Who can have it?
Waxing is generally safe and effective for all skin types, skin tones, hair types and textures. For those with sensitive skin, you may experience temporary irritation, redness, and minor follicle bleeding after the procedure. Other than that, waxing does not pose any permanent harm on the skin. In fact, even pregnant women can have it!
Pros of waxing
- It is an instant fix. You will immediately see results after each session.
- The more you wax, the longer it takes for your hair to grow back. And when it does, it grows back thinner and less coarse. Although it is not always the case, some people experience less hair as they go through sessions.
- Almost anyone can get it, with the small exception of those with severe skin sensitivities.
- There are products in the market that allow you to wax on your own. It does not take much technical know-how to do it yourself, although you will need to be careful with the hot wax. That said, we still recommend getting a professional to do it for you.
- It is the most affordable among all professional hair removal methods. However, because you need continuous sessions to keep up with the regrowth, the costs add up and you end up spending more over all. In that regard, it may be a con for some people.
Cons of waxing
- It is painful! Rarely do we meet people who have a painless experience. You can expect even more pain when waxing sensitive areas of the body, like the bikini line, upper lip, and underarms.
- It is prone to ingrown hairs and chicken skin. However, it is still a safer alternative to shaving, which can cause the same effects, plus razor bumps and cuts.
- It is not a permanent solution. You will need regular sessions to maintain spotless and smooth skin.
- You will need to wait for significant hair growth before your next session, preferably 1 cm in length at the very least. That is because the wax is only able to grasp longer strands of hair. You will have to be patient and tolerate a few strands of visible hair.
- It may cause temporary irritation to people with sensitive skin. Some experience blisters, slight bleeding, and rashes. In such cases, it is best to stay away from facial waxing, which may have even longer side effects. You might be better suited to eyebrow threading!
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a good option if you’re after more long-term results. While the earliest recorded use of this method dates back to the 60s, it only gained mainstream popularity in recent decades. Now dubbed by many as the gold standard of hair removal, it is the closest solution to minimizing hair growth permanently.
How does laser hair removal work?
Similar to a laser treatment for the skin, laser hair removal makes use of laser light energy to destroy hair follicles by targeting its pigment. It may sound risky, but the procedure is non-invasive and does not cause any long-term damage to the skin. Finding a legitimate and certified skin clinic is vital for a safe and successful procedure.
The process starts with shaving your target area. This will help the laser easily spot the follicles to be removed. While most skin clinics advise you to shave a day before the treatment, you may also ask the trained laser professional to do it for you. Once that area is completely clear from hair, you have the option to apply a topical anesthesia to numb your skin from any pain you might experience. The technician will then proceed to applying the laser in the targeted areas with hair growth, with the laser beams adjusted according to your skin colour and thickness. It will end with a cooling gel to soothe the skin and minimize side effects. The entire session typically lasts between 15 to 30 minutes, with succeeding sessions requiring less time.
A complete laser removal treatment is 6 to 12 sessions, with a break of 4 to 6 weeks in between. It will ultimately depend on the area you want done and your natural hair growth cycle. After you progress through sessions, you will notice the appearance of less hair and overall slower growth. Once you complete your required sessions, you will be left with hair-free, smooth skin! Results can last for months to several years, with minimal need for touch ups in between.
Who can have it?
This is where laser hair removal becomes tricky. The effectiveness of this hair removal method varies per skin color. It is ideal for people with light skin and dark hair, as this contrast of colors makes it easy for the laser light to identify hair pigments. If you have dark skin and dark hair, there is a risk of targeting the wrong melanin pigment. This could lead to the loss of pigment in your skin, which means accidental skin lightening! The good news is, some skin clinics use more advanced laser machines that work well on dark-skinned customers. That said, the only limitation of current laser removal machines is on light blonde and grey hair. These hair types have minimal to zero pigment, so it is impossible for any laser to locate the follicles.
Pros of laser hair removal
- The biggest pro of a laser treatment is its long-term – often times permanent – results. Multiple sessions will guarantee hair-free skin for a long time. People who choose this route will hardly experience new hair growth, and if you do, you can easily get a touch up once every few years.
- The procedure is quick, easy, and mostly painless. Even if you have a low threshold for pain, it is still a lot more tolerable than waxing.
- It is safe and gentle, even for those with sensitive skin. Just make sure to get it done by an expert laser technician.
- It works on any part of the body, including the face and bikini area.
- Since the hair follicle is destroyed, that means significant hair reduction and no painful ingrown hairs.
- While one session is more expensive than traditional methods, there is an end to your spending once you complete all sessions. Overall, it will cost you less versus regularly waxing.
Cons of laser hair removal
- You won’t get the same instant results as opposed to waxing.
- It is not for everyone. Those with grey or very blonde hair will not benefit from this type of treatment.
Settling The Score: Waxing vs. Laser Hair Removal
Now, let’s go back to the question on everyone’s mind: Which hair removal method is better?
Our honest answer: It depends! Now before you shake your head from this anti-climactic conclusion, hear us out. Both waxing and laser hair removal will achieve your goal of hair-free skin. While they offer unique benefits, they also have their limitations. Choosing one over will greatly depend on several factors and considerations. That said, we recommend both methods for different scenarios. At the end of the day, the choice is completely up to you!
- For instant hair removal: Waxing
- For long-term hair removal: Laser
- For sensitive skin: Laser
- For extremely light hair: Waxing
- For minimal pain and sensitivities: Laser
Part of the body
- For facial hair removal: Laser
- For the rest of the body: Waxing or laser, depending if you want instant results or more permanent hair reduction
- For lower cost per session: Waxing
- For a lower lifetime cost: Laser
Professional Waxing and Laser Hair Removal
Whichever service you decide to do, we’re here to help you! Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty offers various hair removal treatments done by our expert aestheticians to give you hair-free, beautiful skin! Book a consultation or contact us at the salon, and we’ll help you decide which option is best for you.