If you prefer the hairless look, the constant removal and regrowth cycle can be time-consuming, expensive and sometimes painful. But can lasers really do the job? Or are we wasting our money?
The bigger the difference in pigment between your skin colour and your hair colour, the better the chance of it working, because the laser targets pigment rather than the hair itself. The dream laser hair removal candidate is, kind of awkwardly, fair-skinned but dark-haired.
I'm basically hair-free and carefree from the chin down to the thanks to the miracle of laser hair removal, but I'll be honest - my leg hair is mostly blonde and even after many, many sessions under the laser, a lot of it has grown back (or, I suspect, never really left in the first place).
What areas can be lasered?
My bikini line and underarms worked a treat - they were darker and more coarse. But the fluffy, fair hairs on my legs didn't go anywhere. I saw a slight reduction in the darker ones down by my ankles, but the rest of my legs still have as much hair as usual. Bearing in mind I only received laser treatment in the past three years, so I know that the lasers were of a relatively up-to-date and high grade.
Waxing salons state that “Laser hair removal will work on light hairs that contain dark pigment, laser has no effect on light hairs that are blonde, red, grey or white in colour as they don’t contain enough pigment for the laser to absorb into.” And I'll be honest, this was the answer I was expecting.
Pain-free and successful?
However, each of four or five laser clinics I looked into had listed on their site a version of a new ‘miracle’ advanced hair removal system that boasted medical grade lasers and hair that could be removed from every skin colour, whether the hair in question was dark, fair or otherwise.
They also seemed to claim that the process was completely pain free. Not mild pain, not a small amount of pain - NO pain.
Am I going absolutely starkers mad, or does that sound like something I would sell my granny for? I would quite honestly go into my bank, empty my account and give them ALL of my money if, with ZERO pain, they could permanently remove all my hair. Take it all, I’d say to them. And I would strip off there and then outside the bank if I thought it would be finished faster that way.
Medical grade lasers
Medilase treatments involve "an infra-red type system which uses an ultrasonic head to direct acoustic energy at the hair shaft and root, heating up the root to the point where it damages regrowth."
According to a well-known hair removal clinic this treatment can "work effectively on small areas of the face, and is safe for such delicate skin, but blondes and redheads should chat to their therapy specialist about waxing as an alternative to be hair-free this summer." Which makes us think - if blondes and redheads should look at waxing as an alternative, is the process really for everyone?
SO... WILL IT WORK?
The definitive answer seems to be that, yes, there are options open to blondes and redheads, but it will depend entirely on the individual whether it works or not.
It didn't work on my blonde hairs, but I am putting all of my good thoughts out into the universe that it works for you. A shaving foam-less life is the life for me, but for now... I'm off down to buy some.