How most people get the basics of laser hair removal wrong.


By Caroline Scott, Transform Laser Trainer

When's the right time to start thinking about laser hair removal?

If summertime's what springs to mind you wouldn't be alone. In fact, in 2012 Google searches for "laser hair removal " peaked in August - and for this year it was July.

Laser hair graph

It seems every year as we approach our summer hols, as soon as we start thinking about fake tan top-ups or trying to remember where we last saw our passports, there's also a last minute rush to de-fuzz ourselves. However, our approach to laser hair removal illustrates our collective misunderstanding of this increasingly widespread treatment. Here are the facts:

1) To be effective, a course of hair removal should be spread out over time. Typically, it's a case of treatment every six weeks over several months
2) The absolute worst time to have the treatment is when the sun is shining .

If you've recently sunbathed or plan to, the risk of burning (not tanning!) is substantially increased. In fact, if your practitioner offers to go anywhere near you when the sun is shining or you have a tan, run a mile. They don't have your best interest at heart.

Given this, if you're looking for slinky legs or a smooth bikini line a couple of weeks before you hit the beach, sadly you've left it too late to get the most out of laser treatment. Short of resorting to waxing or "borrowing" your boyfriend's razor, or hoping some style icon is papped sporting their pits au naturelle (a.k.a. doing a "Julia Roberts"), your options are limited.

However, there is a lesson to be learned .... don't let it happen again!

What you can do now (for next time)

1) Get smart about things & sniff out a bargain . From time to time you might spy a laser hair removal offer When you do, go for it. You could save yourself £hundreds (and feel rightly self-satisfied on your next holiday).

2) Start researching who you trust to do you treatment . Provided where you go to has trained staff and high quality lasers (can't overstate this enough - there are a lot of sub-standard lasers out there lurking in the bowels of beauty salons), you'll be well prepared for next year or even a winter sunshine break. Read Farah's story on her laser hair removal treatment.

3) Get a patch test. This is a small test of a laser on a section of your skin. It'll let you know how your skin is likely to react (rather than be disappointed in a years time). 

4) Research your skin type. It's important to understand, not all skin types are suited to laser hair removal. If you have darker skin, it's very important to make sur ethe laser is calibrated for  your skin type. Ask your practitioner about a definition of "Fitzpatrick Skin Types." If they give you a blank look.... run a mile (again)!

Hirsutes you sir! If he's not doing it behind your back, he's probably thinking about it.

Don't forget your man!

While just about every guy under 40 these days seems to be a beard-loving hipster, when it comes to body hair, most men are hiding a secret. A recent survey by Gillette revealed around 50% of men now remove some or all of their body hair. Whilst some of us still like something warm to cuddle up to, the writing is on the wall. If he's not doing it behind your back, he's probably thinking about it.

It's our duty as ladies to make sure he does so is a manner that will deliver aesthetically pleasing results. A month old Gillette Fusion wasn't designed for shoulders or backs. Perhaps you could help him channel his inner Bradley Wiggins a bit better with a trial a laser hair removal course for his mankles at Transform!