Laser Hair Removal Overview
Laser hair removal is a procedure in which a concentrated beam of light is being used to remove unwanted hair. In laser hair removal procedure a highly concentrated beam of light is applied. That light is absorbed by melanin (also known as the pigment of the hair.) and produces heat.
The hair follicle, which produces hairs becomes damaged by the heat.
The damage of the hair follicle inhibits the future production of hairs for a prolonged period.
This procedure inhibits the growth of new hair for a prolonged period but this is not permanent. You have to take multiple laser hair removal treatments throughout your life. This also needs some maintenance.
Laser hair removal is the most used cosmetic medical procedure in the USA.
If you don’t like shaving or waxing. This can be an ideal option for you.
This procedure is most effective in persons who have dark hair and quite light skin. Although this can be applied to almost every person.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
A laser hair removal procedure can be done for removing unwanted hair from the face, leg, hand, chin, and other areas of the body effectively.
The Pros of This Procedures are;
- A laser can target the hairs you want to remove selectively without damaging the skin or tissues. Even it’s possible to select ½ colored hair that you want to remove.
- Laser hair removal is a quite speedy process. It takes less than a minute to remove hairs from small areas such as the upper lip. It can take some more time in the larger area such as the leg.
- Although it’s not permanent after one session, but after taking 3-7 sessions most people permanently loss hair on those areas successfully.
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The Risks of Laser Hair Removal
After the day of the session, your skin may look as sunburned. This lasts for the next day too.
Using moisturizer and cool compression is a good choice.
Other Cons Includes;
- Skin irritation, slight swelling, redness can appear after the session. This can last for a or two days. Typically they are gone after few hours.
- Your skin may show some pigmentation. These are mostly temporary and don’t arise if you avoid the sunlight just after the session. Talk to your doctor if you see any sign of light or dark pigmentation in the area.
Your treated hairs will eventually fall out after a month. Use sunscreen to avoid skin color changes and pigmentation.
Redness is quite common after the session. Use a moisturizer for this.
Talk to your doctor about which moisturizer or sunscreen you should use. Some skincare products may cause itching and redness all by themselves.
The laser hair removal procedure works best on people with light skin and dark hair. People like this experience fewer side effects.
Permanent pigmentations, blisters, or scarring are quite rare.
Best Candidates For Laser Hair Removal
The laser hair removal procedure can be used to remove unwanted hair from the armpit, hand, legs, face, bikini lines, and almost any area of the body except the eyelid and surrounding area.
The tattoed skin area should be avoided.
Hair color is an important factor to consider. The laser hair removal procedure works best with light skin and dark hair. This instrument works by removing hair based on the contrast between skin and hair color. If the color of the skin and hair is equal there is a possibility that your skin might get slightly burnt or you may not get the best result.
As technologies are upgrading nowadays, this contrast problem is also improving.
If you hate waxing, shaving, or plucking, a laser hair removal procedure can be a nice option for you. Visit your doctor to know is there any precaution or contraindication for you to undergo this procedure.
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Preparation for The Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is not that easy as it seems. It’s done by highly medical professionals and an effective medical procedure.
If you are determined to undergo this procedure, you have to maintain some rules.
Always check the experience and background of the technician or the doctor who is performing the procedure.
You have to avoid waxing and plucking at least six weeks before the procedure. The laser targets the hair follicles. Waxing and plucking remove the hair follicles. That’s why you should avoid them.
You shouldn’t go to direct sunlight before six weeks and also after six weeks of the procedure. As you already know the role of sunlight in pigmentation.
You should talk to your doctor about your skin conditions, the pros, and cons of the procedure. If you are an ideal candidate or not.
Your doctor may also suggest you follow some specific and other instructions. These may include;
- Avoid sun exposure six weeks before and after the procedure. Use bread spectrum sunscreen if you need to go out to the light. Try to use SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Avoid any cream that might darken your skin. The doctor may prescribe you skin bleaching cream if you have darker skin in the hair area.
- As we already mentioned earlier, avoid other hair removal methods at least six weeks before the procedure.
- Avoid Aspirin and NSAID for some days or weeks. Your doctor may suggest you.
- Trimming and shaving are recommended before the day of the procedure. The reason behind this, the laser targets the hair follicles. Trimming left the hair follicle inside the skin pore intact while removes the exposed hair out of the skin.
The Procedure of Laser Hair Removal
For total removal of hair, laser hair removal needs 3-7 sessions. The interval between each session depends on some factors such as hair location.
In the fast-growing areas such as the upper lip, laser hair removal session interval is usually 4-8 weeks. On the other hand, in the slow-growing areas such as the back and buttock area session interval is around 12-16 weeks.
Before The Procedure
Before the starting of the procedure, you’ll be given protective goggles to protect your eye from a highly concentrated beam of laser.
You may be given topical anesthesia for reducing the pain and discomfort. The doctor may apply some other drugs or medication if you are highly allergic.
During The Procedure
The doctor will use a handheld laser throwing instrument for this procedure. In some instruments, there is a cooling device on the tip of it. On the other hand, some instruments don’t come with this option. In that case, the doctor will use a cool paste on your skin to protect it from heat.
The doctor will press that instrument on your skin and the laser will pass through the skin to the hair follicle. As the laser produces heat by absorbed via melanin, this will damage the hair follicle and inhibit the growth of hairs.
During the laser hair removal process you may feel different sensations at the same time. slight discomfort as the hair follicle is damaging by heat, this will feel like a warm pinprick. At the same time, you’ll feel some cold sensation for the cold paste or cooling device on the top of the instrument.
After The Procedure
It’s normal to notice redness in the skin right after the session. It can last up to few hours. If you feel discomfort and there is an itching sensation then your doctor may prescribe you topical steroids.
Avoid sunlight at least for six weeks after the procedure. It’s recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 for the next six weeks.
If you notice anything unusual on the skin after the day of the laser hair removal session, contact your doctor and discuss it.
You cannot notice the result right after the laser hair removal procedure. It takes some time. Most people experience hair fall after a month of the session.
This time depends on some factors. Usually, it takes from weeks to months.
One session cannot ensure you the complete unwanted hair fall. It takes several sessions to gain that stage. Usually, it takes 3-7 sessions to cause complete hair loss in the unwanted area.
You have to visit the doctor often for each session. Because the fast-growing area needs sessions earlier than the slow-growing area.
The session duration depends on the location. In a small area such as the upper lip, it takes less than a minute. However, on a large area such as the leg or back, it can take more than an hour.
The interval of each session will be decided by your doctor. The laser hair removal procedure works best on new growing hairs. After a session, the newly growing hair will be finer and lighter.
Though you cannot experience total hair loss after your first session. For most peoples, laser hair removal lasts for some months.
The doctor will choose the correct session interval and duration and time for you. Follow the rules strictly provided by your doctor.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The average laser hair removal cost is around $285 for each session – according to the American Society of plastic surgeons.
This is not a fixed cost. This can vary according to some conditions and factors such as;
- Size of the area
- The time needed for the session
- Condition of the hair and skin
- Doctor or technician performing the procedure
- Your location
As it’s a cosmetic procedure. Your health insurance will not cover this. It’s better to talk to your doctor about the total cost.
At-Home Laser Hair Removal
Nowadays lasers can be used at home to remove hair. Though they are not as effective as a laser hair removal session in a doctor’s facility, they are quite modest effective.
There are not enough studies from where you can know if it is safe or not. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeled these lasers as cosmetic. That means those cannot include any option or label that can be used in the doctor’s facility.
If you are determined to use one of them. Read the manual and avoid the eye area as well as skin with a tattoo.
Laser Hair Removal Summary
Laser hair removal is a modern technique for removing hair. In this procedure a highly concentrated beam of light known as the laser used. This concentrated beam of light produces heat because it is absorbed by the melanin(pigment). The heat damages the hair follicle and prevents the hair to grow.
This procedure works best with light skin and dark-haired people.
One session is not enough to prevent growing unwanted hair for lifelong. It needs 3-7 sessions for that. Each session costs around 285 USD.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much is laser hair removal?
It costs an average of $285 per session. It’s not fixed and depends on some factors such as; the unwanted hair area, your location, whether the doctor or technician performing it.
How does laser hair removal work?
The highly concentrated beam of light produces heat as it hit the pigment of the skin. That heat damages the hair follicle which produces hair.
Laser hair removal at home?
Yes, laser hair removal at home is possible. Though it’s not much effective as in a doctor’s facility. You should stay focused while doing it and read the manual properly.
How long does laser hair removal last?
You cannot hope for complete unwanted hair loss after a session. It takes several sessions (usually 3-7) to get rid of unwanted hair. After the first session, most people experience no hair for several months.