Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to remove unwanted hair.
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for long periods, it usually doesn’t result in permanent hair removal. Multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments might be needed as well. Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair, but it can be successfully used on all skin types.
Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, chin, back, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas.
Benefits of laser hair removal include:
Precision. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
Speed. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour.
Predictability. Most patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to seven sessions.
Laser hair removal is more than just ”zapping” unwanted hair. It is a medical procedure that requires training to perform and carries potential risks. Before getting laser hair removal, you should thoroughly check the credentials of the doctor or technician performing the procedure.
If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment. That’s because the laser targets the hairs’ roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking.
You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment. Sun exposure makes laser hair removal less effective and makes complications after treatment more likely.
What to Expect During Laser Hair Removal
Just before the procedure, your hair that will be undergoing treatment will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin surface. Usually topical numbing medicine is applied 20- 30 minutes before the laser procedure, to help with the sting of the laser pulses.The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of your hair being treated as well as your skin color.
Q1 How permanent is laser hair removal?
A1 Laser hair removal is permanent when the hair follicle is destroyed. When the hair follicle is only damaged, the hair will eventually regrow. The amount of time it takes for the hair to regrow depends on the person’s unique hair growth cycle. Some people have hair that grows more quickly than others.
Q2 Is it worth getting laser hair removal?
A2 If you add up how much you spend on razors or bikini wax sessions in your lifetime, it might be worth the $200-$400 per session of laser hair removal. You can think of laser hair removal as a beauty investment. If done by an untrained technician, laser hair removal could leave burns or scars on the skin.
Q3 Is laser hair removal not permanent?
A3 Is it really permanent? In short, no. Laser hair removal works by heating the hair follicles to stop new hairs from growing. This puts the hair follicles in a state of dormancy for a long period of time — much longer than with shaving and waxing.