Do laser hair/IPL hair machines really remove your hair?
Once you start Googling laser hair removal or IPL hair removal, you will consistently come across the phrase: “permanent hair reduction.” Reduction does not equal removal, so let me explain further. Laser and IPL machines use a high intensity light that targets and tries to damage melanin (ie – dark hair). If you zap a hair while it is in its growth cycle, laser and IPL permanently damage that hair. Damaging a hair in its growth cycle prevents it from growing back. The problem is, your hair is in various stages of growth and it’s difficult for us to know which hair is in what growth phase. So for example, imagine a 1” square of hair – whether on your arm or leg. That patch will have some hair follicles in the growth cycle, and other follicles in other phases. If you zap that full 1” patch , you are only doing damage to the hairs in the growth phase. This is why you have to be consistent about lasering on a schedule – so over time you end up catching all the hairs in that patch in their growth cycle. Even now that I’m 4 months in, there are random hairs that keep growing back, but I’d say 85-90% of hair has been eliminated.
Where on my body can I use the Silk Expert Pro?
I’ve used the Silk Expert Pro on my face (cheeks and lower), neck, armpits, arms, legs, and bikini line. Braun suggests you avoid genital areas, so I have not done my brazillian.
Does it hurt?
There are times where it hurts more or less. Certain times, it’s been tough getting through a laser session, but that usually means you’re getting a lot of the hairs during their growth phase. The best way I can describe it is each zap feels like you’re being pricked. Each zap also can feel hot (not like a burning feeling – just intense heat). So a prick with intense heat.. but it literally only lasts a second. No lingering pain or anything. I’m at a point where if I don’t have that feeling, I get annoyed because I know it was an ineffective session. Plus there are a few gentle modes to ease you into it – you can always use that if you are sensitive to pain.
Will I be able to use it on myself? Especially on sensitive areas like my bikini?
I have a pain tolerance of zero and am able to do it by myself. I usually put on a TV show or something distracting and go ham. Even if you feel pain, it’s over like a second later, so I’m able to pick it back up. Plus, liquid courage in the form of a glass of wine also helps 🙂
Why do I have to shave before using the machine?
I struggled with this a lot, because a lot of online blogs will tell you that shaving before laser hair removal is unnecessary. Having used the machine myself, I realize why shaving is so important. Remember – the machine is looking for dark hair follicles to zap. If you don’t shave your hair, it will zap the hair, but it may not be at the root-level. Having the machine zap your hair above your skin is kind of useless and won’t solve your purpose. As the months have gone on, I am able to just spot shave where I see hair growth and laser over everything else without shaving.. so it does get better. But to start, I definitely suggest shaving over any hair you want to laser
Does this work for all skin/hair types?
Laser and IPL machines are most effective on lighter-medium skin, and darker hair. Braun has a helpful skin tone and hair color chart, which is posted in our pictures. More importantly, if your hair/skin match isn’t safe to use, the Silk Expert Pro won’t work, which is a nice backstop.
Anything else I should know?
Read the instructions when you get the Silk Expert Pro – it’s very helpful and straightforward. There are 2 options to laser – either pulse method (push button where you want to zap), or a continuous method (hold button down and it will zap every few seconds). I use both for different parts of my body. And always, always moisturize after you’re done for a few days. Also try to avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time or tanning in the few days before and after you use the machine.