Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to reduce unwanted body hair. It uses heat from the laser to permanently destroy the hair follicles, and it is one of the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in States.
This procedure works best on patients with light complexions and dark hair because the laser detects pigment and targets hair follicles in their new-growth phase. You should limit plucking, waxing and electrolysis before treatment and avoid blood-thinning medications.
Laser Hair Removal is a safe, effective way to reduce unwanted hair growth. During the treatment, a laser emits a concentrated beam of light into the skin, which then converts to heat energy. This damages the hair follicles that are responsible for growing hair and prevents them from producing new strands. It can be performed on all skin tones and textures, as well as for both men and women.
Because hair follicles contain pigment, which is darker than skin color, the laser’s light energy can effectively target these cells without damaging the surrounding tissue. Lasers also work best for people with contrasting skin and hair colors, as the pigment in the hair is easier to identify. This makes it possible for the laser to target and destroy the chromophores that are responsible for hair growth.
When the follicles are destroyed, they can no longer grow hair, and the hair that does regrow is finer and lighter in color. However, it is important to remember that it can be difficult to destroy every hair follicle and some hair will still grow back. It is also possible that the treated hairs may be less dense or finer.
The laser treatments used for hair removal are safe and painless. However, it is important to avoid sun exposure before and after the procedure, as well as to not use a tanning bed or self-tanners for at least two weeks prior to your session. These steps will help to ensure that the follicles are not exposed to unnecessary sunlight, which can cause unwanted side effects such as blistering and scarring.
Shaving the area before your treatment can help to minimize any discomfort, as the razor removes surface skin that could block the laser’s light. It is also important to avoid using any other hair removal methods, such as waxing or plucking, as these activities can disrupt the follicles and cause them not to be targeted by the laser. In addition, some medications can increase bleeding during the laser treatment and interfere with its results.
How does it work?
During laser hair removal, the doctor or specialist will apply a topical anesthetic to the area you want treated. They will then use a handheld laser device to direct laser light at the skin and destroy the hair follicles. Treatment time varies, depending on the size of the treatment area. It typically takes just a few minutes for a small area, while larger areas might take an hour or more.
The results from laser hair removal are permanent, but you will likely need follow-up sessions to maintain the results. During these follow-up treatments, the technician will adjust your laser settings to ensure that you are getting the most effective results possible.
You will need to avoid sunless tanning creams and other products that darken your skin. You will also need to limit your plucking, waxing and electrolysis, as these techniques can disturb the follicle and make the treatment less effective. You will also need to avoid taking certain medications, including aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs, as these can thin the blood and make you more vulnerable to bleeding during the procedure.
It’s also important to choose a doctor or specialist who is experienced and skilled in performing this procedure. Be sure that they are registered and have a good reputation in the field. If they aren’t, it’s best to avoid them and look for a practitioner who is on a register to demonstrate that they meet set standards of training, skill and insurance.
Who is a good candidate for it?
There are a number of factors that determine whether laser hair removal is right for you. First and foremost, you should be willing to make a commitment to the treatment series that will lead to your desired results. The treatment requires multiple sessions to target all of the hair follicles and destroy them permanently. If you decide not to commit, you may be disappointed with the results or regret your decision a few years down the road.
You should also be comfortable with the pain associated with laser treatments. While the discomfort varies from person to person, most people find it less painful than other hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, and depilatories.
Finally, you should be in good overall health and not suffering from any medical conditions that could interfere with your recovery or cause adverse side effects. Certain medications and skincare products can also interfere with laser treatments, so it’s important to avoid them prior to your treatment.
As mentioned above, you will likely be a better candidate for laser hair removal if you have dark hair and light skin. This is because the laser light is attracted to melanin, which gives your hair its pigment. Light hair lacks melanin, so it’s not as responsive to the laser’s energy. Additionally, your hair must be in its anagen (growing) phase for it to respond well to laser treatment.
However, even if you don’t meet the ideal criteria, you can still get the most out of your laser hair removal experience by following the tips below. By doing so, you’ll be on your way to achieving smooth, fuzz-free skin and a more permanent solution to unwanted body hair!
How long does it last?
The amount of hair reduction after laser treatment varies by patient, but most see results after about two weeks. This is because the treatment causes hairs to fall out of the follicles, rather than growing new ones. You may also notice that the hairs that do grow back are much lighter and less dense than before. After your full series of treatments, the results are expected to be permanent, though you might need occasional maintenance sessions in the future to keep your skin looking smooth.
Before your treatment, you should shave the area to be treated. Shaving will allow the laser to target the hair follicles, but it’s important not to go too far—too much hair can block the energy and cause the skin to burn. You should also avoid waxing, plucking or using a sunless tan on the skin before your appointment.
Your laser specialist will put a protective gel or coolant on the surface of your skin to protect it from the heat of the laser. Then, the technician will pass a hand-held device over your skin as it pulses the laser light into the follicles of your unwanted hair. Many patients describe this as feeling like a rubber band snapping against the skin, but it’s quick and painless—and not as uncomfortable as other methods of hair removal, including waxing and threading.
After your session, you might have some redness and swelling in the treated area. This is a sign that your skin has been affected by the laser’s energy, and it will fade in a few hours. You’ll be able to return to work or other activities immediately after your treatment.
What are the risks?
Laser hair removal is safe for most people, but it can cause side effects. These are generally minor and go away on their own, but you should watch for them and contact your doctor if they get worse. You should also avoid tanning for several weeks before your treatment because the laser isn’t effective on tanned skin. You should also avoid waxing, tweezing and plucking hair in the treated area. These activities can make the procedure less effective or cause complications.
The most common side effect is redness and swelling for a few hours after the treatment. This is a sign that your body has absorbed the heat from the laser. You can usually prevent these side effects by using cold compresses on the affected areas.
You should wear protective eyewear during your treatment. If you don’t, you could get permanent damage to your eyes from the laser radiation. The laser machine is equipped with safety features and requires specific training for the staff who use it. The equipment is classified in hazard classes 3B and 4 which means that direct exposure to the beam can burn or discolour your eyes or skin. The beam can also cause fire hazards if it hits combustible materials.
The laser only destroys hair follicles that have pigment, so it isn’t effective on thin, fine hair. It also doesn’t work on hair that is gray, white or blonde because the laser can’t distinguish between the pigment and the surrounding skin. People who have hormonal imbalances might experience less hair reduction than others because of the way their bodies process melanin and produce hair. You should undergo medical evaluation to find out if you have hormonal imbalances that might affect your response to the procedure.