How does laser hair removal feel?
By Matthew Rundle of Mayfair Aesthetics
“Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. It had been performed experimentally for about twenty years before becoming commercially available in the mid-1990’s.” (source Wikipedia).
Like almost all technology, laser hair removal has changed massively since it first became commercially available in the late 1990’s. The systems available today are much safer than their predecessors and tend to be less painful, quicker and more effective.
When choosing the laser hair removal system to work with at Mayfair Aesthetics I attended a clinical equipment trade show at Olympia and was introduced to all the major laser hair removal systems on the market and also visited various laser clinics around London to try out a patch test to see how the laser hair removal treatment actually felt.
2 different types of laser hair removal systems
There are 2 different basic types of laser hair removal available today. The traditional method, systems such as Candela, Magma and Cynosure employ ‘shots’ where the laser energy is applied all in one go on a particular small area and then moved a centimetre or 2 and the process repeated until the entire treatment area has been covered.
In my experience, I found this to be rather painful, with some systems being more painful than others! Typically it felt like being twanged with an elastic band or poked with a needle which was mildly unpleasant for the few ‘shots’ used in the patch test. In an actual treatment, between 20 and 200 shots are usually used, depending on the size of the areas being treated, I can only imagine that this would be an ordeal! As the laser energy is delivered all at once, a cooling method such as cold air or cryogen spray is employed to prevent burns and make the treatment more bearable. Some clinics also offer a numbing cream prior to treatment. These creams should be used with caution as pain exists for a reason and numbing creams may prevent you from realising that your skin is being damaged by the laser treatment, which could leave you with burns or blisters. Not a good look! I have been for a patch personally with the Cynosure, Magma and Candela lasers at different London clinics and found them all to feel somewhere between mildly uncomfortable and actually painful.
I managed a clinic offering the Soprano Ice system, prior to opening Mayfair Aesthetics. The Soprano Ice and the Soprano Ice Platinum systems work in a different way with the laser flashing on and off 10 times a second with lower intensity pulses while the treatment head is moved back and forth over the body area being treated. This allows the laser energy to gradually build up rather than all the energy being delivered in a single pulse like with the traditional laser systems.
I had a patch test with the Soprano Ice system and found it to be pain-free with the only sensation being a gentle warming of the area being treated. At this clinic I typically found that clients would need more than 6 sessions to get a good result in terms of hair reduction with the Soprano Ice system so was in the market for something more effective. The Soprano Ice Platinum system, came along in July 2016, advertised as the next generation laser in terms of efficacy compared to the standard Soprano Ice.
Pain-Free Laser Hair Removal
Soprano Ice will only employ one laser wavelength per treatment – either the Alex 755nm or the Speed 810nm. The Alex tends to be better for paler or finer hair and the Speed better for darker, thicker hair. The new Soprano Ice Platinum emits both the Alex and Speed wavelengths at the same time and also the YAG 1064nm wavelength – best for the thickest darkest hair. This system is head and shoulders above the original Soprano Ice as not only is it effective for all hair types, it is more powerful in reducing hair growth.
The sensation experienced with the Soprano Ice Platinum is very similar to the Soprano Ice system. A gentle warming sensation with very rarely a brief tingling feeling similar to mild pins and needles. Some people say it feels more like a hot stone massage and have actually dozed off during treatment, something which would be impossible with one of the traditional laser models.
Pain free, safe and extremely effective results meant that the Soprano Ice Platinum system was the only choice for Mayfair Aesthetics.
Find out just how painless the Soprano Ice Platinum system is by booking a complimentary patch test and consultation at Mayfair Aesthetics – please click here or call 02073544000.