Body hair removal is a completely personal choice- some people prefer to be natural and some like to be totally smooth. It seems that triathletes tend to prefer the shaved look- maybe because of the amount of time we spent in swimwear or possibly because it’s said to be more aerodynamic.
There are a lot of different options for body hair removal and I’ve probably tried all of them, before taking the plunge with laser hair removal this year. I’ve had 6 sessions on my bikini line and 3 on my underarms at Therapie Clinic and I’m definitely a convert!
Laser hair removal for triathletes- why it’s a good option
Shaving was my go-to method, however, I had to look for an alternative due to how much it irritates my skin. I’ve suffered badly with saddle sores from cycling and they have been made worse by shaving the area. Shaving can cause inflamed follicles and ingrown hairs, plus razors actually create tiny cuts on your skin’s surface and spread bacteria, which increases the risk of infection. Since I started having laser hair removal, I’ve not had a single saddle sore!
Another major benefit of laser hair removal for triathletes is how time efficient it is. My appointments only take 15-20 minutes for both areas, and now I don’t need to shave as often. Shaving is so tedious and high-maintenance- it only lasts for a few days before feeling stubbly, whereas laser hair removal leaves you permanently smooth!
The benefit of laser hair removal for triathletes over waxing is that you do not need to let the hair grow before appointments.
Everything you need to know about laser hair removal
- Laser hair removal is a permanent form of hair removal, which destroys hair follicles and stops future growth.
- It works by directing an intense beam of light at the hair, which is attracted by the melanin (pigment) inside, causing the hair to heat up and the follicle to be destroyed.
- Hairs can only be destroyed when they are in the active growth (anagen) phase. It’s recommended to have treatments every 6 weeks to catch hairs when they are in the anagen phase.
- Each session reduces hair growth by 10%, so you need 8-10 sessions to completely remove unwanted hair.
- Laser hair removal doesn’t work on blonde, grey, white or red hair as these colours do not produce enough pigment.
- Before each treatment, you must shave the area 24 hours in advance.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
This is the question I get asked most often, and honestly, I can say it doesn’t hurt at all! It feels like a short sharp zap, but the laser machines at Therapie have a jet of cold air which cools and numbs the skin so the sensation isn’t painful.
What happens during a laser hair removal treatment?
- You are taken through into the treatment room and the therapist runs through your medical history and confirms the areas to be treated.
- You remove clothing from the areas to be treated and lie down on the bed. The therapist wipes the skin and marks out the areas with a white pencil. If you have any tattoos near to the area, they are covered so that the laser doesn’t damage them.
- You are given goggles to protect your eyes from the laser. The therapist sets up the machine according to your skin sensitivity and the area to be treated.
- When you are comfortable, the treatment starts. The therapist focuses the laser device onto the desired area and applies several ‘zaps’, while the cold air jet simultaneously keeps the skin cool and comfortable.
- Once the treatment is complete, the therapist applies cooling gel to help healing. You remove the goggles, get dressed and book your next appointment!
Laser hair removal- aftercare
- Something to be aware of as a triathlete is that you must avoid swimming/sweating/workouts for 48 hours after a laser hair removal treatment. I try to take a rest day following my appointment to give my skin a chance to recover.
- You must avoid getting a suntan before treatments- again something to be aware of if you are training outdoors in the summer.
- No deodorants/perfumes/ scented lotion for 48 hours after treatment.
- No active products such as AHA’s, BHA’s and retinol for 3-7 days after treatment.
- No bleach/depilatory cream/waxing, plucking or threading. Shaving is the only method of hair removal to be used prior and during the course of your treatments.
- Apply the laser aid gel 2-3 times a day to soothe and moisturise the skin.
Cons of laser hair removal
The biggest downside of laser hair removal is the expense. It is usually quite pricey, however, Therapie often have special offers and deals for treatment packages. I paid £150 for 6 bikini line treatments.
Laser hair removal isn’t a quick fix. You need a course of 8-10 treatments spread 6 weeks apart, so the final result can take over a year, but it’s worth perserving with. It also isn’t suitable for tattooed skin, so unfortunately I can’t have my legs lasered without damaging my tattoos.
This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links.
What’s your preferred hair removal choice? Have you tried laser hair removal?