With the summer vacations on hand, you’ll want to get ready for those bikinis and shorts – and that includes taking care of any unwanted hair. Even if you’re not jetting off somewhere sunny, Singapore’s year-round shorts and skirts weather calls for fuzz-free legs, arms, pits and nether regions. From shaving and waxing, to IPL hair removal, here’s our handy guide to going fuzz-free this summer.
The quick fix: Shaving
Tackle unwanted hair easily and painlessly in a pinch with a good ol’ razor. For a closer shave, exfoliate first with a body brush or mitts to get rid of any dead skin. Choose a gentle exfoliator, though: using a rough salt, fruit or nut exfoliator can cause small tears in the skin that are made worse when you go over them with the razor. Next, use a fresh razor to prevent having to go over each area more than once. Lastly, don’t forget to moisturise your skin once you’re done.
The quick fix: Depilatory creams
Chemicals in the cream weaken the hair follicles, rendering them soft enough to be wiped away with a cloth. You can use these creams to remove hair from your body, bikini area, underarms and upper lip. You’re likely to have the same hair growth, but the texture will probably be softer. Like shaving, you can do this yourself in the privacy of your bathroom, minus the nicks and cuts. The downside, though, is that depilatory creams can be too harsh for sensitive skins and usually have a strong smell.
For longer-lasting results: Waxing
Think of waxing strips as big Band-Aids that pull the hair out from the roots. Afterwards, you’re smooth and fuzz-free for up to three weeks. Waxing is especially effective for those with thick, coarse hair and can be used to depilate arms, legs, underarms and the bikini area. Over time, waxing reduces hair growth. The key is to get it done by a professional. Sylvia’s Secrets offers a wide range of waxing services, but is particularly popular for its Brazilian wax. Therapists trained by Sylvia herself put you at ease the moment you lie down. Using Caron Quality waxes from Australia and a technique honed over the years, they strip away the unwanted hair. First-timers can be assured that extra care will be taken to help you relax before they start. Still worried about the pain? Pop a painkiller an hour before your session.
The long-term solution: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Dominic Seow of Visage The Salon shares the benefits of IPL hair removal treatments
How is IPL better than shaving or waxing?
Shaving and waxing do not offer long-term reduction or removal of hair. In many cases they can also cause ingrown hair. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you need to shave every three to five days, or wax every two to three weeks. The light used in IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) technology is absorbed by the melanin in the hair and destroys the hair follicles, preventing regrowth.
Is IPL safe for people with darker skin tones?
Most forms of light-based technology are not recommended for removing hair from people with deeper skin tones.
Which IPL technology does Visage The Salon use?
We use the latest light-based technology, called Dynamic Pulsed Light (DPL). It has two functions: IPL, recommended for coarse hair, and DPL for fine hair. For a client whose hair is coarse and dark, the treatment starts with IPL. After a few sessions, when the hair has thinned and become finer, we switch to the DPL function. This dual approach gives better results.
Visage The Salon, #02-11/14 Delfi Orchard, 402 Orchard Road.
6735 6357 | visage.com.sg
Long Term Solution: Silky Smooth IPL Hair Removal Treatment
An IPL treatment that is safe for deeper skin tones is the Silky Smooth IPL Hair Removal Treatment. Unlike traditional treatments that deliver a zap of light to destroy the hair follicle, the hand-piece is swept across the skin to gradually raise the temperature of the dermis and destroy hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue or causing trauma to skin that has more melanin. This means the entire treatment is painless as well as safe for dark or tanned skin.
As the hand-piece is swept across the skin it covers a larger area in a shorter period of time, cutting the number of sessions required to see results. It takes only six to eight sessions to remove 80 to 90 percent of the hair and requires two to three sessions for maintenance over the next two years. Prices start from $150 per session each for underarms and bikini line to $600 per session for full legs. Package prices for six, eight and 10 sessions are also available.
Long Term Solution: Super Hair Removal
Not quite IPL and definitely not laser, this treatment uses broad-spectrum light to gradually warm up and destroy hair follicles without damaging the surrounding tissue. Using frequent repetitions of short pulses, it builds up heat in the deeper layer of the skin to a temperature that successfully destroys hair follicles and prevents them from growing back. Each strand of hair is targeted as the applicator slowly glides over the skin, and the built in cooling system simultaneously keeps skin comfortable throughout the session.
Thanks to this gradual heating method and the cooling system the treatment is virtually painless and there is no risk of superficial burns. As the pulses can only target hair that’s in the growing phase, you will require multiple sessions to completely get rid of all the hair. This treatment is also suitable for those with darker skin tones as there is no danger of the heat being absorbed by the pigment in the skin.
This article first appeared in the May 2016 edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe.
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By Smita DeSouza