When you start thinking about all the time we spend on our hair (both the hair on our heads and the hair on our bodies), it’s a bit surprising. There’s styling, washing, shaving, waxing, cutting…it’s amazing how much time we sacrifice to either care for or remove all these tiny hairs. If you’re looking to make your life a little lower-maintenance, laser hair removal may be the perfect fit. Our pros at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center have been providing this popular treatment for years, and they’re here to answer all your questions.
How does laser hair removal work?
In our medical-grade laser that we use for hair removal, the laser light is attracted to the pigment in your hair. The hair essentially pulls in the light, which travels down the hair until it reaches the follicle. This damages the hair follicle, hindering its ability to grow hair in the future. Some follicles need more treatment than others before they respond, but ultimately, this results in little or no remaining hair in the treatment area, and after the initial set of 5-6 sessions are completed, most of our patients are able to simply come in for a refresher once or twice per year to maintain their results.
How long does laser hair removal take?
Treatment times for laser hair removal will depend on the size of the area. For example, the upper lip, neck, or underarms can be treated in just a few minutes. The legs or the back, on the other hand, can take about an hour. Compare that to the amount of time you spend shaving or waxing that area over the course of months or years – it’s such a time-saver!
Is there any recovery time or are there activity restrictions after laser hair removal?
Most first-timers are surprised at just how gentle laser hair removal is. You might have some redness in the treatment area, but you can feel free to go to work, hit the gym, enjoy a social outing, and do whatever else you normally would after your treatment. Just be sure to follow all your post-treatment skin care instructions, like cautiously avoiding sun exposure for 6 weeks before & after each treatment to minimize your risk of side effects.
I’ve heard certain ethnicities can’t get laser hair removal. Is that true?
Your skin color can have an effect on laser hair removal, but very few people have skin dark enough that they truly can’t get a safe and successful result. Hair color has more of an effect on the procedure because your hair needs enough pigment to attract the laser. The concern with skin color is that the more pigment there is in the skin, the more the laser can affect the surrounding skin rather than just the hair. This requires specific laser settings and a special expertise in order to avoid side effects. For that reason, if you have darker skin, be sure to only trust your hair removal to a professional with medical-grade equipment and with experience treating patients with your skin tone – qualifications that our laser specialists at Laser Lights are proud to have.
Is laser hair removal really safe?
Honestly, the idea of a laser on your skin sounds scary to people who aren’t very familiar with the process. As long as it’s done by a qualified and experienced professional with the correct high-quality laser, this treatment typically has very few risks. Minor side effects like redness and skin irritation in the area are somewhat common but very short-lived. In rare cases, there can be some pigmentation changes (dark or light spots on the skin), but these are also often temporary. For patients whose skin tone or other factors make them particularly prone to side effects, we will first do a “test spot” with the hair removal laser to make sure the skin doesn’t react poorly before we proceed with a full treatment.
How do I prepare for my laser hair removal appointment?
Laser hair removal is a pretty low-demand procedure. You just need to be particularly careful to protect the treatment area from the sun for 6 weeks before your laser treatment appointment to lower your risk of pigmentation changes. You should also avoid waxing, sugaring, electrolysis, and plucking (and anything else that affects the hair’s roots) for a few weeks. However, it’s important to shave the area before your appointment to protect your skin against burns.
Why do I need multiple laser hair removal treatments?
Each hair goes through a three-stage cycle: growth, resting, and shedding. Laser hair removal is only effective on hairs that are in the growth stage, but each hair is at a different point in its cycle. For that reason, multiple hair removal treatments are needed in order to catch each hair in its growth cycle a few times.
Laser hair removal has become popular all across the country for its convenience and its ability to provide months at a time of baby-soft skin. Just ask any of our hundreds of laser hair removal patients. Here’s an added bonus: we’re heading into fall, which is the perfect time of the year to kick off a hair removal treatment package. If you’re ready to get started on the road toward smoother, hair-free skin, schedule a free consultation at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center. For more fun facts as well as exclusive savings, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.