Learn about lasers and body hair. The more you know, the better it goes!
Let’s get our heads around this one. If it took millions of years for us to lose all that body hair we had as prehistoric cave dwellers, why does it grow back at such an infuriating rate? In fact why does it grow back at all? Surely if we wear all those nice designer threads to keep us warm and looking cool, we don’t need body hair in the first place. And yet, nothing speeds up the return of body hair like an invitation to the beach or a summer’s day outing in that beautiful sleeveless dress.
What happened? Did evolution take a long lunch break?
Brilliant as our dermatologists may be, it will still be a while before they can answer that. Fret not, however. They have some fabulously effective solutions to body hair, but more on that later. Meanwhile, let’s learn more about what we’re up against. Knowledge is power, so let’s get armed…
Hair on a woman’s face and body is found in two different forms. The hair found on the face and chest is fine, soft hair called vellus hair. And the thick coarse hair that grows in areas like the underarms and scalp is called terminal hair.
What’s at the root of the body hair problem?
A moderate amount of body hair is normal and varies from one individual to another. However, certain medical factors can result in excessive hair growth, diagnosed as either hypertrichosis or hirsuitism. Hypertrichosis is usually a genetic problem and quite common within a community while hirsuitism, which is characterised by long, coarse, beard-like hair on the face and body, is associated with hormone disturbances.
Remember the soft, vellus hair we just spoke about? Well, with some women, it transforms into coarse terminal hair due to the presence of androgens. These are male hormones that, weirdly enough, are produced in the ovaries and the adrenals. So when the ovaries or adrenals are afflicted, androgen production is disturbed.
And this is caused by three factors:
Polycystic ovarian disease/syndrome (PCOD, PCOS)
Sounds rare? It’s not! In fact, it’s a common cause of hirsuitism. You see, the ovaries develop multiple small cysts that produce male hormones, and this condition is associated with irregular periods, irregular ovulation, weight gain, acne and increased hair growth. Unfortunately, this is hereditary, passing on from mother to daughter, and is associated with an insulin imbalance.
The second word in the name can make anyone tremble at the knees. A definite cause of hirsuitism, it can even transform a woman’s body structure and voice.
If the word ‘tumor’isn’t enough to disturb you emotionally and psychologically, the disorder certainly is. A hormonal imbalance, it gives rise to unwanted facial and body hair, weight gain, acne, infertility, and even hair loss on the scalp. It mostly affects young women, destroying their confidence within their peer group. So they end up threading and shaving more often than they should have to.
The first step to laser hair removal is myth-removal.
Lasers are getting closer every day to becoming almost painless; especially today’s modern lasers that are so advanced they were sci-fi material until just yesterday. As with any fast-changing technology, though, there’s a world of misconceptions that must be cleared.
Myth Buster #1:A lot of people associate lasers with a high intensity treatment when in reality it is a low intensity concentrated light of a particular wavelength. In truth, it is a relatively easy and quick process.
Myth Buster #2: Laser technology targets the pigment in the hair and not the skin. So you can rest assured that the skin and surrounding tissue is untouched and unharmed. In fact, recent studies have proven that laser hair removal has no long-term adverse effects when performed by trained and licensed practitioners like the specialists at our clinics.
Myth Buster #3: Most people enjoy positive results with laser hair removal procedures. And those who don’t respond positively to laser hair removal are usually grey or white-haired, blond, red-heads or are afflicted with hormonal problems. They require greater skill, which makes the role of a skilled practitioner vital.
Myth Buster #4: Contrary to popular belief, laser technology does not injure essential organs nor does it cause cancer. Lasers are a very different technology as compared to X-rays, and the pulse that they generate does not go deep into the skin and almost never past the hair roots.
Myth Buster #5: Lasers are equally effective on men. This is proven by the high rate of satisfactory results that male customers have enjoyed at our clinics.
Myth Buster #6: Look, good technology does come at a price, but it’s not necessarily pocket-burning. Sure, treatments at the hands of experienced and skilled laser experts are relatively higher, but in the long run it can save both time and money. Imagine the savings on shaving gels, razors, hair removal creams and waxing for the rest of your life.
Myth Buster #7: No two laser treatments are the same. In fact, laser hair removal treatments are customised to cater to different skin types. The therapies are decided after a thorough analysis of the skin.
Myth Buster #8: Lasers do not prick or tear the epidermis of the skin and hence do not leave scars and marks. Okay, so you’ll see a little redness but that’ll fade away in a couple of hours.
Myth Buster #9: Most lasers cause only mild discomfort and hardly any pain as compared to waxing sessions. However, there is good news for those with zero tolerance to pain –truly painless laser hair removal treatments.
Myth Buster #10: Now here’s a funny…how can something that promises a permanent solution to unwanted body hair actually generate more body hair? A myth, if there ever was one! Think about it –if this were actually true, we’d have found a solution to baldness! We are all born with hair follicles, some of which activate at a pre-determined time. Laser only destroys follicles that are active. So when you consider that about 15-20% of our hair is in the growth phase at any given point of time, multiple sessions will be required to destroy follicles that activate after a session.
Myth Buster #11: Shaving does not change the thickness or colour of body hair. However, hair that is shaved has a blunt end, which can make it appear thicker. It’s just an illusion, folks!
Myth Buster #12: Laser hair reduction on the bikini area is as safe as anywhere else on the body.
Myth Buster #13: A single session of laser hair removal treatment will not cause 100% of your hair to disappear forever. While lasers effectively target most of the hair follicles, in some cases a few follicles may be rendered dormant. And if your body goes through any biological or hormonal changes, said dormant follicles may decide to go active again. However, the hair that results from the re-active follicles will be light and fine in nature…and not easily visible…so quit searching!
Laser at work.
Unlike ordinary white light, laser light is monochromatic, which allows it to deliver energy to very specific areas, making it ideal for permanent hair reduction. It targets the hair follicle through the melanin in the hair (Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its natural colour…be it black, blonde, red). The melanin absorbs laser energy and transfers it down to the follicle, thus rendering it ineffective and stopping future growth.
Powerful. Effective. Safe… in the right hands.
There are dozens of laser technologies out there. And as many claims and counter claims. That’s why you need to pick the right clinic. A good skin clinic will employ the best laser technologies and use them wisely…that, you can be sure of. They’ll have a range of technologies to cater to different skin types, and highly-skilled and experienced professionals to conduct the procedure.
At kaya, we have a range of laser technologies – from Nd: Yag, widely recognized as most effective with darker skin and hair, to diode, to Alexandrite, which is the most advanced yet.
We demand the best. So you can, too.
Complementing this spectrum of technologies is the region’s largest pool of expertise. Consider this: Our experienced dermatologists collectively examine almost 900,000 square metres of skin every year!
Every one of our skin practitioners must go through 500 rigorous and intense hours of specialised in-house training before they are allowed to work withcustomers.
But wait, our demands don’t end there: every dermatologist at kaya is expected to spend a minimum of 70 hours in medical research and education every year! This has given us enviable expertise in our field, which in turn gives us the confidence to host live chats with our top dermatologists on social media.
Ensuring it all goes smoothly.
Every laser hair removal treatment at kaya begins with a detailed analysis and consultation. A patch test, which involves testing a small area of the skin for sensitivity is conducted before any recommendations are made.
But hey, don’t expect laser to perform instant miracles for you. It’s science, and science takes time to work its magic. You’ll need about 4 to 5 sessions to start seeing results. During the weeks following a session you may notice hair on the area where the laser was applied. This is NOT a sign of early growth. It’s just hair shafts being shed naturally.
It’s time then, to say goodbye to body hair for good. And reclaim the fabulously smooth skin that’s so you!