Laser hair removal – Should you do it? How does it work? How does the treatment look like? What about afterwards? Is it safe? … and any other info you might need before making a final decision.
Hair removal must be one of the most hated parts of beauty routine. The pain, the time you put in, and it still often ends up with bad results in a form of redness, ingrown hairs and irritations. Whether you wax or shave, I bet so far it gave you a thousand reasons to curse being a woman.
Laser hair removal is a treatment that offers the permanent reduction of the unwanted hair. Just think about every time you won’t have to use razors (like – ever again!) and it starts to sound like an offer from heaven. However, this treatment sure has its downsides. It’s expensive and it hurts (and it hurts badly!).
If you are considering laser hair removal, still having your doubts, wagering whether to bite the bullet or continue the endless fight with the stubborn little bastards… you probably have a lot of questions. So, let’s see what laser hair removal actually is, how it works and whether it’s the right option for you.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure which uses a cosmetic laser to permanently remove hairs from the treated area. It should always be performed by a licensed professional.
Cosmetic laser produces a beam of highly concentrated light that targets the hair’s root, exposing it to waves of high temperature. The heat disables the hair follicle. Once the follicle is deactivated, the hair cannot grow back again.
How Many Treatments Do You Need?
This greatly depends on the hair itself, but you will probably need at least 3 – 4 treatments. Another thing you should have in mind is that hair grows in cycles and the laser will treat only the hairs that are in the active growth cycle.
Repeated treatments ensure that the area will be treated through different stages of hair-growth cycle. That way, every hair is treated enough times to be permanently removed.
Most girls need 6 – 8 treatments, one every 4 – 6 weeks for the hair to be permanently removed.
Before The Procedure
By all means, find an expert in the field. With a delicate procedure like this, you don’t want to take a chance with unqualified staff or in an environment that doesn’t follow all safety procedures.
You should avoid harsh skincare treatments, scrubs and sun exposure for 6 week before the treatment.
When you get there, the technician will walk you through the procedure, explain all aspects of it and make sure there are no contraindications for you to proceed with laser hair removal. Then, they will make sure that the area that should be exposed to the laser is clean, shaved, with no makeup, deodorant or moisturizer on it. They will give you a pair of safety goggles, required during all laser procedures.
The practitioner will first do a patch test to see how your skin reacts to the laser. This also allows them to adjust the laser to the client’s individual needs.
The Procedure Itself
The procedure doesn’t take long. Usually, treating an upper lip takes about 10 minutes, underarms and bikini area 20 minutes and whole legs can take around an hour.
The pain – well, it is what it is. But it lasts only for a short period of time. And if you are a typical girl, I guess you’ve already put yourself through a range of uncomfortable situations in the name of beauty.
The intensity of the pain can vary. For some women it can be extremely painful, while others mostly feel the heath over the treated skin. Most women describe it as being snapped with a rubber band. It mostly depends on which area is being treated – removing hairs from more sensitive skin will hurt more.
Basically, the practitioner will glide the laser over the area several times for just a fraction of a second, sending highly concentrated light into hair follicles. This damages the hair follicles and stops future hair growth.
After the Procedure
Right after the laser hair removal, the technicians will first try to calm your skin. This usually includes packs of ice and soothing lotions. Lotions based on Aloe Vera usually do the trick.
They will also advise you on how to take care of your skin in the days and weeks to come, as well as schedule your next visits.
Just like prior to laser hair removal, you shouldn’t be using scrubs or expose your skin to the sun for several weeks. So… you may want to get this done during the winter months.
Complications are rare. And, if you are using professional services and licensed, experienced technicians perform the procedure, the possibility of any complications decrease even further.
The most common side effects are skin irritation and discoloration. Rarely, laser hair removal can lead to swelling, blistering and scaring.
The complications are mostly temporary and do not cause any real danger for your health.
For more information on possible complications, laser hair removal during pregnancy and some common myths about this procedure, check out this article by MedicalNewsToday – What are the side effects of laser hair removal.
You Shouldn’t Be Doing Laser Hair Removal If…
The pain and the price are the two most common reasons why women may decide that laser hair removal is not for them. You should also be absolutely sure you will never want any hair in that area again.
For most women and most areas, there is no serious second-guessing. However, bikini zone might be an issue for the girls used to following different trends as they occur.
Men, on the other hand, might change their minds about chest or facial hair removal. As for the scalp… Well, I doubt you’ll find a technician willing to perform this on you anyway.
Want to see how this procedure actually looks like? Check out this video of how guys at SK:N Clinics perform laser hair removal.