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Everything you need to know about permanent hair removal

Everyone does what they want with their hair. If you are one of those who want to get rid of it, there are methods that are more effective than others.

For example, you may be tired of ephemeral hair removal (waxing, razor or epilator) and want to opt for a more permanent method. If you are seriously considering permanent hair removal, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind.

How exactly does it work? Which parts of the body are affected? Can anyone opt for permanent hair removal and what can you expect in terms of price and results?

To remove any remaining doubts or concerns you may have about this, Sandra Texier, a doctor for over 25 years and founder of Maison Magnifisens, explains everything you need to know about permanent hair removal.

The (short) life of a hair

Before trying to remove hair, it is important to understand how hair grows.

Our hair grows in a hair follicle. To be more precise, it is an invagination of the epidermis into the deeper layers of the skin, i.e. into the dermis and even into the hypodermis. It is found all over our body, except on our lips, the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet.

It is in this little bubble that the bulb is formed, which is the only living part of the hair. As it grows, its shaft emerges from the skin. This is the visible part of the hair, which is also called keratinized. It will be more or less long, hard and thick depending on the area of the body and more or less coloured depending on the concentration of melanin (the pigment of the hair and skin).

The duration of a hair cycle is therefore different for each of us, but also according to the areas of the body. It will also vary according to the depilatory technique used.

In any case, the hair cycle is always divided into 3 phases :

The anagen phase: this is the ultimate growth period, during which its pigmentation is completed. 85% of our hairs are in this phase. This is the phase where the laser will be effective. This phase can last from several weeks to several months (depending on the area of the body, the type and nature of the hair, but also on our genetics and our metabolism).

The catagen phase: a transition period that generally lasts 2 weeks and during which the hair stops growing. This represents 3 to 4% of hairs.

The telogen phase (or the hair’s resting phase) lasts between 5 and 6 weeks. The hair stops growing and eventually falls out. Its life cycle ends and a new hair grows in. About 13% of hairs are in this phase.

What is permanent hair removal and how does it work?

Now that we know a little more about the life cycle of a hair, let’s take a look at the processes that can stop it permanently.

Permanent hair removal consists of exposing the hair follicles to light pulses. These not only remove the hair, but also, and above all, discourage its future regrowth. It is therefore the best technique to have and keep a smooth skin.

In concrete terms, the permanent hair removal technique works in 2 steps.

Step 1: The laser emits a highly concentrated light energy that clings to the hair’s melanin and goes down into the hair follicle to the base of your hair, called the bulb. 

Step 2: The pigments in the follicles absorb this light energy, which turns into a heat source (hence the slight discomfort you may feel). It is this heat that will destroy the bulb and make the hair fall out naturally. The heat is such that the bulb is burned out permanently.

What about your skin?

You may be concerned about pulses of light and heat penetrating your skin. But when you think about it, the epidermis is already used to it.

The light energy from the laser will be absorbed by the melanin. This is why, before beginning permanent hair removal, we systematically choose a laser (and more specifically a fluence level) that is compatible with your skin’s pigmentation.

To adapt to your phototype, we use the Fitzpatrick scale. The Fitzpatrick scale is used to determine how different skin tones react to sun exposure. But it also allows us to make sure that the light is well absorbed by your melanin, without leaving any traces or negative impacts.

It is therefore important to stay out of the sun before and after a laser session to avoid any risk of burning or pigmentation disorders. This period varies according to the type of laser used (from a few days to a few weeks). It is therefore important to follow the instructions given by the doctor.

The different types of permanent hair removal

One of the main questions you may ask yourself is what is the best method of permanent hair removal?
The two best known are laser hair removal and pulsed light hair removal.

The first consists, as we have already mentioned, of burning the root of the hair with an ultra-precise light beam. Depending on your phototype (i.e. your skin type), the recommended technology will not be the same.

The Alexandrite laser, for example, is best suited for light and very light skin types (or phototypes 1 to 3);

The NdYAG laser is used more for phototypes 4 to 6 (i.e., tanned, dark, and black skin types). Its wavelength makes it possible to permanently remove hair from pigmented skin without danger. However, this type of laser may require more sessions.

The diode laser is suitable for almost all skin types (phototypes 1 to 5). It is less painful and very effective.

As for pulsed light hair removal (or flash lamp), this technique is more diffuse and therefore less precise than the laser with a much lower fluence. In other words, more sessions are required for optimal results.

The advantages of permanent hair removal

The main advantage of laser hair removal is obvious: no need to shave several times a week or to grit your teeth every time you wax. This is especially true for areas that are not always easily accessible or more sensitive. Permanent hair removal is possible, for example, on very specific parts of your face or allows you to remove hair on your back.

But this is far from being the only good thing about permanent hair removal. In addition to being permanent (and therefore more economical in the long run), this method is also more :

Precise: there is no more precise method than a laser.

Fast: no need to wait for the wax to heat up in a water bath or to cool on your skin. The same goes for the electric epilator, which attacks only 25 mm of skin per second.

Permanent: each person reacts differently to laser hair removal. For some, the hair will be permanently removed, while for others, the process will be semi-permanent. But even in this case, hair regrowth will be much slower and the results will last much longer than with any other technique.

Aesthetics: thanks to permanent hair removal, you can say goodbye to ingrown hairs and folliculitis after hair removal with a razor or wax.

Note: The darker and thicker your hair, the more permanent the result of permanent hair removal will be! In fact, this method is not effective on white hair, because the light beam must be captured by melanin. However, by definition, white hair does not have any. Red hair can also be a problem and it is sometimes not possible to remove it with the laser.

What areas can be permanently removed?

The other good news is that if you opt for permanent hair removal, it can be done on all areas of your body, face and body combined (except for mucous membranes).

The only slight difference is that depending on the area you wish to remove hair, the duration of the session and the method chosen may vary. We generally classify hair removal areas into 3 categories:

– Small areas (such as underarms, chin or toes);

– Large areas (legs, forearms, back, abdomen);

– And finally, sensitive areas (such as the bikini line or the furrow between the buttocks). 

For example, hair removal from the downy area above the lips or under the arms will not take more than 5 minutes. Count on 30 minutes for half legs.

Who can benefit from permanent hair removal?

Anyone can have permanent hair removal. Before the age of 18, however, parental permission is required and it is also advisable to wait until after puberty.

Although it is accessible to everyone, permanent hair removal does require some small precautions to be taken before taking the plunge. These precautions will help you distinguish between a serious and qualified professional and a less than reputable salon.

At Maison Magnifisens, we systematically perform a preliminary diagnosis before proceeding with the first permanent hair removal session. In addition to having you fill out a health questionnaire to inform us about your medical history, we will also take the time to examine any moles or tattoos on the area to be waxed.

Simple questions about your skin type, your hair type, but also your habits (in terms of sun exposure for example) will also allow us to orient you towards the most appropriate technique.

Contraindication: chronic use of photosensitizing drugs is contraindicated with laser hair removal because of the risk of skin pigmentation. If it is a one-time treatment, laser hair removal will be performed a few days to a few weeks/months after the end of the treatment (depending on its nature). Here again, it is important to discuss this with the doctor at the hair removal center and to follow his or her instructions.

How to prepare for permanent hair removal?

Although it is quick and painless, laser hair removal remains a medical procedure. It is therefore important to take certain steps before your session:

– Avoid waxing before permanent hair removal;

– Shave the area 2 or 4 days before (the procedure is more effective on short hairs);

– Avoid exposure to the sun before your session for as long as the doctor says. Protect the areas to be waxed with protective clothing or spf50 sunscreen so that the procedure is more effective. But also to limit the risks of complications (even if they are very rare).

– Do not wax between sessions.

NB: The permanent hair removal session will be postponed if you have recently taken a photosensitizing treatment or if your skin is infected, irritated or injured.

Permanent hair removal: what to expect?

Now that you’re ready for your first permanent hair removal session, what can you expect?

Pain: don’t worry. This method just burns the hair at the root, and you’ll usually feel only mild discomfort. It all depends on your sensitivity. Most of the time, you will have a small tingling sensation, especially during the first sessions. Just remember to moisturize well afterwards to calm the heat.

Last point: the number and rhythm of sessions. In general, you should wait for the first 6 sessions to see the results. It all depends on your skin type. Depending on your profile (and the rhythm of the repetitions), the sessions will be spaced out from 4 to 12 weeks. Touch-ups may be necessary in the years to come,

Trust us for your permanent hair removal. At Maison Magnifisens, we offer you the best solution for effective, long-lasting, painless and safe hair removal. For more details on the procedure, as well as our rates, click here!

One Comment

laser age spot treatment Bristol 29 September 2022

Laser hair removal can treat multiple hair follicles simultaneously, making it a relatively quick process, especially for larger areas of the body like the legs or back.

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