Laser hair removal is extremely popular among people who struggle keeping excess body hairs off. It has become one of the reliable ways to get rid of unwanted hair today. With this procedure, you can attain a smoother skin without the hassle of shaving or waxing.
In this post, we aim to discuss important key points regarding laser hair removal, especially things you need to know. You will also get to know its benefits, how to get started, and things to remember.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive method of removing unwanted body hair for long-lasting results. It is most commonly performed as an in-office treatment. It is currently the most effective way as it utilizes several lasers including the following:
- Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser (darker skin tones)
- Intense pulsed light (IPL)
- Diode laser (lighter skin tones)
- Alexandrite laser (darker skin tones)
- Ruby laser
It utilizes light energy to target and destroy the follicles responsible for hair growth. Thus, providing an alternative to traditional methods such as waxing and plucking (which can be painful by the way). Understanding the laser hair removal process is essential in order to maximize its effectiveness and ensure a safe treatment.
The mechanism of action for laser hair removal is through targeting the melanin with light energy. It generates the process called – ‘photothermolysis’ (destruction of the hair follicle). As the follicles are damaged, new hairs are prevented from growing. The different forms of lasers work on different types of skin and tone for optimal results.
It is important to remember that laser energy does not destroy the surrounding structures, which keeps them intact.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From Laser Hair Removal?
The time it takes to see results from laser hair removal varies depending on several factors:
- Type of laser used
- Skin type and tone
- Hair type
- Area treated
It is important to note that laser hair removal does not provide immediate results. Generally, most patients will need six to eight sessions spaced out every four weeks in order to achieve their desired reduction in body hair growth. However, some individuals may require additional sessions depending on factors such as skin type and area being treated. Additionally, after treatment is completed maintenance sessions may be necessary to maintain results over time.
The procedure is also generally more effective when the hair is in its active phase. Hair doesn’t grow uniformly. It follows a certain cycle, which the laser treatment targets in multiple sessions to achieve a better outcome.
In summary, it may take several months to see significant results. However, since the result may not be uniform for all, a lot of people may begin to see hair growth reduction after a few treatments. This will continue to improve with each follow-up treatment. It is important that you follow the recommended appointment to achieve optimal results.
How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal Do I Need to See Results?
As established earlier, six to eight sessions may be needed to see significant results. However, this is not a one-size-fits all context, where the result of one is a result of everyone getting the laser treatment. The number of sessions can vary from patient to patient. Moreover, it may need repeated (maintenance) sessions to keep the results within satisfactory limits.
The average number of sessions required to see results will vary depending on factors like the following:
- Hair type
- Hair density
- Location of treatment area
- Color of hair
- Hormone levels
- Type of laser used
It is important to consult with an experienced aesthetician prior to starting a series of treatments. It is in order to determine the best course of action based on your needs.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
It is not accurate to say that laser hair removal is a permanent solution to reducing excess hair. It is more accurate to say that it is a long-term solution. However, there are ways to maintain the longer hair-free period such as the following:
- After the first series of appointments – it is perceived that a lot of people experience at least 80% reduction of hair growth.
- Maintenance treatments – this is the sessions conducted after the initial series, which aims to maintain the hair-free period.
- Regrowth – hair growth in hormone-sensitive areas tends to be stubborn even after the initial treatment. However, they tend to be thinner and lighter in color compared to the original hair.
Overall laser hair removal can provide effective and long-lasting results when conducted correctly. But long-lasting results do not equate to ‘permanent’ results.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
The procedure may cause pain and discomfort but there are several factors that will affect this including:
- Your pain tolerance
- Area being treated (i.e. upper lip laser hair removal is associated with more pain and discomfort)
- Type of laser used
But on average, most people describe the sensation as a mild stinging or snapping feeling. However, when performed by professionals, they usually take precautions prior to the procedure so as to minimize the discomfort felt during the procedure. It can be in the form of topical application of anesthetics, creams, or cooling gel.
To compare it with waxing and shaving, the latter cause more discomfort than laser treatments.
Can Laser Hair Removal Be Done Anywhere on the Body?
Yes, laser hair removal can be done on any part of the body. And it is a popular choice for those looking for a long-term solution to unwanted body hair. It is an effective alternative to traditional methods such as waxing, shaving and plucking. The traditional methods may require more frequent treatments and result in more discomfort or irritation of the skin.
Who is a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
A good candidate for laser hair removal is someone who is looking for long-term results. It can be much more effective than traditional methods, such as shaving, waxing, or depilatory creams. So it’s important to understand how the laser hair removal process works before beginning treatment. A qualified dermatologist or aesthetician should be consulted prior to scheduling a laser hair removal appointment to ensure that you are indeed a good candidate for the treatment. Nonetheless, here are some of the general guidelines that will make you a good candidate for this procedure:
- Hair color (tends to work best on darker, coarser hair)
- Skin type (darker skin type may be at risk for skin damage after the procedure)
- Medical history (history of keloid may not make you a good candidate)
- Medications (some medications predisposes you to light sensitivity, which may cause damage to your skin during laser treatment)
- Pregnancy (not recommended if you’re pregnant)
It is extremely important to discuss the issues and concerns regarding the treatment with your healthcare professional.
Are There Any Pre-care or Post-care Instructions for Laser Hair Removal?
Before undergoing a laser hair removal treatment, understanding the entire process is essential in order to prepare for it correctly.
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning beds (at least 2-4 weeks)
- Do not pluck or wax prior to your scheduled appointment (at least 4 weeks)
- Refrain from taking medications that increases your sensitivity (at least 2 weeks)
- Shave the area for treatment the day prior to your appointment
- Do not use cosmetics, lotions, or creams prior to treatment
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning beds (at least 2-4 weeks)
- Do not pick, pluck or touch the treated area
- Refrain from bathing using hot water (at least 24-48 hours after treatment)
- Apply cold compresses on the area of treatment
It is important that you follow the advice of your healthcare provider. The ones listed above are general guidelines and do not constitute comprehensive pre- and post-care instructions.
Common Laser Hair Removal Misconceptions Debunked
Does Hair Grow Thicker After Laser?
There is no definite answer to this question. It has been found that low-level laser therapy can stimulate hair growth, which is exactly the opposite of your goals. Nonetheless, several studies established earlier have proven that laser hair removal can offer long-term hair-free periods. But whether or not it can make the hair grow thicker has not definitive evidence just yet.
Do You Get More Hair After Laser Hair Removal?
There is little evidence that states you can get more hair after laser hair removal.
According to a study, unusual hair growth must be listed as a complication after alexandrite laser. However, this is an isolated case and only reported by three participants in the same research.
However, as several studies have already established, laser treatment can help in reducing excess hair growth by tampering with the hair follicles responsible for its activity. There is limited evidence (may need more studies) to scientifically prove that you will get more hair after treatment.
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to reduce or remove unwanted body hair, providing long-lasting results with minimal maintenance. The process involves using a high-powered laser to heat up the hair follicles, damaging them and preventing them from producing new hairs. Different skin types may respond differently to laser treatments, so it’s important to understand your skin type and consult with a professional before beginning treatment.
Understanding the process and preparing for it is key to achieving successful results. As with any medical procedure, there are some side effects that may be associated with laser hair removal. It may result in redness or irritation that can last for several hours after treatment. It’s important to discuss any existing medical conditions or medications you’re taking with your doctor prior to starting treatment.
The number of sessions required for effective hair reduction will vary depending on factors like skin type and thickness of the hair being treated. Laser treatments can be expensive, but when compared with traditional methods such as waxing or shaving they can be more cost-effective over time due to their long-lasting effects.
Regardless of what method you choose for removing unwanted body hair, it’s important to research all available options carefully before making a decision. Be sure to ask questions about safety protocols and settle on an experienced provider who can help you make an informed decision about your needs.
A note from ReplenishMD Aesthetics & Wellness
If you need laser hair removal treatments or are interested in one but do not know how to start, ReplenishMD Aesthetics & Wellness can help. We are committed to our client’s satisfaction to ensure that you get what you deserve. For more information or booking an appointment, visit our website or call our experts today!