Whether you’re tired of shaving or getting ready for a relaxing beach vacation, laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to get rid of unwanted body hair.
Laser hair removal is a quick procedure you can have during your lunch break. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the treatment area’s size.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
In this procedure, the laser targets pigment in the hair follicle and focused on the root. The intense heat the laser emits damages the hair bulb and discourages further hair growth. Click here to read more about how this procedure works.
Laser Hair Removal Candidates
Laser hair removal is safe for all areas of the body, including back, neck, legs, arms, underarms and groin area. The eyebrows are the only area where it can’t be performed as it’s a risk to the patient’s vision.
Though laser hair removal is safe for all skin types, it is best suited for people who have darker hair. Because the laser is attracted to the pigment in the hair follicle, it’s not effective on people who have white or light-blonde body hair.
Almost anyone with dark hair can have laser hair removal, but it may not be for you if you:
- Are hypersensitive to the wavelengths emitted by the laser
- Are taking certain medications (consult with your esthetician)
- Are prone to light-induced seizures
- Have a tan or use tanning beds, moisturizers, or creams designed to tan the skin
How Many Sessions Are Required to See Results?
You will achieve the best results from laser hair removal after six treatments with 4-6 weeks between each one. The exact number of treatments you’ll need depends on the size of the treatment area and how thick or course your hair is. Your esthetician will let you know how many treatments are recommended during your initial consultation.
Everyone’s body reacts to laser hair removal differently. Some will need 1-2 treatments per year to maintain results. In some cases, patients may experience permanent results.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
Tan skin can interfere with the treatment’s effectiveness and cause skin discoloration. To decrease this risk, stay out of the sun or tanning bed and avoid tanning products 4-6 weeks prior to your procedure.
You may need to stop using certain skincare products if they contain retinoids or alpha hydroxyl acids. These products can make your skin vulnerable to sun exposure and increase pain during the procedure.
Consult with your esthetician about your current skin care routine and whether it needs to be altered for laser hair removal to be successful.
Some medications make your skin sensitive to light. You will need to stop taking them at least one week prior to your laser hair removal treatment. Talk to your doctor to make sure your medications won’t be a problem.
Stop waxing, tweezing or bleaching your hair in the treatment area one month prior to your session. This allows the root to stay intact and gives the procedure a greater chance of success.
On the evening prior to or morning of your procedure, shave any hair in the treatment area. Long hair can interfere with the laser’s effectiveness and increase irritation. If treatment will focus on the legs, your legs should be shaved in preparation for your procedure, preferably the night before your appointment.
It’s OK to use deodorant as your esthetician will degrease the treatment area before the procedure. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that allow your skin to breathe and relax after treatment.
What to Expect During the Procedure
When you come in for your appointment, your esthetician will take you to the treatment room and give you a set of googles to protect your eyes. Then, they’ll test a small patch of skin to make sure there are no negative reactions and help them adjust the strength of the laser.
When it’s time to start, your esthetician will apply cool ultrasound gel to the treatment area. They will attach a cooling device to the laser to keep your skin from getting uncomfortably hot.
During the procedure, your esthetician will press the laser against your skin. When activated, the laser makes a slight popping sound and you may smell singing hair. Most patients say the laser is tolerable and feels like a hot pinprick or rubber band snapping against the skin.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
Aside from eliminating unwanted body hair, laser hair removal has several benefits:
- It’s precise. Laser hair removal only affects the target area, leaving the surround skin unharmed.
- It’s fast. Activating the laser only takes a fraction of a second, so the overall treatment time is short.
- It’s tried and true. The lasers are FDA approved and most patients achieve desirable results with few downsides.
Laser Hair Removal Risks
There are some risks to laser hair removal. Most of the side effects are mild and clear up within a few days. Common side effects include:
- Burning sensations
- Skin discoloration
- Returning hair growth
What to Expect After Laser Hair Removal
No healing time is required after laser hair removal. Patients can have the procedure and return to normal activity immediately.
After your procedure, expect some hair in the treatment area to fall out. This is a normal sign of an effective treatment. Use sunscreen to protect your skin and avoid direct heat and sunlight. You should also refrain from shaving for 2-3 days after the procedure.
Try not to rub or irritate the skin. Use a cold compress or cortisone cream if you are experiencing swelling, redness or slight pain. Contact your doctor if you experience severe pain, or if your symptoms persist after several days.
Laser Hair Removal at The Centre, P.C.
At The Centre Yourself Medical Rejuvenation Spa, we’ve been performing laser hair removal for years. Our master estheticians will walk you through the process while making sure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
To learn more about how we can help you get rid of unwanted body hair, contact us to schedule an appointment.