Laser Hair Removal: Unwanted hair, just like scars and other blemishes, is considered undesirable in most women’s minds, due to various psychological, social, and physical factors. Thoughts projected toward those with this condition tend to be embarrassing and demeaning. Considering the reasons for reducing or removing hair growth in various parts, one thing stands out: excessive hair growth can be inconvenient and unattractive.
Despite the mantra, “Embrace Your Body,” a hairless appearance tends to be idealized in popular culture and fashion ads. Thus, many women and men find themselves embracing this fad. Increasingly popular in the U.S., laser hair removal has also gained traction in Europe, Australia and Asia. Certainly, this practice is catching on globally.
However, not everyone understands how this cosmetic procedure works and its effectiveness. The guide aims to present information about this technology so that people can make better-informed decisions.
Introduction to Laser Hair Removal
For a person who is new to this technology, the term “laser” sounds ominous and, frankly, painful. At the drop of a hat, one pictures the touted lightsabers from Star Wars or laser guns from science fiction movies. This perception is understandable, as lasers are associated with power and destructive energy. In this sense, it’s not surprising that they represent a cutting-edge technology for hair removal, but at a mild, safe, and controlled intensity.
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that helps people reduce or eliminate unwanted hair through the use of a technology called light-based therapy. It entails the use of a high-intensity light source, such as the specific type of light produced by a diode laser. When compared to other hair removal techniques, like shaving and waxing, this technology is quicker, highly efficient, and long-lasting.
Ridding the skin of unwanted hair with a tweezer or razor requires daily care and an enormous amount of commitment. In this scenario, the person has to maintain the same ritual of hair removal, no matter how tedious it may be. By contrast, laser hair removal involves no shaving, waxing or plucking, as it permanently destroys hair follicles. A person can enjoy this procedure for months or years at a time, without worrying about daily maintenance. Some even report a 10-year hair-free stretch.
How Does It Work?
The process entails emitting a pulsating beam through a handpiece. The light is absorbed by the melanin in and around the hair follicles. After this, the pigment is heated, which in turn damages the hair bulb. Since hair grows in cycles, the number of hair will decrease over time. The number of hair follicles per square inch in treated skin areas could diminish by 50% or more, depending on the device and settings.
This practice requires that a person’s skin be in the best condition possible. Hence, they should not have acne, rashes, or any skin condition at the time of the procedure. If they do, they should seek treatment to resolve it first before undergoing laser hair removal. Under the right conditions, individuals can experience fewer to no side effects.
You can also choose to undergo a laser hair removal treatment with the IPL Hair Removal, which uses laser technology that emits rapid light pulses.
Light energy from IPL is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, which then turns to heat and destroys the hair cells. This causes hair regrowth to slow down significantly after each treatment. You can do it yourself at home.
Benefits and Side-Effects of Laser Hair Removal
As mentioned above, this technique is both safe and effective, which makes it the preferred method for hair removal. It is a permanent solution to the problem of unwanted hair growth. In most cases, hair that was once removed will not regrow. Other benefits include:
- Less downtime
- Ingrown hair prevention
- Quick process of at most an hour
- Hair removal anywhere on the body
- High precision in targeting treatment areas
Weighing these advantages against the cost of shaving and waxing, laser hair removal comes out the clear winner. Are there side effects? Of course! Nonetheless, they vary from one person to another and are also based on the level of professionalism. Common outcomes include:
- Skin discolouration
Most of these conditions tend to disappear within a day, and they don’t pose any danger to the person. While rarely encountered, some serious side effects may manifest. In the most extreme scenarios, the skin could be burned or suffer permanent damage. Therefore, it is imperative to choose only board-certified cosmetic dermatologists for laser hair removal treatment.
Laser Hair Removal Prerequisites
Before undergoing this treatment, a cosmetic patient should maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, which includes staying alcohol and foods that can aggravate the skin. Also, discontinue medications that may affect the results of the procedure, including retinoids and blood thinners. Avoid makeup, fragrances, oils, and lotions for about a week. Such products may block access to the follicle bulbs.
It is advisable to trim the target area 24 hours before the procedure to allow visibility, reduce discomfort, and keep the skin less inflamed. Avoid plucking or waxing the hair as it impedes proper treatment. Keep the skin out of direct contact with sunlight to prevent discolouration. Ideally, this should be at least six weeks prior to laser hair removal.
After undergoing laser hair removal, cosmetic patients may need to take prescription pain killers and apply both cold compress and topical analgesic to the treated area to speed up healing. Since the downtime is minimal, they can resume normal activities almost immediately. Inform the dermatologist of any blistering or discolouration. The same applies to itching and swelling.
Considering the hair growth cycle, cosmetic patients may need up to six sessions to eliminate unwanted hair in targeted areas. Each of these procedures requires an interval of four to six weeks for optimal results. Kindly note that not all hairs are at the same point in their life cycle, so the number of treatments needed depends on the density of hair in the target area.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The procedure is affordable and each session costs anywhere between $36 and $400, based on the location, size of the treatment area, and the practitioner’s expertise. Some clinics offer bundle packages for multiple sessions as a pocket-friendly approach to treatment. However, medical plans don’t cover laser hair removal.
The most effective way to permanently get rid of unwanted hair is to use a laser hair removal procedure. The process is safe, quick, and affordable. It is also considered to be long-lasting in most cases. However, the final decision rests on the individual. Thus, it’s vital to weigh the pros and cons. If it meets the need and is within the budget, then consider it.