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All brides (and bridesmaids!) are expected to look flawless on the wedding day…and that also means hairless! Nowadays, there’s a variety of hair removal treatments that brides can choose from- but which one is best for you? Here we learn about waxing, laser, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments and ask experts which one brides should choose: 

First, the basics: What’s the difference between wax, laser, and IPL treatments?

Waxing uses a pulling principle that pulls out the hair from the root of the hair follicle. The results are only temporary though! For laser and IPL, machines are used to generate an intense light energy directly onto the hair follicles, destroying the growing cells of the hair. Laser achieves a more lasting result than IPL since laser only uses one pure light which is the strongest and very concentrated onto the hair follicle. IPL, however, uses many different colours of light, which is more diffused, resulting in a less permanent result. 

Waxing Hair Removal Salon Lavar 1

Photo Credit: Lavar Waxing Salon

So…does that mean waxing is painful? How about IPL and laser treatements?

Many people think that waxing is painful. They think of a fast rip and a high pitched scream! But actually, with good quality wax, the process is not that painful. “Our patients are usually very surprised after the process is over,” says Shin Yann Ow, founder of Honeypot Wax Boutique, which has branches all over Asia. “They tell me that they barely felt anything.” The type of wax you use determines how painful the process will be. With high quality wax, there’s less irritation and therefore less pain. For IPL and laser, the client will feel a slight sting, similar to being flicked with an elastic band. But laser is less painful than IPL because IPL emits hundreds of wavelengths that only heats up the skin.

Waxing Hair Removal Salon Honeypot 2

Photo Credit: Honeypot Wax Boutique

And how should I prepare for my waxing appointment?

Before you wax, it is better to stop shaving 2 weeks prior to the treatment. It might seem gross but if you want to get best results, put down that razor! Make sure you leave at least 2-10mm of hair in the desired area for the best results. If you have ingrown hairs caused by shaving, exfoliate before your treatment so you can clear the dead cells. 

Waxing Hair Removal Salon Honeypot 1

Photo Credit: Honeypot Wax Boutique

What should I use for my legs, arms, under-arms, back, etc?

Traditional wax is more suitable for legs, arms, and also the back area. It’s usually used on larger areas of the body. “In traditional waxing, we place a paper strip onto the wax and then peel it off,” says Bingo Shum, a waxing therapist at Lavar in Hong Kong. “It is better to use this on your legs and other less sensitive areas.” After the treatment, however, this traditional waxing method will usually lead to redness so make sure you apply aloe vera gel to let your skin relax! If you’re trying new products, try them at least 3 months before your wedding day so you know whether it irritates your skin or not. After you get used to the product, get your waxing done a week before your wedding day (not the day before!) in case there are last minute irritations. Treatments can be repeated for 1 to 2 times in a month. If you shave, it is better to allocate 3 weeks for hair to grow before your next waxing treatment. After you wax, you can try to do IPL treatments regularly for maintenance, says Ow. That’s the best way to get into your bridal hair removal regimen. If you do laser or IPL on your body parts, it is suggested to repeat the treatment every 8 to 10 weeks.

Waxing Hair Removal Salon Lavar 6

Photo Credit: Lavar Waxing Salon

What should I use for my face? 

For facial waxing, you’re better off using “hard wax” because this kind of wax is less painful and is least irritable to your skin. You’ll want to be careful with what you use on your face and out products at least 6 months before your big day. You don’t want to show up with a blotchy, red face on your wedding day! Once the hard wax is placed on your skin, peel it off, let it cool down, and watch it shrink. That’s when it grabs onto your hair and peels it off. “With hot wax, it’s the same, you’ll want to find products you can trust,” says Ow. “Find products that are Australian made, tested by a chemist, and natural. You’ll want to the best products out there for your face.” Oh, and don’t worry about hair growing back thicker on your face- that’s actually a myth! With regular waxing, you’ will find that the new hair actually becomes softer, lighter and sparser. If you decide to laser off the hair on your face, that doesn’t mean it’s gone forever! You’ll still need to go in regularly for treatments to keep the hair off. People should wait 3 to 4 weeks for a treatment between each facial waxing because the skin here is rather sensitive. If you are going to do laser or IPL on your face, you can go for a treatment ever 4 to 6 weeks.

Waxing Hair Removal Salon Lavar 5

Photo Credit: Lavar Waxing Salon

What should I use for my bikini line?

Getting a Brazilian wax also involves using hard wax, which can remove small hairs up to 1mm in length! Clients can also request their therapists to do wax unique shapes or even add Swarovski crystals to the area, a popular request for brides-to-be, according to Shum. So, here’s the burning question: How badly do Brazilian waxes hurt? “For a 20-minute Brazilian wax, there may only be 1 or 2 pulls that might be a bit more sensitive,” says Shum. “Usually for first-timers, it is less painful than they expected!” After getting a Brazilian wax, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for hair to grow back. Afterwards, you’ll have to do another waxing treatment. If you do laser or IPL, most clients will probably need to make an appointment every 6 to 7 weeks.

Laser Hair Removal Salon Lavar 1

Photo Credit: Lavar Waxing Salon

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