As the menu of ways to wax, whiten and wow expands, so does the list of hazards. Charmaine Yabsley gets the inside word on laser hair removal


Although this treatment is simple in its outcome, basically killing the hair follicle so that you’ll be hair free forever, it’s imperative that you visit a reputable salon. One salon visitor in the UK found that, instead of hairless, flawless skin, she was left with second-degree burns, blisters and excruciating pain. She may be permanently scarred.


Your practitioner should ask for a full medical questionnaire to be completed, prior to treatment. If they don’t, alarm bells should ring and you should seek treatment elsewhere. Visit for qualified therapists near you.


If you’ve checked out your salon and ensured that your operator has been properly trained (they’ll have certified proof), then keep in mind these other points to ensure your treatment goes well.

“Avoid tanning before and after treatment, as a tan can interfere with the absorption of the laser light,” says Katherine Millar-Shannon, a cosmetic nurse practitioner and owner of Youth on Call.

“These can leave your skin with irregular marks or pigmentation.” Also, avoid the sun after a treatment, so it’s probably best to have the process done during winter. And be realistic about the results. “IPL works best on patients with dark hair and fair skin. If you have different colouring, you’ll still get results, but perhaps not as impactful.”

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