Hair. It’s on your legs, back, lips, underarms, and bikini area…it seems to grow everywhere. Some of it you can live with, but some of it is intolerable.
So you do everything you can to get rid of it. Shaving is a bummer because you have to do it every day, and you can end up with razor burn. Waxing hurts and can leave you with burnt skin.
And trying to tweeze away hairs one by one, let’s not even go there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just laser it all away? You can! Laser hair removal has become a popular, painless, and effective way to remove unwanted hair for good.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser therapy uses high-heat laser beams to heat up and damage your hair follicles. Your hair follicles, located just below the skin’s surface, are responsible for producing new strands of hair. When your follicles are destroyed, hair production is disabled. That means no more hair!
What’s the Difference Between Laser Hair Removal and Other Forms of Hair Removal?
Shaving cuts hair off above the surface of the skin. The hair follicle isn’t disturbed, and the hair just keeps growing. That’s why you need to shave every day.
Tweezing and waxing pull the whole hair out of the skin, but the hair follicle is still functional. The follicle will quickly begin to grow new hair, which is why you need to wax and tweeze every few weeks.
Laser hair removal not only removes the hair, but it damages the follicle so that the hair cannot grow back until the follicle repairs itself, which gives you hair-free skin for a much longer period of time than other hair removal methods. And when the hair does grow back, it should be lighter and finer than it was before.
What Parts of My Body Can Laser Hair Removal Be Used On?
- Bikini line
- Face (except for the eye area)
Who Is the Best Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal works best for individuals with darker hair colors on light skin tones. The lasers target the melanin in the hairs. The more melanin, the darker the color.
Not every hair gets removed during the first treatment, but even those hairs will be lightened by the lasers, reducing the appearance of hair on the skin.
How Long Does It Take?
A laser hair removal session is relatively quick. Small areas like the upper lip can take just minutes to treat. Larger areas like the back or chest may take an hour or longer.
Sometimes, your dermatologist may apply a topical pain-relieving gel (anesthetic) first before treatment. In that case, you can expect to be at the office up to another full hour.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Although it lasts much longer than waxing or shaving, laser hair removal is not permanent. Your hair follicles go into a state of dormancy for a long period of time, but eventually, they heal and start producing new hairs.
The good news is these new hairs will be lighter, finer, and fewer in number. And if you go in for maintenance sessions, your hair follicles will be less likely to regenerate, keeping you hair-free.
How Many Sessions Do I Have to Get?
For best results, follow-up treatments are necessary. According to the AAD, after the first session, you should see a 10 to 25 percent reduction in hair.
After each session, you’ll notice fewer and fewer hairs. The hair that remains or regenerates will be lighter in both texture and color.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most people need between four and six sessions, but this can vary by individual.
The sessions need to be spaced out six weeks apart so that the full treatment cycle could take up to nine months. After a full round of treatments, you may need a maintenance session once or twice a year.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is safe and well-tolerated by most people. Risks of side effects vary with hair color, skin type, treatment plan, and your adherence to pre-treatment and post-treatment care.
The most common side effects of laser hair removal include:
- Temporary discomfort, redness, and swelling of the skin are possible after laser hair removal. These signs and symptoms usually disappear within several hours.
- Laser hair removal might cause some pigment changes to the affected skin. A darkening or lightening of the skin might be temporary or permanent. Skin lightening primarily affects individuals who don’t avoid sun exposure before or after treatment and those who have darker skin.
Rare side effects can include:
- Graying of treated hair
- Excessive hair growth around treated areas (particularly on darker skin)
If you are concerned about possible side effects, ask us to test a small patch of skin to see how it reacts to the treatment before having it done on a larger skin area.
No long-term health risks have been associated with laser hair removal.
Is It Painful?
The treatment itself is usually not painful. The affected skin may be red and tender like a sunburn for a couple of days post-treatment.
Where Should I Go to Get Laser Hair Removal?
We can help! Hair removal doesn’t have to be painful. And it doesn’t have to take up so much of your time.
If you are ready to get rid of unwanted hair, contact us for a laser hair removal appointment! We use a Threeforme™ IPL skin resurfacing laser that can remove hair from any part of the body.
It’s a more powerful laser that causes less pain than other brands, and it has been proven to work safely and effectively on all skin tones. Say goodbye to wax, razors, and tweezers! And say hello to smooth, healthy skin!