Everything You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

Method and degree of hair removal on the body is a matter of personal taste. If you choose to rid excess body hair, there are a number of options on the market. Shaving is the cheapest and quickest way, since it could be done in the shower, but could result in painful cuts, knicks, and razor burn. It also doesn't prevent the hair from growing back within a few days, making it a hassle to shave often. Waxing would prevent hair from regrowing for a longer period of time, but is as painful and time-consuming a process as threading. The most well-rounded option is laser hair removal. This is a bigger investment that is meant to produce more substantial results.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal is facilitated through the concentration of beams of light to destroy hair follicles. Light particles are focused to only hit the targeted area and not the surrounding tissue. Selective heating is utilized to inflict localized damage to darker skin, higher in the melanin pigment. The darker the skin and coarser the hair, the more effective the laser treatment will be. Generally, hair with brown, black, reddish-brown, and dirty blonde tones will respond better to this radiation than white, strawberry blonde, or light blonde. The combination that will work most readily is light skin and dark hair. However, there are alternative lasers on the market meant to deal with dark skin and hair.

Laser hair removal is not a permanent method of hair removal. According to the FDA's definition, "permanent" hair reduction is the stable, long term reduction in hair growth after the treatment regimen. Patients of laser hair removal have reported growth occurring years after their last session. However, the hair that grows back will be thinner and comparatively less visible.

How many sessions are required?

Hair grows in several stages. Laser therapy works its magic especially on actively growing hair follicles. Several sessions are necessary to revert the hair to its initial phase of growth, leaving short, fine, unpigmented "vellus" hairs. Most patients need a minimum of eight sessions to see desired results. They are advised to wait three to eight weeks between sessions. This also depends on whether the device used is clinical-grade or take-home. In either case, a waiting period has to be maintained to let the skin heal. Other parameters in wait time include skin color, treatment area, hair coarseness, level of hairiness, and gender. A man's face, for example, might need extra treatment sessions to achieve the desired result.

Side Effects and Risks

Laser hair removal
doesn't work effectively on light or thin-haired people. Since shredding of treated hair takes two to three weeks. During this time, hairs are meant to fall off on their own without treatment or manipulation by patients, as that would increase the chance of infection.

You may experience swelling of the follicles or follicular edema, around the treatment area, itching, redness, or pink skin. These side effects may persist only for a day or two, after which they'll subside. The most common effects include skin discoloration and acne.

Although not intolerable, expect a certain level of pain during treatment. Numbing creams, some of which are offered over the counter, are available as well. These can be applied 30 minutes prior to procedure, with ice applied after to lessen the appearance of swelling. Numbing creams are meant to be used on specific spots and not large areas.

To minimize potential for side effects, choose a certified technician after conducting proper research on their reputability. For at-home laser hair removals, make sure to check for a reliable manufacturer. With the right precautions, laser hair removal is the most effective way to get rid of unwanted hair in the body.