Effectiveness, side effects, pain … What you need to know before you start

Wax, depilatory cream, tweezers, razors … everything is good for removing hair.

However, hair has a real use: With a number of 5 million (both in men and women), hair is mainly used to protect us from UV rays from the sun and fluctuations in outside temperature, reports Marie Claire: “When it is a lot When the cold is hot, they hold the sweat close to the skin, which cools the body and prevents dehydration. And when the cold threatens, they rise to trap a layer of warm air that acts as a blanket and prevents heat loss. It’s the “goose bumps” “-Reflection.”

To counter this “social norm”, some women resist by proudly showing off their black armpits, but they remain a tiny minority. More and more men are also resorting to hair removal.

There are two ways to achieve complete hair removal: laser and pulsed light. These methods have the same effect on the hair (converting the light sent locally into heat to weigh the light bulb that makes up the hair) but use different techniques.

What a difference ?

– The laser emits an extremely strong, concentrated beam of light. This method cannot only be used by doctors.

– Intense pulsed light is a flash of light that only converts into heat when it comes into contact with the active melanin of the hair. This heat will go down along the hair to eliminate the lightbulb in its entirety. This method is used by beauty centers like Depil Tech, the leader in the field.

Note that the skin needs to be light enough to make the pulsed light effective so that it is as contrasted as possible with the hair (which needs to be as thick and dark as possible). This does not permanently remove light brown, blonde, white or too fine hair …

Not possible for them …

Even with parental consent, minors cannot have permanent hair removal. And it’s obvious that pregnant women can’t start out like those who have a pacemaker. Permanent hair removal can only be done on healthy skin and no tattoo on tattoos.

How long ?

On average, it takes six sessions (10 to 14 weeks apart over 24 months) to achieve the best result: 100% of treatable hair and around 20% of hair bulbs are destroyed with each session with pulsed light, explains Depil Tech.

For the laser, it takes about 6 to 8 sessions for the hair to disappear.

Dos and don’ts before a session

There are many restrictions that must be followed for hair removal to work 100%. Before the first session, you need to shave every two days. After the first session, the areas need to be shaved every two days from the first regrowth.

The three phases

When we go to permanent hair removal, we see session after session:

– A hair shedding phase

– A resting phase (without hair regrowth)

– A 20% reduction in the offspring phase

Very important: You must not expose yourself to the sun for at least 4 weeks before the session or a week after.

Very important until: You must check all of your beauty products seven days before a pulsed light session. Prohibited (on the whole body, not just on the areas to be depilated): tanning activators (capsules, creams, monoi, fat to be milked …), essential oils or products based on essential oils, occasional photosensitizing drugs, self-tanners, products based on St. John’s wort, coconut oil and citrus fruits.

This is a real problem for people who, for example, consume organic. However, this rule is extremely important to respect. In fact, all of these products are photosensitizers: severe burns and brown spots may appear a week before.

Essential oils should not be used seven days prior to a session. Illustrative photo Julio PELAEZ

Is pulsed light effective?

We generally see real effects after three sessions. From the fifth, about 90% of the hair is removed.

Some people have to go back to a seventh or eighth session while others stop at the sixth.

What are the costs?

If hair removal with pulsed light remains cheaper than laser hair removal, the costs are substantial: the three most popular leg bikini armpits cost an average of up to 1,800/2,000 euros.

Side effects?

In 2017, the National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Safety (ANSES) warned of the risks of permanent hair removal. “Immediate inflammatory reactions, burning sensation and skin pain during the sessions, sometimes pigment disorders.” When the devices are misused, ANSES has sometimes observed deep skin burns and eye burns. “

So we have to be careful and respect the protocols. Anesthetic and moisturizing creams can be used.

ANSES concludes that measures need to be taken to limit the occurrence of side effects.

Pain: “like a rubber band”

Marine, 30, has just started permanent hair removal. She says: “In 2021 I will say goodbye to my hair. A fashion dictate? No, for reasons of comfort. I decided to have permanent hair removal in a special pulsed light center. After talking to my doctor, who gave me his consent. Without lying: Even if the pain is specific for everyone, it is there and I did not necessarily expect it. With every “flash” I felt like a big elastic blow and in more sensitive areas the feeling on my skin The heat was intense but very brief. Two hours later it was just a bad memory. So far I’ve only done one session and waited for the next in 12 weeks. “

Collected by CM

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