The 411 on Laser Hair Removal - Straight from the Experts

 Removing hair is one of those things we hate to do, but love the end result. Over the past few years we've been hearing more and more about laser hair removal and because the thought of being hair-free sounds almost too good to be true, we thought we'd do some research... we sat down with Michaela from the Caci Clinic to ask all those laser hair removal questions that you've wanted to know but have never had the chance to ask.

How does laser hair removal actually work?
The light is attracted to the pigment in the hair and then travels down into the bulb and destroys the cells that are responsible for producing that hair. We have a programme structure of eight treatments over the period of a year and we recommend to come in every six weeks.

Is anyone eligible to get it done?
We do a thorough consultation before the treatment and check medical history to ensure there's no contraindications to the treatment but more than anything the hair has to be dark, it needs to hold pigment for the treatment to work.

So any area can be lasered as long as there’s dark hair?
Yes, the majority of the areas on the body can be treated as long as the hair is dark in the area that we’re treating.

Does the hair need to be grown out to a particular length?
No, we like the hair to be under 2mm. However, when people first come in it’s quite nice to see the hair so we can see exactly what we’re wanting to treat and then we’ll trim the area and proceed with the treatment. Throughout the treatments they can shave or trim the area but they will no longer be able to wax or to pull that hair out otherwise it stimulates a message for the hair to grow again.

How does the pain compare to waxing then?
You feel a sharp heat sensation but it’s definitely bearable. As the treatments go on the sensation gets less as the hair gets less and there’s less pigment that the light is attracted to. You do feel a sharp heat sensation in your first treatment but if I can handle it, anyone can handle it!

Is there anything that you can’t do before or after an appointment?
It’s similar to waxing in that we recommend you don’t go to the gym or do excessive exercise straight after. Also that you don’t put deodorants or lotions on the area, you don’t go in any spa pools or swimming pools for 24 hours. Or put the area in direct sunlight. What we do recommend throughout your course is that you do wear sunscreen on the area if exposing it outside and you reapply that sunscreen every two hours.

So are there any side effects?
There are risks involved as it's an advanced treatment but at Caci we have very well trained treatment providers and we have guidelines on protocols and procedures that are monitored well.

Why do people choose laser over waxing?
If you compare the two, laser is more of a permanent hair reduction, with waxing it’s something you’ll have to do for the rest of your life. Waxing is a treatment that is basically just pulling the hair out, it’s not actually destroying the cells that produce that hair. Laser is working on a permanent reduction - not a removal but a reduction as you have to remember, we can’t control the hormones in the body. Sometimes you might find that the hormones stimulate new hair to grow in a number of years, and that’s just in general with how our bodies are made. Waxing comes with ingrown hairs and itchiness. You get a clean wax for about a week before the hair starts coming through again so if you’re to weigh it up between shaving every day or waxing, laser is hands down definitely a better option, especially if your hair is dark in that area and you tick all the boxes to get it done.

How much does the process usually end up costing?
It depends on what area you’re having treated. We always give a complimentary consultation - you come in and see the treatment coordinator and they’ll go thorough consultation to see if you’re eligible to have the treatment done. They’ll explain how the treatment works and then they’ll give you a quote on the area. We also have the Freedom Programme which enables you to pay your treatments off over the period of a year with a guarantee of five treatments in that year, so it’s definitely affordable. We're currently doing a two for one special at the moment so you can pay for one area and get another area complimentary.