Laser hair removal can give you permanently clearer and smoother skin. It can mean the end of waxing, shaving, tweezing, and plucking. And you’ll never have to deal with red bumps and ingrown hairs again. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Before you leap head-first into laser hair removal, it’s good to learn a little bit about it, so there are no surprises. For instance, did you know that laser hair removal must be done in a series? Meaning, you’ll need more than one treatment for a fuzz-free life. Let’s find out why.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
It is a cosmetic procedure that uses a powerful light beam (a laser) to destroy hair follicles in the skin (these are the tiny sacs from which hair grows). What the laser does is it essentially vaporizes the hair follicles and destroys them. The melanin (pigment) absorbs the energy of the laser beam, and the heat destroys the hair follicles, thus delaying or stopping hair growth.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
The destruction of the hair follicles by the laser delays hair growth for a long time. It induces a prolonged state of dormancy in the hair growth cycle. Therefore, laser hair removal is more permanent than shaving, waxing, threading, tweezing, and plucking. However, laser hair removal cannot completely prevent future hair growth.
Some people can get years of stubble-free life after laser hair removal, while others may need repeat treatments after a few months. It’s impossible to predict how long the results from laser hair removal will last because there are so many variables. Most individuals who have laser hair removal done report long-term hair loss after a series of treatments. Also, if hair does grow back after laser removal, it is usually lighter and finer. It’s a good idea to go for a maintenance session done once a year to keep stray hairs at bay.
Why Are Laser Hair Removal Treatments Done in a Series?
Can’t wait to stop shaving or waxing? Would you love to show off your smooth skin in the summer? You’ll need to plan a little bit in advance and begin your sessions in the fall or winter. The journey from fuzzy to smooth can take 6-9 months. You need a series of treatments, spaced a few weeks apart, to get noticeable results, which is why laser hair removal treatments are offered in packages.
Human hair grows in cycles with different phases. During the anagen (growth) phase, the hair gains length. The catagen (transitional) phase is a period of shrinkage and detachment. The telogen (resting) phase is when old hair is shed.
At the time of your laser hair removal, each hair follicle in your skin is in a different phase of the growth cycle. The laser is only effective on hairs that are actively growing. The others escape undamaged, which is why you have to come back for a series of treatments to catch every hair in the growth phase. You also need to keep up with your appointments so that sooner or later, each hair follicle gets caught in the growth phase and is zapped. Laser hair removal sessions are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart to accommodate the hair growth cycle, which is roughly one month long.
How Soon Will I Get Smooth Skin with Laser Hair Removal?
After your first laser hair removal session, your hair growth will be reduced by up to 25%. Most people start to notice a difference after about the third session. The appearance of tiny red bumps on your skin after a session is an encouraging sign. It indicates that the hair follicles have been picked up by the laser in this area, and it will be hair-free after your skin heals.
Does Home Laser Hair Removal Work?
The market is flooded with home laser hair removal devices. Some of them even have FDA approval. While this may sound like a cost-effective and convenient option, it may not be effective and may even lead to complications.
Lasers are a powerful technology and can cause significant harm in inexperienced hands, including burns, scars, and permanent pigment changes. For this reason, the lasers made for home use are far less powerful compared to the ones used in medical offices. As a result, they are not as effective in giving you the smooth skin you desire.
What’s more, medical experts say that people are often overly aggressive with home lasers. What happens is that a person doesn’t see the results they want, and they end up double or triple zapping the same area in an attempt to get better results, often causing skin damage.
Because we pride ourselves on delivering the best aesthetic treatments here at Pittman Plastic Surgery to our patients, we have invested in the Sciton Laser & Light platforms for our practice. Sciton is a leader in the energy-based device market within the United States. Our goal is to provide you with maximum results in the safest way possible.
What Parts of the Body Can I Get Laser Hair Removal?
You can get laser hair removal done on various parts of your body, including the face (chin and upper lip), neck, chest, shoulders, back, bikini line, arms, and legs. The duration of each session varies with the area of treatment. For example, chin laser treatment may take only a couple of minutes. The legs, on the other hand, may require up to 60 minutes.
It’s essential to choose an experienced aesthetic medical practice for your laser hair removal. This will ensure both safety and efficacy and give you the best chance of permanent hair loss without complications.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
It is advisable to follow your medical provider’s instructions, both before and after your laser hair removal sessions. For example, during the 6-9 months you are getting laser hair removal done, you can only shave the area (a method that cuts the surface hair shaft without disturbing the root). You’ll also have to avoid exposing the treated area to direct sunlight as much as possible. Most clients can return to normal activities and work immediately following the laser treatment, but your skin may feel slightly raw, like a mild sunburn. You’ll have to be diligent about wearing sunscreen.
If you’re sick and tired of daily or weekly hair removal, talk to your dermatologist whether laser hair removal is right for you. A series of treatments could give you the smooth skin you’ve always dreamed of and save you hours wasted on hair removal.