What do you know about laser hair removal? It seems that every year as the summer months approach articles pop up with conflicting advice on the procedure.
There are often stories that circulate of unfortunate burning from the lasers, which is enough for anyone to question if the procedures are really worth it.
But I’ve heard plenty of stories of at-home waxing gone awry and a chilling tale of a shave job down under that ended in pain for weeks for the poor soul.
Well, it’s time for the confusion surrounding laser hair removal to end since about 99 percent of women in the United States voluntarily remove some kind of hair from their body.
There should be accurate information provided on all methods.
Laser hair removal is safe – but individuals must meet a certain criteria first
FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health regulates electrolysis equipment and lasers.
Unfortunately, current hair removal lasers have limits on their usage.
Red or blonde haired individuals and those with darker skin tones may not receive the best results.
Some lasers cannot pick up any pigment within the light hair to disable the follicle. Those with red or blonde hair may not find the treatment effective.
In the case of darker or tanned skin tones, sometimes the laser cannot differentiate between the hair pigment and skin pigment, putting the patient’s safety at risk. There’s also the chance of causing discoloration of the skin.
However, there have been recent advancements to solve this problem. Many ethnic skin tones and darker-skinned individuals require laser light with long wavelengths and pulse widths to achieve desired results.
There are several other parameters to work with, including the timing of the laser pulses, the compression of the device and the amount of energy put into the skin.
These modifications may be taken into consideration in order to perform the safest treatment with enough administered energy to produce effective results.
The most important thing for every individual to remember is to speak with a professional first to see if there is a laser device and treatment available that can safely and effectively be performed.
Multiple treatments are usually needed
It varies from person to person but you’ll probably need the procedure more than two to three times. Some recommend six sessions to see any noticeable change.
Also, the process is only effective during the growing cycle for your hair. Interestingly, this is influenced by hormones and genetics.
Some hair falls off instantly right after the treatment and some hair takes up to 10 days to fall off.
The reason is because most hair follicles have more than one hair and when the laser beam passes through the skin disabling the hair follicle, the hair that leaves the epidermis falls off instantly and the hair that is under the epidermis will take 5 to 10 days to leave.
Laser hair removal eliminates 10 percent of hair every appointment and you can’t wax while you do it. So, if you decide to do it, you’ll be shaving or going au natural for about a year.
But, if you start now, you’ll be all done by next summer and will have less personal grooming problems to worry over!
There will be discomfort
So the real question everyone wants answers to: What hurts more, laser hair removal or a bikini wax?
Interestingly, more women find waxing to be more painful than laser. Laser removal can feel like pinpricks or a rubber band snapping against your skin, but it’s also very hot. The less hair to zap means less discomfort, as well, so the treatments will get increasingly better each time.
Obviously, the place you choose to get the treatment will determine the amount of sensitivity, as well.
(Bonus: No awful ingrown hairs caused by the laser. Saying good-bye to irritated lumps and bumps in awkward places is a very appealing plus.)
Talking to a doctor before the procedure is a must. One of the biggest mistakes made is not going to a licensed or certified practitioner.
Booking a consultation will allow the doctor to analyze hair type, skin type, and sensitivity while doing a patch test.
For those in Marin County, Plastic Surgery Specialists provides safe and effective laser hair removal for patients.
Sciton’s BBL (Broadband Light) hair removal system is used. This system has the ability to select a treatment setting that uniquely targets the hair follicle without stimulating the cells in the skin, which can cause pigmentation irregularities.
It also incorporates a controlled, adjustable and reliable cooling system. These two features, tied to a full range of adjustable fluencies, a rapid repetition rate, and large spot size, allow for quick, safe, and virtually painless laser hair removal treatments.
Now that you know more about the procedure, how do you prepare for your first session?
Here are 3 quick tips:
- No plucking or waxing allowed! You must wait at least six weeks after your last tweeze or rip. You can shave, however, since that will not disturb the hair follicle that is necessary for laser treatment.
- Most doctors will tell you to stay out of the sun and tanning beds before hand, just as an added precaution.
- Always let your doctor know of any medication, especially acne medication, when consulting on the procedure. Some can have increase skin’s sensitivity and should not be taken before the procedure.
Ready to get rid of that unwanted hair? Set up a consultation today!
Any other questions on laser hair removal? Or any tips of your own that you want to share? Comment below!