No pain, no gain.
The old sports adage has seen its fair share of beauty applications with plucking and waxing. But after Cincy Chic Editor and Publisher Amy Storer checked out Avalon Salon and Aesthetic Day Spa's Permanent Laser Hair Removal, she says those days might be out the door.
"I've done electrolysis before, and that's a very painful, time-consuming process," she says. "I literally spent two hours each week for a year getting it done and then I'd have to ice my face afterwards. The laser hair treatment was quick and simple. I was just a little red – like a sunburn – for an hour afterwards, but it didn't hurt to the touch."
Permanent Laser Hair Removal is different from electrolysis in that the hair follicle is destroyed with heat and energy instead of inserting an electrical probe into the individual follicles.
"In terms of effectiveness, they are equally effective," says Dr. Navkaran Singh, a Board Certified Physician and Senior Medical Director at Avalon Salon and Aesthetic Day Spa in Hyde Park. The advantage of Laser Hair Removal is that it is both less painful and involves much less of a time commitment. For example, the upper lip takes about 30 seconds to treat, versus one hour with electrolysis.
And the upper lip is just a start. You can have hair removed from any part of the body with the exception of the eyebrow because of shaping difficulties. To remove hair from the entire face (excluding the eyebrows, of course) it takes about 15 minutes, as does bikini line hair removal. However, a Brazilian laser treatment takes a little longer at 30 minutes.
"I could even see people getting something like this done on their lunch break. [It] didn't take any time to do and you couldn't tell I did it afterwards," Storer says. "Much different than my experience with electrolysis."
The treatments are sold in time blocks and "we try to get as many things treated in that 15 minutes as possible," Singh says.
Although the procedure is as equally effective as electrolysis, it does require that you go five or six times in all, each appointment about four to six weeks apart. Singh adds that about two to three weeks after the first procedure, hair will start to grow back, but far finer that its former self.
One advantage to electrolysis, outside its lower price tag, is that it destroys blonde hair, which is difficult to treat with a laser. The best candidates for Permanent Laser Hair Removal are people (not just women) with light skin and dark hair. Keep in mind that if you're taking medications that result in skin sensitivity (i.e., Tetracycline), the procedure might not be for you.
But even for the perfect candidate, there can be some risks involved, including skin discoloration and light burning. However, post-treatment, your skin will be smoother, more even – and of course – hairless!
Like any medical procedure, there are a few things you'll need to do (and not do) for the treatment. During the two weeks before the appointment, patients should not get prolonged sun-exposure or use a self-tanner. They should also not pluck or wax for four to six weeks before the procedure (don't worry, you can shave). After the procedure, patients should also stay out of the sun and, if the underarms are treated, they should also go deodorant free for a while makeup is fine.
But once all is says and done, the result is more beautiful, touchable skin.
"People really like that (the skin) is smoother," Singh says. "It's just soft again in that area."
The pricing for Permanent Laser Hair Removal starts with a $45 charge for a 15-minute physician consultation (which applies to the first treatment). A patch test is $45 and a 15-minute treatment session is $175. Additional 15-minute sessions are $125. Avalon also offers multiple treatment packages.
But the cost and commitment are worth the results.
"It's now three weeks after my procedure and it's just now coming back, but it's coming in really fine, so I can see a dramatic difference just after that one treatment," Storer says.
Learn more about this and other medical aesthetic procedures such as dermal fillers and laser skin rejuvenation at a free session held at Avalon Salon Nov. 8 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.