Laser Hair Removal FAQ

It’s only natural to have plenty of questions about a procedure that involves people pointing lasers at some of the most sensitive parts of your body. TALK guinea pig Sarah Knowles did the research and underwent a full course of laser hair removal treatment in order to bring you the answers.

Am I a good candidate?

Laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal therapies work best on people with dark hair and light skin. As the technology improves, the options are increasing for people with lighter hair and darker skin, but at the moment, blonde and red hair are pretty much impossible to remove 100 per cent effectively with laser treatments. Age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism are also factors in your suitability.

How does it work?

Lasers target hair follicles in order to break down and destroy the melanin (or dark pigment) in hair. Unfortunately for tanned or dark-skinned people, lasers will also target the melanin in your skin, often causing discolouration.

How many treatments will I need?

For most people, four to six treatments (one every six weeks) is enough to see an 80 per cent reduction in hair growth on the treatment site.

Will it really last forever?

Maybe – you may never have to shave again, but you could also notice some re-growth months or years after you have finished a full course of treatment. Some therapists suggest a yearly ‘maintenance treatment’ to ensure the best long term results.

Does it hurt?

Again, the answer to this question depends on several factors. The Israeli Soprano Alma Laser (which is used at some clinics in Shanghai) causes a warm sensation on your skin. We were sceptical about this treatment’s “painless” claim, but it turned out to be true.

IPL feels a bit like an elastic band being snapped against your skin, with some snaps hurting more than others. Some people take precautionary pain-killers before their sessions, but we never found it to be necessary.

Where can I get it done in Shanghai?

Bioscor Shanghai Clinic offers IPL hair removal treatments. The price per session depends on the area you want treated, RMB 1,500 will buy you a single bikini line session. They say a full course of IPL treatment usually involves four to five sessions, and for those worried about any pain, Bioscor also offers a numbing cream to ease your mind (and those other bits as well).

Tel: 6431 8899. Web:

Korea Dream Medical Hospital uses the Soprano Alma Laser from Israel and features a very clean and comforting environment. They charge RMB 200 for a package of three upper lip sessions, RMB 2,500 for a package of three bikini line sessions and RMB 4,800 for a package of three upper or lower back sessions.

Korea Dream Medical Hospital, 3F, 505 Nanjing Xi Lu. Tel: 150 0001 0946

Strip also uses IPL laser treatments. Each session costs between RMB 990 to 1,970 depending on the area you want treated. They say the average course of treatment involves six sessions, which can last between ten and 40 minutes (again, depending on the area being treated).


Spa News

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This month, Quan Spa is offering a spa promotion for both men and women. The men’s package includes a 90 minute relaxation massage followed by a one hour Foot Reflex Massage. For female guests, the package includes a high performance anti-ageing facial and body wrap.

Tel: 2215 6166