When we were young, we often heard older people utter the words “Change is inevitable!” Indeed, as we age, we realize that change is the only permanent thing in our lives (that, and taxes). Everyone of us undergoes series of changes as we grow. From being an adorable baby, to becoming a playful toddler, we slowly turned into an individual, maturing both physically and mentally. Then all that cuteness comes to a screeching halt once we hit puberty, and we become awkward hairy lumps of out of control hormones.
Pubic Hair 101
As a whole, human society has grown a distaste for body hair in specific locations, and this is particularly true for women. For women, a hairless body came to represent youthfulness, whereas men tended to keep their hair for a more primal look. Recently, however, it’s become more popular among men to shave or trim their body hair, for various reasons, not least of which a smoother appearance. So now both genders tend to have this hair removed for aesthetic or beauty purposes, which could be in form of shaving, waxing, intense pulsed light (IPL), or laser hair removal.
According to an article written, Dr. David Goldberg, a dermatologist practicing in New York, Florida, and Massachusetts, stated that “Our culture is beauty-centric, and this is a non-surgical, relatively inexpensive thing to do,” thus why hair removal has become popular amongst people nowadays . And this brings us to pubic hair.
Pubic hair is clearly defined by medical dictionaries as hairs on the external genitalia. It’s is one of the most evident changes in adolescence during puberty, thus how it got its name. Pubic hair appears typically first months of thelarche; the fancy term for the onset of the female breast development. The first appearance of pubic hair is referred to as pubarche. These hairs are commonly first seen in the labia. The pubic hair formation is categorized into stages, this is known as the Tanner Stages.
Tanner Stage 1 refers to the very fine vellus hairs on the genital areas of both boys and girls prior to the onset of puberty. Hormonal changes in the signals the start of puberty wherein the levels of the sex hormones elevates in response to such occurrence, the skin of the genital area where the fine vellus hair started to produce thicker, rougher and oftentimes curly hair that grows fast. Tanner Stage 2 refers to the first few hairs. When hairs appear on the pubic mound and are too many to count, it is now on its 3rd Stage which takes about 6-12 months from the first occurrence. Stage 4 is when the pubic triangle is thickly filled with hair.
For males, their first pubic hair is observed as a few thin hairs which were usually seen on the scrotum or at the upper base of the penis. For a span of 1 year, hairs surrounding the bottom part of the penis are profuse. Then these hairs become thicker and darker and fill the entire pubic area for the next 3 to 4 years. The final stage, Stage 5 is described as when the pubic hair spreads towards the thighs or legs for men. It is also during this stage when the pubic hair is also seen as abdominal hair that grows up to the navel. This stage occurs in about 5 year’s times.
Home IPL on Pre-Puberty Vellus Hairs and Hormonal Imbalances
The vellus hairs or the pre-puberty hairs are thin and very fine, fair and short hairs found on our body. These hairs are found on pre-adolescent individuals. During this stage, the hormones of the person are not yet stable, so changes in the body may still happen. Since the hormonal status of the individual is unsteady, one visible effect of this state is the hair growth wherein for some, rampant hair development occurs. Such young individuals tend to find alternative ways on how to manage these abrupt hair proliferations.
One of the most popular hair-growth treatments growing in popularity with teens, is the brazilian IPL. Home IPLs, to be specific, are the cheaper versions of the laser treatment thus may be the reason why young ones opted for this management. But despite the budget-friendly approach of IPLs, this treatment is still not safe for teens to use, particularly while still undergoing puberty.
The primary reason for this is at such a young age, their hormones are in a very erratic stage, and this makes the skin far more sensitive. IPL works by producing a broad spectrum of light wavelengths which targets dark hairs, and this can affect the nearby skin in negative ways. This puts the user at a higher risk for a burn, and this is doubly true for those with a darker skin tone. Since the penetration of the light is shallow, thicker hair is not effectively treated. So, IPL and laser hair removal is NOT recommended for teens. This includes scheduled appointments.
Hormonal imbalance is another issue with IPL treatment. Hormonal related disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), can only be diagnosed once the hormones have stabilized, and IPL/laser treatments can disrupt this. Additionally, because of the hormonal unevenness, hair growth varies and the IPL sessions may not be really efficient at that moment. But, once hormones are normal, the IPL treatments are more effective and a lasting result can be achieved.
Pubic Hair Areas That Home IPL Can Treat
IPL can be of good use as long as we ensure that your hormones are stable, and that our skin type is appropriate for the treatment. IPL treatment can be used on all parts of the body, but we will specifically be discussing IPL treatment for the genital area.
The mons pubis is the rounded mound of fat tissues that covers the pubic bone. This is the part of the genitalia that becomes covered with hair during puberty. The mons pubis and the bikini line areas are good areas for IPL treatment, since they are large areas covered with thick hair.
Ideally, the mons pubis and bikini area, and a skin type of I, II, or III, are best for IPL treatments. Skin class I are pale white, class II are white fair skin and class III are cream white fair skin. These skin classes provide a good contrast in the color for the hairs, thus making it easy for the device to detect the hair. Clients with darker skin tones must use extra care, and often times specific products designed for their skin tone.
And that’s basically it. IPL treatments are really only able to be safely used on the mons pubis and bikini line areas. It’s is not advisable to use IPL for hair near the anus, inguinal, scrotum, and testicular parts, since these areas are generally dark pigmented parts, and much more…shall we say “sensitive.” IPL treatment is not suitable for dark colored areas since and could just cause burns on these areas (and no one wants a burn in those areas).
Home IPL Hair Removal versus Expensive Clinics
IPL devices are widely available in the market nowadays, and at-home IPL hair removal kits are more commonly used as they’re cheaper, and provide nearly the same quality as treatments from spa or clinics; if used correctly.
Home removal kits tend to cost between $200 to $700, and take approximately 8 to 12 sessions on a monthly interval. On the other hand, clinics can often charge a client $300 to $600 per body part, per session. For best results, it will take clients about 4 to 6 sessions in 3 weeks intervals. Sessions highly depend on the type of hair and skin color of the client. Dark, rough hair and light skin normally receive the best results during treatment sessions. Those with blonde, gray, and red hair do not respond well to the treatment. Those with dark complexions may limit the efficacy of the treatments.
With the big difference in relevance to pricing, more and more people are opting for IPL home treatments rather than going to the spa or dermatological clinics since it can also produce a quality treatment without spending much.
Side Effects to Watch Out For
Since pubic hairs are located on and around the genitals, which are highly sensitive even to lightest touch, IPL treatment clients are expected to feel minor side effects. These include the following:
- Pain. Hair removal on the mons pubis, bikini line, and groin area, or a brazilian can be painful. A zap of hair follicles feels like a rubber band being snapped against your skin. But technicians and experts can help minimize the discomfort by providing creams that could lessen the sensations by numbing the area.
- Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can occur thus proper wavelengths for each skin type must be safeguarded at all times.
- Blisters. This is rarely experienced, but may occur due to the light emitted on the skin. It is very important to maintain the area clean when you have blisters to avoid infection.
- Swelling and Redness. May also occur, but rarely happens.
Effective Home IPL and Diode Laser Devices
There are many home IPL devices to choose from, but three brands stand out from the rest due to their high fluence, or energy density level. Since the pubic hair is usually coarse and thick, a device with at least 8 J/cm2 should be chosen for the treatment.
Tria 4X Laser. Tria’s advanced hair removal laser technology is the first FDA- cleared device that provides a highly effective outcome with over 3 times more hair-eliminating energy density of 20 J/cm2. The extremely high energy density as it uses diode laser, almost like a salon energy density, and specific laser wavelength selection precisely targets the pigment in the hair follicle to permanently incapacitate its ability to regrow hair. This product is not only powerful but also user-friendly as it comes in two handy sizes which perfectly fit your choice.
In addition to this, Zakia Rahman, M.D. a Board-certified Dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology, for Stanford University, stated in an article that, “Laser hair removal is an effective treatment for unwanted hair that has previously only been available at the doctor’s office. The Tria Laser is the only at-home hair removal laser that is FDA-cleared for permanent hair reduction. It is a great complement or replacement to laser hair removal done at the dermatologist’s office. One of the things I like most about the system is the skin color sensor, which ensures that the user’s skin tone is light enough to safely use Tria. I have recommended the Tria Hair Removal Laser to patients and friends with enthusiasm.”
The Tria Hair Removal Laser users were advised to have at least 8 treatments in order for them to attain a significant outcome in the hair regrowth reduction.
Remington iLight Ultra Face and Body. The Remington iLIGHT Ultra also has an FDA clearance for public and home use. This product is highly recommended as it is proven safe to be used after rigorous tests done to guarantee the client’s safety and to ensure the effectiveness of the device through strict compliance with the instructions attached to the product.
The iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body device’s ultra-fast flash rate allows a user to treat areas of underarms and bikini line in a span of about a minute. The treatment sensation is also comfortable and the cord allows a continues treatment as the device would not need to recharge. With 65,000 flashes being emitted during treatments, the iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body users only need to have 3 regimens to see visible and permanent results. After which, the device can only be used on an as-needed basis.
LumaRX (or see newer version). Just like the previous devices, LumaRx Full Body Hair Removal System also provides a safe and highly efficient treatment for hair removal. This IPL device is also cleared by the FDA and is certified to be safe for public use.
In relation to its effectiveness, the LumaRx Full Body Hair Removal System emits 65,000 flashes in a single session just like the iLight Ultra. That is comparable to about 40 full body treatments. Thus, this product suggests that after 3 treatments, the user can feel the effects in the next 12 months post regimen.
-  Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/9195-shining-light-pros-cons-laser-hair-removal.html
-  Retrieved from http://www.triabeauty.com/home-laser-hair-removal-dermatologists