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    Laser Hair Removal

    Ladies, you know you are really old school if you are still shaving and waxing! No, of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but there are much easier and more long-term ways to achieve that smooth, hair-free appearance wherever you think you need it.

    For me, winter has always been the ‘lazy time’ when nobody sees your legs, you don’t need a bikini wax and you can skip the hair-removing ritual. I can however, also remember just how red my face was on the few occasions that I had neglected to do the hair removal thing and the situation presented itself where I would dearly have liked to have been hair free. Besides, your partner would probably really appreciate not being scratched by hairy stubble when getting into bed with you!

    Laser Hair Removal

    Laser hair removal can get rid of unsightly body or facial hair which means no more daily shaving or monthly waxing and best of all, no more stubble or ingrown hairs.

    During treatment, a laser emits energy that travels through the skin and is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle. The energy from the laser damages the hair follicle, which impairs its ability to grow hair. For the best results, hair must be darker than the skin, which is why it is more successful on untanned or lighter skin. Lighter coloured hair has less pigment and thus will not absorb energy from the laser as well as darker hair. With our new technology laser equipment hair removal may be done successfully on individuals of all skin and hair types, excluding grey, red or white hair.

    Hair Growth

    All the hair on our body follows a growth (anagen phase) and rest (telogen phase) cycle which is why a few laser hair removal treatments over a period of time is needed to get rid of all unwanted hair. Only hair in the growth phase has the pigment needed for the laser to be effective, which is why white, red or grey hair cannot be treated in this way because there is no pigment present. For those situations, electrolysis is usually recommended.

    As soon as the hair in the growth phase has been removed, hair follicles in the resting phase will become active and enter the growth phase, and that is why you will see new hairs appearing about a week after treatment.Only then can these be treated as well. A treatment may only get about30% of the visible unwanted hair as the rest of the follicles are in the resting phase and do not have enough pigment for the laser to detect its presence, hence the need for a series of treatments (a rough guideline is anything between 8-12 sessions, which will be very patient specific).

    In general, facial hair is more difficult to treat as it is hormone dependent, and laser hair removal on the face is more difficult than on the body.

    Ingrown Hair

    Also known as razor bumps, hair bumps or shaving bumps, these can be caused by shaving, waxing or often seen in people with very curly hair. Instead of growing out through the skin, the hair curls back or sideways under the skin as it starts growing, causing inflammation and unsightly bumps.

    For the men that need to shave daily, it may help to shave only in the direction of the hair growth, not to repeat razor strokes over the same area and shaving only after one’s shower which will help to soften the beard.

    Spoilt for Choice

    At Body Renewal there are various great hair removal machine choices available and the one best suited to your needs will be recommended:

    • The Cutera Nd™: YAG is a very diverse hair removal laser for all skin types and recommended for ingrown hair.
    • The ProWave™ is a fourth generation IPL device which is more effective in lighter skin types (Fitzpatrick I-IV).
    • The Lightsheer® is a diode laser capable of treating all skin types and hair colours excluding white or grey hair.
    • The E-Max Hair Removal System™ combines diode laser and radiofrequency in order to treat all skin types and hair colours, except white or grey.

    Abnormal hair growth and health concerns

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)is the most common metabolic disorder of reproductive-age women. It affects about 10% of all women of child bearing age, and most of them don’t know they have it.

    Symptoms of PCOS include: Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on chin or chest, stomach, back), irregular or absent periods, less frequent ovulation or infertility, acne or frequent breakouts, exhaustion or lack of mental focus (due to alterations in blood sugar), depression, abnormal cholesterol levels (high LDL or low HDL), hair loss on scalp or male pattern thinning, decreased sex drive, skin tags and weight gain or obesity.

    It is considered to be more of a syndrome than a disease because it manifests itself through a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination, rather than having one known cause or presentation. As a syndrome it affects more than just the reproductive system. Women with PCOS are higher risk for endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer and insulin related conditions, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. They also have a great risk of infertility, poor ovulation, recurrent miscarriage and complications during pregnancy.

    There are four types of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which are explained in more detail on the PCOS webpage:

    • Insulin-Resistant PCOS
    • Pill-Induced PCOS or Post-Pill PCOS
    • Inflammatory PCOS
    • Hidden-Cause PCOS

    The most accurate way of testing if you have PCOS is through a series of blood tests, in conjunction with ultrasounds. PCOS is not a permanent condition and the good news is that once the right diagnosis has been made by a Health Renewal doctor, you can say goodbye to PCOS with a comprehensive treatment plan, which will include lifestyle recommendations, diet guidelines and correct supplementation, depending on each individual’s needs.

    Perhaps it is time to be free from those hairy legs as well as any health concerns you might have.

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