Understanding Laser Hair Removal

Shaving, waxing, and tweezing unwanted body hair takes a lot of time, not to mention the expense of purchasing countless razors, creams, and hot wax. Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S., and is an ideal solution for anyone who wants to put an end to the year-round upkeep of hair removal. Here’s what you need to know about the treatment:

How does it work?

During a laser hair removal session, hair follicles are targeted with a concentrated beam of light. The light is absorbed by the pigment of the hair, which damages the follicle and prevents future growth.

Does it hurt?

Everyone’s threshold for pain is different, but many patients compare the lasers to a gentle pinch or the snap of a light rubber band on your skin. Sensitive spots, like the bikini area, may hurt more than others. Taking an Advil or Motrin 20 minutes prior to the session can help ease the discomfort.

How long does it take?

The length of a session depends on the size of the area you’re treating. While the upper lip could take minutes, a larger area like the legs or back could last more than an hour (American Academy of Dermatology).

How many sessions do I need for permanent hair removal?

A series of treatments are generally required to see long-term results. Most patients need between four to eight treatments, and after each one, you’ll notice that fewer and fewer hairs return. After several treatments, the unwanted hair is removed for several months. When the hair regrows, most patients notice that it is considerably less hair than before, as well as finer and lighter in color (AAD). Most patients can go four to six weeks between treatments, but your laser therapist or technician will determine the appropriate frequency for your skin.

What areas does it cover?

Laser hair removal is designed for use on most parts of the body, including:

  • Back
  • Legs
  • Bikini area
  • Chest
  • Face (most often the upper lip and chin)
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

What is the recovery like?

Laser hair removal generally does not require any major downtime, so you can pretty much carry on with your normal activities. Immediately after the session, you may notice that the treated skin appears red and swollen. Post-session breakouts are also common because the treatment leaves hair follicles open for a few days. Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or antibacterial lotion to help prevent blemishes from forming.

How long does it last?

The results of this process vary widely from person to person, but lasers can remove hair for anywhere from several months to years.

Everyone's skin is different, which is why it is imperative to discuss your skin treatment options with a professional. At Leah Nickie ADVANCED AESTHETICS, your initial consultation is always free, and we will walk you through the laser hair removal process to ensure you achieve the best results possible. If you are interested in laser hair removal, schedule a consultation today to meet with one of our experts.

Feature photo via Unsplash