Getting rid of unwanted body hair can be painful, expensive and time consuming. Traditional methods like waxing, shaving and epilating are only effective for a couple of weeks. If you want to get rid of excess hair safely, painlessly and permanently, you’ve got to go with laser hair removal.
”Laser hair removal works by using the intense heat of a laser which is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles, damaging the surrounding follicle,” explains [ParkwayHealth](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/health-and-beauty/health_clinics/has/arkwayhealth-china/) dermatologist Dr. Chunlin Yan.
The treatment is a permanent solution to hair removal and works well for delicate areas like the underarms, bikini line and upper lip. It isn’t suitable for people with hirsutism (the technical name for excessive hairiness), pregnant women or those whose skin is extremely vulnerable to light.
Most areas of the body require six to eight sessions because the laser is only effective in one of the three hair growth phases. A gap of four to six weeks between each treatment is advised.
Possible side effects include darkening or lightening of the treated skin and burning or blistering of the treated skin, but Dr. Yan assures us, “Laser hair removal is a safe procedure if carried out by an experienced [technician]. Complications are extremely rare.”
Laser hair removal is available at [Shanghai United Family Hospital’s Dermatology & Laser Skin Center](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/health-and-beauty/health_clinics/has/shanghai-united-family-clinic-minhang/), [ParkwayHealth](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/health-and-beauty/health_clinics/has/arkwayhealth-china/) and [Zeta Spa](http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai/listings/health-and-beauty/massage_bath/has/zeta/). Zeta uses the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved elōs system to damage the follicle and kill the hair.
Prices range from RMB400 for a 15-minute treatment on underarms or upper lip to RMB1,000 for a 60-minute full leg treatment.
When arriving for a session, we were asked about our medical history. The treatment starts with a clean-up of the area, which will then be shaved and dabbed with cooling gel. The lasering itself is six or seven pulses for underarms, bikini line, and upper lip and feels like warm “flicks”; it was painless and we had no scarring or marking afterwards.
You’ll be advised to moisturise well over the next few days and avoid sun exposure, saunas and hot yoga for a week. It’s a small price to pay for smooth, hair-free skin.
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