06 May Super Hair Removal….What’s the deal with SHR?
When it comes to body hair removal, we’re familiar with shaving, tweezing, waxing and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. The most permanent option is IPL because it cauterises the hair root so that the hair doesn’t grow back. But now, there’s a new kid on the block, Super Hair Removal (SHR), and it claims to be the better treatment option!
So what is the difference between IPL and SHR?
IPL uses a single intense pulse of energy that is targetted at melanin, which makes it effective on dark and coarse hair. However, this means that it has little effect on finer hair and people with a higher melanin count, or darker skin tones, will have more uncomfortable sessions since their skin will absorb more heat energy.
SHR, on the other hand, uses gentler pulses of energy at a higher frequency so the skin is heated gently. Furthermore, only 50% of the energy is targetted at melanin, which makes the hair less dark and coarse, while the other half targets the stem cells responsible for hair production. Therefore, both coarse and fine hairs are targetted and the removal process is more thorough and permanent.
Also, because the heat applied to the skin is more gradual and gentle, it results in less trauma on the skin and it’s suitable for everyone, no matter the skin tone and even those with sensitive skin. Even though we say beauty is pain, we’d prefer beauty to be as painless as possible, right?
What is IPL?
IPL (or intense pulse light) uses a single pulse of energy, at high intensity, which targets the customer’s hair follicles and melanin. IPL simply works by releasing light in multiple wavelengths directly into the dermis. Melanin is produced in specialised cells called melanocytes. The intense light and energy from IPL is converted into heat energy and is able to cause damage to the hair follicles without causing too much damage to the skin. This makes IPL more suitable for people with darker and coarser hair.
What is SHR?
SHR or Super Hair Removal is a relatively newer technology which uses gentler pulses of energy but at a higher frequency. This laser hair removal technology allows the skin to be heated gently, but with the rapid pulses, the energy is then accumulated by the skin. While 50% of the energy is targeted at the melanin (similar to IPL), the other 50% targets the stem cells responsible for hair production.
This is a very important point to note as SHR thereby targets both fine and coarse hairs. Ultimately, this leads to less discomfort and pain, yet an improved efficacy.
Because of the gradual accumulation of the energy into the skin, there is less trauma and irritation on the skin – making it ideal and suitable for everyone, regardless of skin tone and even for customers with sensitive skin. In fact, SHR is often considered to be one of the best hair removal treatments given the various technologies. SHR hair removal is very ideal for Brazilian Hair Removal as it is more gentle on the skin.
What are the differences between the two?
For starters, SHR is much safer and more effective as compared to IPL, due to the less intense heat used to target the hair follicles and discourage hair regrowth. For some clients, IPL treatments can actually be more uncomfortable and painful – with possible side effects such as redness, spots and even hyperpigmentation if not done correctly by a professional! This is minimized when you choose SHR hair removal instead.
While IPL is often recommended for people with dark and coarse hair due to its effectiveness in targeting melanin – it is not advised for those with darker skin tones due to their increased sensitivity to the heat produced.
This is where SHR completely outshines IPL – the treatment is great for all skin types, even for those with sensitive and tanned skin. Performed using gliding motions, SHR is able to cover larger areas and evenly spread out the heat energy emitted into the skin, keeping the skin’s surface cool throughout the procedure.
SHR vs. IPL – which is better?
The truth is – both treatments are viable options for effective hair removal. However, if you want to reduce the risks involved, ensure minimal pain and achieve softer, hair-free skin at the same time, then SHR is definitely the choice for you!
How Many SHR Treatments are Necessary for Effective Hair Removal?
If the hair is in the anagen phase of growth during treatment, which refers to the active (hair) growth phase, it can be easily destroyed as in the case with IPL technology. The advantage of SHR hair removal in this case is that it can work with customers during both their anagen phase and non-anagen phase, as SHR can target the 50% of the stem cells. Nevertheless, a three-to-four week recovery or “down” time is required to meet this anagen phase as well as to give the skin a recovery time before the next treatment.