Women are a hair-obsessed bunch. If we’re not trying to grow more of it (on the head), we’re trying to get rid of it (from the rest of the body, including the pubic area).

What’s been available for many years is intense pulse light technology or IPL, which uses broad-spectrum pulses of light to get rid of unwanted hair.

Now meet AFT – Advanced Fluorescence Technology, IPL’s sophisticated cousin and the next gen of hair removal. It uses a narrower wavelength of light to increase penetration into the target area – and more evenly too – to destroy the follicles so no more hair can grow.

Hair removal salon Strip says it’s the first here to offer the hair removal technology (since mid 2019), and US dermatologists have used this FDA-approved treatment since 2010 to treat skin issues like redness and pigmentation.

The salon says AFT can be used on almost any area, such as legs, upper lips and pubic area. It can cover a larger area because of the applicator size, and is more precise, especially at tricky places like inner thighs and underarms.

“In one AFT session, a maximum of 20 per cent of hair is removed versus a maximum of 15 per cent for IPL,” says Samantha Ong, marketing director of Spa Esprit Group, which owns Strip.

That means fewer follow-up sessions to go completely hair-free – every 10 to 12 weeks, compared to six to eight weeks for IPL, over at least six sessions. An AFT session lasts 20 minutes; IPL takes 30 to 40 minutes.

The built-in cooling system lowers the risk of burns and makes AFT less painful. It doesn’t feel hot, unlike IPL. You get a more comfortable experience, especially at the sensitive bikini line.

We Tried It:

I’m a regular IPL user, and I’ve also done waxing and sugaring before. At my AFT session, the technician applies an ice-cold gel on the pubic area. The applicator is then placed over the mons pubis and moved in quick circles. At the labia, she switches to an up-down movement.

I barely felt any heat, although the heat sensation was stronger at the labia, but still bearable. At the end, the gel is wiped off and a moisturiser applied to calm and soothe skin. There was no redness or soreness.

After six weeks, I noticed less hair regrowth as compared to IPL, especially around the labia. My next session is 10-12 weeks after the first – this longer interval between sessions is what I appreciate most about AFT.

This article was first published in Her World’s April 2020 issue.