Laser Hair Removal Basics
Laser hair removal is a procedure where a beam of light is targeted at the hair follicle to remove hair from that area. The laser absorbs all of the pigment within the hair, causing the follicle to no longer produce hair quickly. Hair may still grow in this area but very slowly. For permanent hair removal, you must undergo several treatments. This procedure is best for those with lighter complexions with dark hair. Areas of the body most targeted are the upper lip, legs, armpits, and bikini area. Hair can be removed in any place except the eye area.
Laser Hair Removal Benefits
The benefits of laser hair removal are obvious. No one likes to shave and use lotions to remove hair frequently always. Also, with shaving, you can cut yourself or get razor bumps. You can even get in-grown hairs which raise the skin and cause scarring and dark marks in the area longterm. Many people do not like skin discoloration, that is the result of shaving and other hair removal options. Laser hair removal is excellent because it does not cause any of these issues of ingrown hairs or razor bumps. It is an excellent alternative for those who grow thick, dark hair in unwanted areas.
Laser Hair Removal Process
Usually, consultations are free or low in cost, so this would be the first step in laser hair removal. The doctor will estimate how your results will look, assess the areas you would like hair removed, and let you know the prices as well. Your medical history, allergies, and past skin issues will be reviewed. A before and after picture is always taken to see how the results came out. Insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures, so this is an out-of-pocket expense. Other hair removal methods have to be stopped: hair removal creams, waxing, and plucking have to be avoided a month before getting your treatments. You may shave before the procedure to cut the hair down, but anything that affects the follicle cannot be done.
During The Procedure
During the procedure, the laser will be used on your skin that also has a cooling device to protect your skin. You will wear a particular type of goggles that protect your eyes from any damage. The laser beam goes through your skin directly to the hair follicles to remove the hair and inhibit hair growth. You may feel warmth than a cooling sensation from the cooling device at the end of the laser.
After The Procedure
After the procedure, skincare is important. Staying out of the sun for at least six weeks is recommended. Also, sunscreen has to be used each time you go outdoors. Using skin lightening, creams, and products are not to be used since you are now getting laser hair removal treatments. After the treatment, you may see slight redness. This is common. It will go away naturally, or you can apply ice to the area to make it go away quicker. This is normal and not a problem.
Protect your skin while you are waiting for your next appointment. Areas, where hair grows slow, may take up to 12 weeks to grow. These are areas such as the back. Areas where hair grows fast, may need more frequent treatments. These are areas such as the underarms or upper lip. These areas may need treatment again in 3-4 weeks. Speak with your doctor about a schedule you should follow for your laser hair removal treatments. When you come back for treatments, you may not need to get all of the areas done at one time, but perhaps every other time for certain areas where hair grows slower.
Who Can Perform Laser Hair Removal
It is best to choose a board-certified doctor who specializes in dermatology and is experienced in laser hair removal. Although non-medical persons may perform laser hair removal, avoid this. They are not board-certified and may not have had the training it takes to remove hair with the use of a laser properly. Many of these medical spas are less expensive, but they are not dermatologists who have studied skin and know how to treat all types of skin and skin issues.
A Great Alternative
Laser hair removal is an excellent alternative to shaving, hair removal lotions, plucking, and waxing. Many of these options cause unwanted in-grown hairs, skin damage, dark spots, and other issues. With laser hair removal, hair grows back slowly. After a few treatments, the hair stops growing in these areas treated. Laser hair removal is safe and effective. With the first few treatments, hair that used to grow very fast, for example, the upper lip, will grow back slower. Usually, consultations are free or low cost. The dermatologist will explain the process, let you know what your results will look like, and go over prices with you.
In your sessions, you will wear goggles to protect your eyes and feel a cooling sensation when the laser is placed on your skin. After the procedure, it is essential to protect your skin from sun rays by wearing sunscreen (at least SPF 30) and avoiding the sun. Continue to moisturize your skin regularly and do not use hair removal lotions or other types of hair removal treatments. Before your next appointment, you may shave because this does not damage the hair follicles.
Laser hair removal is an excellent option for those that have lighter skin and dark hair. Still, technological advances are improving laser hair removal to where it can be used for those with darker skin and lighter hair.