In the wintertime many people go for weekson end not worrying about shaving, waxing or any other kind of hair removal – after all, no one notices under all the layers of clothing.  Summer, however, is not as forgiving. With long, balmy days spent at the beach or poolside, the time comes to start considering your hair removal options.

If you’re the kind of person who loves to be smooth like butter when summer arrives then here are some of your go-to hair removal solutions as supplied by the experts at SCIN – a unique and world-class medical aesthetic and cosmetic institute with branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Laser hair removal

According to Dr S’lindile Ndwalane, leading Dermatologist for SCIN @Hyde Park, getting rid of unwanted hair is an age-old issue, with long-term hair removal being particularly in demand – and particularly challenging.  

“During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the protein in the hair follicles that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.”

“It can be done anywhere on the body, including the eyebrow area, and requires multiple sessions for best results,” says Dr Sli.  “Depending on the area of hair removal, you may need about eight to twelve treatments spaced four to six weeks apart. In most cases, hair removal lasts several months, and in some cases it might last for years. When hair grows back, it’s often finer and lighter in color.”

Soprano ICE Platinum laser hair removal

Dr Sli explains that SCIN offers one of the latest, most ground-breaking laser hair removal system in the world called Soprano ICE Platinum, which is the crème de la crème of hair removal treatments.

“SHR’s unique gradual heating method effectively damages the hair follicles while avoiding injury to the surrounding skin.  The technology combines 3 laser wavelengths, simultaneously targeting different tissue depths as well as anatomical structures within the hair follicle. By combining the absorption and penetration levels of three different wavelengths, Soprano ICE Platinum achieves the safest and most comprehensive hair removal treatment available today and on average people can expect permanent hair removal eight to twelve treatments. The only thing that will stimulate the hair to come back is hormone fluctuations that might stimulate hair growth.

Dr Sli advises that it is important that clients get a proper consultation before getting started with any laser hair removal sessions. “In the consultation we establish if laser hair removal is the best course of treatment for a client, taking their medical history and medications into consideration. It’s also very important that the client have hair with pigment otherwise laser hair removal will not work for this specific client.”

Electrolysis

“Electrolysis involves the use of shortwave radio frequencies distributed through fine needles placed directly into your hair follicles. The intention is to destroy the hair follicle so that it doesn’t stimulate new hair growth. This procedure needs to be done by a dermatologist or a certified electrologist,” says Dr Sli.  “Most people need follow-up sessions every week or two and electrolysis can be done anywhere on the body and works for most skin types.”

Professional waxing

Another hair removal option is professional waxing. When hair is removed this way, it’s pulled directly out at the root. “Depending on how fast your hair grows, results may last from two to four weeks. Hair regrowth will also become more sporadic and waxing also helps with ingrown hairs and razor burn.”

“This is a less expensive option than laser hair removal or electrolysis, but you will need to repeat the treatment regularly,” says Dr Sli, who advises that there are many types of waxing suitable for removing unwanted hair.

“Strip waxing (soft wax) is accomplished by spreading a wax thinly over the skin. A paper strip is applied and pressed firmly, adhering the strip to the wax and the wax to the skin. The strip is then quickly ripped against the direction of hair growth, as parallel as possible to the skin to avoid trauma to the skin. This removes the wax along with the hair.”

“Hard wax is applied somewhat thickly and with no cloth or paper strips. The wax then hardens when it cools, allowing easy removal by a therapist without the use of paper or cloth strips.  Hard wax does not adhere to the skin as much as strip wax does, making it a good option for sensitive skin.”

 Chemical depilation

Dr Sli explains that this treatment consists of an over-the-counter gel or cream that you put on your skin. “It works by weakening a protein in your hair called keratin. This causes the hair to fall out and be easily wiped away.”

“Depilation doesn’t target the hair follicle, so the results will be short lived. However, it’s an inexpensive option that you can do at home.  Make sure you use the right type of cream for the area where you want to remove hair,” cautions Dr Sli. “Some creams are formulated for the face, and others for the body or pubic area.  It’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small part of your skin before using chemical depilation on a larger area of your body.”Papain hair inhibitor serum

Papain hair inhibitor serum is the ideal completion for a hair removal treatment.  It penetrates deep into the follicle and contains an active enzyme which breaks down the hair follicle and temporarily blocks the formation of a new hair – prolonging the hair removal treatment’s efficacy.

“It can also be used as a hair removal treatment as over time the enzymes weaken the follicles of hair and precent re-growth when used regularly.  Because of this you will have fewer hairs and the hairs that do grow out will be thinner and less visible.”

“There are many different hair removal treatments available.  Some are pricier but offer semi-permanent or permanent solutions. Others offer more affordable and instant results, such as waxing, but require repeat and ongoing treatments.  For the absolute best results I would recommend opting for Soprano ICE Platinum laser hair removal followed by the Papain hair inhibitor serum.  Alternatively, professional waxing is also a quick solution with instant results.  At SCIN we don’t offer electrolysis as we feel it is not the best solution,” concludes Dr Sli.

For more information contact SCIN Hyde Park in Johannesburg on 010 350 0800, or email hydepark@scinmed.com or contact SCIN Wembley Square in Cape Town on 021 465 6557 or email frontdesk@scinmed.com. visit www.scinmed.com for more information on hair removal solutions.

For Press and Media assistance contact Ian Hamilton Manley of ManleySocial via email ian@publicity.co.za or +27 (0) 82 826 0456.

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