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Can facial hair and chin hair be permanently removed?

Aesthetic Medicine Skin, Hair & Nails

I am tired of shaving.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)

Hello,

Thank you for your question. Removal of stubborn hair by shaving can be a time-consuming and frustrating affair.

Currently, the two most popular methods of hair removal are Laser Hair Removal and IPL.

Laser and IPL hair removal both work on the same principle. Light energy is absorbed by melanin found in the hair shaft. The heat is conducted from the hair shaft to the hair follicle / root, damaging it and thereby reducing / preventing hair growth.

Here is a short summary of how they compare over certain key areas:

 

Lasers



IPL Hair Removal

 Technology

Medical grade lasers emit 1 single wavelength of light. 
More precise and penetrate deeper than IPL.

Uses a high output flash lamp to produce pulses of broad-spectrum visible light. 
Less focused than lasers, resulting in less energy being transferred to the hair follicle.

Efficacy

6-10 sessions.

10-20 sessions. More sessions are required than lasers due to the lower amount of energy delivered each session.

Comfort 

Less painful than IPL. Some models are virtually painless.

More uncomfortable than lasers. Feels like “rubber band flicking on the skin”.
Patients with darker skin tone may experience greater discomfort.

Treatment Duration 

Lasers fire in a fraction of a second, hence treatment of large body surfaces such as chest / back / arms and legs will require a shorter duration than IPL.

IPL machines have larger spot size compared to lasers, allowing them to treat larger sections each time.

Safety 

Laser, being more precise, can safely reach its target without damaging surrounding skin.
Safe for all skin types.

Higher energy settings may be required for deeper penetration to achieve good results.
Risk of hyperpigmentation, burns, and blisters.
Not recommended for darker skin types.

Cost 

Per session, laser typically costs more than IPL. However, results are longer lasting, seen more quickly, and a smaller number of sessions is typically required.

IPL is offered by numerous beauty salons and can be very affordable.

 

In summary, both hair reduction methods are great choices. If you desire quick, safe and long-lasting results, laser hair removal may be a better option!

Hope this helps,
Dr Edwin Lim

References:

1) Laser hair removal: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332016

2) Laser and intense pulsed light hair removal technologies: from professional to home use. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22171683

233 views 18 Mar 2019

Hi there,

There is good evidence for long-term hair removal/reduction using laser of suitable wavelengths, such as the long-pulse 1064nm NDYag laser, which is commonly used in clinics in Singapore. Evidence has been found for long-term hair removal efficacy beyond 6 months after repetitive treatments with suitable lasers, whereas the current long-term evidence is sparse for IPL devices. 

The ideal patient to achieve best results for long-term hair removal would be someone with thick and dark terminal hair, fair skin, and a normal hormonal status. Of course, individual response to lasers may vary. Do speak to your doctor to find out if you may be suitable for laser hair removal treatments.  

Best regards,
Dr. Joanna Chan

230 views 18 Mar 2019

Permanent hair removal is done by a series of laser or light-based systems and electrolysis.

Most of the clinics will offer the former services. Usually a series of 6-10 sessions are needed.  The type of laser or light-based systems are important for different skin-typed patients. I like to use the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser - SCITON for the darker skin-type patients ie. Malay or Indian skin color. It has a safer light profile as the 1064nm wavelength light penetrates deeper into the middle layers of the skin and dones not heat up the superificial layers as much to cause a burn. The IPL systems are prone to causing burns, especially for darker skin-typed patients, and on the upper and lower limbs. 

Delivery of the light to the hair bulbs, which are located deeper in the skin, is the fundamental concept in damaging the folliclar cells, leading to removal of the hair.

I remind all my patients that permanent hair removal is about reducing the numbers, thickness, and time for the hair to regrow.  One will still have to come back for regular treatments either half yearly or yearly as the residual hair is sparse and fine.  

Results are very satisfactory for most patients and it is far better than waxing or plucking every few weeks. 

regards,

Dr Benjamin Yim Fu Chuen

Dr Benjamin Yim Clinical Aesthetics & Laser Centre

176 views 27 Mar 2019
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