Come again? News to me…I don’t know about you beauty junkies but I’ve been hearing the term “Super hair SHR floating around…and it peaked my interest. Afterall, isn’t all laser hair removal the same? No, apparently not. Which kinda makes sense…have any of you ever had a series of laser hair removal sessions only for nothing to happen? Correction, something did happen – the damn hair grew back!
So, this got me thinking…what is the best type of laser hair removal? Afterall, laser hair removal machines came on the scene 10 years ago, it stands to reason that there have been some advances in technology since then right? Bear with me as I attempt to break down this new-wave technology, so we can all hopefully work out what’s right for us.
All of the lights…
So how does standard laser differ from SHR? And what about IPL? Isn’t that a laser too? all 3 hair removal lasers use targeted light (the laser) to affect the hair follicle, heating it up and essentially killing it so that it cannot grow hair anymore. The difference is basically the type of light, laser is a one-shot deal; an intense pulse of light, standard IPL laser is similar but uses a scattered light pattern to target the follicle. SHR treats the area by heating up the hair follicle slowly, using multiple flashes of light.
So, what does that mean for me?
Well for starters, talk to your clinician about the colour of your skin and hair. They will then determine which type of laser hair removal is suitable for you and if you are a candidate for SHR. Basically the hair needs to be darker than your skin tone as the light is attracted to the darkest thing it finds…and if it’s not the hair then the surrounding skin cops the heat, so to speak.
How does SHR work?
Well, despite heating up the hair slower – SHR is much faster treatment (due to the multiple lights). The treatment takes far less time to perform (we are talking HALF the time people!) as well as your clinician being able to treat much larger areas with ease. Rather than a stamping motion – the laser is rolled back and forth over your skin, making treatments much more comfortable. Instead of an intense zapping, it’s more of a warm tingle. The best part? The results usually last longer!
Ok so now the super part is making sense – its faster, with zero pain AND longer lasting. I’m pretty sure that’s a trifecta in anyone’s eyes.
Most places that offer SHR will have standard IPL also, which is great as it’s still a fantastic tool and can be used to treat smaller more difficult areas.
A few other honorable mentions – SHR is considered a safer treatment overall. This is due to the slower heating process, making it preferable for those with more sensitive skin types as well. Another perk is that whereas traditional IPL excluded those that did not have fairly light skin and dark hair, there is a bit more wiggle room when it comes to treating those with a darker complexion or tanned skin.
Another benefit to SHR is its FANTASTIC for those pesky ingrown hairs. A friend of mine was plagued with ingrowns and literally everything she tried failed. Yet she swears up and down since getting SHR, she has not had ONE. Pretty impressive stuff.
OK so that’s about it folks. I hope that de-mystified SHR and if it’s the right type of laser hair removal for you. It’s important to remember, everyone’s body differs – I have plenty of hair-free friends that got laser many moons ago, the results lasted, and they are as pleased as punch. I also have others who have had to “top up” their results with a couple of sessions later down the line. Speak to your clinician and find out which type is most likely to yield the best results for YOU.
And on a final note - the body is an impressive thing, capable of healing and rejuvenating itself. Which is why those damn hair follicles are sometimes able to repair themselves after being dormant for a long period of time. I know, so unfair…why can’t it repair those crow’s feet that came in a few years ago? Or those laugh lines…come on body – get on it!!!
I’ll keep you posted…