unwanted body and facial hair is a topic i visit often on this site. from depilatories, to waxing, plucking, shaving and laser - i've tried it all. two years ago i completed laser hair removal on my underarms and i am currently working on treatments for my lower legs.
laser hair removal has been commercially available since the mid-1990s. it's predecessor, electrolysis, required each hair be removed individually. laser hair removal uses a laser to target a small area, often containing multiple hairs at once. typically it requires 6-8 sessions to complete hair removal in a designated area, such as underarm or bikini. originally laser hair removal was only to be performed in the most structured of settings - by a healthcare provider (physician or nurse practitioner) in their office, but in recent years more options have entered the market for lower cost and at home laser hair removal.
there are many advantages of laser over other hair removal options that make it a favorite of celebs. kim and khloe kardashian famously attended a bikini laser session together on their hit E series "keeping up with the kardashians". KK has stated, "i am Armenian, so of course I am obsessed with laser hair removal! arms, bikini, legs, underarms... my entire body is hairless." while laser hair removal is far from painless (i require two advil and a shot before an appointment, and kardashian admits she can't handle an appointment without numbing cream), it offers many advantages over other methods:
- less redness than waxing: if i get a wax, i'm usually red for at least 24 hours, sometimes with accompanying folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles that turn into raised red bumps). after a laser treatment i find my redness subsides in under an hour, and i never experience folliculitis.
- ditto on the pain -- my skin will be sensitive to touch for hours after waxing, but while laser is painful during, the pain subsides immediately after. i'm left wondering what i was being such a baby about!
- however, i think celebs, beauty editors and consumers agree that the number one advantage laser has over waxing and shaving is that it's permanent! yes, there's pain and redness, but laser hair removal, like a diamond, is forever.