I hate pain. When I get a sore throat I can empathise with child birth. My monthlies, a stubbed toe, burning my tongue on a hot coffee – it’s all an emotional sensory experience where my soul dies a bit. So when I interviewed Tzvia Hermann, the owner of Laser Beautique, over coffee for a story and she heavily insisted I set an appointment… well, you can imagine my immediate panic.
So, how does it work?
Laser hair removal works by heating the hair follicle. “The laser light targets the pigment in the hair and follows the pigment down to the hair follicle. This heat destroys interconnectors, which connect the hair to the blood supply. If you destroy the hair’s blood supply, it can’t grow back,” explains Hermann.
As she explained this, the word that stood out to me was “pigment”. What about my pigmented brown skin? I’ve heard stories from friends who came back with scars from laser picking up the melanin in the skin, thinking it was hair. Was a fry-up about to take place? Short answer: No. Not using this new tech…
All hail the new laser tech
You see, older laser technology uses a high-powered pick-and-zap method, which stings like an elastic band snapping on your skin. I would instead be experiencing a new technique called IN-Motion, which starts off by delivering a low power and builds from there.
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“We like to compare it to having a hot bath. When you draw a really hot bath and try to get in, you burn yourself. But if you gradually increase the temperature of the water, you can withstand an even higher temperature without feeling any pain or discomfort,” says Hermann.
IN-Motion applies the same concept. “We can treat you more aggressively, yet painlessly and safely,” explains Hermann. And, most importantly, this technique can differentiate between skin (pigmented – read: dark skin) and hair follicle.
But seriously though, does it hurt?
I wasted three minutes of my life worrying about pain that never came. And, yes, it takes three minutes to do one of your armpits. Literally, all they do is apply a gel-like substance to the zapping device, zap for three mins, and you’re out of there.
Word on the street is that the bikini line is not as fast and the skin is more sensitive when lasering. But I even tried it on my face (I have one – seriously, ONE – rogue hair), and it was fine.
I loved lasering – and found that my hair grew back slower and softer. According to the experts, hair grows in cycles or phases. Some hair can even remain in the dormant phase for up to five years! Once you’ve had laser and targeted hair follicles that have been eliminated, they can’t grow back or “come back to life”.
Will I be trying this again? Yes – if it means dormant hair for five years!
This article was first published on Women's Health South Africa.