Tired of tweezing, waxing, or shaving constantly to remove unwanted or excess hair? If you’d like to ditch the razor and stubborn stubble, consider a more permanent approach with laser hair removal.
Here’s a look at what to expect from this commonly performed procedure.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser Hair Removal is a cosmetic procedure performed by a trained technician. In this procedure, lasers are used to deliver heat to hair follicles, causing the hairs to fall out after approximately two to seven treatments. Essentially, the laser light is absorbed by the hair’s melanin (pigment), which ultimately destroys the hair.
This is not to be confused with electrolysis, which is a very different form of hair removal involving the use of a probe inserted into the hair follicle, sending electric currents into the skin in order to destroy the hair.
Benefits of laser treatment
There are many benefits to removing hair with this non-invasive, speedy procedure. For one thing, lasers are precise and can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. The laser method of hair removal is considered a very quick process and each laser application can treat many hairs simultaneously within about a 12 millimeter radius of the application site per second.
Most importantly, laser treatment is very effective and most patients experience hair reduction (80%-95%) after undergoing approximately six to eight sessions. Quite simply put, it works, typically leaving only fine hairs which are normal and common to everyone.
What are the risks?
Resulting risks of side effects are rare though, you may experience some mild discomfort for a couple of days following the process. There are no known long-term side effects, but occasionally people experience slight discoloration, irritation or swelling in the treated area. Though inconvenient, these issues are usually short-lived and minor.
Who is a good candidate for laser hair removal?
Almost everyone could benefit from laser hair removal! Individuals with dark or brown hair and light skin have particularly high rates of success. However, anyone who wants long-term hair removal results should consider this treatment.
Recovery from laser treatment
For about a day after the procedure, you will probably experience some redness and tenderness to the laser-treated areas of your skin. You may be prescribed ice packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water to ease any discomfort you may experience. You may schedule another treatment approximately six to eight weeks after the initial laser treatment. The procedure will need to be repeated until the hair stops growing. You will need to avoid the sun or wear sunscreen in between treatments to prevent changes in color to the treated skin.
Overall, laser treatment for hair removal is a safe, effective way to get rid of unwanted facial or body hair (again, typically resulting in 80%-95% reduction). The results are far more lasting than shaving, waxing or chemical solutions, and treatments can be repeated until all growth phases of hair are targeted. For best results, it is recommended that treatment is repeated every 6-8 weeks to target potential new hair growth.