The Best Hair Removal Treatments for Summer
By Kaitlyn Hunter, MedSpa Nurse Practitioner
Summer’s just about here, and like many of my patients, you’re probably ready to bust out those cute shirts, shorts, and skirts. Then you see your armpits or legs and get that sinking feeling: it’s time to shave. Again.
If you’re ready to ditch the razor and have looked into treatments, you probably know that there are a handful available:
- Waxing – temporary and longer-lasting than shaving
- Electrolysis and laser hair removal – permanent, but costly
- BBL – permanent, affordable light-based treatment
As a MedSpa Nurse Practitioner, I personally and professionally recommend waxing and BBL, because they tend to be more affordable and better coverage than shaving or laser hair removal. To help you feel more comfortable with these options, I’ve answered the top questions I hear from potential patients.
Is BBL a good choice for hair removal?
BBL – BroadBand Light – is very similar to laser hair removal, but it’s actually more comfortable and affordable. When you come in for BBL hair removal, you should shave within about 12 hours prior. We then put clear ultrasound jelly all over the skin we’re treating and pulse light into the skin. The light is attracted to color, so your hair will soak up the light easily*. The light travels down the hair into the follicle, where it’ll heat up the hair follicle so hair can no longer grow. This is a permanent solution which takes about two weeks for the hair to fall out.
We do require a series of treatments because hair grows through three multiple growth cycles. If we only do one treatment, we’ll only hit one growth cycle and miss the other two. At Your Wellness Center, we do a series of 6 treatments to ensure we’re hitting those growth cycles twice. This will give you a full coverage, permanent solution.
*It should be noted that you need to have pigment in your hair. Any light, white, or very blonde hair cannot be treated, which is where we recommend electrolysis. This option allows you to permanently remove that light hair or the peach fuzz on your face.
How painful is BBL?
There are areas that are a little more sensitive, but I wouldn’t say the treatment is painful by any stretch. We do have some devices in our office to help the treatment be a little more comfortable. One of them is called the Zimmerman Chiller. It’s basically a hose that blasts cold air on your skin to decrease the temperature.
What are the side effects of BBL?
There really aren’t a lot of side effects that you have to worry about:
- Skin will be a little sunburnt pink, maybe a little red, for a few hours post-treatment from the heat
- Perifollicular edema, which is a little swelling or tiny bumps around the hair shaft
- Itching or irritation if you shaved right before treatment (put lotion on it to help)
Other than those three things – both of which will go down quickly – there really isn’t much else to worry about.
Is waxing a good choice for hair removal?
Waxing is another treatment for hair removal that we offer in our office. Waxing is beneficial for a lot of individuals, especially those that are on a tight budget. Unlike BBL, waxing does require that you grow your hair out between sessions. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your personality and goals.
Waxing is a pretty tolerable treatment. It simply removes the hair from the follicle, so it is a temporary hair removal solution. It requires maintenance based on how fast your hair grows (usually every 4-6 weeks). To compensate for the frequency of maintenance, waxing is typically a lower cost (you basically pay per wax).
Can I get hair removal if I’m tanning?
Can I get hair removal if I’m tanning?
No, you cannot have an active tan if you want to get any type of hair removal. This means you:
- Can’t be tan
- Can’t be wearing sunless tanner lotion on
- Can’t have a spray tan
This is a bigger no-no for BBL, because as I mentioned before, the light loves color. It doesn’t recognize the difference between the color in your skin and the color in your hair. It’s simply going to go after any color it sees. So if you have a tan, the light can target this color and can actually hypopigment your skin.
If you are in the sun frequently during summer, I would recommend starting the series in the fall to ensure there isn’t any tan on your skin. If you’d like to start this spring, we can discuss in your consultation what practices you can take to protect your skin as you go through the series.
Have you ever tried permanent hair removal and did it work for you?
Yes! I have tried BBL. If you’ve been waxing for many years, I would highly suggest switching to BBL because it’s going to save you a lot of time and money in the long run. With BBL hair removal, all you do is pay for the package upfront and then come in for your treatments. I’ve personally done BBL on my armpits and legs. It’s wonderful to not have to spend so much time shaving! Plus, the treatment for me was really, really easy.
If you have any other questions for me about permanent hair removal, please give us a call about 513-791-9474. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more information.