A Hairy Situation: A Review on Super Hair Removal (SHR)

I am a hairy person.

I have always wanted to have my leg hair removed SINCE FOREVER because for years and years it was a constant source of frustration and esteem issues. Shaving was such a trauma because for some reason I always tended to get ingrown hair on my legs, which would result in angry, inflamed bumps all over my legs, leaving — gasp — SCARS that would take forever to go away! Not pretty at all.

And I have tried them all — Veet, waxing, epilating, ingrown hair treatment (salicylic acid, basically), exfoliating regularly, but NOTHING helped.

So one of my life priorities when I started working 3 years ago was to nip that problem in the bud — go for hair removal! It was the perfect time to go because 1) I finally had the money and 2) I was going to be married and wanted to look good for myself, and for my husband.

And so I went! One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life EVER. It may seem like an exaggeration, but if you knew how much unhappiness these hairs have caused me, you’ll see how it’s true. I completed my sessions just before the wedding, and have since gone on to remove underarm hair and now, facial hair. I didn’t have any gripes about my facial hair really, but I caved in to vanity. My justification? That makeup will go onto the skin better! I’ll admit the packages are not cheap, but this will be my last course of hair removal. I’m not addicted to aesthetic treatments, I promise!

It is absolute bliss that I don’t have to fuss over leg and underarm hair ever again (or at least for a very long time, because no hair removal is permanent — it’s subjected to factors like hormone changes in your body). I really can’t imagine now if I hadn’t gone — Faz would’ve probably had to bear some of the brunt!

After doing my research, I went with a hair removal technology called Super Hair Removal (SHR). It’s touted as a painless process because the light delivered to the hair follicles is low-intensity but delivered rapidly, therefore heating the follicles just enough to kill them, without any pain. Previously, as with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), it was thought that the light must be strong and targeted at the follicles long enough in order to kill them, and this was why it was so painful. Now, isn’t R&D amazing?

Despite this promising premise, my first few sessions were EXCRUCIATING. It felt just like how IPL users describe it — rubber bands snapping against my skin — but worse. I only found out why it was excruciating later when my beautician rotated to another outlet and another attended to me — and no, it wasn’t because my hairs were too thick, or that the claims of SHR being painless were invalid. It was because she had been moving the machine over my legs perhaps a bit too slowly, therefore heating up my hair follicles longer than necessary!

With my new beautician, there was still some heat but it was never painful because she takes extra care to move the machine over my legs quickly. The heat and smell of burnt hair can be a bit of a discomfort at first but as the hairs get finer and lesser, you won’t even feel the heat anymore and it’s virtually painless.

SHR is effective for all skin, dark or fair. But as with all lasers, it’s most effective when the hairs are darker and thicker — the light targets darker and thicker hairs more easily than fine hairs. That’s why you’ll need multiple sessions before the hairs are completely gone. OH and the great thing about SHR is that it lightens the skin too! The scars on my legs are practically gone, and my underarms are the fairest it’s ever been! And now I’m hoping for the scars on my face to be lightened too.

I’ve been going for my SHR sessions at CSK Aesthetics, which has been superb. It’s an aesthetic clinic run by doctors whom you can get professional advice from. The procedures are mostly done by the beauticians, but it’s just reassuring to have the option to see a doctor regarding your procedure if you need to. Going to a beauty centre may be cheaper but I was looking to sign up with a doctor-guided centre that knows what they’re doing and can give me advice that’s backed by science. They don’t hardsell either, which is great!

P/S: This is not an advertorial. Been really happy with my results so far, and just wanted to share the good stuff!