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

Wax, hair removal cream, tweezers, razor … everything is good for removing hair.

However, hair has a real benefit: number 5 million (both in men and women), hair is used primarily to protect us from sun rays from UV and variations in outdoor temperature, reports Marie Claire: “When it is very hot, they keep 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 is the “goosebumps” reflex. “

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

There are two ways to achieve total hair extinction: laser and pulsed light. These methods have the same effect on the hair (converts the light that is sent to heat locally to soothe the bulb that makes the hair), but uses different techniques.

What a difference?

– The laser emits an ultra strong concentrated light beam. This method can not only be used by doctors.

– Intense pulsating light is a flash of light that is only converted to heat by contact with the active melanin in the hair. This heat will sink down the hair to eliminate the bulb in its entirety. This method is used by beauty centers as the leader in the field, Depil Tech.

Note that for the pulsating light to be effective, the skin must be light enough to contrast as much as possible with the hair (which must be as thick and dark as possible). Thus, light brown, blonde, white or too fine hair is not permanently eliminated …

Not possible for them …

Even with parental consent, minors cannot have permanent hair removal. And it is obvious that pregnant women will not be able to get started just like those who have a pacemaker. Also, permanent hair removal can only be done on healthy skin and no treatment can be done on tattoos.

How long ?

On average, six sessions (between 10 and 14 weeks apart over 24 months) are necessary to achieve an optimal result: 100% of the treatable hairs and approximately 20% of the hair bulbs are destroyed for each increased pulsating light, Depil Tech explains.

For the laser, it takes about 6 to 8 sessions before the hair disappears.

Do’s 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 must shave every other day. After the first session, it will also be necessary to shave the areas every other day from the first regrowth.

The three phases

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

– A phase with hair loss

– A resting phase (without hair growth)

– A regrowth phase reduced by 20%

Very important: do not expose yourself to the sun for at least 4 weeks before the session, nor a week after.

Very important bis: seven days before a pulsating light session, all your beauty products must be inspected. To be banned (on the whole body, not just the areas to be depilated): tanning activators (capsules, creams, monoi, fats to be milked …), essential oils or products based on essential oils, occasional photosensitizers, self-tanners, products based on St. John’s wort, coconut oil and citrus fruits.

Which is a real headache for people who, for example, use organic. But this rule is extremely important to respect. In fact, all of these products are photosensitizing: severe burns and brown spots can occur if used a week before.

Seven days before a session, you should not use essential oils. Illustration photo Julio PELAEZ

Is pulsed light effective?

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

Some people will have to resort to a seventh or eighth session when others stop at the sixth.

How much does it cost?

If pulsed light hair removal remains cheaper than laser hair removal, the cost is significant: it takes up to 1800/2000 euros on average for the three areas that are most in demand leg-bikini armpits.

Side effects?

In 2017, the National Agency for Food, Environment and Health Safety (ANSES) warned about the risks associated with permanent hair removal; “immediate inflammatory reactions, burning sensations and skin pain during the sessions, pigmentation disorders sometimes.” When the devices are misused, ANSES has sometimes observed deep skin burns and eye burns. “

This is why we must be careful and respect the protocols. Anesthetic and moisturizing creams can be applied.

ANSES concludes that there is a need to implement measures to limit the incidence of side effects.

Pain: “like a rubber band”

Marine, 30, has just started permanent hair removal. She testifies: “In 2021, it is, I say goodbye to my hair. A fashion dictation? No, for comfort. I chose to perform permanent hair removal in a specialized heart rate sensor center, after talking to my doctor who gave me his approval. Without to lie: although the pain is specific to everyone, they are there, and I did not necessarily expect it.With each “flash” I have felt like a big kind of elastic and in more sensitive areas, the feeling of being on my skin “The heat was intense, but very short. Two hours later it was just a bad memory. So far I have only had one session and waited for the next one in 12 weeks.”

Collected by CM