THIS is the time of year when our thoughts turn away from the cold chilly British winter and to holidays in sunnier climes.

And this is also the time of year when we make plans to get our bodies holiday-ready – whether that’s a new diet, toning up or tackling problems.

One worrying area for women is excess hair. New research reveals that, on average, a woman who uses a shaver for hair removal will spend around £6,500 and eight weeks of her life managing unwanted hair.

“Women who wax twice a month will spend around £23,000 on this during their lifetime.

Increasingly, women are turning to more permanent laser treatment to make a difference.

Dr Kiran Patel, of Laserase, based in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital, said: “We see a large number of women each year who come to us for laser hair reduction treatment.

“Most are coming for cosmetic reasons as getting rid of unwanted body hair by regular waxing or shaving can be a real chore and the costs can mount up over the years.”

He added: “Long-term hair reduction is also increasingly popular for men who are looking for a smoother and more streamlined physique or those who are embarrassed to go swimming or on the beach because of their body hair.”

Clinic manager Julie Kershaw explained: “We offer hair reduction treatment for all areas of the body including the chin, upper lip, legs, arms, underarms and back as well as sensitive areas like the chest and bikini line.”

Laserase also treats a number of women suffering from polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS). This is a common condition suffered by millions of women worldwide that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. Celebrities who suffer from PCOS include Emma Thompson, Victoria Beckham and Jools Oliver.

One of the most visible and embarrassing effects of this illness for some women, however, is the growth of excess face and body hair caused by high levels of male hormones (Androgens).

One local woman, Debra, who had suffered from PCOS for 15 years fought for laser hair reduction treatment on the NHS and was referred to Laserase.

She stated: “Over the years, I have been getting more and more hairs on my chin, neck and face. I have tried all different ways to remove unwanted hairs to no avail.

“A few years ago I watched Embarrassing Bodies on TV and saw a lady who suffered form the same condition who had received laser treatment. I went to my doctor and asked for help only to be told the NHS didn’t fund it.

“I fought for this and eventually received the funding. I have received treatment from Laserase and so far so good. It has stopped most of the hairs growing back.

Dr Patel said: “In some circumstances, hair removal for severe hair growth due to PCOS can be funded on the NHS. Women are encouraged to see their GP in the first instance if they have any of the typical symptoms of PCOS.”

Laserase, which employs only qualified doctors and nurses for its treatments, uses the Soprano XL laser for hair reduction. This is 10 times faster than most other lasers on the market. Unlike other lasers, it has two modes: a Super Hair Removal (SHR) mode and a Hair Removal (HR) mode.

Most other lasers have only the HR mode which targets individual hair follicles causing heat injury to the hair.

Julie Kershaw said: “This is great for smaller areas or on more stubborn hairs but it is time-consuming.”

SHR mode gradually heats the skin and hair follicles, meaning a large area can be treated all in one go, and the different modes mean the laser can be used anywhere on the body.

The heat produced from both modes damages the hairs at the root, preventing regrowth.

Skin is protected from heat damage by a cooling gel applied directly to the skin and by the cooling tip on the hand-piece of the laser.

Hair has three stages of growth: anagen where the hair grows, telogen which is a resting phase and catagen where the hair falls out.

Dr Patel added: “Only a small percentage of your hair is in the anagen or growing stage at any one time and the laser does not destroy hair in the telogen or resting phase.

“This means it will take a few sessions before all hair is completely gone.”

For more information on laser treatments call Laserase on 01204 570900 or visit the website at