The summer is coming, and you can’t wait to be reunited with the beach in bikinis.
So you’re looking for an alternative option for removing unwanted body hair since shaving doesn’t last, and the regrown hair is thicker and rougher.
You’ve decided to get a laser hair removal treatment. Yet, you don’t know what type is the best for your skin and whether it’ll be worth the cost and effort.
Look no further! Here’s everything you need to know about laser hair removal.
Shave No More: Laser Hair Removal Makes It Easy for Clear and Smooth Skin
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a medical and cosmetic procedure that utilizes concentrated, harmless laser beams to remove unwanted hair.
Depending on the device used and the location where you get the treatment, laser hair removal is classified as either medical or cosmetic. Laser hair removal is considered medical and typically has higher safety and effectiveness if conducted in a dermatologist’s office. Otherwise, it’s called home or self-care laser hair removal.
Many people wonder whether laser hair removal can replace shaving. It’s important to know that the purpose of this procedure is to inhibit or delay hair growth later and not immediately remove unwanted hair.
Therefore, these two techniques aren’t interchangeable, and shaving is still required before conducting a laser hair removal treatment.
Laser hair removal works best for light skin and dark hair. Meanwhile, it’s less effective for hair colors that don’t respond to lasers well, such as gray or blond. However, advanced laser devices have allowed this technique to be successfully done on all skin types.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The basic principle of laser hair removal is to penetrate the hair follicles with a laser beam to remove the hair from its root.
Unlike shaving, which only removes the end part of the hair while leaving the root inside the follicles intact, laser hair removal temporarily removes the hair roots (typically for several months) and reduces hair regrowth.
Due to the laser’s ability to generate heat, the hair follicles become warmer and shed hair as a response to the heat.
Still, it takes time for laser hair removal to take effect. Since hair grows in cycles, the laser is most effective during the active growth phase. Therefore, this treatment is typically done in several sessions spaced weeks apart.
The process of laser hair removal typically involves the following steps:
- Preparation: The area to be treated is cleaned and shaved to ensure that the hair follicles absorb the laser energy and not by the hair on the skin’s surface.
- Application of numbing cream: Some individuals may choose to apply a numbing cream to the treatment area to minimize any discomfort during the procedure.
- Laser treatment: The practitioner uses a handheld device that emits laser light to target the hair follicles. The duration may vary from a few minutes to an hour.
- Cooling: Many laser devices have a built-in cooling mechanism to minimize discomfort during the procedure. A cool gel may also be used.
- Post-treatment care: The treated area may be red, swollen, or sensitive. The practitioner may apply a soothing cream or ice packs to alleviate discomfort.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
How long will it take for hair to grow back in the area where you shaved?
Weeks? Or just a few days?
I understand. It isn’t pleasant to keep shaving the same area repeatedly until the regrown hair becomes so coarse you become less comfortable than before you shaved.
Although the results of laser hair removal vary, most people claim they don’t notice new hair for several months, with some lasting for years. When hair regrows, it’s usually thinner and lighter in color, so you can have peace of mind knowing it’ll be barely visible.
That said, you may need maintenance treatments (typically once every 4 – 16 weeks) to delay future hair regrowth in the long term.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
No. Laser hair removal doesn’t cause any physical pain. Instead, laser treatment can be as easy and pleasant as having a hot stone massage at a spa.
While a typical session may cause some side effects, such as redness, swelling, sensitiveness, a warm sensation, or a pinprick, these are tolerable. Also, there aren’t any reports claiming laser hair removal causes severe discomfort to the user.
Remember the numbing cream and the cool gel? You don’t have to use them, but they’re there just in case you have pre-treatment anxiety.
How Much Is Laser Hair Removal?
Due to its superior effectiveness, laser hair removal may be costly. Also, the expense for a single session may depend on your target area and where you get the treatment.
For example, for small areas like the upper lips or the chin, the cost can be $100 – $200 per season. For the bikini area, it can be $150 – $350. Prices for other parts, such as the lower legs, could vary from $400 to $700 for each session.
Of course, you can purchase an at-home laser hair removal device and carry out the procedure yourself at a much lower price. Forbes lists some of the best DIY options ranging from $300 to $500, and you can use them for as long as you want.
Best Laser Hair Removal Types
Before visiting a dermatologist’s office, know that not all lasers used in laser hair removal are equal. Several lasers are available to help target different skin types, colors, and areas.
The most effective and commonly used lasers include:
Diode lasers are versatile and can apply to various skin types. They have a long wavelength, allowing deep penetration, making them practical for removing coarse or thick hair. Diode lasers also have a built-in cooling mechanism, making the treatment more comfortable.
Alexandrite lasers are known for their fast treatment times, which are ideal for larger body areas. In addition, with a shorter wavelength, they are effective for treating finer hair on fair to medium skin tones. Alexandrite lasers also allow quicker treatment area coverage.
Nd:YAG lasers have the longest wavelength among the three lasers, allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin and making them suitable for darker skin tones. They are also effective for treating finer hair and deeper hair follicles.
What can be better than having clear and smooth skin while avoiding razors and shaving for months? Laser hair removal offers a long-term solution for unwanted hair, so you can say goodbye to the hassle of daily hair removal and enjoy the benefits of lasting results.