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Epilator or laser hair removal?

When it comes to making a decision about whether you would prefer to get rid of excess hair by using an epilator or laser hair removal, there are pros and cons to both methods. 

What is epilation? 

Epilation is similar to waxing in that it removes hair from the root, delaying the regrowth of each hair so it takes longer for the stubble to start showing. As treatments with similar effects, both are equally painful, although with both methods, the more you do it, the less painful it usually becomes. 

An epilator is a device that pinches, then plucks the hairs. To give the device a chance to grip the hairs firmly enough, you must move it slowly over each area, meaning it is a slower process than shaving. 

Like waxing, hairs must be long enough for the device to be able to pick them up, although with epilators, the hair can be shorter than it needs to be for waxing. 

Care must be taken when using an epilator in order to get the best results:

  • exfoliate the skin before you use the device; getting rid of dead skin cells can prevent ingrown hairs
  • moving the device in the direction the hair is growing will pull it out at the root, otherwise the hair could break off at the skin and the procedure will last no longer than normal shaving
  • sometimes there is irritation and redness of the skin after epilating; this should fade after a couple of hours and can be alleviated by moisturising 
  • Be prepared to perform this treatment as often as you would waxing, this is usually every 3 to 6 weeks depending on how quickly your hair regrows. 

What is laser hair removal? 

Laser hair removal uses light energy to heat the hair to destroy the root and prevent the hair from growing back, sometimes for years, if at all. However, in order to be effective, each hair has to be in its active growth phase (the ‘Anagen’ phase) – around 10-15% of hairs will be in this phase at any one time, which is why you will need around eight sessions to remove the majority of hair from that particular area. Please note that this is true for the average patient, laser hair removal is not an exact science.  

Unlike epilation, you do not need to grow the hair before you remove it. Indeed, you can continue shaving throughout the course of treatments until it has taken effect and you no longer need to.

One of the advantages of laser hair removal is that you are far less likely to have ingrown hairs after treatment. And shaving cuts and rashes will be a thing of the past because the hair may no longer grow therefore you don’t need to worry about at home removal. 

The main disadvantage of laser hair removal is the initial cost. A course of treatment will be more expensive than the cost of buying an at-home epilator. However, once the course of treatments is over, you can enjoy years of hair-free skin without the need to spend time and money epilating, shaving, waxing or on any other form of hair removal. In terms of convenience and time you don’t have to spend on removing hair in the future, this is a huge advantage. 

As with epilation, laser hair removal will not be entirely pain free. The Soprano Ice treatment we offer is one of the least painful treatments available, but you will probably feel a sensation similar to being flicked with an elastic band. It can be uncomfortable, but for most people, it’s not painful.

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