In this article we will discuss following things:
- What is Laser hair removal?
- How Laser Hair Removal work?
- Why Laser Hair Removal?
- Important Things to Know
- Risks Involved in this Process
- How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
- Some Pre-Care Instructions you have to Follow
- Number of Treatments Required
- Special Care before the Treatment
- During the Procedure
- After the Procedure
- Time taken for the Treatment
Are you a hairy lady but don’t want to waste time and money in the torturous methods like shaving, waxing or plucking? You are not the only one. Most ladies around the world have made a transition from old-school methods of hair removal towards a modern, semi-permanent and virtually painless method known as Laser Hair Removal.
1. What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal, for both genders, is a clinical procedure involving a pulsated beam of laser to get rid of the unwanted and excessive amount of hair from all parts of the body. During the procedure, laser light enters the follicle where it gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair.
2. How Laser Hair Removal work?
The light energy emitted by the laser gets converted into heat to coagulate hair follicles. This damage to the hair follicle inhibits or delays the growth of hair. And you get a hairless finish which stops the growth of hair for a prolonged period of time.
In most cases, laser hair removal acts as a semi-permanent hair removal technique. To gain permanent results, you may have to go through additional sessions of this treatment. Also, it is noted to be quite effective for people having light skin with darker hair.
3. Why Laser Hair Removal?
It brings the sumptuous finish to your skin and allows to enjoy your feminism to the max. Who likes excessive hairs on the face and body? We don’t and surely you also hate the strong spikes caused by conventional methods of removing hair; you have been using it for a long time. Laser hair removal gives you silky, soft and smooth skin which can be noticed after a couple of treatments.
It is famous for treating areas like legs, thighs, armpits, upper lip, chin, back and bikini line, however, it can remove hairs from almost any part of the body excluding the eyelids.
4. Important Things to Know
Two of the most important factors upon which the results depend are hair color and skin type. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment of hair and not the pigment of the skin. The heat produced by the laser should damage the hair follicle and not the skin. This is why ladies having light skin and dark hair are considered ideal for LHR. More the contrast between skin and hair, more suitable you are for the treatment.
The risk of skin damage is quite high when the skin tone and hair color are quite the same, however, scientific researches in the field have made it viable for people having darker skin. According to the latest researches, LHR is less effective for those ladies who have gray, red, blonde or white hair as they don’t absorb the light emitted by a laser. The option of laser for lighter-toned hair continues to progress at a rapid pace.
5. Risks Involved in this Process
As all clinical treatments, Laser hair Removal for ladies is not free from side-effects. Risks involved in this treatment depend on the skin type, color of the hair, treatment plan and most importantly not following the pre and post-care instructions. Some of the most commonly seen side-effects of this treatment are:
- Skin irritation
- Pigment changes in skin; darkening or lightening of skin
Note: All these risks are temporary and fade away after a few hours or a couple of days, at max.
6. How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
If you want to remove hair from your body or any specific body part, make sure you find a reliable and experienced doctor/aesthetician who has a certification in dermatology or cosmetic surgery. In case a nurse or doctor’s assistant will conduct the procedure, ensure it is supervised by the doctor.
Never opt for a salon/spa or clinic where non-medical people are involved in such treatments.
In the initial consultation, ask the specialist whether you are a perfect candidate for LHR or not. And before going ahead, the doctor may ask you questions regarding your medical history, current medication (if any), history of skin disorders and any previous hair removal procedures.
During the consultation, do not forget to ask the doctor about risks involved, benefits you will achieve, type of laser to be used in the treatment and duration of results.
During the consultation, discuss with the specialist the time taken for the treatment and costs incurred.
7. Some Pre-Care Instructions you have to Follow
Once the doctor finds out that you are a perfect candidate for this treatment, they will instruct you about the pre-care instructions necessary for the preparation of LHR. These preparation tips are:
- Avoiding sun exposure for at least 6 weeks before the treatment. If it is necessary to go out during the day time, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen before going out.
- Don’t use creams that can darken your skin. The doctor might also prescribe you a bleaching cream in case you underwent a tan previously or have darker skin.
- Abnegate from using any conventional hair removal procedures like waxing, and plucking. Even the electrolysis hair removal method should be avoided. These hair removal processes can disturb the hair follicle.
- They may also stop you from taking blood-thinning medications like aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs before the process.
- Trimming and shaving are allowed one day before the D-day. This way you get rid of hair above the skin that could have damaged the skin surface by burning. Shaving and trimming cut the hairs from the surface but keep the shaft, below the surface, intact.
8. Number of Treatments Required
Laser hair removal for ladies normally requires two to six sessions for ideal results. The time period between sessions depends upon the body part. The areas where hair growth is rapid, like the upper lip, the session may be spaced out at 4 to 6 weeks. Body areas where the growth of hair is slow, like back and legs, the repetition of sessions might be after 12 to 16 weeks.
9. Special care before the Treatment
You will have to wear goggles provided by the assistant to protect your eyes before the laser is targeted on to your skin. The doctor may ask the assistant to shave the hair again, if necessary. To reduce the pain and discomfort, they will also apply a topical anesthetic.
10. During the Procedure
The doctor will press a hand-held laser device on to the desired body part. If the laser beams are severe, a cooling device might also be attached to the device to lower its intensity and to protect the skin from any side-effects. A cooling gel is another option that can be used instead of a cooling device.
When the doctor/aesthetician activates the laser, it will get absorbed by the melanin/pigment inside the hair follicle to damage it. Here, you may feel slight discomfort or pain (in rare cases) like a warm pinprick.
11. After the Procedure
Once the procedure is complete, you may see redness and slight swelling which goes away within a few hours. If the redness or irritation is unbearable, you can use ice on the area. In case of a skin reaction, talk to your doctor. They will apply a steroid cream.
Avoid going out in the sun after the LHR treatment and between the treatments. According to doctors, exposing yourself to sunlight and tanning beds for six weeks after the treatment is strongly prohibited. If it is necessary to go out, use a broad hat and apply a high SPF sunscreen.
12. Time taken for the Treatment
Time taken for hair removal solely depends on the area to be treated. Removing hair from a small area like the upper lip or chin may only take a few minutes. On the contrary, a larger area like back and legs may take more than an hour.
After the treatments, you won’t see a hairless finish immediately, rather they will shed over a period of days to weeks. You may experience continuous hair growth in the next few days. Different sessions are instructed because hair growth and loss happen in cycles. Laser hair removal is considered great when hair follicles are in the stage of new hair growth.
Keep in mind that you may not get the desired results in one or two treatments. Results vary from person to person, due to the different skin colors, and no one can predict them. Most people experience a hairless finish for several months and some lucky ones may see results that last for years.
However, one thing you need to know that laser hair removal for ladies is not a permanent hair removal technique. It allows you to enjoy a smooth, velvety touch and hairless body for an extended period of time, but not forever. For long term results, your doctor will advise you repeated sessions. Hairs that grow after this clinical treatment are finer and lighter in color than before.