The use of the term 'permanent' in the industry is slightly misleading. Permanence in this instance actually just means 'lasting a long time'. Some users do experience very long lasting results i.e. permanently; however, many users only benefit for a few months. The most common permanent hair removers available are electrolysis, flashlamp and laser. Costs vary depending on who performs the treatment (i.e. professional or home kit) and the number and length of sessions required. The main types are:
Electrolysis📷This method uses an electrical charge to damage the follicles of hairs. A fine metal probe is inserted into the follicle and a small electrical charge is emitted. The skin will not be punctured if it is done properly. Electrolysis treatments are very time consuming as each hair's follicle is treated individually. When hairs have been probed they are then removed using tweezers. Electrolysis is effective and reports indicate that 90% of users actually achieve real permanent results. Session costs are expensive in time and money if undertaken by a professional. The 3 main types of electrolysis hair removal are Galvanic, Thermolysis and Blend. The most common type is Galvanic which works by producing a caustic substance, called Lye, in the follicle which destroys the dermal papilla (the base of the follicle). Thermolysis works in a similar manner by heating the water in the follicle to destroy the dermal papilla. The Blend method is a combination of Galvanic and Thermolysis. Home kits are available but extreme care must be taken to not infect the skin.Flash lampA flash lamp light is emitted from a hand device on to the skin. The light targets the dark hair causing it to heat up. The hair then transfers this heat to the follicle causing thermal and mechanical damage. This method is very similar to using lasers but with 2 main differences: flash lamps emit every wavelength of light in the visible spectrum, whereas a laser emits only 1 wavelength; and the flash lamp's beam is usually wider so it can remove hairs from larger areas more quickly. The cost of this permanent treatment is usually lower than for electrolysis or laser. This method is also known as Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL for short.LaserWith this method a hand-held device emits laser light on to the skin. The hair heats up causing the dermal papilla to go into a resting phase. Patients with dark hair and pale skin will benefit most from this method as more of the laser light is absorbed by the hairs, and not the skin. There are various lotions that can be applied to the skin to improve the permanent results of laser treatments. A typical course will begin with a series of 3 to 5 sessions spread over a few months, and then progressively fewer from then on. Although many patients will need continuous treatment at annual intervals, some will experience real permanent hair removal. The cost of this method is expensive as it is required to be performed by skilled professionals.