If you have been looking for permanent hair removal, laser hair removal may sound very enticing. However, although you’ve probably seen this technology heavily advertised, little is known about how it works. Here are some things you should know before you decide whether or not laser hair removal is right for you.
1. What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a procedure in which hair is removed from the body using a long pulse laser. Light at a specified wavelength is delivered from a handpiece into the skin. The laser targets dark material, which is usually the pigment in the hair. The laser then disables hairs that are in their growth cycle at the time of treatment. Because other hairs will enter their growth cycle at different times, several treatments are necessary for optimal results.
2. What are the benefits of laser hair removal?
Many patients have experienced long-lasting hair removal or permanent hair reduction due to their treatments. Although laser hair removal can be very effective, you should expect some re-growth. However, many patients have indicated that hair regrowth is often lighter in color or finer in texture.
3. Who is a candidate for laser hair removal?
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser hair removal. It works best on people with light skin and dark, coarse hair. However, if you do not have this exact skin type, don’t give up hope. Visit a couple of clinics and see what they have to say. Technology is quickly advancing and many lasers are now able to work with a variety of skin types. For example, the Alexandrite long pulse and diode types of lasers work best on light-colored skin, while ND:YAG long pulse lasers work better on darker skin. It is best to consult a certified laser hair removal technician to see what options are available to you.
4. Is laser hair removal permanent?
Many people think that laser hair removal is a permanent solution. However, this simply isn’t true. Some re-growth is natural and expected. You shouldn’t expect laser hair removal to remove every single hair from an area. However, it can make significant reductions.
A set of at least 6-8 treatments is often necessary to achieve significant hair removal. Many factors come into play here, including the size of the area being treated, the texture of the hair, skin type, and the frequency of treatments. After your treatments, you will probably also want to do some touch-up treatments to maintain smooth skin.
5. Are the treatments painful?
You will often find claims that laser hair removal is painless but this is not true. Laser hair removal is very tolerable, but not painless. Many people compare it to being snapped with a rubber band. Everyone has different pain tolerance, but generally laser hair removal is not much more painful than waxing. It’s just different.
6. I s laser hair removal right for me?
In order to make the best decision for you, it is important to get multiple opinions. Find a reputable clinic with a doctor that is experienced. Laser hair removal treatments must be individualized for each person. Because of this, you will need to find a clinic that is professional and has a trained, caring staff that is dedicated to getting you optimal results.