This New Laser Makes Hair Removal Virtually Painless


laser hair removalSource: AnikaNes/Shutterstock

Although many lasers have promised to be painless, quick, and safe — MANY have failed us. Seriously, do we have to suffer through the smell of burning hair and zaps that feel like elastics being snapped against our skin, in the name of fuzz-free legs and a smooth bikini line?! There has to be a better way.

That’s where SPLENDOR X by Lumenis comes in. Not your average hair removal laser, this technology-advanced laser is the first laser of its kind, thanks to a blend of Alexandrite and Nd:YAG wavelengths being delivered at the same time. You’re probably all “WTF are these wavelengths you speak of,” but in laments terms, these are what kill the hairs and close the follicle.

According to Christian Karavolas, owner of Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, “The best wavelengths for treating skin tones 1, 2, and 3 (fair and light skin) is an Alexandrite Wavelength at 755 nm and the best wavelength for treating skin tones 4, 5, and 6 (4 being tanned skin and 5 and 6 being dark skin) is an Nd:YAG Wavelength at 1064 nm.” And while most lasers utilize one or the other, SPLENDOR does a one-two punch, combining both.

“Usually, to get rid of hair, you need to use high settings of each wavelength and this makes the treatment more painful and subject to temporary complications,” explains Karavolas. “With this laser, you are able to blend both wavelengths at the same time, therefore you only need to use minimal settings of each wavelength to achieve the same results.”

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It’s also worth pointing out that the Alexandrite wavelength removes hair at the surface of the skin, while the Nd:YAG wavelength takes care of business below the epidermis. But since we know all you really care about is the pain factor, using less energy per wavelength means the treatment is less painful overall. Works for us!

Another one of SPLENDOR’s benefits is it has very large spot sizes, which means it will treat areas quickly, and can be used on all parts of the body — including the face. “The spot size is different because this is the first laser of its kind to use a square spot and a square beam” adds  Karavolas. “A square spot means there is no overlap, whereas with a round spot you have to overlap 15 to 20% in order to get full coverage.”

Um, who has the time for overlaps? Not us, that’s for sure. SPLENDOR’s anti-overlap technology also promises safer and faster treatments and less missed hair, which means less time on the bed and more time on the beach! (Once you give your skin time to heal, that is. Avoiding the sun for 72 hours pre-laser and a few days post-laser is strongly encouraged so you don’t run the risk of burning, scarring, and seriously damaging your skin.)

As for how much time it will take to treat various parts of your body, that depends. “The laser has many spot sizes with the larger spot size being a 27 X 27, which can treat a full back in five minutes, using three pulses per second,” says Karavolas. “Arms, legs, and the chest are around five minutes as well, and a face is usually 10 minutes, as one needs to be more precise.”

Although we’ve waxed poetic about how much more bearable this new laser is (in the pain management category), it’s not like you won’t feel anything, TBH. There is still some warmth and still some zapping, but it’s wayyyy more tolerable than previous lasers. SPLENDOR also delivers bursts of cold air on the skin every time a wavelength is sent out, so there’s that nice surprise as well.

Should you feel any irritation post-treatment, Karavolas recommends applying a topical cream like Aloe Vera or Vitamin K to soothe the skin.

Now onto the nitty gritty: the numbers. Obviously laser hair removal is not cheap, otherwise waxing and razors would be out of the window. But shelling out the big bucks in exchange for a life sans razors, shaving cream, nicks, cuts, ingrowns, and rashes? We’re here for it. Here’s the breakdown of individual session costs: 

Upper lip: $75
Chin: $75
Full Face: $350
Bikini line: $200
Full Legs: $500 to $700

Although an average of 4-8 treatments (spaced 6 to 12 weeks apart) is the norm, depending on the body location of the unwanted hair, hormonal areas such as the face and upper arms may require more than six sessions with occasional touch-ups once or twice a year. (You can book a SPLENDOR X by Lumenis laser hair removal appointment here).

Of course, that’s pretty damned expensive, so if you don’t have the cash to splash, then there are tons of other effective hair removal techniques if having natural body hair isn’t your jam. Check out our guide for the best way to remove unwanted hair, here.