Benefits and Drawbacks of Sugaring vs. Laser Hair Removal
January 03, 2020There is a world of options for hair removal. From the traditional methods of shaving and waxing to definitive methods like laser, everyone gets to choose the most suitable for their skin, pocket, and expected results. This time, we're going to be comparing two very different ways to get rid of unwanted hair: sugaring vs. laser. Is it better to go natural and have your hair grow back or lose it for good? Let's find out!
Sugaring: Hair-Free the Natural WaySugaring is an ancient hair removal method very similar to waxing. It is thought to have been one of the first hair removal treatments ever used, as it had its origins in ancient Persia where it had been used since 1900 BC. It is still used worldwide today. Professional sugaring paste is made with 100 % natural ingredients, and there is no heat needed in the process, so it is thought to be gentler than regular waxing. Sugaring is done by spreading a ball of sugaring paste against the skin and against the direction of hair growth, then flicking the paste with the direction of hair growth. In this sense, it's the opposite to waxing.
Sugaring paste is biodegradable and safe, because this concoction does not breed bacteria and the same ball of paste can be used throughout the procedure, so you'll save on material. The cleanup is also very easy since this paste is water soluble. While sugaring can be done at home, we recommend getting it done by a licensed esthetician at a proper facility, and with professional products.
Laser: Getting Rid of Hair with Advanced ScienceLaser hair removal, on the other hand, is a more modern procedure. This technology consists of a laser beam causing localized damage by targeting and heating dark matter (melanin) located in the hair follicles. The high temperature caused by a laser causes damage to the cells in the hair follicle to the point where it cannot produce more hair, that's why this type of procedure is permanent – or at least long-term. We'll talk more about that later. The expert aims the laser at the hairs, which get scorched on the spot (and the follicle gets damaged because laser penetrates the skin layers).
Laser undoubtedly needs to be done by an expert. Make sure you put yourself in the hands of an experienced dermatologist or esthetician since it's a medical procedure.
Comparing Sugaring vs. WaxingThese methods both have their pros and cons – here are a few that you need to take into consideration when deciding which one suits you best.
PainIt's difficult to pinpoint which one of these procedures is more painful for one person or another. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account, such as skin sensitivity, personal pain threshold, and, in the particular case of laser treatments, skin/hair color.
Sugaring paste generally doesn't require heat, and it only adheres to hair, not to skin, so it is said to be a lot less painful than regular waxing. The discomfort will probably feel similar to that of waxing as the paste is pulled and flicked.
Laser hair removal has been generally described as having a rubber band constantly snapped against the skin. For darker skin tones, it tends to be more painful, as the laser targets melanin. The darker your skin tone is, the more melanin you have, so your skin might get hurt in the process.
MoneySugaring can be quite affordable and similar to those of waxing services, depending on the area you wish to treat and whether you prefer to have it done by a professional or if you are brave enough to do it yourself at home.
Laser treatments are not as affordable. Depending on the area of the body you want treated, a professional laser hair removal treatment can cost between $200 and $900 per session, and you need more than one session to see results. The reason for multiple sessions is that at any given time, the hairs are not in the same growth cycle, so it takes several sessions to tackle all hairs.
There are also home laser hair removal devices – even these can cost between $200 and $500, and most of these devices have ongoing costs, apart from not being as reliable as a professional procedure. This is why we can't stress enough the importance of having an expert perform this procedure on you.
EffectivenessThis can be approached from two different perspectives. First, the immediate effectiveness, and secondly, the long-term effects.
Sugaring is effective immediately, leaving your skin smooth and silky in one session. However, the effects last only as long as it takes the hair to poke out from the skin, which is about three to four weeks. Once this time is elapsed, you'll start seeing hair grow back longer and will need to return for your next appointment.
Sugaring is effective on practically any skin type as it is 100 % natural, and it works with any hair color since it doesn't target pigment. Some estheticians say sugaring can also have a permanent effect in the long run, as it progressively weakens the hair follicle, but this varies greatly among individuals.
Laser treatments take 5-6 monthly sessions to achieve sound results (long-term or permanent absence of hair), so if you need to have the hair on your legs or any other part of your body removed because you are going on vacation in a week, it won't work for you. Laser appointments have to be planned ahead of time.
Laser can destroy the hair follicle and make it unable to produce hair forever. However, although laser has been deemed as the last hair removal treatment you will ever need, this might not be true for everybody, and still after the initial appointments, you will need more reinforcement appointments in the future.
People with fair hair – blonde to white – will not see the best results with this method, because laser tackles the melanin in dark hair best. On the other hand, people with darker skin could even get depigmentation.
Post-treatment careBoth treatments require careful post-treatment routines.
Sugaring post-care is similar to waxing post-care:
- Use natural fabrics and loose clothes to avoid chafing and irritation.
- Apply cooling compresses for irritation of necessary.
- Do not use lotions or exfoliate the area for around 48 hours after the procedure.
- Be careful with sun exposure and if you do get it, wear sunscreen at all times.
- Avoid swimming in the beach or the pool, going to the gym, saunas, or having other cosmetic procedures in the same area for at least 48 hours.
- You must avoid sun exposure for seven full days after the treatment, and religiously slather on sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. Skin will be extremely sensitive to sun exposure and failing to protect it might result in sun damage and hyperpigmentation.
- Forget about sunless tanning products for at least a week.
- Let minimum 2 weeks go by before you have any other skin procedure done.
- Waxing, sugaring, tweezing, are prohibited. The only allowed procedure to get rid of any unwanted hairs is shaving.
- Use an antibiotic ointment if you notice blisters or red, painful areas. Ibuprofen is also recommended.
- Avoid makeup, lotions, fragrances and products of the like for at least 24 hours.
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