I was recently approached by Tria, the company behind the first FDA-cleared at home laser hair removal system, and they got me thinking - what is the environmental impact of laser hair removal in comparison to shaving or waxing? And, perhaps more importantly, is laser safe? Let's take a look at the full picture.
The Carbon Impact of Hair Removal
Bic estimates that 4 billion razors are sold each year, worldwide. That is A LOT of plastic. Of course, many millions of bottles of shaving cream are also sold to accompany razor shaving.
Shaving also has a substantial water footprint. One blogger estimated that over an average American's lifetime, they will use approximately 224,250 gallons of water to shave. OYYY!
Ok, ok, but many women prefer to wax instead. This certainly doesn't use as much water or plastic, but most people drive to their appointments, which of courses might use a lot of gasoline.
What About At-Home Laser?
At-home laser doesn't require any water, shaving cream, or driving. The main carbon impact comes from getting the device shipped to you for the first time, and charging the device between uses. But, the results are permanent, so these are one-time impacts. The downside is that it doesn't work on everyone - of course this is true at professional salons as well. People with dark hair and fair skin see the best results whether at home or at a professional office.
Is Laser Safe?
Some scary studies in 2012-2013 indicated that laser may create some unwanted particulate matter. Therefore, it is safest to do laser at home in a well ventilated area. I also recommend wearing a face mask while treating yourself. Overall, laser hair removal is very safe. More risks are applicable for people with olive or darker skintones, so make sure to do your homework on whether laser is a safe choice for you. The Tria has a special lock that will make it so people won't burn themselves, so it is safe.