I can’t believe I didn’t have laser hair removal sooner. Everyone who’s had it says the same. The results are trulyimpressive and genuinely save time in your beauty routine long-term (for those that choose to remove their body hair). I was invited to undergo a course of laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, which has several branches in London. Although the group offer a range of procedures including CoolSculpting and skin treatments, the clinics specialise in laser hair removal, so I knew I’d be in good hands.
Pulse Light Clinic uses Candela’s GentleMax Pro laser, which treats indications such as benign pigmentated lesions and wrinkles as well as performing permanent hair reduction. The platform combines both 755 nm Alexandrite and 1064 nm Nd:YAG wavelengths, has multiple spot sizes from 1.5mm up to 24mm, a patented dynamic cooling device which scales with fluence and provides consistent protection; and a Plus Air Cooling option to help with any discomfort during treatments. A Pulse Light Clinic senior consultant says: “There are some lasers on the market that do not cater to darker skin tones as safely and effectively as the Max Pro. This laser penetrates deeper than most, missing the upper layers of skin where the pigment lies, making it one of the safest lasers on the market for laser hair removal, with very low instances of side effects. This means we can target Asian and Black skin tones safely and effectively.”
I chose to undergo treatment on my underarms and bikini line, with eight treatments spaced six weeks apart, though multiple lockdowns meant it wasn’t possible to stick to my treatment plan and ideal frequency of sessions. At the time of writing, I’m five treatments into the plan, which may have to be extended to account for the extended break between my last appointment and the next, but I’ll find out at my next appointment.
Pulse Light’s laser technicians are friendly, efficient and super experienced, which has made my experience so far as pleasant as I imagine laser hair removal can be. Both areas are treated in under 15 minutes, and while it certainly isn’t painless (especially on the bikini area), the actual application of the laser is over so quickly that it’s more than manageable; and the Gentle Max Pro’s cooling nozzle is designed in a way that means the technician can hold the constant stream of gentle cold air on the treatment area at the same time as firing the laser, hugely increasing comfort.
My technicians used a spot size of 18mm as hairs are usually deeper rooted in the underarm and bikini areas. As we progressed through the treatments a fluence (fl/joules) of 16j was used because the hair had lost some of its pigment and the texture had become finer. A lower setting wouldn’t work on finer hairs, I’m told. In terms of pulse duration, 10ms was used on my underarms as it is a smaller area and not as sensitive as the bikini, where 20ms was used to give a shorter, slower pulse to help reduce discomfort.
After just two treatments I started to notice that it was taking much longer for the hair to grow back after shaving (which is allowed between appointments), extending my hair-free periods greatly. I also noticed that when the hair did grow back, it was beginning to come through much lighter and finer than before. Although eight sessions are generally needed, followed by a top-up after two or so years once the initial course is completed, the sessions are spaced far enough apart and the appointments themselves are so quick that the process doesn’t feel like a slog. Depending on a patient’s pain threshold, it could be more painful than they’ve been led to believe, but they’ll soon realise it’s worth it.