Laser hair removal is among the most popular treatments available to reduce unwanted hair from legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, back and the bikini line.
How it works:
Laser hair removal uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) which is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat. This damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. Due to this damage, future hair growth is inhibited or delayed for long periods. This makes it the perfect solution for smooth, hair-free skin. Laser hair removal can also help with other issues such as ingrown hairs, which are prone to causing hyperpigmentation.
As your trained laser hair removal expert will tell you, laser hair removal does not usually result in permanent hair removal. Multiple laser hair removal treatments would be required for initial hair removal; later, maintenance treatments would be required as needed.
Laser Hair Removal – What exactly happens?
Laser hair removal generally requires two to six treatments. The gap between treatments varies depending on the location. For example, in areas where hair grows out quickly, such as the upper lip, the treatment might need to be repeated in four to eight weeks. Areas of slow hair growth, such as the back, might need treatment every 12 to 16 weeks.
Before the treatment begins, you will be given special goggles to protect your eyes from the laser beam. The area which is to undergo laser hair removal might be shaved by an assistant. In order to reduce any discomfort during treatment, a topical anaesthetic might be applied to the skin by the expert.
During the procedure, your laser hair removal expert will press a hand-held laser instrument to your skin. Some lasers come with a cooling device on the tip of the instrument that simultaneously soothes the skin. A cooling gel might also be used to protect the skin and reduce chances of side effects.
When the laser is activated by the laser hair removal expert, the laser beam passes through your skin to the hair follicles. The hair follicle is damaged by the intense heat from the laser beam. This inhibits hair growth.
Some people experience a feeling of discomfort similar to a rubber band snapping on the skin, or a warm pinprick. There could also be a sensation of coolness from the device or gel used.
The time taken for the treatment depends upon the area being treated. While treating a small area, such as the upper lip, could take only a few minutes, a larger area, such as the back, could take more than an hour.
Let’s look at the tips to keep in mind as you prepare for laser hair removal treatment –
Before Laser Hair Removal Treatment – Tips To Know
Share your medical history, medication use, any history of skin disorders or scarring, and past hair removal procedures with your laser hair removal expert.
Discuss the risks, benefits and expectations.
Consider taking photos to be used for before-and-after assessments.
Decide on treatment plan and costs.
Avoid sun exposure.
Do not use fake tanning products 3-4 weeks before laser hair removal treatment.
The area should be thoroughly exfoliated to remove all residues.
Trim and shave the area to be treated before the laser treatment. Shaving removes hair above the skin and leaves the hair shaft intact below the surface.
Absolutely avoid other hair removal methods—such as plucking, waxing and electrolysis—which can disturb the hair follicle, for at least four weeks before treatment.
Discuss with your doctor about medications to avoid before the procedure, especially blood-thinning medication.
At least two weeks prior to your appointment, do not undergo Botox or dermal filler procedures. Also, avoid any treatments that increase skin sensitivity such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels. In the week prior to your treatment, discontinue using products that cause photosensitivity.
Take a shower right before your appointment. Clean the treatment area, ensuring dirt and oil is removed from the skin.
The treatment area should be free from makeup, lotion, moisturiser, deodorant, and sun cream.
After Laser Hair Removal Treatment – Tips To Know
After the procedure you might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal. Apply ice to the treated area to reduce any discomfort.
Your laser hair removal expert might apply a steroid cream to the affected area, in case you have a skin reaction immediately after laser hair removal.
You need to avoid sunlight after your laser hair removal and between scheduled treatments.
Use a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen daily. Your skin will be sensitive; it needs as much protection as possible.
Don’t use a tanning bed for six weeks or as directed by your expert.
Do not wax or pluck after your treatment; shaving is permitted as it does not pull out the hair follicle. In order to get best results, unwanted hair needs to fall out on its own.
Avoid perfumes, deodorant, and hot showers.
Take lukewarm showers for the first week after the treatment.