If there’s one beauty treatment which has a lot of misinformation and myths spread about it, it’s laser hair removal. Some have elements of truth to them and others are just far-fetched speculation from those who don’t understand the process well enough.
Here are the 5 most popular myths…
1. Laser Hair Removal is Really Painful
This myth is perhaps left over from when laser hair removal was painful. The technology has come quite far over the years. When the technology first hit the market it was unpredictable. Sometimes causing severe skin damage as well as removing the hair. Obviously when things went wrong they could be very painful!
These lasers were called Flashlamps and in a way weren’t technically lasers at all. Their reputation, and the reputations of other early laser devices was passed down via word of mouth and therefore you sometimes get unfounded criticism.
With modern machines you experience minimal discomfort. There are even numbing creams available if the pain get too much. People say the pain is no worse than an elastic band flicking against your skin. Read about early laser devices here.
2. Laser Hair Removal Doesn’t Work on Ginger / Blond Hair
This myth is understandable. It comes about because laser hair removal technology is changing all the time. Every single year something is a little bit different. It did used to be the case that laser hair removal didn’t work well at all on ginger, blond or light hair. Recent developments have helped solve this though.
Making use of new technology the procedure is able to target the few dark pigments in ginger / blond hair. However the procedure still isn’t as effective as it is on darker hair colours and could still take more sessions to get the same results.
3. Laser Hair Removal Lasts Forever
This is actually a positive myth about the process. Some people think it’s permanent. It’s important to know that this isn’t the case. Electrolysis is the only permanent method of hair removal. Laser hair removal after several sessions can result in the rate at which the hair grows being severely diminished. But the hair follicles aren’t destroyed. If they’re not destroyed there’s still a chance that they can repair and begin producing hair again.
However since the follicles are damaged they should produce much less hair. Although the reduction in hair growth is long-lasting, top up sessions may be needed.
4. The Treatment Costs Too Much
The treatment isn’t cheap. But most people just look at the bulk cost for several treatments and see quite a high number. What you need to remember is that you’re saving quite a bit. Not just in monetary terms, but with the hours every year you save. You won’t need to do anywhere near as much hair removal.
Most of the time people don’t get a treatment which covers a big area like the back. Sometimes it’s just for the eyebrows or upper lip. These treatments are quite inexpensive – they don’t really cover big areas do they? Sometimes it can be as little as $60 for a session. You don’t need to get the treatments all in one go. You can spread them out over the year.
See a price list here.
5. The Treatment Doesn’t Work on Dark Skin
This is a similar myth to the one about hair color. At one point it did used to be true, but the technology to successfully treat dark skinned patients has been around for quite a while. As we a discussed above the melanin needs to be targeted for the process to work. The melanin is the dark pigment which is found in hair and skin. Obviously this could cause confusion for the device. It would be harder to tell the skin apart from the hair. However there are some lasers which have been approved for use on dark skin.
The treatment isn’t as fast or efficient, and there may be a little more pain, but it’s definitely possible. You just need to make sure you’re being treated by someone who knows what they’re doing.
UPDATE: There’s even a new home device which is specifically designed with dark skin tones in mind.