Can laser replace shaving for men?

How a man chooses to maintain his facial hair is a matter of personal preference.

Clean-shaven, designer stubble, or full-on grizzly beard, it’s a man’s choice. Grooming products even cater for all preferences from soothing balms to alleviate post-shave irritation to grooming kits dedicated to maintaining a lush beard. Modern men are spoilt for choice when it comes to shaving their facial hair or growing it out down to their navel. Personally, I prefer the clean-shaven look. Sometimes I like to sport some stubble because I think it looks irresistibly rakish.

The only problem with shaving is that it is time-consuming and can cause uncomfortable irritation and rashes. Within seconds of shaving, my skin is usually burning angry red. It’s sensitive to the touch and I dread the high probability of a post-shave breakout.

I follow all the rules when it comes to achieving the perfect shave: wash with warm water to soften my beard, lubricate with a hydrating shaving gel, shave with the grain, and even rinse my razor in disinfectant to keep it as hygienically sterile as possible. Regardless, boom, breakout.

My shaves are so bad that I try to space them are far apart as possible. I usually only shave for important meetings or when I’m beginning to look like I can’t afford my next meal.

And, yes, I have tried shaving before, during, and after my shower. I have tried single blades, double blades, and even a triple-blade razor. My idea of hell would be to try a four or five-blade razor. Buying an electric shaver (I’ve tried three) was about as practical as burning R200 notes to make a cup of coffee during load shedding. Shaving is hell. And, no, I don’t need any more well-intentioned advice from skincare consultants who believe that they know my skin better than I do.

My problem is that my beard is coarse and my skin is sensitive. An added bonus for me is that I’m prone to ingrown hairs. So, a good day for me is only having mild, post-shave irritation instead of a seven-day lockdown when I cannot even consider looking at a razor.

I’ve tried electrolysis- which is very expensive and tedious, waxing, which will have you swearing like a demonically possessed sailor, and depilatory creams that smell like cat urine. The options for hair removal are not for the fainthearted. All I want is a comfortable shave.

A staggering 80% of men want the same thing!

More men are using laser to contour, reduce, or remove their beards. Laser can sculpt unruly areas to create a tidier beard while problematic shaving areas can be lasered for a cleaner shave. Some men are so exasperated with the daily routine of shaving that they even seek a more permanent hair loss solution.

Statistics indicate that up to 25% of men cannot grow a beard or it grows out so sparsely that they’re forced to shave. While this is normal, it does cause resentment and frustration.

Enter laser. Unchartered territory, but a beacon of light, if you’ll excuse the pun.

More specifically, enter Lasersense!

I was advised to consult Cecilia De Oliveira, owner of Lasersense, to see if laser was a viable solution to address my shaving problems.

I didn’t want to remove my beard entirely – I still want to look like a man, but I did want to laser the troublesome line between my collar and jawline where I experience the worst shaving irritation. Just reducing the irritation it would be a blessing.

Cecilia was empathetic to my concerns and confident that laser hair removal could be a solution. She also advised me that laser was not going to remove my beard permanently unless I underwent continuous treatments, but a few sessions would temporarily remove my beard.  Seeing as I don’t have any irritation above my jawline besides, Cecilia advised that we only laser the affected area so that I could still grow my beard if I wanted to.

Cecilia was so clinical in her approach that I just assumed she is a doctor – she’s just really very knowledgeable and professional. She also went to great lengths to ensure that I didn’t have unrealistic expectations. I also appreciated that Cecilia gave me facts instead of a sales pitch.

Laser Hair Removal at Lasersense

What To Do Before Your Laser Hair Removal Treatments 

First things first: Discontinue any products and medication that may cause your skin to be photosensitive.

Eg: products containing retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids. Skip the sunbeds and suntanning. Your skin is going to undergo a powerful surge of laser energy so you want to avoid anything that sensitises it. Be upfront about your lifestyle, skincare products, and any medication you are taking- and ask every question you can think of if you are unsure.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

It’s not completely painless but you can tough it out. Each pulse of laser feels a bit like an elastic band being snapped against your skin. Your skin may feel hot during the treatment and may look slightly sunburnt afterwards but it soon subsides. During treatment, your therapist will blow cool air over the treated area and apply a soothing gel afterwards. In my opinion: the end definitely justifies the means.

Which Areas Can You Treat With Laser For Hair Removal?

If there is unwanted hair there, Lasersense can laser it.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For People Of Colour?

Skin is skin but darker skin may be more prone to hyperpigmentation. Cecilia will advise you of appropriate laser types for your skin. Many African men suffer from ingrown hairs and folliculitis which is aggravated by shaving. Laser hair removal is an ideal way for people of colour to remove irritating follicles.

Will My Beard Grow Back?

Laser is often touted as a permanent fix for hair removal. This may be true for women, but for men, their testosterone is going to keep their beard growing. Laser can eliminate hair follicles but so while your body is producing testosterone there is always the possibility it will grow back. In my experience, my lasered areas didn’t didn’t grow back for a few years, and when they did, my beard grew back thinner and less prone to irritation. I still don’t shave every day but I can shave more frequently and comfortably.

Is Laser Hair Removal Expensive?

The cost depends upon the size of the area being treated and how many sessions you require. Discuss your concerns with Cecilia and agree on a treatment plan. In my case, I only had the lower two inches of my beard lasered. I was advised I might need eight sessions but I was satisfied with the results within six sessions.

How Soon Can You Expect To See Results?

I noticed results within two weeks. When I was shaving it felt as though my razor was removing follicles instead of shaving through them. I also noticed that wiping my face with a face cloth would remove hair follicles.

Laser Lasersense JoziStyle
© Lasersense

Can Women Laser Their ‘Tache?

Honey, if you’ve read this far, Lasersense can laser it!

It has been four years since I had my beard lasered. I only had about two inches lasered below my jawline but the difference it made to my shaving routine was life-changing. I could shave more frequently, I seldom ever had any irritation or a rash, and nobody noticed anything out of the ordinary. The regrowth appears normal (possibly finer).

Would I do it again?

Absolutely. No regrets!


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