Do you struggle with removing unwanted hair on certain body parts, and often find yourself resorting to temporary methods like plucking or shaving? While these hair removal methods can be affordable and convenient, they often lead to side effects like rashes, ingrown hair and folliculitis. Further, they can be extremely time consuming too.
Fortunately, we now have more options for permanent hair removal in Singapore, such as laser hair removal. In fact, we believe laser hair removal should be the hair removal treatment of choice if you’re looking for something that’s safe, effective and long lasting for all skin types. Yet, despite high success rates from satisfied customers —93% of our customers say it’s “worth it”—, we find that many Singaporeans are still holding back from lasers because of one factor: price.
Indeed, laser hair removal is the most expensive form of hair removal treatment in Singapore. But could its price well be justified and even more cost effective in the long run? In this article, we explain why this state of the art hair removal method is worth investing in.
What is laser hair removal, and how does it work?
Laser hair removal is a hair removal method that uses light energy from laser machines to permanently destroy or damage hair follicles. This light energy emits a wavelength of light containing a specific single colour. When targeted to hair pigment melanin on skin, it heats up and concentrates on the hair shaft, thus eliminating hair without causing damage to surrounding tissue and skin.
With lasers, hair can either be permanently removed or its density permanently reduced. Permanent reduction in hair density means while hair is significantly lesser, some hair will still regrow unless patients undergo consistent laser treatments. Permanent hair removal of course means hair is completely removed and will not regrow.
The efficacy of laser hair removal treatments is influenced by:
- The thickness and colour of hair being treated
- The colour of your skin
- The quality and type of laser used
- The training and competence of the person operating the laser
It’s worth adding that unlike IPL, lasers work on all hair and skin colours, including darker skin. In fact, lasers require coloured pigments to work well; the beam of light is filtered into a specific wavelength and absorbed by pigment within hair. In a way, the pigment acts as a target for the laser. With that said, if you have grey or white hair with no melanin pigmentation, current laser technologies don’t work.
Are there different types of lasers?
At present, there are three primary types of laser technologies used for hair removal in Singapore:
- Alexandrite Laser (735nm) – used on fair to mid-toned skin with medium to coarse hair
- ND:YAG Laser (1064nm) – used on darker skin with coarse hair
- Diode Laser (810nm) – used on fair to dark skin with fine hair
These devices are used across brand names like Cynosure and Lumenis. Worth noting is the diode laser (810nm) that’s used in a popular laser hair removal treatment known as Super Hair Removal. This low-powered laser delivers short pulses at high repetition rates, thus removing hair without damaging skin. It’s also equipped with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal technology which acts as a cooling system, ensuring that the pulses are extra gentle on skin.
As such, we recommend Super Hair Removal or the diode laser for removing unwanted hair on sensitive areas like the private parts.
How many laser treatments will I need?
This depends on your Fitzpatrick skin type.
Here’s a quick summary on how to classify the different types:
|Fitzpatrick skin type||Features||Tanning ability|
|I||Pale white skin, blonde/ginger hair||Always gets a sunburn instead of tan|
|II||Fair skin and blue eyes||Get sunburnt easily but still can get a poor tan|
|III||Darker white skin||Gets a tan after initial sunburn|
|IV||Light brown skin||Tans easily, minimal burns|
|V||Brown skin||Gets a dark tan, rarely burns|
|VI||Dark brown or black skin||Always gets a dark tan, never burns|
Types 1 and 2: Those with dark hair usually require 4-6 treatments spaced out every 4-6 weeks to achieve permanent hair removal, while those with lighter hair may only achieve a permanent reduction in hair density after 6-12 treatments, each spaced a month apart.
Types 3: Those with dark hair usually require 6-10 treatments done every 4-6 weeks for permanent hair removal, while those with lighter hair require 3-6 treatments done a month apart for permanent hair reduction.
Types 4, 5 and 6: Those with dark hair usually require 6-10 treatments scheduled every 4-6 weeks apart for permanent hair reduction. Maintenance sessions done every 3-6 months are required. Individuals in this category with lighter hair are unlikely to respond to treatment.
Treatments must be scheduled apart long enough to allow new hair growth to reach the level of the hair bulge.
How much do laser hair removal treatments cost in Singapore?
Generally, laser hair removal sessions in Singapore tend to cost about $200-$500 per area. This might appear steep compared to IPL which costs about $50-$200 per area; however, lasers are safer and can deliver better results in fewer sessions.
At least 6 IPL sessions every 4 weeks are required to get the best results from IPL. Since IPL treatments tend to work only on fairer skin, patients are often advised to stay out of the sun for at least 2 weeks before and after their treatment.
In addition, the type of laser used and person administering the device are also factored into the cost of a laser hair removal treatment session. Every laser used must be registered and regulated under laser safety requirements. At our clinic, we also ensure our practitioners are licensed to operate these lasers.
Choosing a treatment method
So when deciding whether to spend on laser hair removal, perhaps it’s important to weigh in not just the tangible costs but intangible costs as well, and to adopt a long term perspective on your goals.