Laser hair removal
If you’re tired of shaving, waxing, plucking, or tweezing, consider laser hair removal, a safe and effective way of reducing and virtually eliminating unsightly hair.
How laser hair removal works
A laser produces a very specific beam of light, absorbed by melanin in the hair and/or at the follicle growth center. Melanin is the material that gives color to our hair and skin. For this reason, laser treatment works most effectively in removing black hair and is generally less effective for light brown or blond hair.
Lasers designed for hair removal can be used on most parts of the body, including the face—especially the upper lip and chin—the back, the bikini area, chest, neck, shoulders and legs.
Do the treatments hurt, and how long will they take?
During a single procedure, the laser significantly reduces the amount of hair with little discomfort. It may feel like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being gently snapped against the skin. The length of treatment depends on the size of the treatment area. The upper lip can take minutes while the entire back can take more than an hour. On the day of your visit, do not apply creams, make up, or sunscreen to the treatment area. If you desire a topical anesthetic, tell your nurse or medical provider, and plan to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your appointment time.
Why do I need a series of treatments?
The laser targets pigmented hair in the active growth stage. Hair grows in cycles, so you actually never get to see all your hair at any given time. Most people will need five to seven treatments usually spaced four to six weeks apart to get 80 to 90 percent of the hair in a particular area. Costs are not covered by insurance and vary based on the area treated.
Laser hair removal results
The appearance after treatment will vary from person to person, depending on the extent of the procedure and your skin type. The results begin to show immediately and most people can return to work and resume their daily activities after a treatment.
Guidelines for laser hair removal
When you have laser hair removal done, your skin becomes more prone to sun damage as new, healthy cells grow. We recommend an SPF of 50+ after laser treatments. If the treated area is exposed to sunlight, there will be a risk of either hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.
It is also advisable to not tan before treatments. Your tanned skin will be closer to the color of the hair pigment, making it difficult for the laser to pinpoint the melanin within the hair follicle and focus wavelengths onto it. Additionally, tanning can damage the areas that have been treated.
Epilation, electrolysis, waxing, and bleaching are to be avoided six week prior to treatment. This is to avoid damage to the follicle that makes the laser treatment less effective. Shaving is acceptable.
Medical or cosmetic side effects
- Swelling may occur immediately after treatment, especially on the face. This is temporary and not harmful.
- Fragile skin. Skin that has been treated should be cared for gently for several days. It should not be rubbed.
- Small risk of infection is present.
Always consult an experienced, credentialed practitioner who has the training, expertise, and skill to operate the laser before undergoing laser hair removal. If used inappropriately, these lasers can cause burns, skin discoloration, and scars.