Wax is applied to leg

Hair removal

Permanent hair removal: The best methods at a glance

May 2, 2022

Summer is getting closer and closer and as the temperatures rise, so does the desire for permanently smooth skin. Who doesn't know it: daily shaving is strenuous, time-consuming and a thankless task - before you know it, the first stubble appears.

Woman in bathtub
Source: Elina Fairytale/pexels

We all dream of long-lasting hair-free legs and a bikini area without stubbly hairs Razor burn, ideally without much effort. More and more women and men are therefore opting for a permanent solution: There are now numerous methods for permanent hair removal that make razors and epilators look old.

But: Not every variant is for all skin and skin types Hair types suitable - here the chances of success can vary greatly. In our article you will find out which hair removal is best for you and which treatment will keep your skin smooth for the longest time. We will also introduce you to the advantages and disadvantages of five different methods of permanent hair removal and tell you what you need to pay attention to when choosing.  

Permanent hair removal methods: Enjoy smooth skin thanks to laser 

With the help of the classic permanent hair removal method Laser treatment, also for men, your unwanted hairs are literally fought at the root: The laser beam sends a precisely dosed light pulse onto the skin, which is transmitted via the hair to the hair root (follicles). Melanin (the dye of your natural hair color) absorbs the light energy and converts it into heat, which in turn permanently destroys the surrounding hair-producing cells so that no hair grows back. The laser is guided centimeter by centimeter over the shaved skin.

This treatment must be carried out professionally, because depending on your skin and hair type, the impulse strength and energy strength are individually adjusted in advance to your hair and skin type.

At Sanft und Schön in Berlin Mitte we work with a special one diode laser-Technology that reaches three different wavelengths (755 nm, 808 nm, 1064 nm) with one handpiece. In contrast to classic laser treatments, which only work smoothly on dark hair on light skin, the high-performance laser modules of diode laser technology guarantee an effective, gentle treatment that can be used on all skin and hair types. Thanks to the variable wavelength Hair follicles in different skin depths as well as different Skin types can be reached and permanently destroyed without affecting the surrounding tissue. 

The 755 nm wavelength (also Alexandrite laser called) has a strong melanin absorption and is therefore particularly suitable for superficial, light or thin hairs. 

The Speed ​​Hair Removal with a wavelength of 808 nm, on the other hand, has a moderate melanin absorption, but penetrates very deeply into the hair follicles - ideal for darker skin types. By the way, the name says it all: If you want quick and effective permanent hair removal, you can't go wrong with this laser gold standard.  
We recommend this for particularly dark skin types Nd:YAG lasers with a wavelength of 1064 nm, which only absorbs melanin in small quantities. This laser reaches even the deepest hair follicles, meaning that even deep, firmly anchored hairs can be removed without any problem. Determine your skin type in this article.

Permanent hair removal methods
Source: AndriyShevchuk/shutterstock

Advantages and disadvantages of laser treatment

  • Normally, after the 'laser' hair removal method, you will have peace of mind from unwanted hairs for at least a year - often even several years - because the hair roots have been permanently damaged. 
  • do grow back, they are often fewer, much lighter and thinner hairs.
  • In addition, this permanent hair removal method is virtually painless. During the treatment you will usually only feel a slight tingling sensation, which is the reaction to the hair root in the follicle becoming obliterated.  
  • Three-wave diode lasers make treatment possible for all skin types.
  • The disadvantage of laser hair removal is the lengthy treatment period: depending on the part of the body and size, you have to expect six to eight treatments at intervals of around six weeks. The reason for this is that your hair can only be treated during active growth phases. If the hair root is caught in the resting phase, the desired effect will not be achieved. Normally only 15 to 30 percent of the hair is in the growth phase. In order to target all of the hair in its active state, treatment must be carried out over a longer period of time.
  • Permanent hair removal using laser (apart from the three-wave diode laser) is not suitable for every hair type: Patients with light or gray hair are not advised to use the method because the hairs contain too little or no melanin and do not separate sufficiently from adjacent skin areas lift up. 
  • If, on the other hand, the skin is very dark, the laser does not even reach the hair root, but is absorbed on the surface of the skin, which can result in burns. 
  • Even very thin hair cannot be captured and removed by the laser. 

Who is laser treatment suitable for? 

In general, the darker the hair is when lasered, the better, because the laser needs contrast. Dark hair on light skin is ideal for laser treatment. Laser hair removal is also suitable for any part of the body – provided the area is not tattooed. This would not only destroy the hair roots, but also the tattoo.

Risks you should know about laser hair removal you can find it here.

Permanent hair removal with IPL: The solution for at home? 

Similar to laser treatment, IPL-Hair removal (Intense Pulsed Light) Light pulses are sent to the hair root and converted into heat there, causing the hair root to become desolate and the hair to fall out. The biggest difference between the two methods for permanent hair removal lies in the type of light used: IPL uses intense pulsed light: Here, the hair is exposed over a large area to a wide spectrum of rays of different wavelengths. The pulsed light is absorbed by melanin and directed to the hair root, which heats up as a result. In most cases, however, the hair does not fall out immediately, but is only shed by the body after about one to two weeks.  

For some time now, IPL devices have also been available for self-use. However, many users complain that the hair does not completely disappear despite regular, correct use. This is simply because the IPL home devices work with a significantly lower light intensity in order to prevent burns.

Permanent hair removal methods
Source: Cliff Booth/pexels

Advantages and disadvantages of IPL treatment

  • Whether hair removal on the legs, in the bikini area or in the armpits - the IPL method can basically be used on any part of the body. 
  • Unlike laser treatment, IPL hair removal works faster because a larger area of ​​skin is irradiated and several hairs are destroyed at the same time. 
  • IPL can also be used at home.
  • The IPL method promises a long-lasting effect. If you repeat the application regularly, you can significantly reduce hair growth in the treated areas of the body - without the annoying daily shaving.  
  • In addition, the hair becomes lighter and finer. Thanks to individual setting options on the IPL device regarding the melanin content of the skin, the procedure is gentle on the skin and low-risk.  
  • The main problem with IPL hair removal is that due to the large spectrum of radiation, not only hair roots but also tattoos or skin vessels are exposed to high light energy. The basic rule is: Nothing should be exposed that is not the aim of the treatment!  
  • Despite the fact that the IPL procedure works quickly, several sessions are required. 
  • The rumor that the IPL variant is more harmless and painless is unfortunately not true: the method does not work without pain. 
  • In addition, the risk of incorrect treatment increases because anyone can purchase an IPL device and use it without any qualifications. 
  • Treatment with IPL is only possible when the hair root is currently in the growth phase and is not suitable for patients with light hair. 

Who is IPL treatment suitable for? 

The deciding factor in the effectiveness of IPL use – as with laser – is the hair color. As a result, IPL is particularly suitable for dark hair types, as the higher proportion of melanin makes it possible for the hair roots to be heated by light. Above all, the hair must be darker than the skin, as is the case with lasers. The greater the color contrast, the better.  

But be careful: your skin is relatively dark? Then you should opt for professional laser hair removal, as it is more selective. The energy is focused exclusively on the hair follicle and not on the surrounding skin. For dark skin types, laser treatment is the safer choice.  

Permanent hair removal methods – SHR for silky smooth skin

The abbreviation SHR stands for Great hair removal and is a further development of the IPL treatment. This new technology for permanent hair removal uses the 'in-motion method'. This means that the area of ​​skin to be treated is repeatedly scanned and heated with the laser head - similar to an iron. Light pulses are continuously delivered to the skin, which are absorbed by the surrounding tissue and passed on to the hair root. The heat energy changes the root's growth proteins, making it unable to produce new hair. Unlike the IPL technique, not one strong impulse, but rather several small impulses are given to the skin. The SHR method works with low energy and a higher repetition rate.

A woman's armpit is treated with care product
Source: MurrrPhoto/pixabay

Advantages and disadvantages of SHR treatment

  • The SHR treatment is a particularly gentle method of permanent hair removal. It is therefore particularly gentle on the skin and is largely painless and without the risk of burns.  
  • With this technology, the body's own dye melanin is only 50 percent crucial for optimal heat transfer to the hair root. The SHR laser also affects the stem cells that are responsible for hair production and therefore hair growth.  
  • Due to the low energy density in combination with the high repetition rate, the skin is warmed gently. To clarify: IPL hair removal involves heating to 70 degrees, whereas with SHR technology the tissue is only heated to 45 degrees.  
  • This means that even lighter hair can be treated better and removed permanently. 
  • But even with SHR hair removal, hair that is in the resting phase cannot be reached and removed. So patience is required, because several sessions are necessary to successfully and permanently treat all hair in the growth phase.  
  • Tattooed skin areas should also not be treated: the risk that the colors will react to the light impulses and change is quite high. 

Who is SHR treatment suitable for? 

The SHR treatment offers a wide range of applications: Since the technology requires less energy and heat, this permanent hair removal method is suitable for all patients - regardless of age, hair color and skin type. Light skin types and people with light hair can also enjoy permanently smooth skin thanks to the SHR process. However, if you have dark skin or dark hair, make sure that little energy is used, as the larger proportion of melanin absorbs the energy of light particularly well.  

Needle epilation: Permanent hair removal using electricity

The Needle epilation - also called electroepilation - is a method of permanent hair removal in which each hair is removed individually at the root. A fine probe, tailored to the respective hair thickness and follicle depth, is inserted along the hair into each hair canal individually up to the hair root. A precisely measured shock of electricity sent directly into the hair follicle destroys it and prevents new hairs from growing back. Finally, the hair is removed with tweezers.

There are three different types of needle epilation: Electrolysis uses direct current, which destroys the follicle using a chemical reaction. The second method – this Thermolysis – destroys the hair root using high-frequency alternating current through heat. The third method, the so-called 'blending method', is a combination of the first two forms, in which alternating current is used for acceleration. The hair removal process is the same for all methods, they just differ in how they work.

Permanent hair removal methods
Source: Victoria Alexandrova/unsplash

Advantages and disadvantages of needle epilation

  • Needle or electroepilation is not limited to a specific skin or hair type. Compared to most other methods for permanent hair removal, it manages to remove hairs from even light hair types consistently and easily.  
  • Another advantage of this application is that it is carried out at specific points: the current pulses are sent precisely to the affected area without damaging the surrounding skin. Needle epilation is therefore particularly suitable for areas of skin that are marked by birthmarks or tattoos.
  • This type of hair removal is the most permanent and only method that stops hair growth for years. The treatment therefore has a very good chance of success – provided the hair root is completely destroyed.  
  • It should be clear that electroepilation is an extremely time-consuming procedure: each hair is treated individually, and only small areas of skin. A trained specialist can manage between 300 and 800 hairs per hour.  
  • If you don't work carefully, the chances of success are slim: If the electrical impulse isn't enough to destroy the hair root, it can still irritate it, causing the hair to grow even stronger than before. 
  • If done incorrectly, scars may even be left behind. It is therefore particularly important to seek out an expert in this area.  
  • Compared to other permanent hair removal methods, this treatment is also the most expensive and painful. How severe the pain is depends on the type of current. Many patients therefore request local anesthesia. Although there is a painless variant in which the hair is simply grasped with special current-carrying tweezers, irritation of the hair root can cause the hair to grow back particularly bristly in this case.  

Who is needle epilation suitable for? 

Needle epilation promises success for every skin and hair type – whether light or dark. In contrast to other permanent hair removal methods, you don't necessarily have to have a specific hair type. But here too, dark hair is a little easier to remove than light hair, as the latter is usually finer and therefore more difficult to destroy. However, even patients with fair skin and light hair can achieve good results after a few sessions. In addition, electroepilation is particularly suitable for small and tattooed areas of the body.  

Old but Gold: hair removal with wax

Actually, that is Waxing of course not a method of permanent hair removal. However, it still offers an optimal alternative for anyone who is still undecided as to whether they actually want to say goodbye to unwanted hairs completely. Thanks to hair removal with wax, you can enjoy smooth skin for up to four weeks and can safely leave the razor or epilator in the bathroom cupboard for now. In our cosmetic studio Sanft & Schön in Berlin Mitte you can have your hair professionally treated Warm wax have removed. To do this, the warmed, liquid wax is first applied to the area of ​​the body to be treated using a wooden spatula. After a few seconds, in which the wax hardens, it is suddenly removed along with the hair root - against the direction of hair growth. By the way: Waxing not only removes annoying hairs from the face, but also dead skin cells and blackheads and is therefore ideal if you shrink large pores want. 

Wax is applied to leg
Source: Africa Studio/shutterstock

Advantages and disadvantages of waxing

  • A clear advantage of warm wax epilation is the thorough and long-lasting effect: Since the hair is removed along with the root, it takes between two and eight weeks to grow back again.
  • Waxing is also more hygienic and safer than many other permanent hair removal methods. The risk of causing unsightly infections or inflammation is significantly lower.  
  • And last but not least: Your hair growth is significantly slower on areas of your body that are regularly waxed. So you can enjoy smooth skin for longer. In addition, the hair grows softer and finer after waxing and does not leave any prickly stubble behind.  
  • The treatment is certainly not completely painless - especially the first time - but with each session the hairs become finer and fewer, so the pain decreases. 
  • In general, the waxing method only works on hairs that are at least 0.4 cm long. So you have to be able to live with a slight fuzz on your skin before the treatment.  
  • The waxing method is also very complicated for inexperienced people. In addition, hair that has not been removed correctly at the root grows back even faster. It is easiest and safest if you leave the waxing to a professional.  

Who is waxing suitable for? 

(Semi-permanent) hair removal using wax is suitable for almost everyone. Even for light hair and skin types, waxing is an effortless way to get rid of unwanted hair in the long term and without spending a lot of time. You can use it on all parts of the body and hairs that bother you. However, the waxing method is not suitable for people who suffer from sensitive skin or who struggle with allergies and skin diseases.  

Permanent hair removal methods: The right treatment for you

Silky smooth and radiant skin – long-lasting without any effort: There are numerous methods for permanent hair removal that will make your dream come true and banish annoying hairs for (almost) forever. Each procedure has its own advantages and disadvantages and is not suitable for everyone. No matter which method you choose: In any case, you should consult a specialist and have the treatment carried out professionally, because they will provide you with detailed and individual advice. In a preliminary discussion, all of your open questions will be answered and your concerns will be addressed. At Sanft & Schön in Berlin Mitte, we see it as our job to ensure that you feel completely comfortable. Because permanent hair removal can be an intimate moment - it's all the more important that you have a professional at your side that you can trust.

Always remember: Permanent is relative and hair growth differs from person to person. Hair growth can of course change again due to hormonal changes or genetic predisposition. Permanent hair removal does not work overnight, but is a longer process that often requires several treatments. You also need to be particularly careful after each session so as not to put additional strain on your already irritated skin. Healthy skin care is therefore essential after hair removal!

We are also happy to be in Berlin for facial treatments like this Microneedling, one Aquafacial as well as Microdermabrasion/-or Acne treatments there for her.

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